Ralph Gräf: With A Holga Through Brandenburg

In this conceptual project I have tried to capture impressions and different moods from the country of Brandenburg in analog black and white photographies.

In this conceptual project I have tried to capture impressions and different moods from the country of Brandenburg in analog black and white photographies.

Brandenburg is located to the northeast of Germany and characterized by a mostly flat landscape with sandy grounds and many lakes. It is quite rural with its biggest city, Potsdam, having only 160,000 inhabitants. Twenty-five years ago this part of Germany still belonged to the GDR and almost ten percent of the country were a military restricted zone used by Sovjet troops. With this photo project I intended to express the austere beauty of Brandenburg offside from the few touristic attractions with a special emphasis on recent history. The serial character of these photos arises not only from the chosen square format and their monochrome, blurry and grainy appearance. These images have in common a melancholic mood, clear composition and motives, which are not necessarily representative but typical for this swathe of land. The photos show lonely, wide landscapes in cool seasons, urban views and remnants of the GDR testifying a changeful history. Sometimes the images look surreal and from older times, although they may contain details as a reference to the present time. In part this impression of the viewer is created by the chosen photographic technique with a Holga 6×6 cm medium format camera. With its deliberately bad plastic objective in combination with grainy b&w films (usually Fomapan 400) and old-fashioned developers (Rodinal) this camera creates a dreamy mood that is characteristic for all photos shown here. The square is a classical format in medium format photography. Though it may not be conform with our sight, which is more accustomed to wide screen view, its aspect ratio creates harmonic tranquility that perfectly fits to the calm scenes of this series of photos. Find more photos of the project here: http://graef-fotografie.de/holgaland [Official Website]
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