Entries in Köln (2)


Köln (Cologne), Germany Wet Plate Collodion Workshop

I spent the last couple of days teaching a workshop in Leichlingen, Germany (just outside of Köln). It was a great workshop – we had five participants: Vernon, Robert, Marcus, Artur, and Ugo. They made some wonderful images! Every student caught on fast and was up to speed making plates on their own in hours, amazing!

Vernon set up the studio space – it was very nice – ArtLight Studios. We made images with natural light and had two models to work with. I’m looking forward to seeing work from all of these guys, and Ugo, let’s talk about an exhibition in Belgrade, Serbia!


"Vernon Trent" - The first image of the workshop. This is made with window light and my Derogy lens - 12 seconds - 5"x7" Black Glass Ambrotype. 
Workshop student, Vernon Trent made this plate. A nice still life made with a Russian 5"x7" camera. This is an Alumitype. 
And another Alumitype. 
5"x7" Alumitype portrait from the workshop. 
And one more Alumitype - 5"x7"
There were about 30 plates made from the five students at the workshop.


Köln, Germany & The Netherlands

I needed to take break from writing my thesis/portfolio this weekend. Jean, Summer, Denise (a friend), Lucky and I took a trip to Köln, Germany and then went into The Netherlands to Maastricht.

The weather here has been in the 80s and very beautiful so the drive was gorgeous. It was a 1.5 hours to Köln and another 45 minutes or so to Maastricht. It’s amazing to cross (country) borders without even stopping!! In that way the EU is very cool.

We left Viernheim at about 8AM and got to Köln at 9:30AM so we decided to people watch and have a cup of coffee. Köln is a wonderful city. The people are friendly and the city is extremely “art friendly”. The waitress asked where we were from and I made some crack comment about Denise being a hillbilly from "West Virginny, USA" (she's not, she's from Washington D.C.) and the waitress said something like, “It doesn’t matter to people in Köln, we accept everyone” – Whoaaa! That blew me away, that’s not the Germany I know! I knew Köln was very different the minute I drove in.

August Sander (1876-1964), a well-known photographer of the 20th Century was born in Köln and did a lot of work here, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to see the city. He created a body of work called, “People of the 20th Century” – I have it. It’s a seven volume set of books, some 1400 pages. He classified the German people into groups. For example, “Artists”, “Farmers”, “Scientist” etc. and then made portraits of them. His seventh and last volume is called “Die Letzten Menchen” or “The Last People”. This is what I am most interested in. I wanted to know what it was like to see Die letzten Menchen on the streets of Köln like Sander did. And I did. Unfortunately, his portrait work is on tour. We only got to see a small collection of his landscape work. It was nice, but not in the league of Die letzten Menchen!

I haven’t been to a city or village in Europe I didn’t like yet. Köln is a place I will return to for sure. Simply for the fact of its connection to photography/art and it’s friendly vibe. The beer is good (Kölsch) and is exclusive to Köln, we had a nice lunch at an open air café called Casablanca and we saw a few of the more popular sites of the city (Köln’s Gothic Catherderal, Köln Turm, etc.) too.

Then it was onto The Netherlands. The border was about 20 minutes from Köln and you could tell you were in The Netherlands immediately. All of the signs were in Dutch (of course), it is a strange and difficult language to hear, read or speak (I tried years ago). In other words, you can’t even begin to guess what the road signs are saying. On top of that, the landscape changed, the look of the houses, the colors, everything – it was wild! The Netherlands are beautiful and the people are very, very friendly. They are an open and progressive people. We had a family (husband, wife and daughter) sitting next to us at a café telling us about how the Dutch feel about Americans. They said the Dutch people will never forget what America did for The Netherlands in WWII and believe that most Americans are good people. However, they don’t care for the current administration and have serious concerns about Iraq etc. but I think even most Americans are waking up to that fact now. We had a nice conversation with them about current world events and national identity. Very enlightening!

Onto the photos....

Yes, you can legally smoke hash, and marijuana in The Netherlands. The places are called "Coffeeshops". They are all over The Netherlands.

I really liked this cup. One side DREAMS, the other side CONFLICTS - this embodies the feeling of the cities in The Netherlands - very creative and art friendly.

Are we in Holland yet? Where are the bicycles???


Dutch signs... an easy read!


I couldn't resist this "Winnogrand" moment in Maastritch! I love this image!


A license plate.. hmmmm, why did I put this here?? It's different from ours in DE.


"Die letzten Menchen" - Heribert, on the streets of Koeln. I could only make out a few words... he was listenign to music and shared some with me. He handed me an earbud covered in blood.

I'm not sure what he was drinking... whatever it was, it was strong.

This seems out of palce, but this is the only thing we drank. Great beer! Made in Koeln.

The "new" RCA Dog in Media Park in Koeln. Lucky loved it and Jean and Summer thought it was kool too!

The August Sander Museum is in this building. They had a Lee Friedlander show and a Wessel show going.. no photographs allowed. This is where we saw Sander's landscapes.

This is another image I really like... the refelctions of two women in the glass, the red hair of the woman next to Denise and Denise's expression.

Starting our day in Koeln with coffee, chocolate muffins, brownies and people watching.