It was a vivid year. It took me to many old and new places and I am forever thankful for that. I grew and will try to continue growing. I was also introduced to new photographic films and new cameras. One made a special mark this year. Masha @masha_njam gave a me her lubitel II as a present, when I was in Saint Petersburg in may. She had promised it to me as an incentive, when I visited her and I totally forgot about that. Now I was surprised and I never knew, that it opened a new phase in my photographic endeavour!
I was always into panoramic photography, always. And I am still. I gathered a lot of skills and taught my eye to a wide picture. Medium format photography never really got to me personally. But when I started with the lubitel II it suddenly all made sense. The square format is just ideal for protraits and so it delivers a very own form of storytelling through the limited space of a cubic frame.
I took my new accumulated russian camera on a trip to Scandinavia. My first stop being in Helsinki I strolled around and met a Russian Musician. I found him very entertaining and started to talk to him. We got familar very quickly and I kind of knew, that this is quite a moment here. So I pulled out the lubitel II and I understood, that I don’t understand. I never really looked at the camera before. I kind of enjoyed the looks by the bystanders for what a peculiar machine I was holding in my hand. But it didn’t really help though, figuring out how it works. When I got closer to the solution I kind of forgot, that there is a setting for the exposure time. I guess I must have thought it is half automatic or it has a fixed exposure time. Well I did my shots and I was content. I did some more shots with other cameras and left. Later that day we met accidently again and we had a little chat, exchanged adresses for that I was going to send him some prints of his pictures. Did I mention, that he tried to convince me of marrying his daughter?
When I grabed the lubitell II a few hours later I suddenly saw the exposure setting. I was upset, because it was two stops above the light setting I had experienced. I kind of thought of going back the next day to reshoot him. But he was gone, maybe back to Saint Petersburg, which is a stonethrow away from Helsinki. I then thought of just pulling the film two stops in the processing and was hooked on the idea. And this is how my first Lubitel-Picture turned out:
I was very happy and I all thought, proved right. That kind of gave me the feeling, that I am a photographer, for real. Maybe it is a moment like this, that makes you feel a bonding with a camera. I am not the most patient guy, so I do not give cameras a lot of second chances. In fact I get rid of disapointments right away. But with the lubitel II it was all different. Maybe it was just the right move at the right time. Now I take it on every travel and I really got into the mini-cosmos of medium format films. I am glad for the experience and for a new path, that I have just started. And I think there are great things still to come.
The making of a picture: