Second Friday Open Studios in Alameda

I came across a flyer for Alameda’s “Second Friday Art Walk” – while at Alameda Island Brewing Company. Hmmm, I got flat files and boxes full of photos, at least some of which I’d like to share.

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Obsolete Technology Study: Audio Cassette

I also have a “studio” a space that a friend and I share here on the lovely island of Alameda. After a quick chat- we’ve decided we’re going to try and participate.

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Obsolete Technology Study: 16mm Cinema Film

So here are some of the photos I’m hoping to display. Some, like the movie reels and audio cassettes are part of a project focusing on obsolete technology.

Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Shattered

Another subject I hope to share includes highlights from recent travels. There are a few photos I’m happy to share from a recent trip including Copenhagen, Büdingen (Hessen), and Berlin etc.

Bikes of Copenhagen
Bikes of Copenhagen
Dom St. Peter (Osnabrück)
Dom St. Peter (Osnabrück)

One item I can’t display here is my hand printed black and white traditional prints. Folks who want to sound fancy call these “Fine Art” and “Silver Gelatin” prints. If you’re old enough to be from the film photography era, they’re just normal prints. Except, that I also have some “Alt Process” prints of sorts too that I might display: I’ve been playing around with so called “litho printing”. But these aren’t digitized. You’ll have to hold them in your hands in person if you want to see.

Call or email me (phone four juan 5 – sveen four 2 -0121) for schedule and location if you’re interested.

 

The Films of My Father

When I was a kid my dad was a film maker. Not of the Hollyweird sort, he made educational films. I still remember one of his films being shown in my grade school and giggling when I saw myself used as an extra.

16mm Movie Film
Oxygen, Barr Films, 16mm Movie Film

Zoom forward and I’m working on documenting obsolete technology for an art project. I’d been photographing some reels and canisters I’d acquired by digging around junk shops.

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I was pretty happy with the direction the project was going when it occurred to me: … hey my dad made movies and must have some of them still! It would be more of a tie in.

people-who-work-with-people-film-tri
People-Who-Work-with-People, Barr Films

So that’s my ongoing personal project, still in progress.

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Oxygen, Barr Films, 16mm Movie Film

Technology Straight from the Scrapheap

Recently I’ve started a new art project. For much of my life I’ve been fascinated by technology.  And where and when I grew up was a lucky coincidence. San Jose in the 1970’s and 1980’s was in the fledgling days of Silicon Valley.

Historic Garage Where Silicon Valley Was Born (Michael Halberstadt)
Historic Garage Where Silicon Valley Was Born (Michael Halberstadt)

We had an Apple II at home and I’d play Castle Wolfenstein, Swashbuckler, or Prince of Persia for hours claiming to my parents that studies proved such games improved hand-eye coordination.

 (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)
The “Apple Garage” (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)

So in any case, I stumbled upon a bunch of old movie film boxes at a thrift store located at a garbage dump. I was fascinated by the aesthetics of the whole package: the weathered exterior cardboard boxes, the handwriting, the labels with dates facts and figures and the film itself.

35mm Movie Film Canister
35mm Movie Film Canister

The metal canisters are all stamped with different patterns based on the film manufacturer. And the chrome has worn off where they were handled over the decades.

16mm Movie Film Canister
16mm Movie Film Canister

I think they were all at a commercial German TV station: Werbefunk Saar was on one of the labels. And the handwriting on all the boxes looks like the same.

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And the film itself when viewed from the sides reveals interesting patterns.

I’ll keep you posted here and on my other sites for updates.

Berlin Then and Now (pt. 1) Fuer Immer in Freundschaft mit der Sowjetunion Verbunden

Berlin, wow, how things have changed!

Back in 1989, I took the photo below of a small memorial- this side reads “Fuer Immer in Freundschaft mit der Sowietunion Verbunden” rough translation: Always connected to the Soviet Union in Frendship.  You can see a Wartburg zipping by the Palast der Republik across the street in the background.

Memorial Across from the Palace of the Republic in the former GDR. The text on the left panel reads:
Memorial Across from the Palace of the Republic in the former GDR taken in 1989. The text on the left panel reads: Always connected to the Soviet Union in Friendship

That was then, this is now (2017 at least, photo below.)

Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum

Unfortunately there’s no Palace of the Republic across the street. I still regret leaving the GDR without taking so many photos. I just assumed it would be there anytime I came back.

Also, I should note: while researching this topic I found that this memorial is dedicated to Herbert Baum, a German, Jew, and Communist who led a resistance group against the fascists.

Catching Up with Copenhagen Pt. 2

Our second full day in Copenhagen… we experienced a misty summer day, lots of bikes an outdoor urinal, Tivoli. But my favorite photo was of a broken safety glass window.

Broken Window, Copenhagen
Broken Window, Copenhagen

I actually converted this image to grayscale and made some big prints I’m pretty proud of.

When traveling (even with family) I’m still on the lookout for stock-worthy subjects. As such, I’m often stopping to photograph some strange subjects. In this case there was an outdoor urinal: no doors, no privacy. Fortunately nobody was peeing at the time!

Outdoor Urinal, Copenhagen
Outdoor Urinal, Copenhagen

I’m going to go rogue here and rant about two things. One, what’s up with these graffiti idiots? Graffiti is usually a scar on architecture and the built environment. But did somebody write their own name on this urinal? Or somebody else’s (guess that would make more sense!) I hope they washed their hands afterwords (eeewww!)

