When my wife and I moved to a larger apartment in 2018, we discovered Essen’s Ostfriedhof nearby in our new neighborhood. It is a relatively large cemetery, spacious, park-like and very well-kept. With many historical graves, it does not correspond at all to the cliché of the cemeteries that I knew so far, and we like to go for a walk there regularly, as do many other people.
That instantly gave me the idea of photographing the cemetery – quite deliberately away from the black and white tombstone cliché. And when I got my hands on a roll of expired Fuji Superia 100 in a blog’s reader contest, everything fell into place.
I shot the roll on a total of three different days in July and August 2020, while working from home due to the COVID pandemic, making lunch break walks through the cemetery when the weather was nice. I was aware that the light would be bright at this time of day in summer, which could lead to undesirably high contrast in the pictures. However, since I have little leisure to take photos at other times of the day, I consciously took this risk.
To compensate for the harsh lighting conditions, I chose my Minolta Dynax 5 for its excellent honeycomb-pattern metering and the ability to do spot metered shots. Paired with Minolta Dynax lens, I could focus on composing my frames and let the camera’s aperture priority do the rest.
Apart from two test rolls, this was my first project using the Dynax 5, which I consider being a highly underrated camera in today’s used camera film market. There’s nothing that you want it to do which it doesn’t do. Plus, it’s about as small and light as 35mm SLRs get. It is one of the last film cameras ever made by Minolta, being on the pinnacle of their camera development.
There were nine rolls of Fuji Superia 100 given away by german photographer Kai Kutzki, so check out his blog (german only) if you’d like to see what the other participants made of their rolls!
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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