Andrew Kohn Photographer: Blog http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog en-us (C) Andrew Kohn Photographer andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Tue, 30 Sep 2014 00:35:00 GMT Tue, 30 Sep 2014 00:35:00 GMT http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/img/s7/v162/u401836504-o572901913-50.jpg Andrew Kohn Photographer: Blog http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog 120 69 MayDay at the Vitkovice IronWorks http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/9/mayday-at-the-vitkovice-ironworks Thanks to Jiri Hrdina I visited the Ironworks on May 1st. It is completely different

Mayday at the Ironworks

On MayDay the Iron works becomes a giant street party

Mayday at the Ironworks

With games for kids and adults

May Day at the Vitkovice Iron WorksMay Day at the Vitkovice Iron WorksChildrens sack race in the shadow of giant iron works equipment.

May Day at the Vitkovice Iron WorksMay Day at the Vitkovice Iron WorksChildren competiting in an egg and spoon race in front of a rusting crucible, a large bucket used for transporting molten iron.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art

Archery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clowns

Clowns Clowns

                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clowns

 

 

Pinotrio

Live Music A Band 'Pinotrio' playing great R&B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinotrio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People were renewing their 'Vows' for the camera

Renewing their Vows

 

Renewing their Vows Renewing their Vows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Fried Potato & Cheese BBQ Lots of Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taste good

 

 

 

 

 

Beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Warhol's 'Soup Cans'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and of course Beer

 

 

 

 

with an Andy Warhol above the Bar.

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/9/mayday-at-the-vitkovice-ironworks Tue, 30 Sep 2014 00:34:38 GMT
Ostrava-Vitkovice Iron Works http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/8/vitkovice-iron-works  

On the 28th April 1948, according to my birth certificate, I was born in the  #753 Works Hospital 

 

Ondrej Kohn Birth Certificate Birth Cert Translation

 

 

 

I knew that this was the hospital attached to the Ostrava-Vitkovice Ironsworks,

I grew up with an images of a hospital that was part of a giant industrial complex that produced Iron and Steel

Machines-10The Ironworks

 

....I wasn't disappointed.

The Ironworks

When I planned my 66th birthday trip to the Czech Republic I wanted a specific photographic project.

The Vitkovice Iron Works seem to offer all the right ingredients for photographs.

Machines-14The Ironworks

 

The last furnace tapping in Vítkovice took place in 1998.

In 2002 the government declared the decommissioned part of the ironworks a national cultural monument.

In 2008 it was added to the emerging list of European Cultural Heritage.

Preservationists would also like to see it included in the UNESCO world heritage list.

 

 

 

 

The abandoned buildings and machinery gave me ideal subject matter.

It was like a 'Hollywood set' for a 'Post Apocalypse' movie.

The Ironworks The Ironworks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ironworks The Ironworks The Ironworks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ironworks

 

The Ironworks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are parts of the Iron Works that are still  producing Steel 

Steel Balls Steel Balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I didn't know was that on the May Day 

a Blue Balloon

The Ostrava-Vitkovice Irons Works Complex becomes... something completely different

To be continued........

 

 

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) European Cultural Heritage Iron Works Ostrava-Vitkovice Vitkovice giant machinery http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/8/vitkovice-iron-works Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:23:43 GMT
Bruntal - My Father's Hometown http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/8/bruntal-my-dads-hometown "​The last two blogs were downbeat. I don't want the reader to think that my birthday journey was some kind of pilgrimage to the 'camps' Auschwitz & Terezin where my father's family died. These were side journeys, the reason for this trip was to celebrate my birthday where I was born and lived for the first 18 months of my life". 

 

Bruntal was the highlight of my journey. Bruntal Czech RepublicBruntal Czech RepublicMain Square

I had contacted the Mayor of Bruntal, Petr Rys, before my trip, and had been invited to meet with him at the town hall. I didn't know what to expect... perhaps a handshake and a brief conversation.

The greeting was beyond anything I could imagine.

"Surprise"Meeting Petr Rys The Mayor of Bruntal 'ALTVATER'One gift was a drink my father liked.

Petr treated me as a long lost friend and gave me gifts and a luncheon in his office. There was a local historian Pavel Rapusak  and an interpreter and even a crew from the local TV station. We staged a 'surprise' meeting after the first hellos. I was asked to got out and re enter the office and act surprised for the cameras.

Lunch in the Mayors Office Looking at my father's documents

Everyone was so friendly and interested in my story that Vaclav Pospisil the interpreter, who's English was faultless, had difficulty keeping up with their questions and my answers. I had my father's documents, from his time in Bruntal. Pavel Rapisak, who is Chairman of the Club for Old Bruntal, asked for copies so he could research my family history. Pavel spends his retirement researching the history of Bruntal. He has promised to tell me what he discovers.

