Yoshizen's Blog

Kodak Brownie camera and its Images

To bring the analog B/W image to show, its needs to make a paper print (unless we use the scanner and upload straight)  Unlike a color process, B/W print-making is not a kind of automatic mechanical process (even just to choose which paper and one of 5 contrast grade of paper to start, then where to burn etc etc) = lots of interpretations and intentions could bend the original concept. = (if it was only to  check  the quality of the lens or the images, it can be done by just looking close into the Neg’ —- though, just develop the Neg’ = the half century old Ilford film has jumped around and self-scratched by their strong carl, which was made by their own fate =  tightly wound on the narrow spool such a long time ) —– so, I show you the contact print here and forget the individual print at a moment. ( Despite such awkwardness, the B/W test shot showed quite consistent results — made me amazed a bit = So, don’t misjudge the Brownie from its humble looks = once they were the Darling of the era like an iPhone camera now.   😀 ) 

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(B/W contact print above = The film was 50 years old Ilford Selochrome ISO160 / Though, Exposure was given as ISO80 / developed by D-76, 1+1 / 11 min’ on 18°~23° )

Obviously, Brownie camera has no focus neither a good viewfinder (their aerial image finder needs to look-down from feet away = its mean, no eye-level shooting other than a blind-shot) so that, beyond the fun snapshot or memento pictures, it may not suite for critical “Creative” work. 

And this was the test shot by the 15 years old Fuji color film on Brownie camera — (400 ISO Fuji Provia seemed to retain only 200 ISO after 15 years) = still, looks pretty good aren’t they !

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On a casual shot of the Nuns Head Pub, I realized that the notice board was almost legible (Photo right — Did you notice heavy chromatic aberration on the man’s head ?)

Brownie(C)(2)-A09A8225(do not ask the quality of the digital copy —– it was just a DSLR copy by a flash light behind the transparency.) (—– I’ll make more properly digitized photo = when I found white perspex board which  I used before)

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I show you the comparison, The same Brownie photo and the other by Sony A7R — It is obvious, the disadvantage of the blind-shot. (In fact, the Sony’s shot was made next day)

In this situation, not only to test the lens on 35mm DSLR,

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(Those photos here were Brownie lens on the Sony A7R.   Not too bad mean, not brilliant —– on the Bokeh test, this lens showed halo together with chromatic aberration = blue fog on the edge)

I mounted the Brownie lens on a 6×7 SLR (Pentax 6×7) with the additional focus control to see how this lens could perform. (Since, only the lens was taken out ( leaving the shutter mechanism behind, which has been acting as a smaller F-aperture as well)  now the lens is effectively F8 = As the peripheral of the lens which is not the good center part, the image became lot more foggier.)

Brownie(C)(3)-5-002—– This 6×7 body was a spare-body when Pentax 6×7 and  Hasselbrad was my main camera.  I’ve sold those mid’ format cameras when I had a Court battle.  ( I fought for 3 years battle without a lawyer, and in the Court of Appeal, stand against the President Judge who tried to white-wash the case) — It was my same stance “If Canon can do, I can do it too = If the English Lawyer can do, why not a Japanese” —– But, about the camera, nobody wanted to buy this body which has no viewfinder, so that it remained in my hand = still its works as a big camera.   😀  —– On this occasion, I made a waist level view finder using juice-cartoon ( = good to be a sculptor as well)   😀   

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(So, those photos were a bit more properly digitized 6×7 images = Copied on a white perspex, with TTL flashlight behind.)

Brownie(C)Blu-5-005Those are the photos of Brownie lens on the 6×7 SLR. (for those macro shot, extension ring were added too)    (waist level finder was not easy to use = such as, to see reversed left and right in a vertical image ? — Where am I looking at ? )

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(Brownie lens on the Pentax 6×7, shot on the 15 years old Fuji Provia film which were  Digitized by the Canon 5D Mk-3, like making a Copy )

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Kodak Brownie camera and 620 Film (B)

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At last, I got 620 film from the Net and some more 120 film to play with Brownie camera.  😀

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And I perfected the knack to use 120 film on the Brownie camera (by enlarge the holes of 120 film spool, etc.    With much annoyance of the purists over there.  I guess.

