Berlin a couple of weeks ago

Copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale

A couple of weeks ago I had my first opportunity to visit Berlin. I drove over from Hanover, but missed the transition from the old Western Germany into old Eastern Germany, probably because I was driving a bit too fast on the Autobahn in the far left lane when I realized the rest stop on my right was the old border crossing. So I missed a cliché. But I did capture the “Check Point Charlie” cliché while in Berlin.

My hotel was right on the edge of the transition between the former Eastern Berlin and Western Berlin, but only one late evening stroll to photograph. But lordy, I needed the excercise and other than a strong breeze, a nice evening for a walk. So for me a traditional walk and reactionary photographic event. I have been thinking about a Metro project, so I continued to work on framing that concept out, but it is still in the early stages.

4 thoughts on “Berlin a couple of weeks ago

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  1. Hi Doug,

    I’m really interested to try to understand how you work on your projects. What do you mean by “reactionary photographic event”? Also you write “framing that concept out”, does that involve a definite plan or is it an organic process where you know from experience that ‘something’ will gradually emerge over time? Thanks, Colin.

  2. Hello Colin,

    Firstly, defining what I was trying to say. For me a “reactionary photographic event” means that I have an internal emotional response to a preceived composition and rather than trying to analyize why I like a potential composition, I just immediatly photograph that I am visualizing. I see “something” then react to it.

    As to “framing that concept out” means to investigate further why something appeals to me, then start placing boundaries (frames) around how I interpt it. Like placing a frame around a photograph, trying to understand what might go into the frame, and what might not apply.

    Nextm as a hypothetical example; potentially making a project around Metro stations, so far that means including the Metro sign, not neccessarily including the entrance or exit from the Metro station. But an alternative is to include only the stairs decending, but not neccesarily including the Metro sign. OR another alternative is including someone decending down the stairs Or likewise not have anyone visible around the Metro station. So at some time, I need to write down what exactly I want to include and what I don’t need to include and for me personally, why? (this usually occurs while working on the project, as I do not always understand why some projects appeal to me, but try trust my muse) Does this example help?

    BTW, I sometimes work organically, e.g. my “Ciociaria” project that grew and evolved during my Italian walk-abouts, or sometimes by design, e.g. my project “Insomnia: Hotel Noir” when I was trying to investigate my feelings of loneliness during my frequent travels (and currently working on another version, tentativly NWM). I try to stay open to all ideas, regardless of source. Sometimes one idea lays the seed (foundation) for another idea. At times, I am working on various phases of upwards of five ideas or more, but I know that I need to concentrate on one of these projects to bring it to a final end. Which currently is Ciociaria.

    I guess that I need to be careful with American (SoCal? Detroit? my own?) slang, eh?

  3. Thanks for that. I now understand exactly what you mean regarding “reactionary”. I’ve made a break though myself this last year by allowing myself to do the same and then realising that my photography had suddenly become more rewarding by doing so. Similarly, I’ve also begun to realise that sticking to preconceived ideas for a project can also stifle them and that you have to let them develop (and develop with them). It’s good to know that someone else works a similar way! Thanks for your reply. By the way, the first image in your post really captured my attention.

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