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11. June 2008 / Bernhard

Plastics: turning waste into a resource

As mentioned some months ago, Sebastian and I were working on an essay for this year’s Imagine Cup.

The photos were taken at a facility that sorts PET bottles by color (which will be turned into granulate and eventually in PET bottles again). For more information about the process make sure to check out the PDF-presentation which can be found here.

Keep in mind that some storytelling photos are missing as Sebastian took them.

At the office.

Inside the facility.

That’s pretty much the first step – cracking the bottles and roughly seperating them from the useless garbage.

Yay for distorted skulls.

First step of fully automatic sorting – it’s quite dark here (iso3200, f/2,8, 1/60).

Those ladies pick any stuff that doesn’t fit in which the machine didn’t sort out.

As you can see, I’ve been quite a Nachtwey focal-lenghtwise.

But the easiness of composing with an ultra-wide-angle is addictive.

Nothing special for sure but I like it still. Should’ve added some blood.


Might sound snobbish but I tend to like what we did – considering this is our first time, I’m actually somewhat happy. There is – of course – a lot to improve but still, it’s arlight. I think the PDF shows what it’s all about and the photos are alright.

Still, we got turned down. Which is alright, don’t get me wrong. When you get turned down it’s usually for something better. But when I open those 6 winning presentation there is something inside me asking me that fundamental question: What the hell? Apparently, taking a picture of a rubber that has planet earth painted on implies that it’s important to save the planet. Of course. Rubber! Hell, it’s a fucking condom – saver PLANET. Jesus, genius. Or kids and some snail. Or a footprint and some flowers – of course! We gotta watch our footprints that we leave each and every day here. Genius! People that come up with that kind of concepts are obviously genius – or gifted. Gifted is one of those terms that I love most – it’s basically saying that somebody doesn’t understand how and why but is way too lazy to find out – so whoever does this or that must be gifted. Of course, if you’re physically handicapped and yet become a professional basketball player – kudos, you’re most likely gifted. What the hell am I talking about anyways.

I guess that’s the osculation point (course, I had to look this up) of photo journalism: Either it’s freaking adorable or freaking ugly, grey, dirty and looks a tiny bit vintage.


I just sneezed and in that aft I completely forgot what I actually wanted to say.

What the hell.

Here’s a photo of a dog. I like dogs. I actually don’t but that’s not important. Let’s look at a dog:

So after all that, consider me a spoiled, selfish, arrogant, ignorant, pretentious, mediocre, pathetic and stupid bastard – it’s alright.

Enjoy yourself while you can,



Leave a Comment
  1. Eva / Jun 12 2008 10:56

    Angry Bernie.
    Where can we find the winning entries? I am curious.
    I really like those 2 frames: and
    The light is simply yummy.

    I guess I won’t get to see you Place Pigalle then, too bad, sounded like a good plan to me.

    Take it easy buddy. ;)

  2. kip keston / Jun 12 2008 11:20

    Hey I went on a tour of my local waste to energy plant a few months ago. They’re pretty interesting. They burn half the trash on my island! Anyway, I didn’t make a series like yours. Nice work.

    I like the tags on the side of your page. Lots of biogon and 400tx.

  3. Linus / Jun 12 2008 13:09

    vielleicht gings nur um die teamnamen. ich mein jetzt wo jeder die euro-vogelgrippe hat, ziehn namen wie “team austria” halt schon mehr… vorallem wenn so beherzt viel im imagine forum herumpostet und seine kinder fotografiert.

  4. Charles / Jun 12 2008 16:09

    Hi Bernard, I looked your (and Sebastian) presentation some time ago, and I was waiting to hear the results… sorry to hear that you were turned down, I liked your work a lot actually (for what my opinion is worth).
    Keep up taking photos!!!

  5. marius / Jun 13 2008 09:21

    keep your chins up boys…you´ll be alright!

  6. oldirtyblog / Jun 13 2008 11:04

    in dem “time and vienna” buch ist auch ein foto von der kuppel.

  7. wackelnation / Jun 13 2008 19:07

    bet you had to be careful they didn’t get carried away and recycle your toy plastic camera too! (ha)

  8. Nikkr / Jun 14 2008 02:28

    Hey, I dunno if you’ll ever read this, but you know, I feel the same about competitions and stuff. Sometimes the winners are the lamest and the most beaten concepts/photos… It happened to me more than once. Not that my photography is good or I deserve to win or anything, but when you look at the winners, you naturally ask, OMG, am I really worse than this shit… If I’m not mistaken, your feelings were similar. So just to let you know man, you should be proud of your work, coz anyone can go outside and take a pic of a footprint or a rubber or smth, while the work of those who truly deserve to win stays in the shade of cliches. I think that you deserve :)

  9. cha / Jun 14 2008 21:44

    yeah as i told you before, those shots are great. it feel like there are some i didn’t see before, but maybe i’m wrong. the whole entry looks great. screw them.

  10. artis / Jun 15 2008 18:05

    ahhaa, Bernieboy, that dog sums up your rant pretty much. cute! : )

  11. Gerald Dijk / Jun 17 2008 23:18

    Still want to have my revanche for Monopoly ;D

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