 

Sharing my father's documents with Pavel Interviewed by local TV station  

I spent the afternoon with Pavel and Vaclav Pospisil walking around Bruntal.

BruntalThe old town seen through the communist era apartment blocks.

 

 

He showed me the town and the changes under the communists.

 

The new and the old Bruntal

 

 

BruntalCommunist era apartment blocks BruntalOld Linen factory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BruntalSome buildings are in bad shape BruntalCommunist era apartment blocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

The Château of Bruntál Bruntal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pavel Rapusak.Pavel Rapusak.Chairman of the Cub for old Bruntal and local patriot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sundial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really connected with Pavel  even talking through an interpreter. Pavel is a keen amateur photographer we have the same Pentax Camera.

 

 

 

 

 

He showed me buildings and areas, that perhaps, where my father had lived and worked.

BruntalPossibly the Kohn Office Building BruntalPerhaps the Kohn family home, now a kindergarten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before Vaclav, the interpreter had to leave, Pavel invited me to meet with his photographer friends in a local ‘Chinese restaurant’. 

Pavel Rapusak.Pavel Rapusak.Beer with Pavel and his photographer friends. Photography was are only common language

Later in the day I met  Pavel and a group of his amateur photographers friends. Although we had no common language other than photography we communicated by showing pictures to each other they had prints and I the screen on the back of my cameras. After a lot of laughs and a few beers, mine being non alcoholic, I drove back to my hotel in Krnov.

 

"Even non-alcoholic Czech beer tastes good".

 

I stayed in Krnvo, 20 km from Bruntal and drove to and from Bruntal through the countryside.

The road to Bruntal The road to Bruntal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fields of Rape seed The Bruntal - Krnov road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hay Making

The landscape and people made me realise why Sigi(my father) liked living in Howth, Ireland and retired to the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada.

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Czech Republic http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/8/bruntal-my-dads-hometown Mon, 11 Aug 2014 02:43:12 GMT
Theresienstadt/Terezin http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/7/terezin My reaction to Terezin Ghetto and concentration camp was more emotional than Auschwitz-Birkenau

Terezin or Theresienstadt, the Austro-Hungarian name, is in many ways more sinister than Auschwitz.

The first impression is one of an normal town.

Terezin Ghetto Exezierplatz Terezin GhettoSmall Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terezin GhettoExezierplatz Terezin Ghetto Small Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That was the whole idea.

The NAZIs needed a place to settle 'well known' Jewish interlectuals and celebrities who were famous domestically and internationally. They needed a place that would confirm their propagandaThe settlement of the Jews in the East. Theresienstadt was the ideal place for a "Show Ghetto".

Theresienstadt was originally built in 1780 by Emperor Joseph II of Austria and named after his mother, Empress Maria Theresa. Terezin consisted of the Big Fortress and the Small Fortress.  However, Terezin had not been used as a fortress since 1882; Terezin had become a garrison town that remained virtually the same, almost entirely separated from the rest of the countryside. The Small Fortress was used as a prison for dangerous criminals.

When the SS took over the 18th century Garrison Town of Theresienstadt with its prison in 'The Small Fortress' they evacuated the Czechs living there and converted the garrison town into the Ghetto and the prison to the concentration camp. 

Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration CampEntrance to the Terezin concentration camp in the Terezin small fortress photo by: Petr Pospisil Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the prison in the Small Fortress, which became the concentration camp, though austere was not as horrific as Auschwitz,

Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration Camp Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However these conditions have to been seen in context.  Theresienstadt as a garrison town and prison had a population of 7,500 as a ghetto and concentration camp had a population of 60,000. 

Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration Camp Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Older Jews where sent to Theresienstadt to died from lack of food, slave labour and disease.

My grandmother Ida Kohnova was shipped to Theresienstadt in May 1942 by August1942 she was dead.

Ida KohnovaTransit documents

Which isn't surprising when you see the representation of the living conditions.

Terezin GhettoMuseum recreation of the living conditions in the Ghetto. Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Museum: Recreation of the living conditions in the Terezin Ghetto. It was in these conditions that my grandmother Ida Kohn died.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theresienstadt was also a transit camp to the death camps. My aunt and uncle Irena and Hugo Kauder

Irena KauderovaIrena Kauderova

Hugo KauderHugo Kauder

 were transported to Terezin on the 22 December 1942 and transported on to Auschwitz a month later on the 23 January 1943 where we can assume they were killed. There is no specific record of their deaths. 

Cell in Terezin Concentration CampMy uncle Hugo was imprisoned here for a month before being killed in Auschwitz. Wemon Cells TerezinMy aunt Irene was imprisoned here for a month before being killed in Auschwitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is quite likely that they were held in these cells.

Train Tracks out of Terezin These are the train tracks that took them, and thousand others, to their deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Theresienstadt was slave labour ghetto and concentration camp, not an extermination camp. 15000 people died from the terrible conditions and punishment executions.

