In print

As already described here and here, the emerging COVID-19 pandemic left my wife and me stranded in her hometown Yukuhashi from March to July 2020 — right after the birth of our son. During that time, I carried a camera wherever I went, resulting in the capture of a large number of scenes of the local landscape, stones, rivers, houses, people, economy, politics, COVID-19, popular mythology and religion … my perspective on Japan “from pebbles to boulders,” so to speak.

Back in Hamburg, work was begun to edit the photos into bookshape. Being a side-project to my research, it took until September of this year to see the publication of the finished book. While 38 cartridges of film were carefully exposed and developed by hand in Yukuhashi, only 96 of the resulting photos were selected and arranged for this book, the layout being handled by Shoko Tanaka.

The book is printed to order by Norderstedt’s finest “Books on Demand” printer-publisher. It can be ordered (in Europe) through any purveyor of books of your choice, i.e. your local brick and mortar bookstore (suggested!), Book on Demand’s own webstore or various online bookshops.

From Pebbles to Boulders : 96 Photos of Small-Town Japan

ISBN 978-3-75349986-4

19,49 €

Deutschland geht es gut. Schau mal wieder rein!

Veröffentlichung eines Fotozines und Ausstellung im nachladen, (Hamburg, Sternstraße 17) im Dezember 2020.

Die Ausstellung im Fenster des nachladens.
Eines der ausgestellten Fotos.

Wie geht es uns denn heute? Schaut mal wieder rein in den nachladen und findet es heraus, denn seit dieser Woche gibt es dort mein Fotozine (Design von Tim Reuscher, mit Text von meinem Bruder Frank) und eine Corona-feste Ausstellungsinstallation im Fenster. Beide zeigen Fotos die draußen in Hamburg zwischen 2018 und 2020 entstanden sind.

Das Heft. Entworfen von Tim.
Die sechs Fotos im Fenster und der Ausstellungstitel werden von hinten angeleuchtet und strahlen. Ebenfalls entworfen von Tim.

Einzelne Drucke können im nachladen erstanden werden, das Heft sowohl dort als auch im Onlinestore.

Farewell Yukuhashi, hello Hamburg

Shells of the 38 film cartridges exposed and developed in Yukuhashi.

On June 30 we finally left Yukuhashi for Hamburg, arriving back in our usual dwelling on July 1. Little bleary, worse for wear and tear, but happy to be back. We had left Europe as two and came back as three to a place that had changed as well, arriving one and a half months later than we had originally planned.

Coincidentally, our flight with JAL was the first one by that airline between Japan and Europe since the Covid-19 outbreak. Things seem to slowly creep back to some measure of normal, and we too are trying to fit back into our usual lifes. But like the river you cannot step in twice, things are not quite the same anymore, making us accept new roles to fill from now on.

One role that I nevertheless intend to continue to play on this stage will of course be the humble photographer. In Yukuhashi, I exposed and developed 38 cartridges of Fujifilm Neopan Across 100 II, with the last two rolls of film developed on the morning of our flight back to Hamburg. Whenever I will find the time for it in the next few weeks I will work on editing a small spread of pictures showing what we saw in Yukuashi between March and June. Other projects — more on those later — are forthcoming as well.

Lost in Lactation

“Breastfeeding in progress!!” Sign on door of maternity ward.

Long time no see:

On February 28, I arrived in Yukuhashi, the hometown of my wife, where she wanted to give birth to our first child. As intended, this happened not long after my arrival and since then both her and the baby are doing fine.

We planned to return to Hamburg in the middle of May, but now it looks like our return has been postponed indefinitely, due to the recent worldwide unpleasantness related to the Coronavirus. This leaves us stranded in Yukuhashi, a small (dare I say rural?) town on the southwestern shore of the Japanese Inland Sea, in the vicinity of the metropolitan area of Kitakyushu. Even though the baby naturally takes up most of our energy (which we gladly give to him), still plenty of opportunities to record the peculiarities of local life with my camera present themselves almost on a daily basis.

The northern city limit of Yukuhashi, looking south.

Since as usual my tool of choice is a 35mm film camera, it will take some time for anyone to see the photos taken here. They are forthcoming though.

Shells of film cartridges after development.

Meanwhile in Hamburg: Various issues of my photo magazine “reflex” are now available through the online store of the Nachladen, as are many other publications by local artists from Hamburg. Please check it out.

Steady as she goes? Brexit 2016–2020

“We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us” – Jo Cox MP (1974–2016)
Statue of Queen Victoria standing on College Green in Bristol.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain in dry dock in Bristol harbour.

Photos taken in Bristol on June 24, 2016 – the day after the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.

Over Dill – Dill with it III

Gruppenausstellung von Gurkenkunst im nachladen.

