Despite being behind at both Berlin Fotomarathon checkpoints, I had a burst of creativity last night that allowed me to finish up my shooting at something like 9:45.
The theme for the day was Den Augenblick genießen – which translates as “Enjoy the moment” (or, as it was at checkpoints 1 and 2, “seize the moment”), and the start-line was a beer garden between the Bundeskanzleramt and the Hauptbahnhof – an otherwise forgotten no-mans land.
Just as the organizers finished taking their group photo, it started raining. It had been drizzling before and as it got more and more threatening my camera went in its bag, protected with its rain jacket. Then, like so many of the 600 contestants, I grabbed my first set of themes and went straight to the Hauptbahnhof to consider my plans.
Between the rain and the fact that my number had been reassigned, I no longer had a plan for the day. Originally I was number 1 – a weighty responsibility – and I had constructed a day around public transports, specifically lines U1, S1, and (tram) M1. My goal had been to have at least one train or tram in the background of every photo – but when I was informed at 9:30 Friday evening that my number had been switched to 21, this plan was in doubt.
There are two buses with the number 21: the M21 and the X21 – both running roughly the same route between somewhere I only go when on my way to the airport and somewhere else I’d never heard of, running through neighborhoods that I’ve never visited. Not really optimal.
Instead I was going to play it by ear – and given the shitty weather conditions, I was in the “Hier und jetzt” (Here and now) for the first photo – I just set up my stuff by a pillar in the Hauptbahnhof and got the photo out of the way.
Trau Dich! / Go For It! Suggested somebody racing to get somewhere – and since I was at the Hauptbahnhof, I immediately went upstairs and caught somebody racing to get on a train – complete with that sense of motion and victory in one.
Then I’d had enough: the Hauptbahnhof was, obviously, the backdrop for at least 300 different photographers in the fotomarathon, and I needed to be different – so I hopped on an S-Bahn and headed west, finding myself at the Lesbian and Gay Stadtfest – where I could shoot farbenfroh/colorful – sneeking in the word “play”
The next photo as freie Auswahl / free choice – There’s a pretty street nearby and so I set up my tripod and got everything just right and waited a minute or two. I was hoping to capture a couple walking down the street. Didn’t happen, so rather than waste too much time, I just went with the street.
The rain started clearing up at this point, which was pretty well timed for the dahinschmelzen/melting away photograph. It hadn’t quite gone far enough, and hadn’t quite warmed up enough – but I had this idea that I could find a car that was steaming slightly as water evaporated. Didn’t find the steam, but I think the sort of captured the moment.
Perfektion/perfection to me, on a Saturday morning, is going to the Winterfeldmarkt and eating a piece of tiramisu – it is to die for – perfection in food.
The seventh photo proved to be a huge headache – and I went from being way ahead to being way behind. Euphorisch/euphoric called to (at least) my mind Sweden and its recent Eurovision song contest victory with the song Euphoria. So I took a break, relaxed for about half an hour, confident that I could go to the Swedish Embassy and find something that would make sense.
Oh how wrong I was – despite the fact that it was Open Embassy Doors Day (or something like that), the Nordic Embassies were locked up tighter than a drum and I couldn’t make out which piece of the Nordic Embassies Complex was the Swedish piece. That said, I did discover the Syrian Embassy, which was well protected with temporary fencing, and a detachment of police parked out front.
This photo was a disaster for me, and I ended up going to the first checkpoint to get the next eight themes without having snapped photo 7. Eventually, after travelling half way across Berlin, I just gave up and snapped something bright and shiny.
Sorry, my euphorisch/euphoric sucks
For photo 8, I found myself at an Einstein Kaffee, where I had a slight “accident” that was versunken/absorbed. Now that I think about it, I used the wrong definition of the English word – oh dear. I hope the judges are lenient.
With 8 photos under my belt, I was ready to tackle the next 8 themes – I already knew what I wanted for photos 9 and 11, but the rest were going to be challenging.
But I’ll talk about those, tomorrow.