Tunnel through the ramparts Terezin500 meter tunnel Through the 500 meter tunnel in the Small Fortress ramparts is the area where prisoner were executed.

On the Gallows

Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration Camp Gallows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 or  by firing squad

Firing squad wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terezin, to me, was about individuals especially in the Ghetto Museum. In the main room on the ground floor all the walls are cover in names.

Terezin Ghetto and Concentration CampTerezin Ghetto and Concentration CampList of Kohn names in the Terezin Ghetto Museum. I was looking for my grandmothers name 'Ida Kohnova' until I realised, from the dates beside each name, these were the names of children. None of them were a direct relation. Kohnova is the feminine of Kohn in Czech.

Searching for my grandmother Ida Kohnova I suddenly realised that the date of birth after each name meant they were children and teenagers.

Exhibit in the Ghetto Museum Children's Drawings

This Ghetto Building had been an orphanage and school for the children.

The Ghetto Museum building had been their home and school where the teachers were some of the best minds in Europe. However they lived in constant dread of The Transports.

"Transport! In Theresienstadt, no word was so terrible and frightening as that. The prisoners trembled even at the thought of it. Not only because of the closed and ominous freight cars or the fact that people were stuffed into them without food or drink for many days, but also because of what was awaiting them at their new destination. Usually, the transports were to Birkenau in Poland, where despite of its isolation from the outside world, it was known that besides harder work, less and worse food and beatings by the SS, there were also gas chambers.” 

Written by: Benzion Epelmann, Terezin survivor 

The education was of little practical use. The children who drew the above pictures were exterminated, with the  thousand names on the walls, in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The death of children is always tragic... children are the future. 

It was this, that struck home to me, the extermination of these children and the millions both Jew and gentile adults in the Holocaust has change our future. These children of Terezin would by now have had children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren.

 We can only surmise what they might have achieved. 

This is also true of the genocide of millions in "ethnic cleansing" or whatever the media decide to call murder in the name of economics, race or religion.

Terzin GhettoMy reactions

 

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Czech Republic Jewish Children Jews Terezun The SS theresienstadt http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/7/terezin Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:37:40 GMT
Auschwitz http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/6/auschwitz Work brings Freedom

AuschwitzAuschwitz Admin and Medical building protected by electrified fences. Auschwitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auschwitz held no surprises for me. I had seen films and pictures of the camp and the buildings. I didn't experience a feeling of evil or dread that others who had visit the death camp said they felt.

Auschwitz-25Birkenau

Auschwitz-11Berkenau Barracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   It was surreal to see the actual places where so many people had lived and died in such barbaric conditions.

Remains of the Barrack Chimneys

 

Transport Box Car on the Birkenau Rail Track

Even knowing that my Aunt and Uncle had died there. Auschwitz didn't have the effect on me I thought it would.

Irena Kauderova Transit Document: my auntShipped from Terezin to Auschwitz 23.1.1943

Transit Document Hugo Kauder: my uncleShipped from Terezin to Auschwitz 23.1.1943

I was lucky to have an intelligent and pragmatic father. We discussed his being a refugee away from the deaths of his mother and sister. His disappointment was that his christian Czech friends and neighbours had not protected or helped them. To my father the attitude of the Germans to the Jews wasn't any different than other nationalities. The Nazi SS persecution was more methodical and efficient.

Inside a BarrackPrisoners sleep 5/6 to a bed. Inside a Barrackprisoners sleep 5/6 to a'bed' .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toilets

 

Auschwitz seemed to be about the number of prisoners and deaths, and not about individuals. Which was, of course, the NAZIs 'Final Solution' .

When looking at the dates of the development of Auschwitz it is initially alarming the amount of organisation, manpower and transport that the SS was able to requisitioned for their death camps at a time when the German army was fighting and losing on three fronts.

However Concentration Camps were an integral part of the German war effort and big business for the SS. Aside from stealing prisoner's possessions and property the inmates were hired out as slave labour to German industry.

 

 

 

 

Martin Netocny, a Czech photographer was travelling with me to take pictures of my visit for an Irish Times article. We had arrived early so we had access to the camp without a group and guide.

Main Buildings Auschwitz Looks like a housing estate.

Martin Netocry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The buildings away from the electrified fences look very much like a small town or village.

Main Street Auschwitz

 

 

The March of the Living was visiting Auschwitz on the same day and by 10.00 a.m. the entrance was crowded with teenagers and their handlers. Including a group of Isreali security .

Groups at the entrance to Auschwitz Groups at the entrance to AuschwitzPhoto Opt?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Groups at the entrance to Auschwitz Groups at the entrance to AuschwitzIsraeli Security

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I'm honest it had the feel of Disney Camp rather than Death Camp.

Israeli Group at the entrance to Auschwitz Tour Headphones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March of the Living Group Touring the CampNot the most appropriate T shirt?....perhaps it is!

