Gunther Deichmann Photography | Blog

Documentary Photography: Gloves and Handbags, the beauty and the beast

The beauty and the beast…next time you put on your gloves or wearing your handbag,
think about how it got to this beautiful nice and shiny stage.…


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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Not at all that glamorous when you look behind the scenes in the production
of high end leather products.

It looks all very different in the beginning; these products are not that glamorous and shinny, they require hard work, produced under harsh and extremely smelly conditions.
It was during one of my recent visits to India that I managed to get access to some Leather Tannery’s near Kolkata and getting access was not an easy task.
The main production of these Tannery’s is for leather gloves and handbags destined for the European Market.

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Unloading the huge wooden drums, Leather Tannery, India


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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Preparing the Hides for the next process, India

Upon entering the first Tannery the smell was absolute out of this world and it was extremely difficult getting used to it not to mention the place was dark like a dungeon.

Trying to keep a low profile I only tagged along one camera body and two lenses besides flash/strobe was not allowed anyway. No choice I had to crank up the ISO at times to 1600 on my Lumix GX8 and worked mostly with the fast 20mm1.4mm (equip. 40mm) and my trusted 12 to 35 mm f: 2.8 (equiv. 24 to 70mm) lens.

Workers tend to the huge wooden drums where the row hides tumble in a bluish bath of chromium sulfate and other chemicals. This chemical mix spills all over the floors and the walls, exposing also the workers.

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Squeezing the hides using old machineries, India

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Spraying a chemical mixture, a type of repellant on to the Hides, India

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Barefoot… water and chemicals, India

In some other areas man spraying a chemical mixture, a type off repellant on to the hides, or squeezing the hides through old machines.
Without going into a more detailed description of the whole process the hides once dried (normally on the flat rooftop) they are sorted and made ready for shipment for the final production for many types of leather products. Workers carrying some 75 kg on their back unloading the Rawhide or the tanned finished leather sheets.

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Carrying 75kg of processed Hides, India

After leaving the Tannery Complex we ventured to an area where the leftover leather pieces are cooked/boiled in very large stone basins and once this process is completed it will be mixed with soil and used as an organic fertilizer.

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Boiling the leftovers near the Tannery, India

How many chemicals remain after this process is a good question; I am not convinced it is all clean after all the boiling
but in the process also
toxic smoke billows into the air, polluting our environment.
The small stream near this area certainly did not look inviting for a swim, I wouldn’t dare to stick my toe into it either.

I shall continue my quest and search for the production of beauty products and the impact it has on our environment.
GD

More Images from the Tannery in India at my PhotoShelter Archives

Photograpy: Chaotic traffic jams and beautiful Nature


Chaotic traffic jams and beautiful Nature


A short visit to Subic and Angeles City last weekend proved to more then I had expected.

I was on assignment to cover some very specific areas in the Pampanga area and my good friend Hans from the
Filipino Travel Center joined me. (he actually did all the driving, thanks a lot Hans)

Under normal condition (but then what’s normal in Manila) it should not take more then 2.5 hours to reach Angeles City but unlucky for us Manila was in a gridlock with traffic jams beyond belief and it took us much longer to reach our destination.
But in the end it was all worth it and the next couple of days proved to be very enjoyable and rewarding. Discovering hidden waterfalls, hiking through pristine jungle with the super nice and friendly Aetas and rewarded ourselves by the end of the day with a very cold beer.

I had to cover a variety of different locations and subjects but thanks to Hans and his knowledge of the area we managed to get everything done that was on my shooting list.

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
A spontaneous encounter with young Aeta girl, Philippines


I personally enjoyed our drive through the gorges leading to the Puning Hot Springs, created by the famed Mt Pinatubo eruption in 1991. It is a beautiful scenic and ragged terrain, a visual treat for Photography, Geologist and Nature Lovers.
An awesome landscape shaped by Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption, with the river traversing through deep gorges lined with lush vegetation like huge fans and other plants, it was indeed unexpected and a pleasant surprise after the chaotic traffic in Manila.

