The Photo Studio...

In the first image of Olof Tyche below, i believe it was taken with the Hasselblad 205 TCC and the Carl Zeiss T* Planar 110mm f 2 lens - at wide open aperture ƒ2.0

The second second photo, i think/suspect that I stopped the aperture down somewhat

The studio was large with very high sealing... with a huge, motorized softbox. Really amazing. I remember that this place has later been used in a Swedish movie - which Hollywood later made into their own version. Something with "bots" or "Hubots" - i can't remember.

Human looking robots with their own feelings and agenda. Both movies, the Swedish as well the American version, were in fact interesting.


Why was I at Johan Westin's photo studio ?

I was a free, third "assistant". I asked Johan Westin if I could work in his studio, in order to qualify for a new unemployment benefit period, which back then was called "ALU-Project". I didn't really help that much, nor did I really know very much. But I did learn by watching and lightly assisting. One of the lovely things was, that I was allowed to use the studio after work hours.

Johan Westin was a stressed quirky photographer - but he was also generous in letting us use the photo equippment (talk about trust !), the darkroom and even film material (I only used the films that were already out of date, but stored in the fridge).

Frankly, I prefered my own studio camera, the Mamiya RZ67 as well the Mamiya C330s - which I brought with me a few times to use in Olof in Johan Westins Studio


Then there was a darkroom craftsman !

This is the only time in my life, I have ever come in contact with somebody else who dealt with photography. Johan Westin had a guy working there (on his own) who rented part of the darkroom - being his own company.

Anders Johansson back in Oct 1994

Anders coming out of the labb section. These were the final days before the entire studio and darkroom were dissolved, Oct 2014

Listening and Learning

From that guy i learned a lot more about darkroom work - which was just so super interesting. He later opened a real studio for exclusive darkroom work / print jobs etc. A true craftsman, who knew every single detail about how to make chemical prints to the highest possible qualities. To look at his prints... I mean to work towards the final master print... was simply amazing.

It was also here, I got to know about that speical "Cibachrome" like printing material, albeit based on the RA-4 process to make prints from color negatives, called Fujicolor de Luxe. Made of super glossy polyester base. It is truly the finest color paper you can buy. I believe it still exist even today, extremly expensive, and only available in large rolls, which you have to cut down in darkness yourself.

The skill levels of that guy was absolutely amazing. I often spoke with him, and learned from watching, listening and discussing.

Ah, Anders were the name of both the first assistant, as well the darkroom craftsman guy. Anders Johansson... I have seen him a few occations around Odenplan Station when I drive my trains though the city.

This Anders was the first assistant.


The other Anders

was the first assistant to Johan Westin. I believe he was 34 years old in the photo. Very skilled and a very creative guy. We did however have issues with one another, I remember. I felt that he treated me a bit like a "dumb blonde". Kind of semi-masked attitude. Nice but then also not nice.

I did however tell him that at one point - because it did create a lot of conflict in me - so i thought the best thing is to tell both Johan Westin and Anders. Westin wasn't so much different in attitude. Like i mentioned before... weird, quirky, stressed.

After that - the attitudes of both changed significantly. So I cam back after the summer break, instead of quitting. Then it became a really interesting time .

Surely - back in 1994, Anders was of course very skilled and routined in work of assisting Johan Westin. Ion the other hand was not - despite doing all my photo and darkroom work by myself at home, no matter if it was black & white, color negative film or even developing slide film - i was not familiar with being an assistant. (I was paid by the social services during this time [Förksäkringskassan], not by the studio.

I had no machines for developing prints and films - i did that all in a tiny darkroom, even big prints, as well developing color film in the kitchen sink. So, Anders was a professional assistant, you know. I was in hindsight, surely more like "Bambi on Ice". *LOL*

Oh well. It was a very interesting time in retro perspective. The best of all was, to learn by watching them to doing their magic. That was really cool ! I even had the keys to the studio - which is quite amazing when you think about it, as an "outsider".

The confidence and trust in me - I thank them for that.

Thank you !

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