June 2011


Things I can say, Six Days after #11FMB

Upon further reflection, I have to confess, I really enjoyed the Fotomarathon – far more than I expected, and unless the Fotomarathon coincides with CSD 2012 (Berlin’s Gay Pride parade and celebration), I will definitely do it again next year.

I say that, even as I remember that it took far more out of me physically than I expected.

Actually, I’ve surfed the web a bit looking for further contests this year – and there is a Fotomarathon in Vienna at the end of September, the weekend of the Berlin Marathon and the Pope’s visit – perhaps a trip out of town is in order.

That said, I have the following observations to make:

  1. My iPhone was an invaluable tool during the race: it helped me figure out how to get where I needed to go, and, at times, gave me inspiration when I was struggling—although the inspiration wasn’t always useful.
  2. I want a new camera, and right now I am looking at an entry level DSLR camera – either the Nikon D5100 or the Canon 600D (in the US: Rebel T3i). As I’ve started to delve into this a bit deeper, I’m realizing that I am essentially converting to a religion of one kind or another. If I pick the Nikon D5100, I will be with Nikon for the rest of my life, and vice versa. My current camera, a point and shoot, is a Nikon Coolpix.
  3. On my next Fotomarathon, I will carry less: I should have realized that the paper format of my Lonely Planet Berlin guide was duplicative of my iPhone version.
  4. That said, carrying a physical map of the city was a brilliant idea—there was one point where I wanted to find a park—any green space, really—and pulling out the map was faster and easier to deal with than my iPhone.
  5. Two small bottles of water were just right – I wasn’t near stores when I needed to drink and I wasn’t near stores when it was time to take my allergy pill. Bottled water = good.
  6. I need to take more photos, but I think that I’ve reached the limit of what I can do with my 3 year old point and shoot – besides, like many people, my daily camera is the iPhone 4. Between my iPhone 3G and the iPhone 4, Apple dramatically improved the camera quality.
  7. I admire the people on the Fotomarathon who tried to keep a consistent theme throughout their photos – I’m not that creative or, perhaps, that advanced in my photography. At least right now. Maybe next time I will try to incorporate some kind of theme into my photography. Hopefully next time I won’t be screwed by some kind of musical theme.
  8. I do not regret giving myself time limits for each photograph and I do not regret taking time for lunch as well as a break for coffee and cake — the breaks kept me fresh.

So, yeah, I guess you could say that I really enjoyed myself – and what I haven’t confessed to yet is that I’ve been dreaming about the fotomarathon – I wish I could remember my dreams clearly because all I can say is that the dreams have centered on me trying to interpret song lyrics and to take appropriate photographs.

3 comments to Things I can say, Six Days after #11FMB

  • Michele J

    I know what you’re saying about the religion. We went through this about 5 years ago and ended up with the Canon (at the time D450). My advice is to go to a camera store and try them out. The Rebels are a bit smaller and they fit my “girlie hands” better, although I have relatively large hands for a woman. The buttons were also more intuitive for me. The drawback though was that a larger lens (and you will be moving up quickly; this is an expensive hobby) feels a bit unbalanced/front-heavy on the Canon, like it’s a camera on a lens instead of the other way around; maybe that’s less of an issue now. Have them put a mid-range zoom lens and then a big telephoto on each of the cameras and see what you think. Ideally take your own memory card with you so you can look at the photos later. See also http://www.digitalphotographywriter.com/2011/04/nikon-d5100-vs-canon-rebel-t3i-600d.html

  • I keep meaning to say thanks for tweeting about the Fotomarathon — otherwise I would never have heard of it or participated!

  • Michele j — going to Saturn or Media Markt is my next step — just to hold the cameras and see how they feel in my hands. That might be a huge factor in the decision making process.

    Mandi – You should really thank Snooker in Berlin — it was her tweet about the fotomarathon that inspired me to register and tweet. Regardless, it was fun seeing you at the checkpoints — even as we took pretty radically different approaches.