I’m a student again! Today was my first day as one of the new kids at the Neue Schule für Fotografie. It’s a full-time course and I’ll be finished, all going well, in October 2021. But I’m taking it one day at a time. There are only another 3½ years to go. It’s all in German.
Today I learned about “Pictoralismus” and “Neue Sachlichkeit,” of photographers like Albert Renger-Patzsch, Karl Blossfeldt and Josef Sudek, and I found out that shooting with film and then developing it is a helluva lot more complicated than I thought it was. Lessons are from 10am to 5pm but I suspect I’ll be doing a lot of DuckDuckGoing when I get home to translate the technical terms and find out what they mean.
My classmates seem nice, a mixed bunch, young and old, but all very friendly. There were no obvious ISIS terrorists among them, unlike the last time I went to school. I’m hoping the stuff I learn sticks in my head longer this time around.
I have homework already. I have to take pictures of two everyday items, like a cup and a teabag or a spoon, capturing their beauty and emotion and function, and anything else. It would be fine if I could just use my regular camera, but they have to be shot on film. I’m not sure the 1950s Praktica FX2 I got from the antique shop downstairs will work.
I’ve lots to learn and I’m looking forward to learning it. I’m not hitting reset on what I do at the moment, but maybe wandering down another road a bit to see if it leads anywhere interesting. It’s time to go exploring.

UPDATE: Thursday, March 15, 2018 – Now I know there are two sides to life – outside the darkroom and inside the darkroom. I’ve been spending time on the inside, developing films, making prints and generally trying to mix toxic chemicals accurately for the desired results – in the dark. The films have to be rolled into their development containers in absolute darkness or they’ll get ruined, but otherwise the darkroom is really just a room poorly lit by red or orange lights. They don’t screw up the photo paper we have to use like normal light would. It really is a whole other world.
Otherwise we’ve been learning about the history or art, paintings and photographs, of horses’ legs, perspective, theory, design and dabbled in philosophy. Yesterday I created my first abstract art masterpieces. It’s all mad interesting. I’ll keep ye posted as I go along.
For now though, above you’ll see a picture of my lovely class, and the very first proper picture I ever made from start to finish! It was taken in Kreuzberg with a Praktica FX2, developed in Mitte with chemicals, lights and hours of time. It’s just the first of many.


  1. Ooohhh - bet it must be fun in the dark room. I have always dreamed of developing my own photos in a dark room, only to emerge later to the light, take more photos and sneak back again, and so on and so forth. This digital age dampens the light, somehow, sometimes, perhaps. Exciting times ahead for you it seems.
    Well, enjoy your new endeavours and adventures whilst learning lots. Look forward to seeing more photos, on my laptop....


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