Gender or Class?

Gender or Class?

Today it is 8 March, the international day for women’s liberation. This day was inaugurated at the international socialist women’s congress, which took place in Copenhagen in 1910. On the occasion of the day I have translated a text about the time, when female workers started organising – and the reactions they were met by, … Read more

Occasional Museum Picture #8

Musée d'Orsay

Normally you would be looking at all the interesting objects that are inside the museum. And the Musée d’Orsay in Paris for sure has some impressive objects to look at. However, the look outside from within what is now a museum, but used to be a railway station, through the glass-face of a gigantic clock towards the Sacré Coeur, is no less fascinating.

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Color-Ultron

Color-Ultron

I have been fiddling around with a new lens. Well, not actually quite new, to be honest. It’s a Color-Ultron 1.8/50 from Voigtländer, a company which was founded in Vienna in 1756, making it the oldest optical company in the camera world.

My lens is only around 40 years old, though. It is from the time when Voigtländer was owned by Rollei, but based on a design by the previous owner of the brand, Carl Zeiss. Despite its name and heritage, this particular lens is made in Singapore, not in Germany.

But it has all the characteristics of a classic 50 mm of the film SLR-era: bright, sharp and solid all-metal construction. This particular lens is also featuring an M42 screw-mount. It can be used on a modern DSLR, such as my K-5 II, with the help of an adapter – in this case an M42 to K-mount.

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Between Denmark and Detroit: Ford in Copenhagen

Between Denmark and Detroit: Ford in Copenhagen

In 1919 Ford Motor Company established an assembly plant in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was the second of its kind in Europe, after the one established in Manchester. From Copenhagen most of Northern Europe was supplied with the famous Ford T – the world’s first mass produced car.

It was such a success, that a larger facility was needed, an in 1924 a new, modern factory was build in the Copenhagen South Port area. The factory was designed by Albert Kahn, the architect responsible for some of Fords most iconic industrial complexes in Detroit. Inside, the production technology also closely resembled that used in Detroit.

But when it came to industrial relations, there were profound differences. In Detroit, Ford was fighting hard against any attempts by his worker to organize in trade unions, and not before 1941 an agreement was finally made with the United Auto Workers. However, in Denmark the workers were all unionized from day one, and collective bargaining was a matter of course.

Ford assembly plant in Copenhagen South Habour. Photo from Thalbitzer: “Ford Motor Company A/S gennem 25 Aar”, 1944. Unknown photographer.

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Go Raw

Go Raw

The other day I was going through some older photos in Ligthroom, weeding out some of those that I should never have kept in the first place.

Detroit Riverwalk - underexposed

This one for instance. It was taken at the Detroit Riverwalk on an early summers evening two years ago. There was very much contrast to the scene, and the camera has obviously metered for the sky, resulting in severe underexposure of the children playing in the fountain. I should of course have dialled in +1 or 2 EV when I took the picture, but I didn’t.

However, milliseconds before hitting “delete”, it occurred to me that something might be hiding there in the darkness.

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Women in politics and photography

Women in politics and photography

On a recent trip to Berlin I happened to buy a couple of photo books. One was about Tina Modotti (1896-1942), whom I already knew vaguely, another about Edith Tudor-Hart (1908-1973) whom I frankly had never heard about before. The book was still wrapped in cellophane, so I could not take a look inside, but I decided to buy it based on the text on the back-cover alone.

Accidentally, Modotti and Tudor-Hart seem to have had a lot in common. They were both women, obviously, and not very far apart in age.  They both lived most of their lives in exile or as immigrants. And they were both very much involved in the political struggles of their time, as communists and antifascists.

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