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