Sunday, August 19, 2012

Herrensalon Wistuba

I am not a superstitious person. I like black cats no less than any other cat, I have no problem walking under a ladder and I do not seem to show any feeling whatsoever about Friday the 13th. What I do have, though, are certain funny little ways, certain everyday "rituals", that I unconsciously link to the success or failure of my daily enterprises. Crossing a certain street at a very concrete point on my way to work, leaving the fork to rest on the plate pointing down at the end of my meal, or hanging my bag to my right in the morning and to my left in the afternoon are a few examples of such rituals.

As taking photographs is an important part of my life, these kind of obsessions have spread throughout my photography as well. In fact, it seems to be not uncommon. I read that photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson had the superstition to test new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published them, as he considered it a "baptism" of the lens.

Since I am not only attracted to old cameras but also to vintage typefaces as well, the sign of a hairdresser, gone out of business a long time ago, caught my attention on my way to the office very soon. I could not resist the elegance of the bold '70s typeface, the off-center "holes" of the Rs, the well-balanced colors, the two windows, the tree, the cobblestone, ...

herrensalon wistuba
(Hapo 66-E, Rollei Retro 400S, ISO 400/27°)

That's why I started taking this picture again and again, at first almost without realizing it, later challenging myself to have a photograph of the Herrensalon Wistuba taken with every single camera and lens that I own. Talk about obsessive-compulsive disorder... ;)

herrensalon wistuba 02
(Flexaret VI, Fujichrome Velvia 50, ISO 50/18°)

herrensalon wistuba
(Nikon Coolpix S200, digital shot)

herrensalon wistuba
(Rollfilm 5x8, Kodak Farbwelt 200, expired, ISO 200/24°)

Well, sadly I have to admit that I failed the challenge, although it has been not entirely my fault. After at least 8 years of no activity, someone came to the idea of using the old hairdresser salon for a spice shop. Of course, a sign reading "Herrensalon Werner Wistuba", no matter how elegant the typeface, could be a little confusing for customers willing to buy exotic spices. The sign has been recently removed, putting a premature end to my challenge.

herrensalon wistuba
(Super Ikonta BX 533/16, Lomography Redscale 100, ISO 100/21°)

Anyhow, I have 23 pictures taken with 17 different cameras and lenses. The ultimate goal of photography is to keep memories. I'll be able to further admire the sign every time I want, in 23 different fashions.

My "Herrensalon Wistuba" set on flickr

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