Sunday, May 27, 2007

welcome back.

3rd week.

started on sunday night in the train from vienna to weitra, from home sweet home to the barracks.

manuel is able to sleep in all kind of positions, i tell you.

gabriel was working the whole weekend and didn't really find the time to eat something. at about 11pm in gmünd, pretty small village, there was no way to get something to eat, except this automat with chocolates and coke...

nice dinner.

waiting for the taxi. nobody was around, everything was closed and it was dark. f2.0 1/8th 2000iso.

in our room, close to midnight, playing poker, the newest hype.

monday. getting ready for the first time shooting with real ammo.

sitting up the trucks again. it's damn dark inside. f2.0 1/15th trix at 400 in sunlight condition.

we went to allentsteig where everyone was priviledged to test their masks and suits on
impermeability, which means that we entered a little chamber, that was filled with tear gas and did some body exercicises inside.

unfortunately, it was impossible for me to take photos inside, because mainly it was not permitted and i had the camera inside the suit.

still i could take this photo outside the chamber, it was a pain in the ass to take a photo with the mask and suit on.

everyone was pretty nervious but we were lucky, every suit and mask was impermeable and noone had to cry like a little baby.

after the test, everyone had to shook out the suits and then remove their masks. i was the first outside, so that i had enough time to take a photo after i had done the shaking. took this one with the mask on.

recruit haas getting ready for the shooting.

allentsteig is a very big army training area, bigger than the area of vienna i was told. so i was lucky enough to capture two army planes above us.

right time, right place, difficult exposure though.

later that day we had lunch.

unfortunately i have exposed some film material and erased a few frames on the roll, so that i don't have photos from the first shoot training.

we recieved the ammo a second time after the lunch and had a few more trainings.

it was almost impossible to take any photos at the training, since there were lots of (foreign) officers around all the time and the security standards were really high, so that i didn't risk to take photos. i have taken two from the training actually, but they aren't really exciting.

back on the trucks. back to the barracks.

first thing, cleaning our rifles, of course.

franz and his stg77

on tuesday we had combat training from 12am to 11pm, with lunch in between.

we learned how to move in the field and how to communicate with hand signs etc.

first off all, covering of course.

either you cover each other

or you do it yourself

it looks pretty funny.. mainly because it is, washing it down ain't funny though.

it's hard to take photos on combat trainings, since you have to concentrate on the others and hold your rifle all the time, so holding a camera beside it and taking pictures is pretty taff.

even if i cropped him on the left, i like the look and atmosphere here.

it was hot.

this photo was a pain in the ass to take, but i wanted it, maybe i'll try a second one with the crosshair in focus.. but that's almost impossible with a rangefinder..

then surprisingly our drillmaster asked me if i want to take a photo of everyone laying in the grass.. and of course i took the opportunity.

because of the heat, the "make-up" and sweat started to burn in the eyes like tabasco.

on this resolution you can hardly see the sweat pearls, but on a print you'll see them, it's fantastic :)

each break a cigarette, that's almost a rule now.

stefan visibly being exhausted.

stix too. to the right, our "drillmaster". i plan to take portraits of the officiers and drillmasters in the last week.

on the way back, we had to wait for our trainer at the car park, of course in crouched position, he was talking with another officier, what an ironic scene.

back in the barracks, we were allowed to clean ourselfs.

lunch. you still could see some left make up on everyones faces

and hands.

oliver taking the opportunity to sleep a little.

it got late, it got dark. we were outside again. combat training until 11pm.

i put the camera in the back later, because it was wet and we had to crawl in the grass, so i didn't want to risk to break my camera or lens.

i couldn't take many photos because of that situation, but still in between, i did a few snaps.

i like this one best. you should know, it was pretty dark already.

at 11pm we had a last instruction. night vision. very impressive for me. this photo was taken without night vision though ;)

f2.0 1/4th 2000iso and still not enough :D

the next days (wednesday, thursday and friday morning) nothing much happened except drilling, cleaning and sweating. we prepared for the vowing act in front of generals and all kind of relatives of the recruits.

i couldn't take photos during the drilling excercises..