The March of the Living had placed markers to remember the dead on the train tracks going into Birkenau camp. 

'March of the Living' Markers on the Train Tracks leading to BirkenauThe Markers are to remember the dead.

BirkenauThe March of the Living walking around the ruins of the Gas Chambers

They also circled the ruins of the Gas Chambers.

BirkenauThe March of the Living walking around the ruins of the Gas Chambers

 

The ruins of the Birkenau gas chambers

 

The SS had dynamited the Gas Chambers as they deserted the camps ahead of the Red Army.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...for the millions that died in Auschwitz-Birkenau these mementos express the tragedy of the individual.

Flowers in a Birkenau Barrack A rock on the tracks BirkenauA combined German and Israeli flag?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rock on the tracks BirkenauMichi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The small Gas Chamber AuschwitzFlowers and candles

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Auschwitz Auschwitz-Birkenau Birkenau Final Solution Gas Chambers Holocaust March of the Living Nazi Poland SS http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/6/auschwitz Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:55:52 GMT
My 66th Birthday http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/6/my-66th-birthday I spent the morning of my birthday walking up a 'Slag Heap' called 'Halda Ema'.  

My Czech Birth Cert Czech Birth CertTranslation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My photographer friend Jiri Hrdina collected me at the hotel and after a short tram ride we walked to Halda Ema

Me And Jiri

Halda Ema is a man made hill on the outskirts of Ostrava. It was built out of the waste materials from mining.  

A hard climb

The top of Ema

 

 

 

 

 

To be honest, at one point, I doubted that I was going to survive my 66th birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the view from the top.

Ostrava

 

  We walked back into Ostrava past disused mine buildings and miners housing  ...... 

Miners Houses

Old Mine Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

......we headed into town for my meeting with Sladovník Zdeněk, Head of Foreign Department. at Ostrava Town Hall.

 

Outside Ostrava Town Hall

Mr.Sladovnik Zdenek and me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Sladovnik was  friendly but wasn’t quite sure why I was there. Hana Lojkaskova his P.A (who took the photograph) was more enthusiastic about my visit and story and presented me with a gift.

 

 

Ostrava Town Hall

After the meeting I took photographs from the observation platform at the top of the Town Hall.

Old OstravaVitkovice Iron work in the background

30.Dubna Apartment Blocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Czech Drivers understand roundabouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ostrava is an Industrial citydespite the closing of the Iron Works.

 

While I walked uptown I had to shelter from a thunderstorm.

Heavy Rain Heavy Rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I met the Kilduffs and their son in the Coffee Bus.

The Kilduffs

                                                                                               

  After chatting to the Kilduffs I returned to the hotel to meet Martin Netocny.  

Martin

Martin is a photography student of Jiri Hrdina at the Ostrava Secondary School of the Arts.

The Irish Times had asked me to get photographs of me on the trip. Martin had agreed to take pictures on the next part of my journey.

Driving through the night, I had rented a car, we stayed overnight in Brzescze, Poland at the Hotel Babel.

We spent the evening into the night of my 66th birthday drinking Polish beer in the Hotel Bar and chatting about 1960s music ........... just up the road from Auschwitz-Berkinau.

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Czech Republic Halda Ema Kilduffs Ostrava Ostrava Town Hall http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/6/my-66th-birthday Tue, 03 Jun 2014 23:56:31 GMT
A Romantic Irish Story in Ostrava http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/5/a-sweet-irish-story-in-ostrava While wondering around Ostrava on Sunday I came across this 'Coffee Bus'.

The Coffee Bus

The next day, when I passed, it was open and I started chatting to an Irish couple, The Kilduffs from Roscommon.

Rowan in the BusDONATE?..... The city won't give them a licence to sell coffee however that can give it away free and ask for donations.

They were visiting the son Rowan who has a really romantic story. 

According to his father “ While traveling in Nepal Rowan called his dad and told him he’d met the girl he planned to marry though he hadn’t spoken to her yet”. Obviously he screwed up the courage to talk to her, a Czech girl, because Rowan now lives with her in Ostrava and teaches English and music at an International school.

 

 

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Coffee Bus Kilduffs Ostrava romance http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/5/a-sweet-irish-story-in-ostrava Fri, 23 May 2014 01:17:54 GMT
People in the Czech Repulic http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/5/people-in-the-czech-repulic Wherever I go I always photograph people.

This a selection of people that I photographed on my journey in the Czech Republic.

 

I can never thank Jiri Hrdina Czech People -16Jiri Hrdina enough for his friendship and help in Ostrava. Jiri HrdinaJiri Hrdina Jiri is a teacher at The Art Secondary School in Ostrava. He took it upon himself to be guide,mentor and most of all friend.

