Yesterday Olaf and I spent almost nine hours inside a nuclear bunker. It’s located beneath Hamburg’s central station and originates in the 1930s. During the Cold War it got modernized but was never actually used. This may be the reason for its good condition; this or the fact it’s preserved by the association Hamburger Unterwelten e.V. (who are doing a great job btw.). However, you still could use it to shelter about 3,200 people if a nuclear war was about to start…
So, why did we willingly agree to stay in a bunker this long when there’s no sign of a war* around here? Simple answer: light art photography.
We managed to create six pictures, which is a lot regarding the fact that at times we need up to five or six hours to create only one photograph. It was hard and simple at once to work there.
The hard part: First, the space was just too small, or rather smaller than we’re used to work with. So we needed to change the arrangments of the light positions. A lot. And second, everything was plain white. The lights were reflected by the walls just too much. We had to work even faster hence the duration of the exposure needed to be shortened. Otherwise the lights would’ve been too intense and “burned out” leaving mere white spots.
The easy part: Everything was white. :D Normally, it’s difficult to include colors with short wavelength like blue or violet, But not this time. Blue, purple, violet – everything worked just fine!
Also the location’s condition was really great. We usually shoot at lost places (abandoned places) and those are demolished quite often. Which is pretty sad considering people destroy parts of history without hesitating. The bunker however felt like a journey through time.
This is the first published photograph from that session and I think it’s amazing. The flashing colors. The nuke fume. And the desperation. It was real fun.
But then again, more is yet to come. ;)
For those who are interested, here are the details:
Pic Details: 86 sec, 7.1/f, ISO 100
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
several colored LED X-Mas lights (Yeah, you can use whatever you like, you just put them in some corners for indirect lighting. ;) )
LED Lenser X21R (with a red filter)
green EL-Wire (for the fume)
That’s it. Sounds pretty easy, huh? What do you think?
* Somewhere else this thing would be really helpful right now…