Greetsiel is a small port in western East Frisia, Germany, first documented in 1388 and famous for its picturesque fishermen’s cottages and home to several Krabbenkutter (shrimp cutters). The week in June 2023 when we visited the place (for the first time) was one of the warmest weeks of the whole summer. Even though the high season for tourism had not started, it was already rather crowded and photos around the harbor were thus mainly limited to the early morning hours.
I used the 6×9 Plaubel Peco view camera for the ten photos in the gallery all recorded on ILFORD Delta 100. The first photo shows one of the famous twin-windmills of Greetsiel. The classical view usually shows both mills with the tidal outlet next to it. However, as the wings of the eastern mill were not installed, I opted for a perspective view on the white wings of the western mill. In order to increase the contrast between the cloudless blue sky and with wings and balustrade I used an orange filter. The print was split grade printed (as the rest of the photos from this gallery using Grade-0 or Grade-00 and the Grade-5 filters with the LEITZ Focomat condensor enlarger above the negative carrier).
For a long time I used to take paper notes of the printing process. Recently I started to use a small whiteboard instead. I usually start with prints in 18×24 cm and when the exposures are tested out I make a print in 24×30 cm. On the board the most important parameters ´like f-stop of the lens, the height of the negative above the easel and the times for printing the low and high contrast grades are recorded. On a sketch of the image, burning and dodging time are indicated. Here the lower section below the balustrade was dodged for 9/12 of an f-stop during the Grade-0 exposure while both sides were burned for 6/12 of an f-stop. A beam on the bottom the received too much sunlight was burned through a mask with 15/12 of an f-stop. This way changes during the testing phase can easily be made and at the end of the process I take a picture of the board (if I don’t forget).
The following three images show the cutter with the calling sign GRE20. With the white hull of the boat I wanted the water in the first of the three prints to appear rather dark. Printing was straight forward, only the central part with the boat and its mirror image in the water as dodged for 4/12 of an f-stop. The contrast of the second image (GRE20 (2)) was rather high and I decided that the top of the block with the rope would appear almost paper white. What attracted me most for this image was the geometry of the triangles formed by the bow of the cutter and the diagonal white rope. The pole on the left was burned with 5/12 of an f-stop and the section above the shovel was dodged with 9/12 of an f-stop. The photo of the detail of the trawl net needed abundance of patience. The exposure time was 1 s and I wanted a white cloud was behind the top part of the net and the wind which was moving the net back and forth had to take a break. During the Grade-0 exposure (12.4 s) the chain of weights was dodged for 4/12 of an f-stop and the top part and the bottom left ware burned with 6/12 and 3/12 of an f-stop, respectively.
The two photos of the cutter GRE13 ware taken in the early morning. The landscape version was printed with Grade-00 for 15.9 s and Grade-5 for 2.71 s with burning the left and the section on the right including the post, both with 6/12 of an f-stop. The print of the portrait view to the same cutter was dodged for 3/12 of an f-stop in the central part with boat and the houses.
For the rusty sculpture of a fish skeleton on its concrete pear I would have liked a few clouds in the sky but it was a blue-gray and rather hazy. The first print of the fish received some burning of the bottom part with 9/12 of an f-stop. The second image with the benches in the foreground was burned at both sides with 4/12 at the bottom and 6/12 at the top and the whole sky was burned with an additional full f-stop.
As usual with animals in the scene, the boats with the geese needed some patience – once to have the geese in a nice position, but more to have no tourists disturbing the scene. Printing was straight forward, only the bottom right part received some burning with 4/12 of an f-stop.
The last image of the gallery shows a black cross with a white net. These crosses could be found at many places throughout Greetsiel in the summer of 2023 as an eye-catching protest sign against attempts to put an end to the traditional shrimp fishery for environmental reasons. The photo was taken against the blue sky with an orange filter. The lower left and right corners were burned with 12/12 and 4/12 of an f-stop respectively during the Grade-0 exposure.