I can't thank him enough I wouldn't have  done or seen a fraction of Ostrava without Jiri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday in Ostrava

Salsa Dancers in The SquareSalsa Dancers in The SquareThis photographer was taking photographs of the dancers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Blonde and a Brunette deep in conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sunday Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for a Tram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paying the Bill.

 

People in Bruntal

A walking Lunch. Lunchtime Beer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hole-in-the-wall.

Worried woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of the market stalls sell potting plants.

Throwing out the window wash water. This old guy was selling gnomes and religious icons. for all religions?

 

Mayday at the Votkovice Iron Works

On May first the old Iron Works is changed into a giant street party

Mayday at the Vitkovice Iron WorksSack Race Pitching Art work Egg and Spoon Race Clown. Deep fried potato and cheese pancakes and Beer. Even on Mayday part of the factory is still working

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/5/people-in-the-czech-repulic Wed, 21 May 2014 00:19:20 GMT
First Day in Ostrava http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/5/first-day-in-ostrava I had always planned to spend the 1st day in Ostrava just wondering around recording my first impressions.  

I left my hotel and the 1st thing I see is this car advertising Sushi.

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

Which is pretty amazing considering that Ostrava is considering that Ostrava is over 600 km from any sea.

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

 

Though it was Sunday morning these women were cleaning the footpath outside the pub.

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic                                                                                 

 

 

                                                                          

 

 

 

 

 

The Kiosks and food shops fascinated me. 

 

 

 

 

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic MASARYK SQUARE

 

Ostrava is a contrast of OLD against NEW.

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Renovation is very much a work in progress.

 

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

This old building style is Austrian-Hungarian Empire

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 Buildings from the communists and coal mining era.

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because it was Sunday there wasn't a lot of people around. These were some that caught my eye.

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This photographer was photographing a pair of Salsa dancers in the square.

 

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Czech PeopleCzech PeopleOstrava Czech Republic

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I spent the evening in the Masaryk square to take some night shots

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and so to Bed....

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Czech People Czech Republic Night Shots Ostrava http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/5/first-day-in-ostrava Thu, 08 May 2014 21:36:02 GMT
Arrival in Ostrava http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/4/arrival-in-ostrava I am afraid that there was no cathartic moment when I landed on the land of my birth. Just a long wait to go through immigration. The bored official didn’t even pick up on my ‘place of birth’ Ostrava on my U.K. passport. On the other hand I didn’t lie down and kiss the earth.

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

Ostrava is new Airport. I should have taken the bus but I was being old and decided to get a taxi. I had delayed to take images of the Ostrava sign so I was behind the two women who, as it worked out, got the last Taxi.

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

So there I was standing hopefully in an empty taxi rank listening to the sound my Ryanair plane took off. Which was the last flight for the day. I started to wonder, as the airport closed, why any Ostrava taxi driver would bother to come all the way out to an empty airport. I was desperately trying to remember the phone number on the rear of the taxi 80033????

Ostrava Czech RepublicOstrava Czech Republic

I asked a man and wife with a couple of kids, coming out of the airport, how I could get a Taxi. As the wife went inside to ask he, Radek Lansky decided to give me a lift into Ostrava. Radek has a Volvo SUV so I travel in style, listening to a Cz Country Radio Station.

 

They dropped  me off right outside my hotel in the centre of Ostrava. Needless to say I have friended Radek on Facebook.

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/4/arrival-in-ostrava Sun, 27 Apr 2014 23:40:49 GMT
Return after 65 Years http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/4/return-after-65-years This April I am celebrating my 66th birthday in Ostrava in the Czech Republic. This will be the first time I have been in the Czech Republic for 65 years. On the 28April 1948 I was born in the Vitkovice Iron Works Hospital, as the communists took control of the Czechoslovakian government. In fact according to my father, “When my mother was admitted into hospital it was a private fee paying hospital by the time she left with me the Communist State paid the bill”. 

My Czech Birth Certificate

I spent my 1st year in Bruntal my father’s home town.

 

My father Sigmund Kohn, a member of the Free Czech Army, had met and married my my mother Marion McCombie in England during WW2.  After the War they, and their twin daughters Ida and Julia, returned  to his home town Bruntal where he re-established the family business.The Kohn family had been ‘Grain Merchants’ in Bruntal for five generations. Czechoslovakia was a Democratic Republic from 1945 until the1948 Czechoslovakian coup.

 

My father found it difficult to live and work under the communists regime. In 1949 we left Czechoslovakia and moved as refugees to the U.K.

Press Article on our arrival in U.K.

 

This was the second time my father was a refugee.

 

He left Czechoslovakia for Great Britain in1938 as a refugee after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia. The rest of his family died in concentration camps. My grandmother Ida Kohnova died in the ‘show ghetto’ Theresienstadt  My uncle and aunt, Hugo Kauder and Irene Kauderova, were killed in Auschwitz Berkenau. 

