My latest idea was to focus on the finer details of the many examples of wonderful architecture around Munich. Shooting black & white film I looked for different textures and patterns in what was otherwise a very cloudy and dull day.
Armed with one roll of Bergger Pancro 400 and my Hasselblad camera with its 80mm lens I went in search of some interesting architectural shots across Munich. I have shot this film before and had some great results, it has a completely different feel to Ilford’s HP5+ or Kodak”s Tri-X, which are usually my go-to black and white films. According to Bergger:
BERGGER Pancro 400 is a two emulsion film, composed with silver bromide and silver iodide. They differ by the size of their grain. These properties allow a wide exposure latitude. Cristals are precipitated by double-jet process, under the control of a computer. The two emulsions are panchromatic, and are stabilized by high tech systems.
BERGGER Pancro400 in 120 is coated on a 100 microns PET base and includes an anti curling layer. It is designed with an undercoated anti-halation layer which clarifies during processing, and a anti-curling layer.
About the shots
Munich is famous for its architecture and the city itself has a very long history, dating back to 1158 when it was founded. The city became the capital of the Kingdom of Bavaria and many of its famous architectural landmarks were built during this period under the reign of King Ludwig I. As many of my shots are close-ups of buildings and churches, you can find out more about Munich architecture in general here.
I had no plans for my shots other than looking for interesting scenes and details in the buildings, and I must say I was spoiled for choice. Shooting only 1 roll of 120mm medium format film made me pick my shots carefully.
I really like the details and sharpness of the main column in this shot.
Looking through one of the arches of Königsplatz. This shot came out as grey as the weather was that day!
Details on a very fancy door (in fact the door was very large this is only a small part of it) shot looking upwards.
I like the overlapping parts of this shot and I purposely blurred out the background by focusing on the lamppost. I like all the different shapes.
My favourite shot of the roll. This one took me ages to compose and get right. The waist level viewfinder in the Hasselblad shows a reversed image and it can get quite confusing, even if you are used to it! I love the depth in this shot and that I was able to capture the 3 lighting posts.
I like the vertical nature of this shot with the straight line through the middle and the straight lines of the columns.
The side steps of the outside of a Church, more overlapping patterns and textures that I find very pleasing to the eye.
Police Headquarters just off the main shopping street of Munich.
I was actually hoping an old classic German car would come along but I am happy with how this came out as the Smart is so small it doesn’t distract too much from the rest of the image.
Very cool door handles!
An artist display commemorating the 100 year anniversary of WW1 at Königsplatz. Naturally these were all red (plastic) poppies that you cannot see as shot in black & white.
Despite the poor lighting and overcast conditions, I was pleased with how these shots came out. More importantly, I enjoyed observing the finer details of the different buildings I saw as I went for a long walk around the centre of Munich. I always find these types of “exercises” to be useful for my photographic eye, forcing me to slow down and look at scenes a number of times before finding the right shot.
I suppose the idea for this post in the end was less around architecture and more about being patient and looking for patterns and textures in a scene. I find shooting in black and white removes a lot of the distractions and helps bring out those finer details, whether than be from a really well designed door handle or from overlapping lines.
I hope you enjoyed this small insight into some of the architectural masterpieces of Munich, albeit from a slightly different angle than your usual postcard type shots!
See you next time,