About me

My name is Bernd Spyra. (中文名字叫徐辨德) I’m 33 years old and currently a Phd student at Hamburg University, where I research the history of photography in the People’s Republic of China. Besides this, I like to practice photography myself, the results of which I want to present here.

I restrict myself to „classic“ („classicistic“?) monochrome film photography for a handful of reasons: I like how the photochemical process results in a physical artifact with its own aura, something sorely lacking from digital photography; I can’t reasonably do colour processing in my darkroom/bathroom (and I don’t like the idea of giving an exposed film to someone else for developing) and last but not least I just like the look of a nice monochrome picture, its way of showing the essence of a scene. Recently I employ a hybrid workflow, meaning I shoot my pictures on film, develop the negatives myself, then scan them and do the “darkroom work” on my computer.

Apart from limited social/cultural documentary projects, which depending on the project can be over after a few weeks or go on indefinitely, I especially like to practice reflexive photography, i.e. photography without aims or goals as a spontaneous reaction to a visual or emotional impulse. Most of the single photos seen on these pages belong to this category.

*Link to main page*


“postchristmas” December 2019

at the Nachladen in Sternstraße 17, Hamburg.

“Shanghai Civilized Park/上海市文明公园”, May 2014

at Asien-Afrika-Institut der Universität Hamburg
in cooperation with:
Konfuzius-Institut an der Universität Hamburg e.V.
Hamburger Sinologische Gesellschaft e.V.

“Kontraste”, September/October 2011

with Francoise Le Boulanger, at Künstlerhaus Bergedorf

“Wir können auch anders”, January 2010

with Dorothea Ney, at Asien-Afrika-Institut der Universität Hamburg