Hasselblad XPan Photography Blog

Before the Blog age, or the history before blogging

Welcome to my personal blog site! In this article you will find an essence about my Hasselblad XPan photography from the past until to the start of these blog. My common static profile you will find under http://www.AndreasStimm.de . Hope you take delight on the following 8 years photographic history.

Let’s  begin in the year 2000 with the first shots from Nepal in the Annapurna conservation area. Mapping, trekking, Nepali language learning and a lot of photographic work. Nearly one month in that area and I’d like you to show my three favorite photos from that trip:

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Annapurna park – children from the village Humde

First –  The Children. Why? Partly due to the circumstances. By the children I was deeply impressed  from their happiness. I realized, that poorness does not exclude smiling. Not a tragedy, to have only few things, of course a hard live, but they can smile and are open minded. That’s a treasure.

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Annapurna park – Stupa  & Gompa in Braga

Second – The religion. Never in my life played a big rule, but Buddhism & Hinduism affected a little bit my mind. Especially the Buddhism, lived by part of the people is like a balsam for every human. All over the landscape symbolize -like churches in Europe-  chörten or stupas, little temple or just trees the spirit and the good mood of the Nepali life way. Everybody can participate and gain  from a good thought which is catchable  at every corner. Buddha’s eye’s and or a holy tree. They bring you sometimes in a fine mood.

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Annapurna park – View from Poon Hill to Dhaulagiri

Third – The mountains. It is fascinating to see these giant mountains, they seems to be enormous huge and unreachable.  Easy to understand the sentence “ Himalaya is the land where the gods living and the mountains are their seats” . Seems to be they have a soul, and not for nothing the Nepali speaking reverential from them. For climbers & mountaineers they attract,  and in both ways they makes you a kind of free and sets suddenly limits! Nature is powerful. Such moments define the right relationship from human being to nature.

Conclusions? Maybe Nepal can be  like a trigger for eye-opening experience.

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Again in Nepal in the year  2002!  First Photos from the Helambu area, a remote part but full off friendly and very welcome people. It is a midland range with an amazing landscape with thousands of terraces, and an open wide sky. You will discover a lot of village life, people who have time and show you a lot of their worldly wisdom. A good place beside the traffic routes from Annapurna & Everest.

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Helambu region – Near Chisapani, on the way to Kutumsang

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Incredible India in the year 2004 . Taj Mahal, ताजमहल. Marvelous! The inlay work of  agate, jasper, cornelian and other semi-precious stones as filigree pattern in the white marble is overwhelming. Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan from 1631 until 1653 as a mausoleum for his second wife. A number of 20.000 people were involved and the main architect is believed to have been Isa Khan, from ancient Iran. Especially for the inlay work,  named “pietra dura” a lot of other specialist from Europe participated there. It is an architectural beauty.  

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India – Taj Mahal

Further more, the Rajasthan trip is somehow like a fairytale. Gigantic Emperor fortresses, old Maharaja palaces, holy Hindu temples, ancient and busy cities. I done some architectural photography, here an excerpt.

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India – Bikaner, Ranakpur, 2x Amber Fort Jaipur, Jaisalmer Fortress, Meherangarh Fort Jodhpur

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The coffee table book “www.AroundAnnapurna.de – a photographic and poetic journey around the Annapurnas” is printed and published. Only Hasselblad XPan photos from my travels around the Annapurna. It was launched with an exhibition at the headquarter office from the GTZ (Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit) in Kathmandu. In my same stay 2005 I done my first work in the Everest area. What an altitude! Breathless to take concentrated pictures at 5000m above sea level. I was surprised about fine exposure of the negatives and their excellent gray tones in spite of  these extremely contrast during midday from the sunlight. Stunning mountains everywhere:

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National park Everest – Nuptse (7861m), Everest (8850m),
Ama Dablam (6856m) , Pumori (7161m)

Again in Helambu this time. I’ve done the round from Sundarijal – Chisapani – Kutumusang – Tarkeghyang – Sermathang – Melamchi. You need about 8 to 10 days of walking times, right in the middle of the peoples life.

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People from the Helambu area

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Back in South America in 2006 with Peru, Bolivia and Chile. I traveled from Lima over Cuzco up to the Bolivian altiplano, heading to Santiago de Chile. A standard gringo route, done 7 years ago in similar way. Highlights like impressive Machu Picchu,  mystical Nazca lines, boundless Lake Titicaca, La Paz and the Altiplano with the flamingos and the colored “Lagunas” are stations and an essence from that trip.  “¿Cómo estas en América del Sur? Muy bien!”