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Spectacular Gorges on the way to the
Puning Hot Springs, Philippines


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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Spectacular Gorges on the way to the
Puning Hot Springs, Philippines


In other areas we did some Jungle trekking and chanced upon a group of Aeta women collection Takipan in the rainforest, a vegetable that can be eaten raw or is used in soup by the locals. Of course I had to taste it; again to my surprise the raw Takipan was very nice and I enjoyed it very much, this could make indeed a very nice salad provided by Mother Nature.

But there is so much more to discover and I upload a selection of Images next week into my PhotoShelter Archives but for now you can check out a very small preview/selection on my website.
http://www.gdeichmann-photo.com/code-2/

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Aeta collecting fire wood, Philippines


Thanks again to Hans from
Filipino Travel Center, a good friend and companion and I keep you posted since the two of us planning something you might find very interesting. (Photo Tour/Workshop)

After all getting out of Manila can be a blessing and Mother Nature is only 2.5 hours away, provided there is no traffic jam in Manila.
GD

Photography: Spontaneous, predictable and patience, my philosophy

Spontaneous, predictable and patience, my philosophy in photography

Spontaneous things happen all of a sudden, on the spur of the moment, without being planned and can happen without outside influence.
To be spontaneous you have be relaxed and go with the flow and have fun, you would never get mad if plans changed, and never force or chasing the subjects, if it meant to be it will come to you, however if something does happen you have to be ready hence the word spontaneous.

Patient, with out complaint or irritation, is an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted once you in the field.

Predict
, foresee or estimate beforehand what could happen that a specified thing, like a person walking into the frame for example. If you patient enough a consequence of something that might happen then you have the combination of spontaneous, patience and predictable however sometimes a little luck comes in handy too, now let me add one more to my list…

Knowledge of the area or the country you traveling to is another very important fact and should be researched way in advance and if possible having a knowledgeable local guide with you can make all the difference. So, where ever you travel to or just making images on your home turf try and work with these tree words and you find things will happen naturally without getting frustrated and you can have fun at the same time.

If you miss an image, never mind as mention above, there is always another day, besides taken home the memory can be very rewarding too.

See below some examples from my recent Journeys this year to Vietnam and Cambodia,
a simple combination of the words mention above plus local knowledge can make all the difference.

Cheers GD

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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Location knowledge and lots of patience and predictable.
(I knew what I wanted) Hanoi, Vietnam


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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Location knowledge, patience and spontaneous. The vendor
walking behind the couple was actually luck. Hoi An, Vietnam


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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Location knowledge, patience, spontaneous and very predictable.
Tourists waiting for the sunrise, Angkor Wat, Cambodia


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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Location knowledge, (knowing the weather) patience, spontaneous.
Tonle Sap Lake area, Siem Reap, Cambodia


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2017 © Gunther Deichmann
Location knowledge, (hanging around at the location), patience,
very spontaneous and predictable at-least for the color.
School building near the Tonle Sap Lake, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Note: The falling cell phone is in mid-air.

Cambodian Tale, the Tiger and Mouse

Cambodia, July 2017

Some nice Cambodian tales I received in my Hotel room during my last private Photography Workshop, actually everyday there was another interesting story rolled up on a nice piece of paper on my bed and wishing me a very good night and in due time I post a few more.

See below one of those Cambodian tales, true to everyday life and nature, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
GD


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Fallen leaves during the Monsoon Season in Cambodia - © Gunther Deichmann


A CAMBODIAN TALE CALLED THE TIGER AND THE MOUSE...


ON ONE HOT DAY, A LONG TIME AGO, TIGER CAME OUT OF THE WOODS TO

DRINK WATER FROM A POND AT A CLEARING; THERE HE MET MOUSE WHO HAD THE

SAME IDEA. FEELING BOASTFUL AND SUPERIOR, TIGER SAID TO MOUSE:

"YOU ARE SUCH AN INSIGNIFICANT AND USELESS CREATURE; THERE IS NOTHING

YOU CAN DO THAT I CANNOT DO, SO LEAVE MY SIGHT?"

