Fotoeins Fotografie

location bifurcation, place & home

Posts from the ‘Germany’ category

Marathontor, Marathan Gate, Olympiastadion, Olympic Stadium, 1936 Summer Olympics, Berlin, Hauptstadt, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-nine

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

5 December 2012.

This is the Marathon Gate at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, a glorious piece of architecture. But the cold intermittent wind travelling through an open empty stadium makes eerie sounds, as if to challenge the visitor with questions of “who, what, and why.”

Is sport neutral and separate from politics?

In 1934 Germany, the ruling National Socialists (Nazis) commissioned the construction of a giant stadium in Berlin. Werner March designed the structure which took two years to build in time for the 1936 Summer Olympics. At those games, Black American athletes including Jesse Owens participated with great success, but their paths to Berlin were met with hostility and filled with obstructions. American policies regarding black athlete participation were similar to prejudicial policies enacted by Nazis against the German Jewish people. In fact, American legal and racist precedents of the day provided early examples for the Nazis to create their own anti-semitic legislation: the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935.

“Sport as an ideal is not a force for positive social good. Sport is a neutral form. It needs positive underpinnings. And, it requires human beings [running it] to assume a sense of responsibility.”

– Sara Bloomfield, director of U.S. Holocaust Museum (1999–today).

I made the image above on 5 Dec 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/320-sec, f/8, ISO800, and 20mm focal length (32mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mK4.

Hinternentblösser, Münster, Minster, Cathedral, Freiburger Dom, Freiburg im Breisgau, Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-eight

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

27 November 2012.

Commonly found along the rooftop of cathedrals are stone gargoyles which are sculptural water spouts funnelling water down from the roof and away from the sides of the building. In southwestern Germany’s Freiburg im Breisgau, the south side of the cathedral (Minster, Münster) includes a rather “cheeky” gargoyle, the “Hinternentblösser” (butt-flasher). At minimum scandalous and most definitely a very pointed comment, it’s frankly amazing to see this butt-tastic sculpture remain as cathedral ornamentation.

I made the image on 27 Nov 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/20-sec, f/5.6, ISO200, and 55mm focal length (88mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mIl.

Monbijoubrücke, Museumsinsel, Fernsehturm, ThatTowerAgain, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-seven

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

16 November 2012.

For me, this familiar scene says a lot of “home”.

In this southeast view from Berlin’s Monbijou Bridge, lingering autumn fog and mist partly obscures city landmark Fernsehturm (Television Tower) in the background at left. Also visible are the Rotes Rathaus at centre-right and the imposing structure housing the Bode Museum on the Museum Island at right. Railway tracks cross the island, “squeezed” between the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum. A bright-red Deutsche Bahn regional train crosses over the Spree river from left to right (east to west) on its way to Friedrichstrasse station and beyond to Central Station.

I made the image on 16 Nov 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/125-sec, f/8, ISO800, and 42mm focal length (67mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mIi.

Tränenpalast, Palace of Tears, East Berlin, East Germany, West Berlin, West Germany, Berlin, Hauptstadt, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-six

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

11 November 2012.

On this day, it’s only been 23 years and 2 days since the Fall of the Wall in 1989. This short corridor once connected outgoing rail passengers passing through the gauntlet of checks and inquiries by East German guards inside the checkpoint. To those denied, the worded sign is cruel: “Departures ahead: long-distance trains, S-Bahn trains, U-Bahn trains.” I’m inside Berlin’s Tränenpalast, the so-called “Palace of Tears”. The image of the connecting corridor shows the short stretch within reach, blocked now by a sheet of glass. Beyond the transparent obstruction is entry into Friedrichstrasse train station.

I made the image on 11 Nov 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/40-sec, f/4.5, ISO800, 25mm focal length (40mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mHK.

775th anniversary, Nikolaiviertel, Berlin, Hauptstadt, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-four

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

28 October 2012.

The village of Cölln is mentioned in a document dated 28 October 1237, effectively marking the birth of modern-day Berlin. The Museum Island is the present-day location for Cölln. Fast forward to 2012, the city of Berlin celebrated the 775th anniversary of the city’s founding on the banks of the Spree river. From the Nikolaiviertel to Schlossplatz, fire provided the illumination to the endless fascination of residents and visitors. France’s Cie Carabosse provided artists with sculptures breathing fire, wreathes twirling flame, and claypots as radiating sources of heat and light. In the image above, a folding wreath of flaming claypots appears to surround the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) in the background.

I made the image on 28 Oct 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/8-sec, f/4.5, ISO800, and 30mm focal length (48mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mCt.

