Fotoeins Fotografie

photography as worlds between words

Posts from the ‘Culture’ category

“Science is an integral part of culture. It’s not this foreign thing, done by an arcane priesthood. It’s one of the glories of the human intellectual tradition.” – S.J. Gould.

Before Bauhaus: Alfeld Fagus Factory, UNESCO WHS

Before Germany’s Bauhaus found its first footing in Weimar, there was the Fagus-Werk in Alfeld.

The Fagus factory building is looked upon as the first building in the world for the modern architectural age, and is the predecessor to the elegant 1926 Bauhaus headquarters building in Dessau. Fagus company founder Karl Benscheidt commissioned architect and future Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius, to create and build a shoe-making factory as an artistic project. Gropius and his collaborator Adolf Meyer stuck with working floor-plans by architect Eduard Werner, and set their sights on new exterior and interior designs. Completed in 1911, the factory’s office building set a new standard for 20th-century industrial architecture with steel and glass construction and tall unsupported windows at the corners of the building.

“Fagus” is Latin for “beech tree”, and shoemaking began with shoe lasts or moulds constructed from beech wood, which were sold and distributed around the world to other companies for the productions of shoes. In the 1920s, Benscheidt developed the turning precision-lathe speeding up production, prompting growth and expansion and elevating the company to world’s top producer of shoe lasts. Today, the building is still a working factory: Fagus creates plastic lasts milled by automated machinery to precise specifications for specific designs by shoe companies. Also on-site is GreCon which produces systems for fire-detection and fire-extinguishing in industrial settings. The Fagus factory building was recognized as “unique living monument” and inscribed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site (Welterbe) in 2011.

With a population of over 20-thousand people, Alfeld is located in the German federal state of Lower Saxony. The town’s reach by train is 30-minutes from Hannover or 40-minutes from Göttingen, after which is a short 5- to 10-minute walk from Alfeld(Leine)1 train station to the entrance of the Fagus/GreCon complex. Visitors can walk around the working factory site, stop at the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, sit in the neighbouring café for coffee or tea, and visit the museum dedicated to the building’s origins, the building’s century-long history of shoe-making, and a general history of footwear.

Walter Gropius and others would move to Weimar to establish a centre of art, design, thought, and attitude for Bauhaus in 1919, eight years after inauguration of the Fagus-Werk.

Die Baukunst soll ein Spiegel des Lebens und der Zeit sein. (Architecture should be a mirror to life and its time.) – Walter Gropius.

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Fotoeins Friday: I-40 and US-66 at Continental Divide, NM

To kick off 2019, I begin with glimpses from the road over two weeks this past autumn in the American Southwest.

Traveling west on Interstate 40 (I-40) towards Flagstaff, the town of Continental Divide in New Mexico sits on top of the geographic feature known as the continental divide, defined as “the main series of mountain ridges in North America, chiefly the crests of the Rocky Mountains, forming a watershed separating the rivers flowing east into the Atlantic Ocean/Gulf of Mexico from rivers flowing west into the Pacific Ocean.” Off I-40, you reach a frontage road that is old US route 66 (US-66) along which there are shops and a big gas station. The view here faces northwest to two east-west railroad tracks and towards Navajo Nation lands in the distance. The town of Continental Divide is 112 miles east from Albuquerque and 49 miles west from the New Mexico-Arizona state border at Lupton.

I made the picture above on 12 October 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the settings: 1/500-sec, f/16, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-czy.

Image by mohamed hassan on pxhere (CC0).

18 artists and togs I found on IG in 2018

A lot of ink, talk, discontent, and contempt has appeared regarding the uses and abuses on Facebook’s Instagram; see here and here. I discovered on Instagram the presence of the following 18 artists and photographers, some of whom I’d already been aware from print. It’s in many of their images where I’ve found stillness, inspiration, stimulation, and provocation, and that’s why you should get to know some of these people. I’ll continue to admire their work elsewhere when present forms of social media will (must?) inevitably disappear.

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Fremantle Markets, Freo, Fremantle, Perth, WA, Australia, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Fremantle tradition since 1897

In and around Perth and West Australia, the diminutive comes into play. “Freo” is the nickname for the city of Fremantle, about 30 minutes southwest from Perth. And in the waters off Freo is “Rotto” or Rottsnest Island which is home of the quokka marsupial. The Fremantle Markets have been around serving residents for over 120 years.

During my year-long RTW, I made this photo on 14 September 2012 with the Canon 450D, 50-prime, and the following settings: 1/1000-sec, f/8, ISO200, and 50mm focal length (80mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie on fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bHY.

Hackett Hall, State Library of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Hackett Hall, WA State Library (Perth)

In the 1890s, the rush for gold brought people and wealth into Western Australia, accelerating construction of many public buildings. Shown above is Hackett Hall, opened in 1913 and used as the reading room for the State Library of Western Australia until 1984. Materials used in the construction included Western Australian stone and wood to go along with local manufacturing to produce stamped or pressed tin patterned-ceilings, ornamental friezes, spiral staircases, etc. As seen here, the 1996 restoration of the upper levels have recreated the look and feel of a library from the early 20th-century (The Museum of Western Australia).

During my year-long RTW, I made this photo on 13 September 2012 with the Canon 450D, 50-prime, and the following settings: 1/40-sec, f/2.8, ISO800, and 50mm focal length (80mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie on fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bHw.

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