 

American Red Cross Letter Records of Transportation Documents

 

Hugo Kauder Transportation DocumentMy Uncle Irena Kauderova Transportation DocumentMy Aunt Ida Kohnova Transportation DocumentMy Grandmother

 

My family moved to Dublin in 1955. I have often considered a return visit to where I was born. However for various personal and political reasons I have never made that journey. I have no memories of Czechoslovakia. In a world where nationalism seems to be such a force in peoples lives I am intrigued how I will react emotionally a visit to 'the land of my birth'.

 

However I was never really comfortable to return as just a tourist. 

 

I have been professional photographer all my working life. Last year I retired after teaching photography for 15 years and returned to freelance photography. I have been looking for a personal photography project to mark the next stage of my career.

 

I plan to photograph the week, around my birthday, in the Czech Republic. I have arranged to meet with The Mayors of Ostrava and Bruntal and visit the Iron Works Hospital. I will visit the Auschwitz Concentration camp.where my uncle and aunt were killed and Theresienstadt where my Grandmother died. I also plan do a photography essay on the Ostrava-Vitkovice Iron Works.

 

Conor Goodman and Frank Miller, Editors at The Irish Times, have asked me to write and photograph a feature about my trip. Apart from my photographs the they want pictures of me. A Czech photographer Ubald Rutar was a student on my commercial photography course at Killester College. Ubald now lives 2 hours from Ostrava and will take photographs of my visit.

I have also been in contact with Jiri Hrdina a photography teacher at The Secondary School of Visual Arts, Ostrava . I will be meeting him and hope to be involved in a photography workshop with his students at the Vitkovice Iron Works

 

Apart from the Irish Times feature. I plan to Blog about the trip. I also hope to produce an exhibition.

 

 

 

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Auschwitz Bruntal Czech Republic Ostrava Theresienstadt Vitkovice Iron Works http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/4/return-after-65-years Thu, 24 Apr 2014 01:07:30 GMT
UGLY HANDS IN PHOTOGRAPHS http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/1/what-to-do-with-hands  

 

SORRY I DELETED THESE IMAGES BY MISTAKE

 

I came across the photograph of Anne Hathaway and the Covers of the February Issues of various Magazines   

They reminded me of one of my pet peeves ....Ugly hands in photographs. 

Way back in the late sixties my portraiture lecturer, W. Marynowicz, at Ealing School of Photography was very definite about the role hands in portraiture.

 

                                     "If the hands don't look good the picture doesn't work". 

     

When possible 'lose them'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                   When 'square on' to the camera the hand is about the same size as a  face.

                                                   It competes with the face in for the viewers attention.

 

Fingers if not posed they look like a half a pound of sausages.  

  MR-Before Ceremony-65MR-Before Ceremony-65

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  When hands are used they should serve some purpose and should be posed to look good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  However there is always the risk that the hands look more like a claw.

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                                                                              or just a total mess.

 

 

                   The other images are from Brian Smith photography, Morgan The Agency and Assets Model Agency.

 

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Head-shots Ugly hands http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2014/1/what-to-do-with-hands Fri, 31 Jan 2014 15:04:16 GMT
THE HEADSHOT http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2013/9/the-headshot  

head shot or headshot is a modern portrait for today’s branding needs, where the focus of the photograph is the personality inside the person captured.

Steve DempseySteve DempseyPolicy Director at Oireachtas

Zombie BrideZombie March Dublin 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A head shot is an image that portrays a person as he or she is, however simple or stylized the image might be.

 

 

 

 

In contrast to the head shot, an environmental portrait would portray a person with elements of their life such as work and interests.

Monica Loughmanhttp://monicaloughmanballet.ie/ . Monica Loughmanhttp://monicaloughmanballet.ie/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AcrobatAcrobat in the rigging to Fryderyk Chopin Tall Ship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yossa AuldHead Chef at Matt the Thrasher Restaurant, Dublin

Wok ChefHot Wok Restaurant Dublin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate headshots are similar to those used by actors.

 

Peter SquiresSquires & Co Rebecca Dore, Model60s Photo shoot Dublin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These images are most often produced digitally and distributed electronically, though some companies still favor displaying a printed version. Lighting for corporate headshots is simple and nondramatic, but flattering.Traditional headshots are still taken in a studio setting, though shots "on-location" or "in-the-field" continue to increase in popularity.

 

 

 

Angela GreshamMarketing at Squires & Co. Connor DempseyConnor DempseyPrincipal at Dempsey Corporate LauraModel Test Shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In both cases, backgrounds continue to be simple. Subjects are often shown head-to-midchest, or from head to just above the waist.

 

Corporate headshots serve a variety of purposes, including:                      

  • Annual reports
  • (Nonstandard) resumes
  • Corporate catalogs, brochures and advertising collateral
  • Company publications and websites, internal and external
  • Press releases and other announcements
  • Marketing materials

Shane MacThomaisHistorian, Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin

 

 

 

Business portraits are about marketing, branding and the business of your industry.

