Fotoeins Fotografie

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Posts from the ‘Urban Photography’ category

My Vienna: Shoah Wall of Names Memorial

Above/featured: Shoah Namensmauern Gedenkstätte (Holocaust Wall of Names memorial site).

I drag my fingers gently down each stone block, across the fine indentations and the print of countless names.
I give quiet voice to names of people I see.

In Vienna’s 9th district is a small green space, Ostarrichi Park, in front of the Österreichische Nationalbank (Austrian National Bank). The park is home to the Shoah Namensmauern Gedenkstätte (Holocaust Wall of Names Memorial), dedicated to over 64-thousand Austrian Jews murdered during the Nazi regime. Public inauguration of the memorial occurred on 9 November 2021 on the 83rd anniversary of the Pogromnacht. The establishment and realization of the memorial has been a lifelong project for Vienna-born Kurt Yakov Tutter, who with his family fled to Belgium in 1930. He made a new home in Toronto, Canada, where in 2000 he began working to create a memorial to murdered Austrian Jews. The historical significance of the memorial means the City of Vienna and the Austria National Fund are jointly responsible for maintenance of the memorial.

The names of over 64-thousand children, women, and men are engraved onto 160 slabs of granite; the slabs are arranged in an oval ring. Within the open and uncovered space, visitors to the memorial can walk briskly past each vertical block, but the air is thick with names.

Selma ABZUG, geboren/born 1886
Ernst ADLER, geb./b. 1904
David ALBRECHT, geb./b. 1871
Grete ALTMANN, geb./b. 1928
.
.
.

Therese WEISZ, geb./b. 1867
Eva WELLISCH, geb./b. 1933
Alfred WERTHEIM, geb./b. 1920
Edmund WESTFRIED, geb./b. 1890

… We must be listened to: above and beyond our personal experience, we have collectively witnessed a fundamental unexpected event, fundamental precisely because unexpected, not foreseen by anyone. It happened; therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.

— Primo Levi: Italian chemist, Holocaust survivor, and author.

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My Vienna: Aspang Station Deportation Memorial

“Well into the 1970s, the area around present-day Leon Zelman Park was the site of the Aspang Railway Station, which was built in 1880–1881 as a terminal for the regional Vienna-Aspang-Pitten rail line. Despite its relatively central location in the city’s 3rd district, the station served only regional rail traffic and was not very busy. These were likely reasons why after the “Anschluss” the Nazis chose this station for deportation transports.

Two transport trains departed in October 1939 with 1584 Jewish men deported to Nisko in the Lublin District of the General Governorate of occupied Poland as a failed attempt to create the Lublin reservation for expelled European Jews. Much larger deportations resumed from February 1941 to October 1942. 45451 Austrian-Jewish men and women were deported on a total of 45 transport trains to ghettos and extermination sites in (what are now) Czechia, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia.

In Vienna, the cynically-named Nazi ‘Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung’ (Central Agency for Jewish Emigration) organized deportation efforts including forced captivity and assembly or collection points. Four internment stations were established in the city’s 2nd district where prisoners were abused and stripped of their possessions. For every transport, about one thousand people were driven to Aspang Station in uncovered trucks, in plain and open sight of the city’s population.

Of the 47035 Jewish men and women deported from Aspang Railway Station, only 1073 (2%) survived, according to the research by Austrian historian Jonny Moser, himself a survivor of the Holocaust/Shoah. In total, more than 65-thousand Austrian Jews fell victim; most of them began their road to their deaths at Aspang Station.”

•   Paraphrased from Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien (Art in public spaces Vienna).

After the war and Allied-occupation period, little was done to improve the station and its tracks. The station was closed in 1971 and the station building was demolished by 1977. The turn of the millennium provided momentum to both city and the national rail company for redevelopment of the area, including apartment blocks, green space, and a memorial. Today, the former railway station is Leon Zelman Park, named after Dr. Leon Zelman who established in 1980 the Jewish Welcome Service Vienna and led the organization until his passing in 2007. The inauguration of the deportation memorial occurred on 7 September 2017 with full opening to the public on the following day.


