Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Art of concrete

Visiting another modernist treasure I came back to Trinity College campus. Beside already well known Berkeley Library stands much younger structure - Arts and Social Science building, designed also by ABK Architects (completed in 1978 as a result of competition in 1969)

Main Hall
Mysterious dark maze of corridors full of vertical and horizontal planes, amazing textures and ubiquitous fair-faced concrete. Truly beautiful building but at the same time very hard place to photograph. I will explain it at the end in “technicalities” section.
Building often used for conferences and public lectures includes also Douglas Hyde Gallery , the Lecky Library and several administrative offices. 
I had to split my visit into two days. An extra time was required to obtain permission to photograph Gallery due to current art exhibition. It's a very special place with amazing proportions and overall feeling which makes it work of art in itself.
I would like to thank to TCD's Communications Office, Gallery’s Curatorial Assistant and Gallery’s Director. Really appreciate all your help! Many thanks to security staff as well.

Douglas Hyde Gallery

... technicalities:
4x5 equipment It’s  a standard for this project. Calumet CC-400, Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon 90mm 8.0 lens and  Fomapan 100@64 4x5 film developed later in my favourite recently Caffenol-c-m.
I mentioned above some technical dificulties during this session. Obviously this wonderful dim light (fantastic especially in such an amazing interior) filling the space is extremely hard to deal with when all photographs has to be neatly composed on rather dark view camera’s ground glass, looking through perfect but also dark Super-Angulon lens...f8

Settings for all shots were almost the same: f16 i 30sec exposure
After developing of negatives, scanning and first edition (with few bad surprises) I decided to come back to Douglas Hyde Gallery in order to recompose the most interesting for me photograph. It was actually this morning...third visit.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Winner...

The time to present my winning entry in the competition mentioned already on my facebook webpage and twitter has come.
“Film House” is a photograph of the year in “Time” category by “B+W Photography”  magazine.

Film House
I had a really good run this year as five of my photographs were shortlisted in three categories of four I entered, including three images in “Time” category  (maximum amount of entries per one category). That was already a big success. 

This prize have a special meaning for me... “Black+White Photographer of the Year” is a very important international competition.
Beside that “Film House” is a statement.  It shows every aspect of photography I represent - subject, atmosphere and literally my devotion to celluloid (film photography).
It was already published in “Posi+tive” magazine, “Archipelag” magazine (as a cover for the article “passage of time”) and RedBubble blog with best street photography and photojournalism on RB. Now it is in B+W Photography magazine (November issue).

Below you can see my other four entries shortlisted in Black+White Photographer of the Year  2011 edition:  

Time category
James Joyce

People category
People on the street

City category
Screen Cinema

My congratulations to all other nine winners!!! It was very good to meet you last Thursday (all off you who could attend the opening) and see your fantastic pieces. Well done!
Many thanks to organizers, sponsors (in my case it's Leica Store Mayfair) and first of all "B+W Photography" magazine!

footage from the exhibition opening night  (update 14/10/2011)

The winning photographs are exhibited at theprintspace Gallery, 74 Kingsland Road, London ED 8DL from 7 to 26 October.

theprintspace gallery, opening night

If you are in London or if you will be there in next three weeks please visit theprintspace!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

What's left?

Saturday morning (week ago)... After a few minutes in the train i was in Tara Street with all my equipment. Then just a short walk over the Liffey, couple of minutes conversation with security at the entrance and I was in the lift going to the 15th floor of.... Liberty Hall, ready to shoot this important Dublin’s landmark.

A few basic facts - building was deigned by Desmond Rea O’Kelly (1923-2011). Construction of this modern and translucent building began in the early 1960s and was completed in 1965.  It was very Simple and solid structure with non-reflective glass that you could see through the corners, with beautiful mosaic under the glazing on each floor and viewing platform (open to public) on the top (16th) floor.  
It was the first high-rise building in Dublin.

stairs in-between 15th and 16th floor lever with wonderful mosaics 
 An incident in 1972 changed everything irreparably. UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) car bomb explosion led to dramatic changes in overall aesthetic of Liberty Hall and the way the building was operating. Original glazing, mostly destroyed in explosion, was replaced with reflective, silver coated windows. Viewing Platform was closed. Also water-resistant coating was applied over the mosaic on all elevations. Texture of mosaic is still visible if one come closer.
Nobody was looking after the building since many years which led into the way how it looks now - cracks in the windows,  dilapidated parts of facades...
Sadly it become one of the most unpopular structure in Dublin.

I mentioned this building about year ago in my “before they will vanish...” post (clikc HERE please to read it). You can find there (at the bottom of the post)  a link to wonderful documentary about “Liberty Hall” by Paddy Cahill. It says everything about this fantastic structure and its history. I really recommend to watch it!

It is still possible that building will disappear from Dublin’s panorama. That would be a shame. Its simple structure and versatile design makes it very easy to restore, bring back to its original stage and make it shine again.
Nobody knows however how the future of Liberty Hall looks like ...
We are loosing lots of precious buildings nowadays. It's a piece of history. One day we will just ask ourselves - what's left?

doors from staircase to corridor
view form the landing in-between 8th and 9th floor level
I want to thank to Liberty Hall Property Management for giving me permission to spend there quite a long time with my cameras where I could walk through communication area (narrow corridors and staircases) of the office part of the building. it was still very limited access but I am very happy that i was there.

Technicalities at the end...
this time 2 cameras: Calumet CC-400 and Craflex Crown Graphic, 2 lenses: Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 150mm 5.6 and Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon 90mm 8.0 and 2 films: Fomapan 100@64  4x5 and Kodak T-Max 100 4x5, both developed in Caffenol. I was trying to find out if Kodak T-Max will give me better results in creating images for this series and it didn’t happen. I must admit that Fomapan 100 4x5 souped in Caffenol is just superb.