Andrea Kohn Trainee Chef at Matt the Thrasher, Dublin

Captain of the TALL SHIP CUAUHTEMOCSaluting the Mexican Flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are a visual representation of your competence and reputation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Branding Business Portrait Headshot corporate headshots portrait" ënvironmental http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2013/9/the-headshot Fri, 06 Sep 2013 14:56:44 GMT
THOU SHALL NOT TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2013/8/thoushallnottakephotographs I am fed up with people telling me who, what and when I can photograph people.

I have started a new Facebook page called “Dublin Street Fashion" where I will post images of people on the streets of Dublin. 

All my working life I have photographed people as I see them with or without their permission.

Rain Berlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

It’s what a camera does. ‘capture the moment’.

Exscape_

if anything interferes..... that moment has past forever.

Old Man New Mexico

When a photographer worries about the rights and wrongs of taking images it can influence their concentration and focus. It feels like someone is breathing down their back.

People seem to have a problem with street photography claiming ‘invasion of privacy’.  

I accept that what I do is rude.

Aren't we rude, to people, on a daily bases for no good reason.

I used to tell my photography students that if you are going to be rude it has to be for the sake of a good photograph.

When I started photography in London in the 45 years ago people were far less uptight about everything including being photographed....but then it was the 60s Square Dancer, Dallas

Let me make it quite clear. There is no law in Ireland that stops me taking photographs in a public place. 

 A man on the Dart told me I had no right taking a photograph of a passenger, not him, until I told him “I’m a photographer it’s my job’

Dart Reader This incident was trivial, however the image in the camera is so fragile it can change from great to boring  in a faction of a second.

Stopping me from taking a photograph is akin to controlling my right to think. If I see something that interests me I’m allowed to tell everyone about it. I can write about it, BLOG or TWITTER about it.

If I have a talent or skill I can even paint it and it may be applauded as art...... Conversation Henry Street

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So why shouldn’t I be able to use a camera to create an image?

 

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) Street Photography THOU SHALL NOT TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2013/8/thoushallnottakephotographs Wed, 14 Aug 2013 12:07:19 GMT
Moving on not retiring http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2013/7/moving-on-not-retiring Many people when they retire have a party or at least go out for a few pints. 

In my case I have a completely different approach I organized a photography session.

Rebacca Dore

 

As luck would have it I had been contact by Rebecca Dore, an aspiring model. She was interested in a photo-shoot.  Our idea was a 'sixties look' for which she had the perfect dress.The dress was black with white detail so I let the subject dictate the location. Ironically I started my photography career in 1960's London plus I own a black Vespa scooter.  What I wanted to achieve was a color/black & white image. The background should be grey. The steps and walls under the Luas Line at the grand canal was perfect. 

(I tend to collect locations I'd noted this as a 'possible' quite soon after the line was completed)

Rebacca Dore

What fascinated me was the whole shoot was organised on Facebook: the dress, make up artist, hair, location etc.

In fact we didn't meet until the time of the shoot. Rebecca had a make-up artist Carolina Pinciuk she trusted and I new what look I was going for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebacca Dore

Rebacca Dore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always shoot headshots 

Rebecca Dore

Rebecca Dore

Rebecca Dore We changed the lip color to make the image pop.

Rebecca Dore

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2013/7/moving-on-not-retiring Tue, 23 Jul 2013 11:52:21 GMT
Rain http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2012/9/rain Rain Berlin Rain Berlin

                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fleamarket at Mauerpark Berlin

Rain was a big feature of my month in Berlin.

 

Rain Berlin

Rain Berlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain Berlin

Rain Berlin

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2012/9/rain Sun, 16 Sep 2012 13:24:55 GMT
The Friendly Society http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2012/9/the-friendly-society-berlin I met Gregor Marvel Wyrwichat The Friendly Society on my first Saturday in Berlin

The Friendly Society is the name of Gregor's fashion store/art gallery/cafe.

That Saturday according to the internet they were puting on a fashion show.

Friendly Society-20

As I arrived the skies opened in Wagnerian style: Thunder, Lighting and heavy rain. The runway / photography location and DJ were outside. It was fantastic I got totally soaked.

Everyone huddled under the awning over the DJ, so at least we had great "sounds". 

I took a lot of images but nothing that approaches fashion but great fun. 

 

Friendly Society-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friendly Society-2

Friendly Society-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

The whole event was about Rain and Umbrellas.

Friendly Society-21

Silver Raincoat Berlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't think I have ever been as wet when fully dressed.

Still Damp went to a 'LIDL' on the way home.... I needed some towels to dry my camera..

