Since 2004, the Festival of Lights have lit up various buildings and attractions throughout Berlin. The 2012 version saw 12 consecutive October evenings of another grand lighting display in the German capital city.
Bright colours and patterns illuminated many well-known landmarks including Potsdamer Platz, Brandenburger Tor, Gendarmenmarkt, Humboldt Universität, Berliner Dom, and the Fernsehturm. Many other places throughout the city had their displays, but my favourite occurred on the grounds of the now-vacant airport Flughafen Tempelhof. The large ochre facade of the former terminal building provided a big backdrop for bright colourful images. The crowds here were small, providing a quieter atmosphere, as if we were all part of a well-guarded secret.
2012 also heralded Berlin’s 775th anniversary, celebrated in grand style at the end of October.
I made the photos above on 20 and 21 October 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
As part of a week-long period of activities, Blurb Australia sponsored a photo-walk through Sydney’s Hyde Park and the Domain. Leading a group of about 40 to 50 interested photographers was Daniel Milnor. He assigned two tasks throughout the afternoon. First, we had the option of photographing back-lit situations, or making a set of photos with different textures as the theme. The second assignment was learning how to make portraits: how to prepare by looking for suitable light, how to approach people, how to connect with people, and how to frame people in a portrait. The day ended with drinks at the nearby Arthouse Hotel for conversation with photographers and bookmakers with a variety of soft- and hard-cover photobooks on display.
Another thing I learned was advice about the present state of photography; the necessity of hard work, perseverance, and patience; and about the disconnect between what’s popular and what’s important. I gained a great deal of encouragement by what I’ve learned over the last few days.
I made the photos above on 21 May 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Disclosure: Promotional. I received promotional consideration in the form of coupons from Blurb Australia (cmp.ly/2).
Previously I wrote about how I tracked the path of the setting sun over four consecutive days, until I captured the setting sun at the crown of the Harbour Bridge’s arch in Sydney.
I understood that the full moon would occur on the morning of 26 April 2013, which would provide a good opportunity to observe the moon-set close in time with the sunrise in the morning, and the moon-rise close in time after the sunset later that day. At the full-moon phase, sunrise-moonset and sunset-moonrise observations can be made at about the same time in the morning and evening, respectively; for more, see notes about moon phases here.
I obtained the following sun and moon data from timeanddate.com. All times are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC+10); azimuths are measured with 0° North, 90° East, 180° South, and 270° West.
|Sun/Moon||Rise time||Set time||Rise azimuth||Set azimuth||Other|
In the quiet morning hour, I watched the full-moon set before the sun bathed the Central Business District in golden light. The full-moon was also in partial eclipse, as there’s a visible “shadow” over the lower-right portion of the full-moon (2nd image in the sequence above). Ten hours later that afternoon, I returned to watch the sunset behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge, followed by the full-moon rising over the Tasman Sea.
With a bit of luck, a bit of dedication, and a good warm fleece to hold off the morning and early-evening chill, I enjoyed making this sequence of photos on the same calendar-day.
With a Canon EOS450D (XSi) camera, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens, and Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens, I made all of the photos above on 26 April 2013 without tripod or filters. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
I’m making good progress with my five-year old Canon EOS450D camera.
As I continue to click away, I’m aware of the grind on both camera and lens(es). But with some luck and care, I’ve flipped the “number counter” on my camera a seventh time with over 70000 exposures to date.
I headed out to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia in Sydney to visit the “JEFF WALL Photographs” exhibition. Jeff Wall is also from my hometown of Vancouver, Canada, and while I was in Vancouver earlier this year, I’d seen a number of his photos on display in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection. With the exhibition in Sydney, the opportunity arose for a coherent perspective of his work.
The following is one of my favourite Jeff Wall pieces, called “A sudden gust of wind (after Hokusai)”, which is on loan from the Tate London for the MCA exhibition. Wall’s work is based on a Japanese woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai, Ejiri in Suruga Province (Sunshû Ejiri), AC 1830-33, housed at the British Museum.
Beautifully constructed and a wonderful homage to Hokusai’s original, Wall’s photograph is presently mounted in one of the last rooms of the exhibition; so, there’s plenty of room for people to wander into the space and to admire the scale and movement of the photograph. With that in mind, I stood towards the back of the room, and I began photographing people standing in front of the photograph. It didn’t take long to find two people standing in the right place and leaning towards each other in conversation – the visitors providing complementary well-timed superposition to the photograph.
The “JEFF WALL Photographs” exhibition is free of charge at the MCA Australia from 1 May to 28 July 2013. The MCA Australia can be reached with CityRail to Circular Quay station or with Sydney Ferries to Circular Quay Ferry Wharf.
I made the photos above on 5 May 2013 with the EOS450D and Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Train stations on Christmas Eve are emptier than usual and an unlikely place to visit. But I’ve always viewed the timing as a unique photographic opportunity.
I was in Berlin on Christmas Eve 2010, and with the city already covered in snow, I set out into the evening under additional heavy snowfall. I wanted to photograph the quiet conditions in the capital city, and I stopped at Potsdamer Platz station, normally a busy transfer station in the Mitte (or central) district.
My spontaneous visit and photographs resulted in something more profound.
In S-Bahn (suburban services) Potsdamer Platz, there on platform 2 was a woman; she was the only person along the entire length of the platform. I guess she was waiting for a train to take her home, or to visit friends for Christmas dinner, a party, or gathering. I hope she arrived safely that night.
The Christmas and New Year’s holiday season can be a rough and tumultuous time, even for people in the best of situations. It’s easy to consider how some might feel lonely and depressed, and it might even lead one to associate the number of suicides peaking around that time of year. However, some studies have shown that springtime is generally the peak period for depression, with extreme cases leading to suicides.
• 2005 article, from The Guardian
• “Seasonal spring peaks of suicide in victims with and without prior history of hospitalization for mood disorders.” Journal of Affective Disorders, 2010 February, 121(1-2): pp. 89-93
As (northern) spring is in full swing with this posting, please take a moment for the people about whom you care, and let them know you’re thinking about them.
I made the photos above on Christmas Eve 2010 at Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.