on thursday afternoon though, something funny happened. sun was shining all day, it was hot as shit... and suddenly it started to rain, so we had to get our rain jackets and went outside again..

the rain started to get so hard, that we went inside again though. it wasn't because of the wetness, but because of the noise. nobody could hear the orders anymore, since the raindrops "hammered" on our helmets so loudly that it felt like sitting right next to keith moon.

i only have a photo outside our window. the whole situation was really funny.

you can't really see it, but everyone was wet.

later, we decided to play some poker after official hours.

everyone had a "pokerface".

we were playing with beer crowns instead of chips. all together we had 97 "chips" :D

my "pokerface" was simply the army cap to the left and the army glasses, really pretty glasses.

on friday, there was only excercising for the big event (vowing act). we had to clean our uniforms and shoes.. of course shoe cleaning is only permitted outside.. so gabriel had to stick to the rules.

at the vowing act, it was absolutely impossible to take any photos, so i had the camera in my bag, that was left in the bus.

after the act, i took the camera to capture the last scenes. very ironic, to have those recruits, that finally turned to "real men", with their families all together on a brand new golf court.

what an event.

this photo shows franz real size.

like i mentioned, the golf court was brand new and walking on the grass or crossing the fence was not permitted. the sign says "private area, keep out", that's why i took this one.

gabriel and i got hooked up by my father, which was great, because i was in vienna at 9pm on a friday. we directly went to a party with our uniform and stuff.. the rifle of course not.. ;)

so that was week #3.

now to some bad news:

"she" is still working and there is no light leak or something.. but she's doing some strange sounds sometimes and the light metering sometimes switches off, which is a little pain in the ass..

must have happened during the long combat training.

in the end, i'm thinking about getting a new one because i'd have to pay more or less 500€ for the service and! had to wait about a month to get it back from solms... but for now, i'll work with it as long as it is possible..

ps: last time i forgot to post these:


this is my birthdaypresent (bought it myself)

80GB mp3, video, picture viewer with great display quality. i love this thing



Drooper said...

Good stuff here. Liking the portraits between the combat excersises.

bobsch said...

des vorher/nacher foto is echt ein wahnsinn... ;-) schlimm, wie man plötzlich ganz anders ausschaut, so ganz ohne haare und bart ^^

Sebastian said...

wow, ich wünschte ich hätte damals solche bilder gemacht. lässt echt erinnerungen hochkommen. aber mal was anderes? bewahrt ihr eure waffen wirklich im eigenen spind auf?

Harrison said...

That was even better than the last entry.

Some absoloutely timeless photographs here. Amazing shots. The timing in the tear gas suit shaking off shot is absolutely perfect, the two aeroplanes overhead is amazing coupled with the two soldiers, and your favourite shot is awesome.

Sorry to hear about your camera - maybe you'll go for a ttl version next time? ;-)

Tomé Duarte said...

hey, great reportage. seems like you were more confident on the shutter. love the one with the aeroplanes, there's something very WWII in it, and the stretched exposure is such an eye candy.

holy schlitzis, it's Golias!

seems like his helmet is going to pop or something, haha.

JC said...

That's a great set of images, your work continues to amaze me.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when I look at the recruit's faces when you take the photo of them really tired on a training, I wonder what do they think of you "having fun" out of their pain :P Anyway, I like the one with the flowers on a table (IMG8569s.jpg). It's like someone wanted you all to feel more like at home or at least in a nice place. It's funny, also touching somehow ;) And if it comes to night photos -- I like the one you say it's too dark (maybe it is but definitely not so badly). I think when it's night -- it should be visible. Cool photos, I like the starting set from the truck, as the light is wonderful, so the atmosphere! The one with planes is just superb: so delicate in tones and yet it shows a part of "war" in some way. Here IMG8487s.jpg -- great atmosphere indeed, so quiet... I love it, also the tones of it. And the one with swet pearls (IMG8494s.jpg ) is excellent! I imagine the print will be cool :)) This one IMG8496s.jpg is funny and warm in the mood, I like it too.