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Machu Picchu, La Paz, Salar de Uyuni, Huyani  Potosi

Beloved Nepal in  2006 again. Twice this year, because I worked a lot for the next  coffee table book with Photos from the Everest region. “www.WayToEverest.de – a photographic and poetic journey to the foot of Everest”   was published and launched by his Excellency the British Ambassador of Nepal Mr. Sir Keith Bloomfield. Sincere thanks to him and many thanks to all people for their interest and the overwhelming response.  Unfortunately, the year of the instability in Nepal. Maoist were very aggressive, general strike and a curfew move Nepal to a minimal activity level.  Everything was running against the schedule, but for Nepal that is Karma, and life unpredictable.  From the Annapurna region I done some new shots in this year.

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Annapurna area – Annapurna (8091m) from the Annapurna base camp (ABC)

 

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 2007,  lets change again to the other side of the world, South America with the beautiful country Ecuador. Steaming rainforest and icy volcanoes. Colonial architecture and 60th’s modern structure. Crowded cities and empty landscapes. For me it is the country of opposites, densely packed in there.  A lot of things has changed since my last visit 1998. Some shots, just near the equator:

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Ecuador: Amazonas area, Quito, Cuenca, Cotopaxi, Cajas, Pichincha

Again in Nepal. This time in the Langtang area. From Dhunche over Thulo Syabru  to the foot of the Langtang chain where the little village Kyanjin Gompa lies.  It is a fine easy trek, like often very pleasant people. Unfortunately a blizzard arrest as at the end of the valley for days. But the landscape after! Have a look at the 2nd photography.

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Nepal: Langtang valley, Kyanjin Gompa & landscape around after blizzard

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 2008, after 12 years again in Mexico & Guatemala. Megacity Mexico City! A lot of things have changed in this Hasselblad_XPan_Stimm27time. Mainly for German a vanishing glance,  the VW beetle, rushing in former times along the streets as little taxis are nowadays in minority. Shopping malls have been rising up and much more luxury for the middle class are on the rise. 
Hopefully the Mexicans will remember to their prosperous culture and traditions! If you ever have the chance, you can catch these in the overwhelming “Fiesta de la Guadeloupe”.  The highest public holiday wind up in a big crowd festival with Aztecan dances and Christian  mass at the same place. Syncretism in his purely Hasselblad_XPan_Stimm28occurrence.
The first skyscraper, the city’s landmark “Torre Hasselblad_XPan_Stimm30Latinoamericana” built 1956 is still standing in the heart of the city. Impressive, it Hasselblad_XPan_Stimm29survived the terrible earthquakes 1957 & 1984! In my opinion still attractive, a congeniality from the south american’s 50th’s! 

Upshot? Mexico D. F. is every time a visit worth.

 

Mexico: Mexico D. F. , Torre Latinoamericana & Skyscraper along Main Avenue

After Mexico D. F. some cultural highlights from the Oaxaca, Chiapas & Yucatán region. Visiting temples from the Teotihuacán culture, looking for the Zapotec  near the highlands at Oaxaca, heading down to visit the famous place of Palenque and Yaxchilán with their Mayan remains.  As a matter of course one visit again of the highlight  Chichén Itzá at the Yucatán peninsula. Mexican culture is overabundant…

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Mexico: Teotihuacán, Palenque, Mt. Alban, Chichén Itzá

As a side trip Guatemala with his famous Mayan ruins Tikal is worth to visit.  Not for nothing it is a UNESCO World heritage place. Surrounding from very impressive rain forest with a superb noise and magical light at sunrise it has his own special atmosphere like other famous places in the world. Discovering is here not only a word, and dozens of mounds giving a testimonial that only a part from all that buildings is discovered. A very “Wow” place!

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Guatemala: Tikal with the major temple

For all the enthusiastic people fascinated from the analogue photography as a mixture between handicraft & art ,  here some short technical details. Since the year 2000 I shot with the Hasselblad XPan model (I) nearly 1000 rolls with about 20.000 negatives. Mostly I used the Kodak T-MAX 100, since the new edition of the Kodak T-Max 400, this one. I tried also sometimes the Ilford Delta & HP5. But like every classical photographer over the time you get a feeling to the film characteristics, and changes need again a lot of work.  All rolls are developed with the original developer Kodak T-MAX, in uncountable lab sessions by my hand.  Few color rolls I gave to lab, but my heart is beating for all that grays in black & white.  A lot of extreme situations, like massive sandy dust & wind, icy degrees, high humidity, extreme sunlight and some case of drops of my camera haven’t produced any malfunction of it! I appreciate the reliability & robustness. From this side a big praise to the constructors team & Hasselblad. I’ve done also a lot of digital work with Canon EOS 40D and the EF 28-300 1:3.5-5.6L IS USM  objective. It is also a fine work, but different with other focuses. One thing of terrifying me is the mass of the pictures, the “trust in good”, that there will be a best shot & and the shooting of people who has a taste of “hounding” with the speed of “4 or more picture per second”.

 

Hope you enjoyed this little retro perspectives. For more photography’s you can visit my gallery under  www.PictureBox.AndreasStimm.de 

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2009 Blog time started, look for the articles on the main page Chronology.

Enjoy…

Best, Andreas Stimm

 

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