MOUSE, FEARFUL OF TIGER, RETREATED BACK TO THE FIELDS.

IT JUST HAPPENED THAT DAY; TRAPPERS WERE IN THE FOREST SETTING

UP NETS, TRYING TO CAPTURE A TIGER FOR THE KING. TIGER, USUALLY CAREFUL

BUT FEELING PROUD AFTER CHASING MOUSE AWAY, WAS NOT LOOKING WHERE HE

WAS GOING AND UNFORTUNATELY STEPPED ON THE TRAP. SUDDENLY, THERE HE

WAS, TANGLED IN THE NET UP ON THE TREE, TIGER TRIED TO FREE HIMSELF BUT

WAS UNABLE TO. HE KEPT ON CALLING PASSING ANIMALS TO HELP HIM BUT THEY

COULD NOT GET HIM OUT, DESPERATE, HE KNEW THE KIND OF FATE THAT

AWAITED HIM, BEING IN A LOCKED CAGE AND BEATEN UP BY THE KING'S GUARDS.

WELL, IT JUST HAPPENED THAT MOUSE WAS PASSING THROUGH THE

FOREST AND HE HEARD THE CRIES OF TIGER, HE APPROACHED AND OFFERED TO

HELP. BY THIS TIME, TIGER WAS LOSING HOPE, ANY OFFER OF HELP WAS

WELCOMED, MOUSE CLIMBED UP INTO THE NET AND IN NO TIME, CHEWED THE

CORDS OUT AND FREED TIGER. MOUSE, THEN SAID TO HIM:


"YOU, EARLIER SAID THAT I WAS A USELESS CREATURE BUT AS YOU CAN SEE, I

WAS ABLE TO FREE YOU, DO NOT MOCK ANY ANIMAL BECAUSE OF IT'S SIZE.

BECAUSE WE ARE SMALL DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE ARE USELESS, EACH CREATURE

POSSESSES UNIQUE SKILLS."

TIGER, SHAMEFUL AND WITH HIS HEAD DOWN, RAN BACK TO THE FOREST

AS QUICKLY AS HE COULD, SO FROM THIS DAY ON, TIGERS LEARNED NOT TO

DISRESPECT MICE.

Awesome light over a magic place, Cambodia July 2017

Awesome light over a magic place, Cambodia July 2017
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Angkor Wat, Cambodia, July 2017
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This was a very first for me, well at least in such an intensity, a full Rainbow over the ancient Khmer Angkor Wat Temple. It was raining heavy all day but Arno Baetz and myself kept on going, trust me nothing was dry we were soaking wet right through the bone.

We left the Bayon Temple area where we had a great Rainbow just 20 minutes earlier, when I decided to take a quick dash over to Angkor Wat in the hope for good light.
Just in time… and what an awesome sight awaited us with almost no people around, they all took cover or went back to their Hotel early since it was raining heavy almost the whole day. It was pure magic for a while, the light and a full rainbow over the historical Angkor Wat temple. I experienced great light and the odd rainbows before at this famous archeology site but nothing like this.

Ohhh... how I love the unpredictable Monsoon season, you never know what's going to happen next, I guess you have to stay out there, get soaking wet and take some chances, and for me ... this was the best 25th anniversary present visiting Cambodia since my first visit
in April 1992.

Please Note:

We just updated/fine tuned and added a few more images to the Galley on my new website and if you can spare a moment please drop by and check out the latest Images from Vietnam and Cambodia including many more from this magic day and please take note of my new Domain Name.

www.gdeichmann-photo.com

NEW HOME/Website: http://www.gdeichmann-photo.com

NEW Blog:
http://www.gdeichmann-photo.com/blog/

Until soon,
Cheers GD


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