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My Vienna: 22 urban frames for 2022

Above/featured: “The first Sunday.” Karlsplatz, 1st district – 15 May 2022.

Earlier in the year, I spent four weeks in Vienna, soaking in late-spring and early-summer weather in Austria’s capital city. I highlighted 3 images and scenes which in addition to time spent left personal impressions. Below, I highlight in a “last chance effort” an additional 22 visual examples of the urbanity in Wien, folding in splashes of colour, lines of focus, and accessibility to good timing.

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My Vienna: Imperial Court Pavilion Hietzing (O. Wagner)

Above/featured: Facing east, a U4 train departs Hietzing station to terminus Heiligenstadt.

Along Vienna’s U4 metro line, a dark-domed white cube-like structure seems to float over the tracks between Schönbrunn and Hietzing stations. Most may not realize the building’s relevance to the history of the city’s first railway, the city’s rapid urban evolution into the 20th-century, and the railway architect’s eventual “break away” transition from historicism to modernism.

Vienna was going to look very different after 1890. The city undertook its second and greatest expansion, absorbing 6 outer districts and ballooning the total population to almost 1.4 million (almost doubled in 10 years). The city’s administration recognized the challenge of efficiently transporting people between its new outer suburbs and the inner city. In 1894, Vienna appointed architect Otto Wagner with the complete design and construction of the new Wiener Stadtbahn metropolitan railway. The railway saw the creation of four new lines: the Danube canal line (Donaukanallinie), the “Belt” line (Gürtellinie), the suburb line (Vorortlinie), and the Vienna river valley line (Wientallinie). Today, the city’s U-Bahn U4 and U6 lines and the S-Bahn S45 line operate electrified over much of the original routing.

The Vienna valley line brought track and construction in front of Schönbrunn, the imperial summer palace for the ruling Habsburgs. The rail line’s new Schönbrunn station was located at the northeast corner of the palace grounds. But at the grounds’ northwest corner, Wagner created two stations: one for the public, and one for the Habsburgs. Built for the inauguration of the city railway on 1 June 1898, the imperial pavilion was set aside for the emperor, family, and staff. Emperor Franz Josef I only used the pavilion twice, as he was reluctant (hostile) to accept rapid changes brought by modernity.

Wagner created a domed-building whose interior was furnished with floral and vegetal elements in the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) style, a painting with a bird’s eye view of the city over Schönbrunn, a private suite for the emperor; and whose exterior included the uniform green and white colours seen throughout the entire rail network, glass and wrought-iron elements, and a separate portal providing a covered entrance for the imperials. Out of the many station buildings Wagner designed for the entire system, the imperial pavilion at Hietzing is most associated with the “historical” architectural style. The building is now a part of the city’s Wien Museum after successful post-war efforts to save and restore the structure.

The informal name is the “Hofpavillon Hietzing” (Imperial Court Pavilion Hietzing), but the building’s formal name is “Pavillon des kaiserlichen und königlichen Allerhöchsten Hofes” (Pavilion of the Imperial and Royal Highest Court). In the images below are divided sections: “exterior”, “interior”, and “sketches”.

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Bo-Kaap, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, South Africa, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-three

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

15 October 2012.

Deep pastel colours on one-storey houses are a signature for Cape Town’s “Bo-Kaap” (“Upper Cape”, in Afrikaans). I follow around the contours of Signal Hill to its southeastern slope; an easy walk into the neighbourhood has me constantly turning my head from one vivid house to the next. Known formerly as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap was home to the Cape’s Malay and Muslim population from the 18th-century. After their emancipation, freed slaves began settling in this area of town in the 1830s, and it’s believed they painted their houses as independent and joyous expressions of their freedom. The image here is at the intersection of Wale Street and Chiappini Street, reflecting the neighbourhood’s history for openness and diversity.