11.01. – 25.01.2020 in der Sternstraße 17.

postchristmas

Photo exhibition in Hamburg.

Design of poster © Tim Reuscher 2019.

Exhibition shown at the nachladen (Sternstraße 17), December 7th, 2019 to January 4th, 2020.

On display were 12 b&w risograph prints of Christmas trees after Christmas. At the exhibition’s opening around six o’clock, my brother Frank read from a text he wrote for the catalogue accompanying our exhibition.

The catalogue is available in the online shop of the nachladen.

The nachladen in Sternstraße 17.
Tim changing an ink drum on the Risograph printer.
Unusual window decorations.
Tim selling magazines made by people like you and me.
View 1
View 2
The epicenter.

A few views of the exhibition in the nachladen.

reflex 05

Reflex 05 is here, with photos from (mostly) Hamburg, Strande and Kiel. And its not just here, now its also there:

I decided to make the new issues of reflex available to the general public in the “nachladen“, Hamburg’s hot spot for self-published magazines and art printing. Drop by if you are in the area and have a look, they have heaps of nice prints and magazines by local artists well worth a visit.

Printing matters: reflex 01 to 04

Reflex issue 04 to 01.

Reflex issues 01 to 04 are finally finished. Each issue contains 36 of my photos taken during one quarter year, printed using electro photographical printing.

It’s been a long time coming: In March of 2018 I wrote that I would concentrate on printing my photos, instead of just publishing them on my homepage. Afterwards it seemed like no progress happened in this regard for well over one year. What can I say? The PhD thesis continues to occupy the largest part of my attention and from last summer onward, curating the exhibition “Negative/Scans” kept me busy as well. As a result, the stream of photos published on the homepage became a mere trickle, while no printed photos appeared.

I continued shooting though, as well as developing films and making proof sheets of the films. When some time was available, I experimented with different ways to print my photos.

The question of printing process

The major reason why the silver bullet – traditional enlargements, chemical development – could not be used: Our apartment lacks the space necessary to set up a darkroom able to handle print development. Turning the bathroom into a darkroom by putting an enlarger onto the toilet seat and some development trays in the shower is nice for some fooling around, but not for producing a reasonable quantity of prints. The throughput rate would be far too low. While I do hope to be able to set up a real darkroom again in the future, for now I will continue to use a hybrid workflow, meaning I take my photos on film, scan them and use the computer to prepare them for printing.

Besides the question of the throughput – or maybe better output – rate, there were further requirements which the printing process would have to meet:

– The prints need to be reasonably archivable (they should not degrade before I do, print durability should be in excess of 60 years)

– The prints should cost as little as possible (a drugstore print of the size 13x18cm costs around 0,40€. Nice for a few quick prints, but too much when having to print a lot)

– Print quality (resolution, tonality, luster) should still be as high as possible

After some experiments with on-demand digital photobook printing, which proved to not be right for me due to reasons of cost and lack of control over the process, I tried to print the photos myself using an inkjet printer. That one did a good job preserving the tonality of the negatives, but I do not print every day (or even week) and the danger of inks drying out in the printer is looming too large. (The printer wasting ink on purpose to flush out its printing heads is also unacceptable for financial reasons.)

I then stumbled upon “xerography” or electro photographical printing. The prints meet common archival standards and are not very costly in production. Their only downside is that tonality is not too good (resolution is reasonable though). Even if electro photographical printing sounds exotic to you, you probably have already encountered the process: It is the same one used in the humble photocopier. Following some deliberations, I figured since exhibition prints would be done through a different process anyway, xerography is the way to go for producing this little ongoing catalog of my work.

The editorial workflow for “reflex”

Reflex no. 3, pages 29 and 30.

After the question of printing process was settled, another decision had to be made on how to edit my photos. Sometimes I work on limited projects, which turn into little portfolios of photos almost by themselves (compare the Greek wedding), but what about the photos I take day-to-day without any connecting thread? These form the bulk of photos I shoot, by a wide margin.

I decided to select 36 out of all the photos I take every quarter year (Jan.-Mar., Apr.-Jun., Jul.-Sept., Oct.-Dec.), purely based on the criterion of which photos I like. These will be printed, presented and archived together. What results over time will be a kind of photographic reflection of the world around me, in the shape of a photographic journal. The focus is smack on the pictures, usually printed one per page with as little captions provided as possible.

My wife Shoko helps me to embed the 36 photos selected into a simple layout using the software InDesign. After printing the pages, I stitch them together between two sheets of packaging paper, resulting in a durable booklet of 21cmx21cm. On the front of this, the most important information about the content is given, as well as the issue’s number.

Let’s see how long I can keep this up.