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And now I’m ready to do a dark-room work since I got the chemicals, thermometer etc.   I wish I’m still maintaining the skill to wind the film on to a developing reel without leaving my finger-print on the film, in a total darkness.

Though, the room temperature these days are 27, 28 degree = rather hard to keep the developer’s temperature in the tank to 20 degree constant —– on a dry-run test, start with the developer which has been kept in a fridge and 18 degree (after 9, 10 minuets process, it would end-up to 23 degree) may be acceptable. — (have a water-bath with ice-cube, is the another approach though I’m a lazy man and I don’t have ice-cube tray — as they have been used to keep elec’ components.)

So, to see the images in a developed film (color transparency needs to go to a lab) would be a fun.    😀

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Kodak Brownie Camera and 620 Film (A)

Brownie(1)-A09A8156I got THE famous Kodak Brownie camera. In fact my friend found it in a junk shop and brought it to me. I’ve been testing the lenses of many antic cameras, such as Ensign  or other camera.  In most of the case I just tested those lenses mounted on a DSLR’s body = regardless whether the camera’s original format was much larger 6×9 or even larger (such as Kodak Folding No.1A which takes post-card size picture) than DSLR’s 35mm format. Theoretically, by cutting a 4”x5”film to test Kodak Folding camera and take picture, is possible though, its gone too far. (I’m not such crazy) In fact, the film for this Kodak Brownie camera is still available (in certain extent) = In such situation, just test the lens on 35mm DSLR would be a bit of the lost opportunity.    I decided to take silver film photo with this camera.

Brownie(2)-A09A8158Kodak Brownie box camera use 620 size film and takes eight 6×9 (55mm x 85mm exact) photos. The film itself is the same as 120 film but only on much thinner metal film spool. (which mean, 120 film can be re-wound on 620 film spool in the total darkness. (if we could manage = if you google, you may find a Tutorial viz “How to re-wind 620 film”) 

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(Photo from left: 120’s Spool is a bit longer. Second : The pin to hold Spool’s base is 5.4mm so that the hole of 120 film needs to make larger = third photoLast photo showed the frame number = 1 on the back of the camera = while wind the film, the number has to be watched.)

Yet still, as the physical size of the 120 film is about the same (though 120 film’s spool is 1.5mm longer), in practice we can use the 120 film on the Brownie camera. (the hole of the 120 film spool may need to make a bit larger.— Fuji film’s spool seems to run much smoother.) In my cabinet, I found old 120 films, so I’m going to test this Brownie camera with Ilford and Fuji film. —– But before that, I need to know a lot more about this camera.

The situation is as such unclear. The brightness of the lens was not yet known. Even worse, the shutter on the camera, which says 1/80, 1/40 and B setting = we only know B will be B, but who knows how accurate 1/80 or 1/40 was ?

The focal length of the Lens was found to be about 90mm. (90mm lens to 6×9 picture would give nearly 60 degree angle of view = rather wide-angle)

Brownie(4)-5-001Then, I tested to see how bright this lens is. —– (It may seem rather scamp approach though, in such uncertainty, it may work and good enough. = To deal with antic Brownie may not need a rocket science) —– So, the Sony mirrorless A7R body was pressed against the back of Brownie of which shutter was fully opened, and with such and such ISO, see which “Shutter speed” was recommended by Sony ?    Then 90mm lens was mounted on the same A7R with the same ISO, and see which F-aperture of the 90mm lens makes the same shutter speed on A7R ? = With this test, the Brownie Lens was found to be F11. (fixed = no iris control but having so-called “filter”(ND filter ? — but it’s not grey. still makes one stop darker) was built-in)

Now the last question IS, how the Brownie’s 1/80 and 1/40 shutter could perform now ? Again, I used Sony A7R body to measure its exposure level. (Aperture is the size of the supply, say a water pipe, which allow how much amount of water you can get in each moment. And the shutter speed is, how long you open the tap = total amount is the multiply of both)

