Even though I am rather good at remembering stuff, I am sure that slowly some images, that were once fresh in my mind, will start to fade away. This is where photos come into play, they work as a kind of a ” defibrillator” to get my memory going again. By simply glancing at a pic, I immediately relate it to some memories and experiences. Often it might be that the picture is not that meaningful even to me, but still I rather have a lot of pictures than too little.
I believe this is one of the biggest reasons why I take a lot of photos, even of objects that seem dull to many. Yesterday my camera was again with me as I was walking through some of the more known places in Berlin. I have to say, I blended in nicely with the tourist groups with my Sony and small Gorillapod.
I found myself on Saturday evening feeling a bit tired after a going away party for one of my Finnish friends. The scorching heat of 30 degrees Celsius did not aid in anyway to get me up and going to actually do something on a Saturday night. As I sat at my desk, browsing mindlessly through different sites, I glanced at my camera and turned my attention towards the beautiful, nevertheless hot, outdoors and decided that I’d take my chances with the hot weather and go walk around the neighborhood to see if I could catch anything interesting onto my memory card.
I felt the heatwave immediately hitting my face as I walked out of my building and I could not help but think that this was not the Germany I was used to. Like an explorer in the Sahara desert, I walked for sometime without seeing anything of interest. I had long planned to go and take pictures of the old Tempelhof Airport, basically next door to me, and seeing that the sun was starting to head under, I ran to the nearest train station and took a train….the wrong train. I ended up back where I had started from, at Schöneberg, only to enjoy a 20minute wait for the next train to Tempelhof, needless to say with the ongoing sleep mode and the oven-like climate, I was not happy.
After fighting my way out of a train that felt more like a cattle transport, due to the amount of people fitted into a single train, Iwas happy to be at my destination, the former airport of Tempelhof, now one of the largest parks in Berlin. Recently, I’ve been trying out creating HDR picture, with success and at times with no success. This Saturday was to be yet another chance for me to learn a bit of HDR photography. As I traveled towards the old Hangars and Terminals, I was excited by even the mere thought of walking on a runway that had once received at peak times a plane per minute and had helped the people of Berlin enormously during the Berlin Blockade.I mean, I know I am a history nut, I get it. On my journey towards the terminal building I also stopped to take pictures of the usage of the airport nowadays:People having picnics, parties and doing different kinds of sport activities.
Even though I had envisioned that I would get cool pics from the Airport itself, I have to say, the Terminal building was rather hard to photograph, being that you couldn’t really get too close to it and thus the angles for pictures were rather limited. Nevertheless, I took a couple of photos and continued my way along the runways, running into an old reminder of the time when the U.S. Army was present. Some plane enthusiasts probably know the model of this troop carrier, but for me it was merely a nice shiny plane accompanied by some stairs belonging also the U.S. Army. It’s sometimes really interesting to think how much of U.S. influence Berlin has throughout the times had, having so many troops stationed here during the Berlin Brigade times, the Americans also partly brought parts of their culture into the melting pot of Berlin.
For most Europeans Baseball isn’t that familiar, which is why the two rather old Baseball fields (ok, one was a softball field) caught my attention. Wearing often baseball fan apparel (especially Redsox gear, go Boston) and having tried to understand the sport more and more, I have to admit that this was my first real encounter with a real Baseball field. Now when I say real, I have to clarify that I had seen these fields earlier this year but not yet looked at them more closely. I couldn’t get too close now either, seeing that both fields were fenced thus making it understandably hard for non baseball players to access the fields at night time. I walked around the fields trying to find a place to get my zoom on and perhaps try and take a couple of nice pictures. I managed to stick my camera through a couple of holes in the fences, so as to have a less obstructed view of the diamonds and the field itself.
Having managed to take a couple of decent pictures I left home in hope of trying out HDR editing on photoshop during the late hours of the night. I know that Berlin has a couple of Baseball teams and seeing that I want to learn more about the sport, I have to definitely look up some of their game schedules. Funnily enough, I left my place in hopes of getting a couple of pictures of old historic places and I managed to do so, however I had not thought that the most interesting place to take pics would not be the old airport, but the sport facilities of the people who used to work there, a long time ago.
Wars and conflicts are never a good thing directly, even in the case of a city like Berlin, one can still see some indirect implications from the city being divided for such a long time. Now, often the implications of war and dividing cities and countries are obviously not good, but the one thing that can be indirectly linked to the city being divided is that the rent prices and living expenses have not risen as fast as in some other areas of the country. Why I bring this up is that I have recently gotten the pleasure of enjoying rooftop parties at my friends place, or their “commune”, if you will. For some people rooftop parties might be an everyday thing, more common than the usage of “like” as a substitute for commas in the speech of some unnamed nationalities, but for me they are still a rarity.
In Finland the only people that can afford rooftop apartments with massive terraces, are usually the people who do not have to look at the floor level shelves at the supermarket when going shopping. Here in Berlin, “regular” people can afford to enjoy the luxury of seeing the sun set far away, creating silhouettes of the city on its way down, atop your own apartment. Even though, it is still very possible to live in a rooftop apartment, there are not enough of them to go around for everyone. However, with good luck you might know someone who has a rooftop terrace place, as I did.
It wasn’t the first time I visited my friends pad, but it was the first time I remembered to bring my camera with me. Even though the night started to fall upon us nearly immediately as I had arrived to the rooftop, thanks to my swift moves and fast camera handling, I was able to capture a couple of these “rooftop moments” onto my camera, before the fat ball of fire that we nickname the Sun could fully dive behind the skyline.
We noticed with my friend,after jumping a fence to another rooftop (for a better pic) that the party seemed to follow us and that we had unintentionally created a gathering of amateur photographers on the roof of a curious neighbour, probably wondering why he hears noises of shutters clicking and people laughing through his roof. Nevertheless, everyone behaved and did the same as we, took memories of this great city that one cannot buy from a gift shop at the Brandenburg Gate.
Once again this Saturday had given me yet more reasons to contemplate on staying in Berlin even longer than merely till the end of this, seemingly short, year.
Even though I had mentioned in the previous post that I would be posting pics of my time in Finland, in the next few posts, I have to break that promise. You see, Berlin is just too tempting to capture on a memory card (wouldn’t it be so much nicer to say on film), meaning that I had to go and take a couple of pictures of the capital of the country that I myself have dubbed the economic lungs of Europe. Oh and on another note, last week I finally started my internship, here in the big B. Having hunted down internships like Robin Hood the rich, I am so happy that I ended up where I did. Each day so far has been filled with humor, fun and even work, which has felt more like my thing than padding down people at the airport (ref. to a previous job).
During the weekend I tried to go and take some pictures while the sun was up. My task was seemingly difficult, seeing that it was often rather cloudy and thus the sun was starting to at times feel like a distant relative who never visits, even though you might like to see him/her. I ended up taking a couple of “quick” photos and to my surprise some of them seemed to have turned up to be rather ok. Do check them out and I’ll be adding some Finnyland Fotos (had to continue the F- theme) later on.