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Report - Artsy Fartsy Industrial Porn - DE 2012

johnsalomon

Germany is the "wurst"
Regular User
#1
So I've done this one before - in fact, most people in the area have, it's so much visited that many of the local types don't even bother discussing it anymore. I still think it's one of the greatest places in town to photograph rust with light and contrast.

I went there a second time with Mr. Jorion and his amazing obnoxious amount of hard core large format film kit, and thought I'd muck around in the freezing air with some of my Soviet gear since I already had a ton of pictures of the place.

This steel mill is pretty interesting - the Germans went through a massive trauma of deindustrialization in the 1980s-1990s, closing and razing coal mines, steel mills, and other heavy factories, moving to more specialized production and services. Yet, they still keep around a huge amount of chemical and other heavy industrial production.

At the same time, there's a ton of "industrial heritage" sites - maintained at private or public expense, to show off the historical greatness of Teutonic industrial technology.

This vast old steelmaking complex has been largely razed to make way for laboratories, offices, and huge tracts of open land. Only the more spectacular elements (the gasometer, the actual furnace compound, some large assembly halls in the process of conversion to less dirty use, and a few walls and other odds and ends are left standing, with the furnace infrastructure sticking out of the landscape like a sore, spectacular thumb.

Weirdly, they seem to at one point have begun to convert it for tours, occasionally bringing in groups of visitors. There are newer gangways and lifts throughout the towers, some of the original passages and ladders welded shut so as to deter entry, as well as modern sidewalks and streetlights, indicating that the site was intended for "civilian" visitors. But the sidewalks are fenced off and overgrown by weeds, the lights and lifts don't work, and the gangways/stairs are rusting and graffiti'ed - like the conversion got to the halfway point and was then abandoned).

Now it's kind of an open secret for the local yokels, who freely hop the fences and go climbing up to the top of the towers for the spectacular view. There are bigger, better preserved steel plants (q.v. Defender's recent visit) but I think for the purposes of photography, because of the amazing light and contrast, no to mention the open space around it, this one just takes the cake.

So here's a bit of frozen-fingered muppeting around with a film camera, and my old 350D + pancake lens while Thomas spent hours setting up his obnoxiously, inhumanly perfect shots. Apologies if I posted some of these before, I really can't recall, but I just got around to uploading the scanned B&W film ones.

Pics with the Industar / Rebel XT:

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Scanned film (Zenit 12FS / Kodak Tri-X 400):

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As always, more at kosmograd dot net