Holger Schilling

I came across the work of Holger Schilling and was totally swept up by the mood of his photos, especially this series called Bastionen: Vergessene Festen Vergessener Systeme (Lost Fortresses of Lost Regimes) which features old train stations in East Germany.

What I really love about these photos is that they feel authentic. I imagine if you stood in that very spot the sky would be that dim grey color, the buildings would be slightly desaturated and the textures in everything around you would look quite sharp. I also think the look of these photos are almost counter-intuitive to how a lot of photography looks these days in a time of HD merging and super high contrast images, so it’s nice seeing photos that aren’t trying to overly impress anyone.


7 Comments Holger Schilling

  1. Anne-Charlotte March 31, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Totally agree with you. These photos feel authentic.
    Thanks for sharing this !

  2. Davidkus March 31, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Whilst I think it is unlikely that the world could ever look that desaturated or sharp,* I think this is a great series, if only because the pictures are masterful composed. The tinge is part of a style that is no less fake than nowadays HD highly saturated pictures, and that I am not normally really fond of (it often looks like a form of mannerism: see Juergen Teller’s latest work for Missoni) – but here it works very well.


    * look around you and tell me: is everything sharply in focus – it should not be?

  3. Bobby March 31, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    @Davidikus – You’re being too literal, I’m talking about the feelings the photo gives me.

  4. Harrison March 31, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    “I also think the look of these photos are almost counter-intuitive to how a lot of photography looks these days in a time of HD”

    I totally agree; I’ve been getting into lomography lately, away from the super HD photos that plague modern photography. Don’t get me wrong, theres nothing like a 12 megapixel shot on a great DSLR, but it lacks something – a soul almost.

  5. Davidikus April 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    @Bobby: Sorry I misunderstood – I am not quite sure what you mean, now.

    @Harrison: Whatever camera you use, it remains an instrument. You can take photographs which are not super HD even with a top-range DSLR if you know which parameters to play on. The fact a camera can take a super HD picture does not mean that you have to take a super HD picture with it!

  6. Holger Schilling April 1, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    These pictures are handprints on 30 year old lapsed paper (60x40cm). I took them with a Silvestri T30 / 35mm Rodenstock APO Grandagon on Kodak Portra 160NC 6x8cm. I developed about 60 films by myself. It took me nearly 3 month of work in the darkroom to get this look. No computer at all, no lomography, no digital stuff, just high-end equpipment, chemicals and 5 years of close study of photography. I reproduced them in the studio with help of a Nikon D3x – I even measured the colour temperature to get close to the original.
    I made the concept for my diploma which took me another year of work, i was travelling nearly 12.000km through eastern germany to find these trainstations and as regards the lacking soul – I spend my whole money, I worked day and night and I was putting my whole love and knowledge into this work.
    Thanks for posting and discussing my work – I really appreciate it!



  7. Suzan April 10, 2010 at 2:05 AM

    These are amazing I’m so in awe, I could look hours and hours at these photos.
    Are these published? Could I buy a book somewhere?


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