My Berlin: Humboldt University’s court of honour

Above/featured: Illuminated by autumn morning light, Helmholtz stands proud in the Humboldt University’s “Ehrenhof”.

If you’re in Berlin for the first time, you’ll likely make your way to the city centre and the classic tree-lined avenue Unter den Linden. When you’re not people-watching, you’ll likely admire the architecture along the way. Across the street from Bebelplatz plaza is the main building of the Humboldt University (HU). In its front court or “court of honour” are several memorial statues dedicated to some key figures in the history of arts, sciences, and the university: Hermann Helmholtz, Lise Meitner, Max Planck, and Theodor Mommsen.

The Humboldt University was one of many stops in Berlin during my visit in November 2021.

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My Berlin: the buried Bibliothek at Bebelplatz

On a clear cool late-autumn morning, a young child is looking through an opening in the cobblestone plaza. She looks up to the man standing next to her.

Daddy, why is there a glass window? What happened here?

The thing to keep in mind is that this square in Berlin is called Bebelplatz (BAY-buhl-platz), and not Babbleplatz. It’s easy to make the mistake. After all, a great repository of books was once created inside the building seen above, in what was once home of the Königliche Bibliothek or Royal Library.

But then came along a large racist blather.

Accompanied by a big ugly fire.

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Friedhof Wannsee Lindenstrasse, Neuer Friedhof Wannsee, Friedhof Wannsee II, Berlin, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

My Berlin: Wannsee cemetery with Helmholtz, Fischer, Conrad

Above/featured: Friedhof Wannsee Lindenstrasse with Andreaskirche in the background.

I came here looking for a physicist, but I also found a Nobel-Prize winning chemist and a successful banker.

In the southwest corner of metropolitan Berlin tucked away under rows of leafy trees in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Wannsee is a small cemetery, next to a tall red brick church Andreaskirche. With the main (east) entrance off Lindenstrasse, the cemetery is called Friedhof Wannsee Lindenstrasse; alternate names include “Neuer Friedhof Wannsee” and “Friedhof Wannsee II.” Opened in 1887, the cemetery is one of the smallest in the city with an area about 1.9 hectares (19-thousand square metres) or a shade under 5 acres.

(My day trip to Wannsee was only one element of my “quick” 11-day hop to Berlin in autumn 2021.)

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My Berlin: Alicja Kwade, bridging art and science

Above/featured: Alicja Kwade exhibition, at the Berlinische Galerie. HL:X70.

In October 2021, I watched DW Culture’s Arts.21 feature on Polish-German artist Alicja Kwade. I knew I had to see her work and exhibition in person, but would it be even possible? My answer arrived six weeks later with a quick jump home to Berlin.

All of Kwade’s sculptural pieces in her exhibition, “In Abwesenheit” (In Absence)”, are “self-portraits.” But none of them show her face; the pieces aren’t necessarily simple, nor are they “selfies” characterized by the present vernacular. She is not physically present, and yet, every piece provides the visitor a glimpse into her mindset including questions she raises about the volatility of the human condition and about where we fit within a very large universe.

As former research scientist, I’m recognizing and I’m loving the influences on her art. She is clearly very interested in mathematics, physics, astrophysics, biology, genetics; but she’d be the first to admit she’d need multiple lives to completely fulfill all of her interests. The deconstruction of “self” into precise scientific elements is another way of expressing those (dreaded) “selfies” or self-portraits. I admire the clever play: it’s the breakdown into those elements that tell us what she is, and it’s the measured synthesis of those elements into the broad strokes of her sculptures that tell us who she is.

We’re all playing this game. Everyday things seem so important. But then you zoom out and realize that you’re standing with another billion [people] on a spinning sphere. With that perspective, you’re reminded to just be glad you’re here at all.

– 16 April 2019, Artnet News about her rooftop commission at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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My Berlin: Chinese-Canadian Q.J. Louie at the Commonwealth War Cemetery

Above/featured: Cemetery view facing west, from the shelter building to the Stone of Remembrance, Cross of Sacrifice, and Terrace in the distance (WCL-X70: 14/21mm).

There’s a presence from western Canada buried in eastern Germany.

In Vancouver, Canada, the H.Y. Louie family has long been a part of the Chinese-Canadian community and the overall merchant community. Their current business holdings include the London Drugs chain of stores and the IGA grocery-store chain; both are well recognized throughout greater Vancouver.

One member of the family is resting permanently 8000 kilometres away in Berlin, Germany. An important goal in my return to the German capital city is a visit to the cemetery where a member of the Louie family, Q.J. Louie, is buried. It’s never been a matter of if, but when I return to Berlin.

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