= While the shutter of A7R was set to 2 second, and its body was pressed against the Brownie’s back, then Brownie’s shutter (either 1/80 or 1/40 setting) was clicked while A7R’s shutter was open (its mean, while 2 second shutter open, 1/80 amount of exposure was given) —–Result of each exposure was compared against the photos taken by the 90mm lens at F11 with A7R’s 1/80 and 1/40 shutter = Amazingly results were quite consistent.   Its mean, on a bright day, Brownie camera could make pretty acceptable picture (I mean, in its exposure level — how pretty would depend on the subject) —– (but only in a bright place = straight under the sun — shadowy corner, cloudy days may need to use higher ISO film = like ISO 400 and even push development) Having only two shutter speed (with the additional effect of “Filter” it’s would be + 1/160 ) seems very restrictive though, think about, to have even the slower speed = 1/20, 1/10, 1/5 would only be the possibility (quick push on B setting may work as ½)  But such as the needs of 1/5 could be substituted by the use of 1/40 with ISO 800 film (one stop push development of ISO 400 film) —– Is it too barbaric approach ? —– Don’t be too serious.   It’s mere Brownie !   Lets make a joke.

Brownie(5)-5On the end, I actually tested this camera with Ilford HP5 B/W film.  (Though, in order to develop this film, re-start to use dark room after 10, 15 years gap needed to workout a lot, not only to get new chemicals, but also to find many small things = where the Temperature-meter has gone ? etc.)  = Fun continues. 

But, in reality, it was found to be not a fun at all.   In order to get hold the B/W film processing things — 120 films, Chemicals, Temperature meter etc, I was asking around many shops who supposed to deal with,—– though Silver Print has gone, either Park Camera or Jessops are no longer dealing with B/W process, and the shop they recommended = Aperture also stopped.   Another possibility is, either Process Surplies in Mountpresent or Parallax of Fusion in Brixton. unless otherwise, get everything from the Net.  (I don’t like)

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Short Walk (B)

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Those photos were another product of the same Short Walk (A), hence using the same homemade lenses Helicoid (A) and (B) on the Sony A7R.     While walking through the park, finding which flower is really a chance encounter, and how to capture it, while seeing the character of the optics and the shape of the flower, how to compose it, in which angle and the distance IS what all about the Photography.  In certain extent, it is a game or the match between the two personalities.  In Zen Buddhist term, we are living on the moment to moment life.   And to deal with the Person (subject just encountered) as if there is nothing else exists and nothing else to do is, so-called Mindfulness, and in this mind-set, there is no Ego.   So, this situation is a proof of the No-self or Anatman.   Yet still, in other stance, to see a subject as a subject might be seen as yet another Ego, therefore not aim the subject but to see everything as the everything may be a right view.   Though, in practice, the image of an ultra-wide angle lens clicked random is just a mess —– so, the question is, whether the Zen needs a nice answer ?    Or such answer itself is not Zen ? ? ?  —– Good question.   What a nice day ! —– Ha ha ha,  😀  

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Helicoid (A) lens happen to have an Iris, so that, by the depth of field control, flower showed a bit more details, still, take the image of Helicoid (B) (photo right) is a matter of the taste.

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Both (A) and (B) lenses, its center of close-up images are amazingly good.

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Those two pictures were given a shake when the shutter was opened. (Don’t ask me what for — it’s only for a fun)

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I realized that I don’t have many photos of the Blue Bell.  May be their flower is too common, yet only in a short period.  Still, why it makes the difference to the Cherry ? —– M m m ?  —– I might have an unconscious notion, that the Cherry is the Japanese but the Blue Bell is English.   But why ? ? ? —– May be because, I didn’t grow up with Blue Bell but with Cherry.   As the photography is a way of the Self expression, it became a kind of a biography.

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Short Walk (A)

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In deed, I haven’t have done a photo-walk a while. —– without a reason = IS a problem = just getting lazy.   So, bashing myself and went out with a camera and two lenses. (still, all in one pocket = that’s a beauty of the small homemade lenses. = Helicoid (A) and (B) lenses with Sony A7R)

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You may wonder what was a point to have those two lenses.   Ha ha ha, you are right.  Both of them are equally fuzzy lenses.  The differences were, —– if the fuzzy surrounding has Coma bokeh, it was the (A) lens.  And if it was with Astigmatism bokeh, it was the (B) lens.   Both for the sake of painterly effect which I like very much.

