Falling or Failing

Middle format camera loaded with 35mmm film

Middle format camera loaded with 35mmm film

Just two days ago I heard a podcast about photography from Ibarionex Perello. one of the prominent voices in podcasting He interviewed one of the living legends in street photography Joel Meyerowitz. He was on this podcast for more than once. You can check the latest podcast out here: The Candid frame 412 
and the older ones here: The Candid frame 19 The Candid frame 162 

This two fit very well together and had a great rapport. The 412 interview is about one and a half hour and worth listening. It is one of the don't miss conversations.

Joel Meyerowitz was shooting his street photography mostly in the 60's and 70's. One of the quintessential guys who are famous for walking the streets of New York and shooting all these fantastic images we all are still hunting for.

In this interview, he is talking about "freefall" in the sense of recreating yourself in a manner. Finding something new which you might not be comfortable with but doing it nevertheless. That reminded me of my situation not only in photography but as well in life.

There was a time when I was working with the German Border Police, even before it became the German Federal Police. At that time I had the chance to apply to train as a helicopter pilot. Which I did and what fun it was!

One part of the admittance to the training was a 'free fall'. It was a test standing on a five-meter diving platform with the back of the water and just falling backward. Not seeing where you go, not knowing when you hit the water, somehow not knowing what to expect. 

Because at that time my engagement with the Border Police was on a fixed-term contract I had to choose after some years another job. As it happens, I was lucky to find one where I am "free falling" every three to four years. Free falling in the way that I work "luckily" for me always in different countries. Lately in East Asia from Hong Kong to Hanoi to Mumbai at my present home.

Having this great opportunity is on the other hand always a new beginning - a free fall. And the same is transferring to my photographic work where I try to change, test, experiment and last but not least have fun in digital and analog work.

My latest endeavor was taking a 35mm film which I exposed some years ago and rewind to the start. It is a black and white film, and I used my Leica M6 to take the photos. I didn't remember anymore where I made the images on this roll of film. I
loaded my Leica once more with the same film last week and took another 36 pictures on it. I knew there would be some shifting of the frames but wanted to surprise myself. Did it work? Did the free fall this time produced something worthwhile or was it just rubbish?

Judge yourself. Here are some of the pictures I scanned. Scanning could be better I know - apologies.