Rant 2/2 in general Europe is running circles around the US in terms of quality of life. But one human need is very poorly met everywhere I’ve been in Europe: toilets. It’s easy to find a public toilet in the US. Often they are free, and reasonably well maintained here. While Denmark and most of Europe have done a great job addressing the human condition with universal health care, welfare and the like, it’s nice to think at least we in the US are better about something 😉

So, the other thing that stands out in Copenhagen is cycling. Bikes are everywhere. Chained to fences without gaps seemingly for miles.

Bicycle Shop, Copenhagen (c) Michael Halberstadt
Bicycle Shop, Copenhagen (c) Michael Halberstadt

 

(all images and text (c) Michael Halberstadt)

Berlin, Berlin Keine Masken Keine Mauern Pt. 1

It was about a year ago, we returned from our family trip to Europe. I’m still working my way through the photos. Berlin holds a special place in my heart.

My Doc Martins, Berlin, Germany
My Doc Martins, Berlin, Germany

I had visited a divided Berlin for the first time in 1987. In fact, I took an old pair of Doc Martins that might have been on my feet on some of the very same streets in the 1980’s.

Ambulance, Berlin, Germany
Ambulance, Berlin, Germany

Though it was a family trip, I still try to shoot stock. Many of my photos would seem rather odd without taking stock photography into account.

Fashionable Hat Shop, Berlin, Germany
Fashionable Hat Shop, Berlin, Germany

Across from our crappy hotel (Hotel Alper, don’t go there) was this hip hats shop that made for some nice photos.

Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

One of the first places I remember visiting in 1987 was this Soviet WWII memorial. One ironic twist was though the USSR occupied the Eastern part of Berlin, they controlled a few little spots in the west where this memorial in the Tiergarten lies.

To (not Live and) Die in L.A.

(with my apologies to Wang Chung)

In my brief trip to Los Angeles, I did manage to find time to visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I’d visited with my old friends long ago back in the stock photo days of slide film.

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27feb2003014_15Do those photos look dated or what?! That’s what plain old slide film taken in the middle of the day looked like back in the 1990’s.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Well this time I brought my digital camera. First thing I noticed that there was some sort of filming going on in front of the mosoleum. They would take and retake a scene with an old Rolls Royce hearse pulling up along side a beautiful actress and handsome man. There was some sort of signage marking the 74th anniversary of Valentino- some actor I’d never heard of ….

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

My main goal at the cemetery was to try and do some slightly different shots- of an aerial sort.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Where possible I tried to get something interesting in the foreground.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery

But I had limited time. Like so many of these excursions, I hope to return and finish what I started sometime soon.

Welcome to our Museum, Comrades

The World Clock in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Capital of the GDR 1987
The World Clock in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Capital of the GDR 1989

Visiting a friend down in the Los Angeles area, Culver City to be exact I had another opportunity to visit the Wende Museum. The Wende Museum is focused on the Cold War, a particular interest to me.

Barren Avenue in Berlin, Capital of the German Democratic Republic, 1989
Barren Avenue in Berlin, Capital of the German Democratic Republic, 1989

Back in 1986/87 I was an exchange student in Southwestern Germany (technically the Federal Republic of Germany or as most English speakers referred to it “West Germany”.) It seems like ancient history now, but in the wake of WWII, Germany was occupied by the major victors divided into zones amongst them.

Intra-German frontier, Berlin 1987
Intra-German frontier, Berlin 1987

Where I lived in Immenstaad, and went to school, (now Bad) Saulgau was in the French occupied zone. I have no idea if the French really “occupied” this area though they did have a Garrison in nearby Friedrichshafen where you’d occasionally see French soldiers and military equipment.

Portrait of Michael Halberstadt on the Spree River, Berlin, 1987
Portrait of Michael Halberstadt on the Spree River, Berlin, 1987

In any case the “democratic” powers of France, United Kingdom, and United States got on pretty well. However the USSR…. not so much. The Soviet occupied Eastern portion of Germany became its own country in 1948. Except the western portion of Berlin and some other quirks, like a few spots in West Berlin that were run by the USSR (like the Soviet Memorials at Treptow and at Tiergarten.)

Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

So, my first visit to the GDR was with a friend and classmate from the Gewerbliche Berufsschule Saulgau who had a sister who lived and worked in West Berlin.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

Whew, this is getting longer than I planned. Short story, I visited Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR in the summer of 1987 and was fascinated.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

So just a couple blocks from my friends house lies the new location for a museum dedicated to my interest.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Vintage Wartburg, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

There were a bunch of busts of Lenin. I had a good time framing them with my new camera setup, I thought it worked well using the new Sigma Art 18-35mm f1.8 (hey, that’s sounding rather capitalistic- a product placement?) I liked the ability to get a shallow DOF with one little Lenin in front of a big Lenin.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Busts of Lenin, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Busts of Lenin, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

I’m kinda bummed my friend is moving. I’d love to go back and spend some more time exploring Ostalgie.

I Promise You a Rose Garden

I don’t know how I get away with such dumb jokes. But alas, here’s a few photos of the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland. It really exudes that WPA feeling – a public space with a late 1930’s feel to it. Not forgetting the all too common Mission Style architecture of the cluster of buildings on the site.

Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California
Morcom Municipal Rose Garden, Oakland, California

Catching up with Copenhagen p1

Last summer my family and I flew into Copenhagen Denmark, traveled through Germany and flew out of Berlin.

Bike Friendly Copenhagen
Bike Friendly Copenhagen

Copenhagen was rich in urban texture. Bikes and bricks were everywhere.

Bike Friendly Copenhagen
Bike Friendly Copenhagen

Since there was a substantial time shift- I woke up very early one morning and opted to go photograph.

CopenhagenThe wet streets and gray skies lent themselves to the colorful lights of a closed Tivoli amusement park.

Copenhagen

Michael Halberstadt's Photography