Where is the Heidelberg? – with Canonet GIII QL17 and Fomapan 400

By Reyazul Haque

I did not know where the city of Heidelberg was until I reached there.

I knew it was somewhere. As I was growing up, I read a poem by Allama Iqbal that he had written on the banks of the river Neckar in Heidelberg, where he stayed for some time for his studies. Perhaps it was the first time I came to know about the city. Then years went by, and my association with the city grew even more. Through Iqbal and Osip Mandelstam, Hegel and Hanna Arendt, Du Bios and FW Murnau and Jose Rizal – the city kept coming as I journeyed through my studies, readings and interests. It could map my interests in different things, but I hadn’t mapped it. Yet.

When early this year a friend from London asked me to come to Heidelberg where she was going to give a talk, it was not a difficult decision to make. We had not met in last four years, and last time when we said goodbyes at the Shanghai airport, we did not know it will be so many years in between. During these years we made many plans, for Reykjavik, for Accra, for Vienna, but I could not go.

This time there were not many reasons for not to travel. It was in the country where I live. It was only five hours away by train. And it was Heidelberg, afterall.

When I packed my stuff in that sleepy night when I was going to take the train, I was disappointed to know that it is going to rain or be cloudy all the time during my stay. But I did not want to miss taking photos there. I had heard about the beauty of the area, and though I had not seen many photos, a few that I saw, looked fascinating. I packed my film camera and Fomapan 400 for the cloudy days.

It was not for the first time when I was travelling since I took up film photography again. I had taken my Canonet Giii QL17 during my previous travels, but I took only a few film photos during all those trips. This time I thought it will be nice to take photos mainly on the film.

It was a sunny late morning of when I reached the train station surrounded by the green hills. There were no clouds. No rain. And there was a very little mist, that only added to the beauty. I stood on the platform and let that place sink into my heart.

The sign on the platform said Heidelberg. And I opened the map to see where in Germany this place was located. At last.

 

Neckar River and the philosophers’ way
A view from the way down to the city
Heidelberg city from castle
Neckar River and the philosophers’ way from the castle
A path down from the castle
A bridge on the river
Inside castle
Inside castle
Inside castle
Neckar River and the philosophers’ way
Neckar River and the castle in the centre-right
Neckar River and the mountains on both sides.

You can follow me on Instagram. Some of the photos are available in print at the Darkroom.

 

Edit: this entry was edited to correct the spelling of the Neckar river.

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Comments

Julian Tanase on Where is the Heidelberg? – with Canonet GIII QL17 and Fomapan 400

Comment posted: 11/12/2023

Very nice photographs, and the film you used seems to render the German medieval architecture very well. There are quite a few places that lend themselves graciously to B&W films, and the old German medieval towns are such an example. Colour, not so much, unless is shot in modern urban areas, if you ask me. Again, great shots, thank you for sharing!
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Reyazul Haque replied:

Comment posted: 11/12/2023

Dear Julian, I really loved your comment. And it means a lot, coming from you. And I agree such old structures and cityscapes turn out beautiful with the BW film. I have visited the city a few times after this and took some colour film photos in the newer parts, which validates your opinion. Someday I will write another post with those photos. Thank you so much for reading, and writing. :)

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Kodachromeguy on Where is the Heidelberg? – with Canonet GIII QL17 and Fomapan 400

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Nice work! I especially like your view down into the city (photograph 2). The eye moves around to all the details, paths, trees, and shadows. I love complicated urban scenes like this. The Fomapan 400 worked well for that scene. Keep exploring!
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Reyazul Haque replied:

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Dear Kodachromeguy, thank you so much for your kind words. Really appreciate it. You are right, the grainy and archival nature of 400 Fomapan enhanced the beauty of the old town setting of this city. Though grains are not very visible.

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Speedy on Where is the Heidelberg? – with Canonet GIII QL17 and Fomapan 400

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Very exciting pictures and interesting dreamy impressions. I really like it. But please allow me to make a small correction: The name of the river where Heidelberg is located is Neckar, written with an “a” as the second vowel. The “Necker” with two "e" is a different river, a short small tributary of the Thur and another river at the upper reaches of the Rhine in Switzerland.
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Reyazul Haque replied:

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Dear Speedy, thank you so much for pointing out my embarrassing mistake. I will correct the text accordingly. And I really appreciate your kind words about the photos. I am glad that you liked them. :)

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John M on Where is the Heidelberg? – with Canonet GIII QL17 and Fomapan 400

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Lovely look. What's the development?
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Reyazul Haque replied:

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Dear John, thank you so much for your comment. I am glad that you liked them. It was developed by the lab, and I don’t know what combination they use. I have not mustered the courage to develop at home.

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Lance on Where is the Heidelberg? – with Canonet GIII QL17 and Fomapan 400

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Really beautiful photos! The reflections and shots through the stone archways were my favorites. Fomapan was a great match for these photos!
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Reyazul Haque replied:

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Dear Lance, I am so glad to hear your thoughts on the photos. I agree with you, Foma feels perfect for the atmosphere there. Thank you so much.

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Bob Janes on Where is the Heidelberg? – with Canonet GIII QL17 and Fomapan 400

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Lovely pictures. I'm quite familiar with the Necker as I do lots of pick-ups from Tubingen (the Necker is a bit narrower at that point) and am even in Mannheim next week...
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Reyazul Haque replied:

Comment posted: 09/12/2023

Thank you so much Bob. I am glad that you liked photos. I have passed Tubingen a few times too, looks very nice. :)

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