Take care, cheers from Poland!

simonbw said...

sehr schöne fotos, es kommt richtig dieses rekrutenbild rüber.. is die grundausbildung jetzt vorbei?
liebe grüße

Adam said...

severin, man your army work, and portraits are just amazing man! i can see some of these shots being in a gallery show one day, keep on shooting, wanna see some more portraits, hope the leica doesnt die on you, if it does get an mp!

derAndi said...

alter...das sind echt hammer fotos! bin schwer begeistert! alles trix? der kontrast is schon sehr org bei allen bildern!

marius said...

you just keep getting better and better. love the do you find time to process scan and touch up all these pics..

you are my fav photographer atm.!

alife said...

arme kamera!

Suzan said...

Some really great photos again, it's still creeping me out though, this whole army thing. But you seem to be putting up well with it.
It's nice that your drillmaster is more or less okay with you taking photos and even asked you to take one!
Well good luck with everything (and the defect of the camera).
Hugs from the Netherlands.

sev said...

thanks for the great feedback from everyone !

photos are the only motivation for me to keep a cool head there and with this kind of feedback, it motivates to keep on doing it.

@anonym from poland:

i can't really make fun of pain of the others, since i'm not there as a photographer but as a soldier with camera. so i have to do the same things like they do. i share everything, so that i'm in a different position, not as an outsider, but as a part of the whole, so the acceptance of the others of my appearance and the appearance of my camera is really good.

@andi: bei tag fast nur plusX. im lastwagen und bei nacht trix

shashank said...

f2.0 *1/4th* 2000iso...impressive

Latvietis said...

Each your entry is like an concentrate of inspiration. After reading them I'll most likely get my camera, load it with any film and just get out of the house.

nacho said...

you must be living dead or something, how the hell do you get those sharp results at 1/8th or 1/15th .
My limit is the 1/30th if I'm lucky.
Anyway, great as usual, I think I wouldn't stand going through something like that without a camera.

rof said...

wow. that's an amazing entry; I mean, I'm just sitting on my lazy ass in front of my screen and I feel like if I were covered in sweat after a long combat training in the fields... I'm praying for your leica's survival, keep on taking photos as you breathe.

By the way, do you know if they sell the same army-glasses in France ? I'd like to get the same, they're so fashionable. ^^

RaiseHell said...

Von allem, was ich von dir in den letzten Jahren so gesehen hab, gefällt mir die Serie hier am besten. Einige Fotos sind wirklich toll und der Rest bewegt sich auch auf ziemlich hohem Niveau. Und das bei den teilweise sicher sehr schwierigen Bedingungen, ganz zu schweigen vom Risiko, vom falschen erwischt zu werden.
Falls du mal mit der Grundausbildung fertig bist hätt ich durchaus Interesse an einem Treffen, wenn du paar der Bilder geprintet hast - den ein oder anderen Print würd ich dir eventuell auch abkaufen. Meld dich einfach mal bei Skype (metalraise), wenn du Lust hast.

Pekka said...

I agree with adam. Exhibition stuff - really timeless photos.

Too many great photos to pick the best. I like a lot of all the portraits between all the action. Like this one:
Just spot on. And so is this (despite the crop):
This also has nice atmosphere:
And of course that with airplanes is just great as mentioned many times before already :D

Don't stop.

Gonzale said...

my favourite entry so far... great great shots.

the three of those :

the eyes-hurting

the eye candy one
yummy this one. (then again i love profile shots.)

the smoky one

and the big franz shot.. haha.

yeah great.

james kelly said...

amazing sev, just amazing!

feeling so inspired after reading this entry.

Henri said...

well, this is not bad... but a bit classic and overseen. I feel like seeing the same picture 20 time.
It seams like you are using your camera as a digital pocket camera.
you should try something else!

sev said...

oh henri, i'm sorry that the austrian military is not so fancy and gay as in your country..

and i use my camera as i like, i don't need someone else to tell me what to do with it and what not to do with it. thanks.

your comment didn't really help me in any way, it's just a bit ignorant.

girl said...

I love all the photos. I'm curious to see what some of them would look like in color.

I really like the three in the 'wiese'. especially the one with the rifle, there's something really absurd and beautiful about it.
and also the one with the poker 'chips' ;]

great shots, as always. x

Ciril said...

hehe where did you find photo of me? :) well it is very good indeed. :)

Anonymous said...

The useful message