Postcards from Berlin
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,121
Postcards from Berlin

So last month I went to Berlin for a few days. It was my first time there, so I was excited to see a new city, especially one that has been center-stage for the last 150 years of European history. The genesis of the plan for and conduct of the trip are complicated and don't need to be explained, except to say that my hosts were both gracious and generous with their time and hospitality. And that being driven around in a car with diplomatic plates also has certain advantages.

As a direct consequence of these factors, I was able to cover a lot of ground - far more than I ever would have managed in five days in an unfamiliar city, especially considering my sketchy German. This will be apparent in the photos to anyone who knows Berlin, but even if you don't, take my word for it. I was able to experience several neighborhoods, and even got out to Potsdam for most of a day. I also did some exploring on my own, naturally, revisiting some locations I had spotted in passing earlier. It was a whirlwind tour, but quite satisfying.

Because I knew the trip would be short, and having no clear idea of what the photographic opportunities would be, I decided to go full-on minimalist with my gear. Being that I was going to Germany, a Leica seemed the obvious choice. I took one of my IIIcs with the classic collapsible Elmar 50/3.5 and SBOOI auxiliary viewfinder. To further simplify matters, I brought a stock of HP5+ with the plan to push all of it to 1600, using filters (deep yellow and light red, as it turned out) to make it manageable in daylight. It's the least gear I've brought on a trip in years, and I have to say it really worked well.

I shot eight rolls of film in five days. The photos I'll post in this thread are best of the lot, at least as they look to me right now. I have some very specific thoughts and feelings about the way I shot Berlin, but I'll keep them to myself so I don't impose my ideas about the photos on the viewer. I am, of course, happy to hear comments, positive, negative, or indifferent.

This is the first of an indeterminate number of posts. I'll keep going until I'm done (or enough people tell me to stop).











__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 1 Week Ago   #2
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,121
Here's the second batch for your perusal.













More to come.
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 1 Week Ago   #3
TerryMcC
Registered User
 
TerryMcC is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 19
Please keep these coming. I'm a big history fan of both WW2 and the Cold War. Your photos have really captured the mood of those times.
  Reply With Quote

Old 6 Days Ago   #4
johannielscom
Leica II is The One
 
johannielscom's Avatar
 
johannielscom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Universitas Terre Threntiae
Posts: 6,982
Berlin at it's cleanest, very nice.

In less than a week from today, I'll be there again. Not decided on what camera to bring yet, if I bring one at all.
__________________
www.johanniels.com | flickr | instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 6 Days Ago   #5
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,121
Terry, I teach history, and my specific research area when I was studying was the early Cold War in Europe, so getting to some of the sites involved was high on my list of things to do in my limited time there.

Here's another batch, including a couple from Potsdam. Still clean, but a bit away from the iconic monuments and such.















__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 6 Days Ago   #6
davidnewtonguitars
Family Snaps
 
davidnewtonguitars's Avatar
 
davidnewtonguitars is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Beaumont, TX
Posts: 411
Neat.
I thought "if pilot didn't say where he went, would we know from the pics?"

I think so, but not if you had left out maybe one photo.

I love a mystery.
__________________
Leica IIIc /Leica Ie
5cm Elmar / 5cm Summitar
Zorki-1 / 5cm I-22
http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 6 Days Ago   #7
pechelman
resu deretsiger
 
pechelman is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 287
I feel a strong sense of a Bauhaus design aesthetic in the composition of your photos that really appeals to me. The rigid and static nature of many of your pictures along with a juxtaposition to a moving, modern, or transient element speaks to me in how Berlin has played a role in European history for the past 150 years, as you mention, but also how far the city has progressed/is progressing and how alive and dynamic it feels today. Not sure if this is what you intended to do, but I certainly see it as a cohesive element from the set.

I also enjoyed the ones you shared from Potsdam, but they speak differently to me than the Berlin shots. It's wonderful, I think, to shoot in a place that is not only interesting and new in general but one in which you have a personal interest and emotional attachment to like it sounds like you may have with Berlin and teaching history.

