27 March 2020 • Closed (Leica M6 + Bergger BRF 400+ | EI 1000 )


The last time i used the Leica M6

was back in Catania, Sicily when i got caught in that sudden lockdown - trapped - out of the blue - just like that. Healthy people where kept indoors - calling it medical caution and "flatten the curve". Which was totally insane from a medical standpoint. Italy was "best in test" - being the first country to lock down its citizens, starting in Northern Italy, and then the rest of the country starting on 10 March 2020.

Very quickly... other countries followed like domino bricks falling one by one. Like a script made for all, written by people who had no idea of health or medicine - but were very well aware of how to scare and control people. The useless eaters. The Cattle. (The lockdown protocols were in origin indeed created by non-medical people). It was never about health. It was about to dupe people into thinking it was a emergency of a "new virus". Which it wasn't.



Didn't lock down its people.


6 April 2020 • Paris. Empty Charles de Gaulle Airport (iPhone)


Close - yet far away

Yet, Sweden felt like a place I couldn't reach. It took me a frikkin' 4 weeks in order to get out of that insane lockdown shit hole. Sal had paid for an expensive ticket to get me out of Italy, via Al Italia - but I wasn't allowed on board (end of march 2020), and the getting-home mission failed. He never got back his money. I too, lost numerous other tickets for absolutely nothing. The airlines loved to sell tickets in the early stage of lockdowns - but one by one was canceled anyway.

On 7 April i finally got home after a month, but the journey took 40 hours to fly from Catania to Stockholm (via Rome and Paris). Boy was i happy (or rather relieved !) to arrive in (albeit empty) Stockholm. The trapped feeling and surreal atmosphere, still gives me stomach aches when i think about it... Busy Rome Airport was a totally empty airport. Paris Charles de Gaulle, likewise.

No queues when i checked in the morning in Paris.

Totally Surreal.


12 March 2020 • People quickly started to change behavior against a bogeyman virus. (Leica M6 + Ilford HP5+)


While in Catania

I almost 'shit in my pants' of going outside, taking photos (while having a bag with me, going to the store in order to legitimize my stay outdoors. Going to the store was the thing that was allowed). I felt like I was in a sort of sleep with vast delay, not really taking in the feeling of a sudden imprisonment. I remember a part of me wanting to rebel, you know - like sneaking out at night - just to breathe outside in the free. But the place were we stayed, was surrounded by 3 police stations - and not exactly a spot in favor to sneak out. I also considered that I am on visit, and didn't want to get Mary and Sal in trouble (just in case).

14 March 2020 • Mary, Paola and Sal at home (Leica M6 + Ilford HP5+)


Dazed and confused ? No lo so.

I just wasn't prepared to conditions of a lockdown - while being in a foreign country on top, I really wasn't sure how to be... the few times i dared to walk in the city alone with the camera... I barely made any photos. It was a mix of not daring, and the feeling of .... well this OFF feeling. you know, like somebody kicks out your senses of reality... and you are trying to reorient yourself, but it is all sluggish and weird.

I certainly could have done more photography outside, without the risk of police coming. I doubt they would have done anything. I mean if you are on the way to a store...



Intimidating Police men

We did however once get harshly confronted. Two young police men had a really pissy, threatening attitude towards Sal and me, being together in the street on the way to the car, on our way to the food store... Apparently it was not allowed that I was with Sal. (Nor could I go with him together into the store - and had to pretend to be on my own)

It was really baffling, and gave me a sense of... what it must be like in a terror state. Think Hitler, Stalin, Mao or any of the other cocksucker bitches giving order to intimidate, threaten and to control their people. We modern, often relative spoiled people in direct comparison with the past, have no clue what it once was for people who lived under such oppressing system. Now we got a taste of it in 2020. 

Neither did I.


Sal and I did have moments of outdoor freedom, though.

And we used those moments.

18 March 2020 • last photo: Out of Catania far away (Leica M6 + Bergger BRF 400+ | EI 1000 )


Had only grainy films at hand

Back then during the lockdown - I had only had a very (!) grainy film Bergger film, plus the Ilford HP5+ (400) - which altogether were perhaps not the optimal type of film.

I must confess, and despite the now extreme high price of 200 SEK / 18 Euro for a simple roll of T-MAX 400 film... it is (as) 35mm film perhaps the best of all. It isn't plagued by the back printing issue like its 120-film sibling, making it in 35mm rolls highly reliable, very sharp and fine grained - which has no equivalent to other films. And when you do 35mm film photography, then it is more important with a finer grained, and sharp film. T-MAX 400 delivers that.


18 March 2020 • Catania Sicily
Cinderella lost its party shoe... and never got it back (Leica M6 + Ilford HP5+)


Better separation in the lighter gray tones

It also exhibits more kick in the local highlights (the lighter gray tones), compared to other films, which almost all have gray-ish highlight separation. Also called Type I film e.g. "shadow separating", with short toe in the shadows, but long shoulder in the highlights.

T-MAX 400 is more of the opposite its gray tone characteristics, belonging to the Type III films, or local highlight separating films - albeit i believe that the latest iteration of TMAX 400 is more of II type, being in the middle of both, with a subtle amount better shadow contrast. The first iteration had poor shadow contrast, and excellent highlight separating contrast, aka Type III film.

TMAX 100 and Neopan Acros 100 are Type II films, in the middle of both.

The rest of most analog films are of Type I in character = Short toe in the shadows, and long shoulder in the highlights.


Mixed photography

I guess my analogue images from the Sicilian Lockdown is in short, a mixed bag. There are a few highlights, but not exactly of documentary character. At least not from my personal viewpoint. Its like a bunch of images without a real story has been told. Well, that wasn't really my mission. Everything feels divided and erratic. A lot of nothing. Or maybe I am just too harsh about my photography from that time period. The option where after all very limited, and mostly confined to indoor photography.


6 April 2020 • Sal. Prior my departure in Catania, Fontanarossa Airport, Sicily

Italian Papers, Papers, Papers. And ?
I didn't have any use of them... that much bullshit for absolutely nothing.

I believe - this was purposely forced Intimidation. Underlining the lockdown drama
and for the "urgency's" sake
to create compliance in people

6 April 2020 • Sal. A Muzzled Good bye.

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