Finding simple is more in Köln
Often, art occurs whenever and wherever you find it.
Whenever I’m in Cologne, Germany, I stop at the Museum Ludwig for their selection of contemporary art, including their Pablo Picasso collection which is the third largest in the world.
I’ve seen some fine examples and works, and perhaps, they provide the necessary inspiration and ingredient to move forward or onto a different course.
Symmetry, form, line, contrast
After a look at their collection of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in the basement, I headed back up to the ground floor. Looking up, I realized there was lots of geometry in the floors above. Fortunately, the security guard was “cooperative”, and the composition kept its symmetry with the added bonus of a convergence point.
I think the fellow was curious about what I was photographing …
I hung out in the upper corner of the museum, looking out the window and onto Heinrich-Böll-Platz, and I waited for the right opportunity. After some ten to fifteen minutes, I saw at the square two people, each walking along a different path but heading in the same direction. Each person wore contrasting colours: the woman in bright colours and a dark umbrella, the older gentleman in dark colours and a bright patch on his backpack. At the upper right is the sculpture piece “Ma’alot” (Stufen or steps, 1980-1986) by Tel Aviv’s Dani Karavan.
Some have asked: how do you make these kinds of photographs? Here’s my basic list:
- Awareness : keep your eyes open to surroundings and possible situations.
- Composition : get things “right” in camera as much as possible.
- Minimal post : I don’t do a lot of post-processing, but I’ll make the necessary corrections for rotation, distortion, crop, and “dodge & burn” to adjust highlights and shadows, respectively.
- Experience, endurance : photograph as much as you can to recognize the kinds of shots which arise in a variety of surroundings and settings. Sometimes I have to wait until the right situation comes along.
It’s a simple “ACME” list, because each item is not difficult to undertake and does not require a specific or expensive camera. Go out and make photos with whatever camera you have.
Museum Ludwig and Heinrich-Böll-Platz are located between the Cathedral and the Central train station to the west and the Hohenzollern Bridge and koelnmesse Trade Fair Exhibition Centre to the east. Below Heinrich-Böll-Platz is the home of the Kölner Philharmonie; the square is closed to all foot traffic when a concert is held.
More about Köln …
• Love locks & stories in Cologne (Fotoeins Fotopress)
• Summer solstice in Cologne (Fotoeins Fotopress)
• Cologne’s landmarks | Wahrzeichen der Köln (Fotoeins WIDE)
I made both photos above with the Canon EOS450D (XSi) camera and 50mm prime-lens on 25 July 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-3PL.
8 Responses to “Finding simple is more in Köln”
The many lines and angles in the 1st photo, along with the “framed” guard, make for a stunning B&W photo!
Hi and thanks, John. I was very fortunate to have looked up at the moment I was on the stairs from the basement to the ground floor. The funny thing is that the guard stopped right at that spot without my asking or prompting. Thanks again for reading and for your comment!
Thanks for explaining how you get the perfect picture and you certainly did.
Thank you for reading! I don’t think it’s necessarily the perfect picture, but rather, I prefer to think more about being ready to seize the opportunity at the right place and right time. That comes with “keeping one’s eyes open” to what’s around, and making lots of photographs to experiment, explore, fail, and try again. Thanks again for your comment!
Superb shots Henry. You’ve a great eye for line and composition.
Thanks, Charli, for stopping by and for your kind comment!
[…] Staff at the Museum Ludwig focus on works of contemporary art from the 20th-century forward to the present day. They’re also looking at various kinds of media, particularly technology, used to create art. The Museum has the world’s third largest collection of Picasso’s work, behind only Paris and Barcelona. Their permanent collection includes works of European Expressionism, Classical Modernism, American Pop Art, Abstract works, and a large collection of photography. Sometimes, fortune truly favours the brave, or the ones who’re looking. I’m now in the habit of seeking “photographic moments,” and often, they find me. […]
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