Really well done. I've enjoyed these a lot and I hope you post more.

Also, bravo on simplifying your travel kit down. The less you take the less you realize you need...at least that's been my experience.
__________________
Phil
flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 6 Days Ago   #8
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,121
Interesting points of view. There is a sort of anonymity to many of them, though I hadn't really thought of them that way. I certainly had a sense of Berlin's history, and I found that much of what I saw there suited my tendencies regarding composition; I don't know that the specific association with Bauhaus came to me at the time, but it seems clear that it influenced what I did. Glad you're enjoying them.

Winding down now - this will be the penultimate post. It would be unthinkable to show a series of photos of Berlin without a wall shot or two, so you'll find those here. The difficulty was trying to figure out a way to show something that's been endlessly photographed in a different way, but then the same could be said for many of the iconic subjects in the city. I was much more interested in the DDR-era architecture along the Karl-Marx Allee, which was every bit as self-consciously imposing as one would expect.











__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 6 Days Ago   #9
pechelman
resu deretsiger
 
pechelman is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 287
You certainly did cover a lot of ground. I feel like I recognize most of those places. While I know in the other thread, one of the Berlin locals naysay'd a lot of my suggestions, but looks like you still went anyway.

Also, regarding the DDR era, I forget if I mentioned it in that other thread, but if you're very interested in it, and havent already, do pickup a copy of Thomas Hoepker's DDR Ansichten. The photos are great and the captions really insightful. Also a great way to brush up on your German since it's all bilingual. One of my favorite tidbits was learning about the name for the mesh bags they all used to carry in the DDR days.
__________________
Phil
flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #10
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,121
I found some of Hoepker's photos from that book online before I went. I'd like to get hold of the book at some point.

As I said, my time was somewhat constrained, so I couldn't devote large chunks to getting to some of the less central locations that were suggested. For a first visit, I feel like I got a good overall feel, even if it was more focused on the more commonly-visited locations.
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #11
easyrider
Photo addict
 
easyrider is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 491
Amazing! Black and white lives! A great eye! Congratulations.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #12
c.poulton
Registered User
 
c.poulton's Avatar
 
c.poulton is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: London
Age: 51
Posts: 716
Some really fantastic compositions there - a lovely set.
__________________
Christian

My Gallery
My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #13
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,121
Thanks for the kind words. We're arriving at the end of this little excursion. Not much more to say, really. Hope you've enjoyed the set.















__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #14
robert blu
quiet photographer
 
robert blu's Avatar
 
robert blu is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Italy
Age: 68
Posts: 4,642
Thanks for these photos! It seems me you really managed to get the sense of this special city. I was in Berlin a week a few years ago and your photos really remind me the feeling I had. And are a clear demonstration that we do not need a large bag full of lenses and other paraphernalia when we are able to see bravo!
robert
PS: I specially love N 5 in the first series, a certain amount of mystery is really appropriate!
__________________
Remember: today is the Day !
from Ruth Bernhard recipe for a long and happy life


my quiet photographer's blog


My RFF photos and my albums on RFF
  Reply With Quote

Old 3 Days Ago   #15
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,121
Thanks, Robert. I really like how that shot came out - I knew what I wanted (sort of), but it was a split-second opportunity. The striped shirt was an unexpected bonus - I didn't even notice it until I scanned the negatives.
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 3 Days Ago   #16
sepiareverb
genius and moron
 
sepiareverb's Avatar
 
sepiareverb is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: St Johnsbury VT
Posts: 7,581
Quite wonderful. I really love that very first image-the flare, the grain, the design add up delightfully. Keep em coming!
__________________
-Bob
  Reply With Quote

Old 2 Days Ago   #17
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,121
Glad you enjoyed them. Unfortunately, I've posted the complete set, so what you've seen is all there is (well, all there is that I feel is worth showing).
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:36.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.