I made the photo above on 15 Oct 2012 with a Canon EOS450D/Rebel XSi and the following settings: 1/500-sec, f/8, ISO200, and 23mm focal length (37mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-jtL.

My Fuji X70 recipes: Fujichrome Slide & Kodak Platinum 200

Above/featured: 1st Narrows, from John Lawson Pier.

My Fujifilm X70 mirrorless fixed-lens prime camera has been a big plus for photography at domestic and international locations. The built-into-camera film-simulations (e.g., Provia, Velvia) work beautifully in standard settings, but as I’ve never had a film camera, the advent of “camera recipes” to produce additional film-like settings stimulated interest in different colour or pictorial representations.

So far, I’ve tested these Fujifilm film-simulation (“film-sim”) recipes:

•   Ektachrome 100SW (saturated warm), simulating images with the Kodak colour transparency or slide films produced 1996–2002;
•   Kodachrome 64, simulating images with the Kodak colour film produced between the mid-1970s and 2009;
•   Kodacolor, “producing classic Kodak analog aesthetic closest to early-1980s Kodacolor VR200 colour film that’s been overexposed.”


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Schleusenbrücke Wehr 1, Neue Donau, 22. Bezirk, Donaustadt, Wien, Vienna, Austria, Österreich, fotoeins.com

My Vienna: 7 city views for free from modest heights

At the eastern limit of the Alps, the city of Vienna is built at the “low end” where the hills meet the Danube river, at a minimum altitude of about 150 metres (500 feet) above sea-level. Visitors to the Austrian capital city who don’t have much time but want a broad overview of the city will make their way to one or all of the Donauturm (Danube Tower), Riesenrad (Ferris Wheel), and Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral). Each of these landmarks requires the price of admission to get up high in the sky.

For other views at more modest heights, you’ll see there are options, especially because I’ve set foot in all 23 of the city’s districts. Below I highlight seven locations; all are free (zero charge) to access. All but one are well outside the inner city for the opportunity to explore other city districts and to gain a better sense of the physical size of the city.


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Lantau Island, Tai O, Hong Kong, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, twenty-five

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

21 June 2012.

On the first full day of northern summer, I’m on a day trip from Hong Kong proper to the west side of Lantau Island. The small fishing town of Tai O is my destination. It’s not long before my stomach growls in hunger at the sight of a woman making “Chinese pizza” (香妃卷, “heung fei guen”).

Among a variety of deep-fried seafood, Chinese pizza is a specialty of the Tai O Snack shop (大澳小食). The “pizza” consists of an egg crepe base, upon which diced spring onion, pickled radish chunks, roasted sesame seeds, crunchy egg crisps/savoury cracker, salt, black pepper, and homemade savory sauce are added. After a gentle grill, the crepe is folded and rolled, ready for takeaway or for consumption at one of the small tables inside. It’s entirely possible you might want fried-fish or -shrimp as well on the side …

I made the image on 21 Jun 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/13-sec, f/5, ISO200, and 20mm focal length (32mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-m86.

Hong Kong Mahjong Company, Lockhart Road, Tonnochy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, twenty-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.

18 June 2012.

I’m looking for something that can (partly) summarize Hong Kong in an image. That the city rarely sleeps, that there are always people streaming through by day or at night. The scene above of the pedestrian crossing is at the intersection of Lockhart Road and Tonnochy Road in Wan Chai. Notable is the neon sign at upper right, representing the 2nd home of the Hong Kong Mahjong Company (香港蔴雀娛樂). In November 2015, the company moved into a new 3rd home a block further east at Lockhart and Marsh.

What’s equally noteworthy is the near proximity to Joy Hing Roasted Meats (再興燒臘飯店), for an essential dining experience of having a BBQ-pork rice plate on a small plastic table and a little plastic chair.

I made the image on 18 Jun 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/6-sec, f/8, ISO800, and 41mm focal length (66mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-m7B.

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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