 

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2012/9/the-friendly-society-berlin Sun, 09 Sep 2012 23:48:47 GMT
A Nite in Berlin 18 July 2012 http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2012/9/a-nite-in-berlin I spent a month in Berlin this summer. My daughter Andrea (Paco) visited for 10 days

 

Cake Cub Kreuzberg Berlin

Paco and I chillaxed for most of the day partially due the stormy weather but mainly the after effects of the night before. We had been at a club, just around the corner on Oranienstr, called ‘Cake’  listening to brilliant  Blues and R&B music until 2.30/3.00 in the morning. Though I was a tad confused when the DJ played Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walking"??  

 

 

 

 

I had booked a tour of the Dome of the Reichstag at sunset, surprisingly the weather obliged.

 

 

Around 5 in the afternoon we wanted to do 'something’ so we decided to go to see the Jewish Memorial" as it was a short walk passed the Brandenburg Gate, to the Reichstag Building. 

Tears

 

The Memorial to Murdered Jew of Europe (nothing lost in that title), was both interesting and for both me and Andrea quite emotional. It brings the Holocaust right down to a personal level as specific family histories are feature in the displays.

My grandmother, aunt and uncle died in concentration camps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dome of the Reichstag really is fantastic for both the view and the structure.

Reichstag Berlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 10 pm we found the address of The Bassy Club on Gregor Marvels facebook page. Gregor a new friend had suggested that we meet him there.  Gregor is a designer and Andrea and I did a photo-shoot of his Dirndl Dress

The Bassy Club had a Burlesque show that he thought we  would enjoy. 

The Bassy Club was everything that you would want in a Berlin night club Dark, Loud and a little dangerous, and not a tourist anywhere. Andrea's statement "if they are looking for a location and cast for MEN in BLACK 4  Berlin would be perfect"!  The show was hilarious and NAFF and the crowd loved it.     

The PINKY'S PEEPSHOW- JUNGLE-A-GO-GO!!!

Slow Shutter Speed

Bride-36-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pinky's Peep Show, Berlin

 

 

                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see more Burlesque pictures click here

 

After the Burlesque show a Finish Band Knucklebone Oscar put on a Shitkicking show of high energy Rock'n'Roll.

I gave my camera to Paco: These are her shots 

Knucklebone Oskar-7

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Knucklebone Oskar-8

Bassy Crowd

The crowd loved the whole show.....

Bassy Crowd-2 Bassy Crowd-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crowd Bassy Club Berlin

 

Around 2am we headed home to Kreuzburg stopping into the internet café, Paco wanted to post her reactions on Facebook. I had coffee and chatted to a Chilean/Italian girl from Livorno in northern Italy. Livorno is one of my favorite Italian towns, much to her surprise.

Although not typical this should give you an idea of a night in Berlin.

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2012/9/a-nite-in-berlin Sat, 01 Sep 2012 18:29:34 GMT
Kodak is bankrupt….. Boo Hoo http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2012/4/kodak-is-bankrupt-boo-hoo  

Kodak is bankrupt….. Boo Hoo

Lets face it, before your tears turn the stop bath purple, Kodak was always about control & monopoly.

If Kodak had developed its digital cameras patents, photographers would be downloading Kodak Digital files directly from Kodak digital cameras permanent memory (only replaceable by Kodak autherized dealers) onto Kodak computers using Kodak imaging software (incompatible with any other computer operating system)

All this whinging about the decline and fall of the ‘yellow box company’ must be by people  that never delt with Kodak on a commerial photography level.

Firstly I am not disputing the quality of Kodaks materials my objection is my personal experience of their business practices.

Kodak business philosphy ‘from the get go’ was to restrict any competition. The famous Box Brownie was a invented so that the kodak film was loaded  and unloaded by a Kodak Agent who had to used Kodak chemicals and materials. In the 50s, 60s and 70s the business plan was to undermine their competitors.   This business model was continuned  with film processing. Independent Photography Labs had to buy the materials and chemicals from Kodak.

http://www.optimum7.com/internet-marketing/sem/what-is-ambush-marketing.html

This business model was was so successful that at in 1976 Kodak had a 96% share of the U.S. film market.

Although the legal challenge  under the Sherman Act went against Kodak. (http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=6025

Kodak tried every means to circumvent the rulings:

·         Changing film type and process E3 to E6

·         Releasing list of  chemicals used without  the formula

·         Offering a discount to a lab that used Kodak  exclusively

I personally know that, as late as 1999, Kodak in Ireland  was still offering a 40% discount to a lab in Dublin that used Kodak materials exclusively.

As a photographer I think it sad that Kodak as a company chose to restrict rather than expand the possibilities for photographers.

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andrewkohn@gmail.com (Andrew Kohn Photographer) http://www.andrewkohnphotographer.com/blog/2012/4/kodak-is-bankrupt-boo-hoo Mon, 02 Apr 2012 13:20:48 GMT