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In the late spring of 2010, my cousin and I took a sudden road trip across Germany and France, to collect some stranded friends of my aunt’s in Barcelona. They were stranded because of the eruption of Eyafjallajökull.

Our route took us past Carcassonne – a place I’d heard about, but not until then visited. I’d brought along my Rolleiflex 2.8F and a couple of rolls of Kodak Tri-X, and so we spent a few hours wandering the alleys and the walls, taking pictures and admiring the place.

And when I looked through my photos after I’d developed them, it struck me how well they resonated with Lord Dunsany’s rather sad tale of the same name, about a band of knights questing for the fabled city of Carcassonne:

Travellers had seen it sometimes like a clear dream, with the sun glittering on its citadel upon a far-off hilltop, and then the clouds had come or a sudden mist; no one had seen it long or come quite close to it; though once there were some men that came very near, and the smoke from the houses blew into their faces, a sudden gust–no more, and these declared that some one was burning cedarwood there.

And so I set to work. The result is available for purchase here:

By Dominic von Stösser

For those who, for whatever reason, are not in a position to purchase my book, and who want a free e-book version (with lower-resolution photographs but in every other way unrestricted), I draw your attention to this link:

Free e-book of Carcassonne by Dominic von Stösser

I assure you, the real-object-in-your-hand version is much, much nicer. Perhaps the freebie will convince you.

Of course, nicer than all that would be a hand-made print on fibre-based baryta paper, which is also available. Contact me for details. The contact form is in German, but I think it ought to be clear enough.

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Picture of the Day: Run

This is my dog Coca. Actually, her full name is Coca/Luna Pangolina ST. She is a rescue dog from Spain. She is relatively obviously a Galgo cross, but the rest of her heritage is a matter of conjecture. Her first people kept her in a tiny kennel and never gave her a chance to do what she was obviously built to do: run. She was also terribly timid and jumpy, but buried deep inside there was always a great, loving dog waiting to emerge.
 
I have had her for about a year and a half, and only recently has she really figured out how to operate her legs. She is still a little gawky when she is in a full sprint, but already she is breathtakingly fast. And she is getting less clumsy. Soon she will discover what her ancestors were bred for – chasing down hares – and then perhaps I shall have to develop a taste for the stringy little things.
 
Capture notes: Nikon D700 in continuous high speed shutter mode, AF-Nikkor 1:2.8/20. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.6 and Nik Silver Efex 2.

Picture of the Day: S

S

From a portrait sitting in June 2011.

Capture notes: Leica M2, Dual-Range Summicron 1:2/50. Adox CMS20 high-resolution film, developed in Adotech. 1/50s at f/2. Printed on Adox MCD 110 VC paper, developed in Adotol WA.

Picture of the Day: Early Winter Sky

Early Winter Sky

Capture Notes: Nikon D700, AF-Nikkor 1:2.8/20. ISO 200. 1/640s @ f/13. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.5 and Nik SilverEfex 2.

Picture of the Day: Thirst

A detail of an Indonesial Kris knife.

 

Capture notes: Nikon D700, Micro-Nikkor 1:2.8/55 Ai; ISO 200, 1/160s @ f/16. Single 600w strobe.
 

Test post

This is a test of the iPad blogging app Blogsy, with which I shall try to keep this blog updated while I am away in January.

Picture of the Day: Goldsmith

The Goldsmith

The goldsmith.

Capture notes: Leica M9, Summicron-M 1:2/50, ISO 320. f/2, 1/125s. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3 and Nik SilverEfex 2.

Picture of the Day: A

A

Sometimes, less light is a good thing. Keeps things nice and simple.

Capture Notes: Nikon D700, ISO400, Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1:1.4/50 ZF @ f/9. Lights: one 400w strobe to camera right. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.5 and Nik SilverEfex2.

Picture of the Day: Deer

Deer

A short while ago, it was foggy throughout the day. Meanwhile, sort of on impulse, I had purchased a used, slightly battered-looking but otherwise functional Nikon F5. So I stuck on a borrowed 105mm macro, loaded up some Rollei Retro 400S (about which I’ll write more later), set the ISO at 320 and went for a walk in the afternoon.

The atmosphere was phenomenal, but hard to do justice to in 35mm – next time it’s foggy, I’ll head out with the Hasselblad or the Toyo. Visibility was perhaps 100 metres.

One of the people in my village keeps a herd of deer on a pasture at the edge of the village. I hadn’t expected to see the deer, but as I approached the gate to the enclosure, they wandered up to investigate. The stag kept his distance, and proved impossible to photohgraph, but one of the females walked right up to me to investigate, and kindly posed for the above portrait. It’s a little motion-blurry, as exposure was 1/8th at f/2.8 and the VR doesn’t work with the F5; I’d not have had this problem with the Leica, I think. But the photo is expressive enough. I like it.

Process notes: Rollei Retro 400S Exposed at 320, processed for 25 minutes at 18°C in 1+50 Rodinal. Printed on Adox MC110RC paper using a split-grade technique. Scanned and cleaned up in Photoshop, including final tone curve adjustment for the screen and a 20% sepia filter to warm it up a little.

Picture of the Day: Three Fine Gentlemen

Three Fine Gentlemen

These fine gentlemen were attending a wedding in Okankolo, Namibia in 1999 or 2000.

Capture notes: Canon EOS 50E; some Tamron all-singing, all-dancing zoom (35-200 or something); Kodak BW400-CN. Printed on Adox MC110 RC paper, developed in Adotol. Scanned from print.

As it happens, this film is not all that easy to print, since the orange mask does odd things to the contrast of the paper.