There's something unsettling with how Lomographer Yvonne Jahnisch a.k.a fotofreundin photographed urban decay found in Lake Grabowsee, how she lets both light and dark, monochrome and color be stark in contrast yet harmonious at the same time.
The abandoned buildings and interiors that Yvonne took photographs of are part of a former tuberculosis sanatorium in Grabowsee, founded by the German Red Cross in 1896. The area is located at the lake, surrounded by woodlands. It happened to be the very first sanatorium for pulmonary tuberculosis in northern Germany, before turning into a Soviet military hospital after World War II 'til 1995.
The building closed many years ago and is now owned by a society which campaigns for its reconstruction, purposed for free youth education. Lately, the owner allows photographers to enter the area and arrange them into picturesque urban decay, that you can even book a photo tour. Yvonne describes, "He makes the scenes so lovely so that there grow little artworks. It was a pleasure for me watching the abandoned rooms not alone but also enjoying and catching the creative design."
Yvonne has a sensitive and sharp eye for light, colors, and details. For light, in particular, how different intensities can create a variety of moods. Soft melancholic light and straight shadows imply two different moods with the same motive. Yvonne made sure to recreate this vibe on a usually gritty subject such as urban decay.
"Sometimes a picture convinces me, independent of the scene, only with its colors either the colors are very harmonical or absolutely contrary. Light and colors create emotions inside of me, similar to music. And last let’s talk about details. I like watching out for trivialities, which surround the evident subjects, something like surface textures, geometric forms, or ornaments. You can find them in a lost place easily."
For indoor photographs with such intricacy as in Grabowsee, Yvonne uses her 50 mm / 1.8 lens with her for detailed pictures, as well as creating bokeh effects. She will also take with a wide-angle lens. Yvonne loves to use high sensitive films, not going less than ISO 800, and pushes films that are below that. She usually pushes films with black and white films. "Moreover black and white films support the mystical atmosphere, which exists in the old walls already." she adds.
Lately, Yvonne strives to go through the global pandemic. While she managed to overcome the lockdown during the first few months of the pandemic, which stifled her occupational and personal life a bit. She mentioned that the most oppressive thing was keeping distance to people she loves: "I need closeness and emotional security for feeling well. And meanwhile, it is depressive for me, that my mobility is restricted. I think, there are many people who feel that way. So I wish all the best for all of us."
All the while, Yvonne is busying herself with her craft.