Author Topic: Postcards from Berlin  (Read 590 times)

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02Pilot

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Postcards from Berlin
« on: July 15, 2017, 08:32:53 PM »
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).













Stay tuned....
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 02:03:32 PM by 02Pilot »
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.


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cs1

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2017, 09:21:23 PM »
Very well done. I love the play with angle, perspective and shapes. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the batch. The look of the HP5+ is brilliant.

02Pilot

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 01:16:43 PM »
Thanks. I continue to be impressed with HP5+; at 1600 with moderately aggressive filtration it feels somewhat like Tri-X at box speed, at least to me. 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.


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cs1

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 01:26:15 PM »
I actually prefer HP5+ @ EI 1600 over box speed. Your shots confirm this impression. Good choice of filters!

zapsnaps

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 10:16:21 PM »
I really like Berlin and know it quite well. Your photos fully do it justice and are a fine reflection of a great city.

Nice choice of camera, too. A Leica in Berlin. What else?

I love the look of your HP5+ and I might try some myself at 1600. Please keep the photos coming
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02Pilot

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 01:48:33 PM »
Thanks, folks. Glad you're enjoying them thus far. Here's another batch, including a couple from Potsdam.

















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.


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02Pilot

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 07:05:20 PM »
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
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http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/

cs1

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 09:01:47 PM »
Thanks for sharing this series of photos. You're very talented, all of the shots are very good and the ones that I personally find the most impressive where the the dog in front of wall, the brick stone building with wavy gables, the church's reflection, the contradicting arrows, the crane triangle and the statue. I simply like the way you seem to look at things and document them. I'd never have thought of shooting most of the stuff the way you did and the fact that I found myself looking at some compositions recently and wondering how O2Pilot would've shot them tells me that your photos made a lasting impression. So thanks again for the inspiring essay. :)

Bryan

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 09:25:22 PM »
Great essay O2Pilot, I enjoyed them all.  Germany is on my list of places I need to see, this just makes me want to get there sooner rather than later.  I love the dog, That's a decisive moment!

02Pilot

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2017, 01:49:27 AM »
That dog was giving me this look as if to say "Don't judge me!"  ;)

I appreciate the kind words folks. cs1, I'm flattered that you're thinking about my photos in that way. Seeing how other photographers view and frame the world has helped me understand and refine my own approach - I'm glad to be able to offer some small inspiration to another photographer.
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
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http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/

02Pilot

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2017, 12:53:23 PM »
OK, 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
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http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/

Aksel

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2017, 08:58:41 AM »
You really managed to capture the feel I have of Berlin, pretty & gritty. ThankĀ“s for sharing  :)
Especcially like the old gent with his hand on his back and the tv-tower!? overlooking the old church.
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hookstrapped

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 01:30:35 PM »
The dog!

Srsly, that's a great pic -- not just the dog, but the whole scene and composition

kentish cob

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2017, 05:17:56 PM »
A great essay, O2.
Framing, composition and timing all spot on.
Hats off to you...
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02Pilot

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2017, 12:41:18 AM »
Thanks, all. It was a great trip, and I'm glad I was able to capture some of it on film.
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.


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http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/

imagesfrugales

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Re: Postcards from Berlin
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2017, 08:42:11 AM »
What a fine series. The giant eagle is both funny and scary. Yes, the dog in front of the wall, and all others are so well done. Thanks for showing.