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Diving in the “Möllerbunker” of a furnace

Darkness, narrowness and yet a feeling of excitement. This is how it feels to dive into one of the dirtiest workplaces of the German Ruhr area. Erik Hesse made it possible for us to experience and capture an extraordinary dive into a stock bunker, a so-called “Möllerbunker”, of the former steel plant and now “Landschaftpark Duisburg Nord”. 

    

Björn Dorstewitz • E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO
• PT-EP14 • PPO-EP02

Already the location at which you change your clothes is special, it’s industry in its purest form. The bunker, which by the way has nothing to do with a war bunker, is only 10x10m wide and 6m deep. Due to this challenging tightness and lacking daylight, I chose the 8mm 1:1,8 Fisheye PRO lens. Attached to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II this lens does a fabulous job. It provides fantastic sharpness at the widest aperture and don’t get me started on the colours!

Björn Dorstewitz • E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO
• PT-EP14 • PPO-EP02

Where in earlier times iron ore and coke (this mix was called “Möller”) were stored for the production of steel we can now find the finest sediment just waiting to be stirred up. So, time to carefully put on those fins and off we go!

Björn Dorstewitz • E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO
• PT-EP14 • PPO-EP02

We are diving through a narrow staircase down into the building. Everything is looking just as it was left in 1985. You can even discover a footprint here and there – the goose bumps are all over us. Cables, shovels, containers and much more stuff still lies here. Through the viewfinder of my camera I can still catch some daylight in the inclined elevator. Right here, the “dog” (a container with additives) was previously hauled up to the furnace. When it is as dark as this you need to know every single button on your camera by heart. With the help of your flashes you will discover an impressive scenery in front of you.

Björn Dorstewitz • E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO
• PT-EP14 • PPO-EP02

Our exhalation causes some rust to come off the ceilings and the pipes. And no wonder, it’s pretty narrow down here. Behind every corner a new photographic object is awaiting us. Our diving lamps are painting wonderful shadows on the walls.
After endless poses and the never-ending pressing of the shutter release button it was time to end our 45 mins. dive into this world. Outside temperatures below zero, water temperatures of roughly 5 degrees and little movement did the rest.
What is left are fantastic impressions and very nice photos.

Author and Photographer: Björn Dorstewitz
with new Olympus equipment

Björn Dorstewitz • E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8  PRO
• PT-EP14 • PPO-EP02