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Cherry Cherry – 2018

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Since I put the photo of the first cherry, it’s already 3 weeks past.  They are still in full bloom though, the flowers started falling. The end of Somei-yoshino season.   (Then Multi petals cherry is coming.)

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So, this year’s Cherry pictures were made by “Helicoid-B” lens.  (One of the worst reputed lens ! = therefore in these days I’ve been using the most.   😀 )

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Without me shake even a single finger, the picture became almost trembled. ( = The technique to produce the paintary effect in the most economical way !     😀 )

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(Only the problem was that the image in the finder was too fuzzy to see the focus.)

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So, those two (three) photos were taken by a kind of normal lens = Tamron SP 500 mm Mirror lens. —— Somebody teased me saying “Can’t you take normal picture ?” “I leave that kind of business to the Phone camera user, otherwise no point for me to use bulky interchangeable lens camera”   😀

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Though, the Tamron gave me too pale color.  (May be I need to use Photoshop kind though, that’s what I hate most.)

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What ? — OMG, it’s Cherry flower

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On the street, I found a dropped Cherry flower.   —– ?    What ?   —– I looked up, OMG it was a cherry tree started to open the flowers.   Only few days ago, there was nothing.  It’s suddenly happened.  I picked up a dropped flower and a bud to bring back.

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I put the flowers on the water in a lens cap.  And took pictures.  (After a while, a bud opened as well) —– It was a kind of my habit in these days, which was to make the photos for comparison = the photo left above was taken by Sony 30 mm F3.5 Macro and the right was by Helicoid-B lens.

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So, this year’s first Somei-yoshino flowers were put next to the kitchen tap = In fact, this IS my photo studio.  (All the “Studio shot” in my Blog were taken in this “Studio” !    Another funny fact was — that all those homemade lenses were made in this kitchen work shop, and almost all of my sculptures were also produced in here.)  

It’s very simple, if we need to make, make it, or just do it.   There may not need to have any good-cause or theory or facility kind.  So, if you have a knife, you can cut.  With the same knife, you can cook as well.  If you can’t, you were just clinging an excuse of not to do or even worse you might be waiting somebody to push your back.   😀     (By the way, this is in deed the way of Zen = Zen need no cause or reason to do.  In fact Zen is to eliminate anything that kind.  Therefore Mushin (Mind of No mind) still, even a mind to think No-mind shouldn’t be there, = hence “Everyday’s Mind” (Heijo-shin 平常心). That’s why to able to be in the Everyday’s mind which is nothing special / peculiar  (is so ubiquitous as a dog shit) IS the Enlightenment. 

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Screen Copy by Fuzzy Lens

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The outside is still cold and not much flower, and, I’m not keen to take picture of cut flower = so, just took photo of a flower in my old post screen using very fuzzy Helicoid-B lens.

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When I try, I realized that the old screen of XP laptop makes moire pattern, so I changed it to iPad screen. (though, iPad screen makes the color a bit artificial)

Following 4 set of those photos, Left side were the original and the right photos were the screen shot. (All those photos came from Somewhere Net website —– I hope they don’t fuss about the copyright)  (If you Google, you may find the same very easily)

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Ideally, I should take the original photo myself though, I’m no longer such keen —– (and neither the model herself keen to see dirty old man.  Ha ha ha.  😀 )

I think you may agree, we don’t need to see too much details of the girls.  We are not seeing the woman like an ological specimen.   In certain extent, the beauty of the flower is the same = We only need to feel its atmosphere. (If we go into the details of the flower, often they are rather grotesque. —– after all,  flower is the sexual organ of the plant. —– or, am I a sexcist ?)

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Maple flowers

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Maple tree outside (said to be Oregon Maple though, I’m not sure) is having flowers.

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They don’t looks like flowers still, they must be.  As they produce the two-winged seed later.   And it seems they can pollinate themselves (or blown by the wind ?) as I don’t see any insect around.  —– There are many forms of life. (not only cherry is the flower.   😀

(Those photos were taken by Tamron 500 mm F8 mirror lens though, as it was done through the dusty double grazed window, the image was not sharp at all.)

