In our monthly feature “Photographers talk about their photos” we ask photographers to tell us the story behind one of their photos. This month, we asked time. and particula to tell us a little bit more about one photo that is really important to them. So here’s the story behind “Subway The Hard Way” and “The stars within us.” Both photos are part of an exhibition, which is currently running at the Kaffebar Rossi in Hannover and which carries the title “Hidden Tracks. Music for your eyes.” So prepare your eyes for some visual songs!
What a vacation. And how much we were looking forward to it. A couple of days of pure relaxing at the island of Sylt! We brought our cameras, along of course and a tripod and flashes. After we arrived and unpacked our bags, we went outside into the dark and headed towards the beach, which wasn’t the greatest idea maybe, given the drizzling rain and the time, it was already pretty late, but whatever, the sea was tempting enough for us.
Arriving at the beach, we had to find out that there was nothing much to photograph except for some lonely beach chairs and vending machines. So I took out my flash and started experimenting with it. The result was stunning. This photo – with Frollein S. as the protagonist – was made in the drizzling rain, with a exposure time of 20 seconds and with the help of a stroboscopic flash. What looks like stars is the rain, multiplied with every flash and underexposure.
This was all so exciting for us, that we returned the following day in the early morning hours. Instead of the rain, a wonderful midsummer night awaited us. We started to flash again as long as the batteries allowed it and were amazed over and over again. This was also the night, the cover photo for our book “Hidden Tracks” was made.
I turned the corner, just how 16 year olds do when they explore a foreign city – curious, exhilarated and hungry for adventures. It was a wonderful day and now I was starting to get hungry.
Full breaking. Suddenly there was this old man in front of me, wrapped in this thick coat, in the middle of summer, setting one foot in front of the other, grinding, making his way slowly.
Above, life was rushing by, but here it was suddenly quiet, calm. Time stopped, just the way it does in those movies, the better ones. I saw the warm light on the cold concrete and thought about the grandfather I never had. I wanted to have a picture of him, a picture of the moment, a grandfather for my memories. Nothing was more opposing than everything between me and this old man. But somehow I just saw my whole life.
Suddenly the noise from above came back and I passed the old man. I did not turn around. I didn’t want to be disappointed.
The photo was shot as a diapositive with a Kodak Retina II camera, 1975 in London. Here at Photocase, you can see a part of the scan. The whole photo, on which my grandfather looks even more aggrieved, can be seen at the exhibition.
Apart from the photos, that are exhibited at the Rossi in Hannover until June 2nd, there’s more to see. The two photographers had so much fun preparing the exhibition, that they also made a website and a book (link to the PDF version, ca. 2MB) with more photos. Being asked about the subtitle of their project,”music for the eyes,” the two of them replied: We often connect our photos to specific sounds or music tracks, just the way that certain pictures might appear in front of your inner eye, when listening to music. This is what we call “hidden tracks.” Those sounds, that are somewhere inside you and that come out when you are inspired by a picture – one way or the other.