Yesterday was the 2012 Berlin Fotomarathon, which I mentioned preparing for last week. Although still an exhausting experience, I was a lot more focused and relaxed this time around. I knew what I was getting myself into, I knew how to pace myself, and I budgeted enough time to stop and eat along the way (so important!). But trust me, you’ll hear a lot more about that in the following posts. So let me start you off gently with the story of the first group of photos.
By 11 am, the Zollpackhof, our starting point, was full of about 600 photographers who were anxious to get shooting. Our mission? Shoot 24 photos over the next 12 hours according to a given theme and using the provided prompts. We gathered outside for a group photo just as it began to pour down rain. Unfortunately for us, the rain never really let up the entire day, but at least the temperatures stayed mildly warm.
The overarching theme for the Fotomarathon was: Den Augenblick geneißen / Enjoy the moment…
This year’s challenge is to portray the pleasure of enjoying life — leaving worries for another day. What do YOU enjoy? Good friends? Music and drinks? A quiet day and a book? Berlin? Say it in pictures!
Like many participants, as soon as I received the first list of prompts, I made a run for the Hauptbahnhof (central train station), not far away. I took advantage of my Comfort status with the Deutsche Bahn and sat down with a free cup of coffee in the DB Lounge while I considered the prompts and watched the pouring rain outside. (Finally, all that money I’ve spent commuting pays off!) Oh yes, and since the day was so grey anyway, I decided to challenge myself to shoot black and white. So without further ado, let’s go photo-by-photo…
Photo 1: Hier und jetzt / here and now. Keeping the “enjoy the moment” theme in mind, I thought the day’s newspaper and a cup of coffee would be the way to go. Also, since this photo had to include my start number, somehow I thought displaying the time would be a clever idea.
Photo 2: Trau Dich! / Go for it! In my life, “going for it” or taking a leap of faith has often involved serious travel. So I took advantage of already being in the train station and decided to capture travelers on the move.
Photo 3: farbenfroh / colorful. From the train station, I travelled to Kurfürstendamm, where our next check point would be, and concentrated my photos in that neighborhood. I considered a number of different ways I could capture “colorful” in black and white, but once I saw this shop window, I decided to keep it subtle.
Photo 4: freie Auswahl / free choice. Since I was already in Berlin’s most upscale shopping district, I made use of the longs blocks full of shops offering all sorts of expensive designer goods.
Photo 5: dahinschmelzen / melting away. My idea for this photo — chocolate melting in my hand — didn’t really pan out the way I wanted. Meh. But I didn’t have a lot of time to figure something else out, so I kept going.
Photo 6: Perfektion / perfection. Perfectly restored building. Perfectly aligned flowers on the balcony. Perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Photo 7: euphorisch / euphoric. Okay, so this is not really so euphoric, but work with me, people.
Photo 8: versunken / absorbed. This public art at Savignyplatz, which portrays deep absorption among (almost) everyone, somehow seemed fitting for this prompt.
And with that, I was done (on time!) with the first list of prompts and made my way to the check-in point at Hotel Bogota. Already a drastic improvement from last year! After four hours of shooting, I felt pretty calm and confident — although a little annoyed by the rain — and was ready for the challenge of the next set of prompts.
More on those tomorrow…