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Two weeks later, how they looks now.  Though, I haven’t necessary been kept watching all the process how their tangled red things changed to this.  Photo above left might be the female flower and the right might be the male — but not sure. (Yes, I was wrong)

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You believe or not, the one above photo, the right one was taken by 1000 mm lens.  In fact, a x2 tele-converter was added to Tamron 500 mm lens. = Long time ago I bought this £5 converter as a joke, thinking to make it for a close-up ring by removing the optics.  But now I know, this was not a junk.   With x2 converter, F8 lens become F16, so that on DSLR’s optical view finder it become too dark to focus. (Unless we use live-view on the back screen)   But, mirror-less camera can show the amplified bright image, even focus-peaking is working ! = It’s their biggest advantage.   (still, 1000 mm lens was not suite for hand-held shot.)   😀      (Since I found their dropped flowers, I’ll show you =  You  can see them developing to the full winged seed.)  Then I remember, one of my Zeiss lens for Sony showed AF malfunction (hence, I realized that’s was why it was so cheap) I gave another look. = While making a test shot on manual focus.

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The picture here was by Zeiss (Sony) SEL55F18Z (55mm) Aperture was set to F8 (about 1/100 sec, hand held) and to show the enlarged center as well — pretty good isn’t it !  (By the way, Winged Seed pod right was the same pod wrongly appeared as Male, before.  Well nobody is perfect.  😀 ) 

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But, it might be too unfair to the other lens.  I did the same test by Micro Nikkor 55 mm F3.5 = this was the lens, the Nikon themselves named that “their best lens ever designed.” (Canon EF gives  no F-setting on Sony (unless use a £100 Sigma adapter)  and the others such as Contax, Pentax, Olympus, etc, I would give sometime another occasion.  😀 )  —– If we use the lens careful enough, and the camera has Hi-res sensor (Nikon D850 has 47.2 Mp / Sony A7R has 32 Mp ) they could produce pretty good image, without using a heavy tele-photo lens. (Just crop the picture.  Forget the “Purist’s brah brah kind”)  Anyway, Net is for harmless / useless info’chat or Joke.  😀

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Andreas Gursky Exhibition

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I went an ongoing exhibition of Andreas Gursky in Hayward Gallery with my friend’s family.

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The 16 months boy said to have started to walk this week.

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For the boy,  it was the first experience to be in a huge space and a slippery floor.  And he seemed to be very much fond of that and enjoying.

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Gursky’s huge prints are amazingly sharp and detailed —– I was wondered what size of camera he had used ?  —– Then as I discovered that they were composed from many photos etc, I lost interest.   I rather like to see such work from graphic designers.

 Photo above said to be a landscape of Tokyo though, houses standing next by next without hedges nor the gaps.  Of course, no such place could exists. (Think, how people can access to their door ? — Where is the street ?) = It’s mean, the houses in this photo were stitched-up one by one leaving no gap ! = This IS an utter fake.  Not only that, if his image of Tokyo in its “Reality” was like this, I have to doubt his intelligence. —– You can find the lords of straight photos of Tokyo in the Net, not mention National Geographic kind.   😀

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Photography is the art of “I’ve seen it and I captured” —– The primary existence is the subject. Once we started to make-up and project our own image, its became a business of the designer or even a painter, not of a Photographer.

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It seemed that Gursky’s interest were immense pile-up or swarms of the subjects, hence putting together and repeating many images, were natural approach though it was the commercial graphic designer’s approach.  Impress and overwhelm the others with “immense amount” were noting but a cheap trick, easy exploitation of the digital editing.

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It was the snow outside.   (The Photos here were taken by either Canon fish-eye zoom 8~15mm or homemade Helicoid-B lens on Sony A7R.)

PS :  Next day I read the booklet of the exhibition and realized that Gursky applied all those stitch work / digital manipulation for the “sake of reality” and later, he wanted to have painterly effect blah blah (by taking picture of the Turner’s paintings   :-D) ….. though, very simple answer to him was that his image was not pretty,  but just messy = does anybody want to have his photo on your wall, other than a sake of snob ?   😀

To compose the image, Approach from the pattern is easy, because it can be done in logical thinking.   But esthetic beauty only come from the deep intuitive sense.  So, its easy to see why Gursky resorted with those pattern or repeating expansion in mass.  But it IS not the art, but an industrial production.   ( Or was that cynical Modern Art ?)

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