I was so happy when I saw that Clare of Pampelmuse and Me chose Berlin for her favorite destination for travel snapshots. On top, she is also so lucky to actually live in Berlin and enjoy the great life there together with her sweet family! So jealous! Enjoy!!
What is your most favorite place to take photographs?
I have had such a hard time deciding a favourite! I was very, very tempted to choose Australia. Australia will always have a special place in my heart. It is where I grew up and the colours and the space are like nothing else. It is a wonderful place for landscape photography. The beaches, the desert, the enormous sky that seems to go one forever... it really is a landscape photographers dream.
(Central Australia, Dec 2010)
But as much as I like landscape photography, what I really love is people watching and capturing the mood of a city through it's street scenes. And whilst Melbourne and Sydney both have the feel of big cities they don't quite cut it for street cred in the same way that my current home town, Berlin, does.
What makes this place so photogenic in your eyes?
Berlin has a real urban, gritty, lived in feel. For a European city it's incredibly afordable and so it attracts lots of artists and musicians. The people watching is great and it has developed quite a reputation as a place of wonderful street art. Walking the streets of Berlin and taking picture of the street scenes is what makes Berlin so great for me.
Which popular sights did you like best?
The area around Museum Island is a popular tourist hang-out. There are lots of 'beach bar' style cafes along the Spree in the warmer months and the State museum's are just across the bridge. In terms of museums, for me the Pergamon is definitely a must, although the German History Museum is also great and offers some wonderful views down Unter den Linden from the first floor.
A little bit further a field, the suburbs of Prenzlauerberg, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain are wonderful to walk around. Lots of cafes, boutique shops and people watching if you have the time to slow down for a few hours and see how the locals live.
Every place has its own beauty, essence and specialities. How can this be captured on film?
For me Berlin's beauty or essence is in her flea markets and cafe culture. Every Sunday Berlin's fleamarkets come to life; my favourite is Boxhagenerplatz Flohmarkt although Mauerpark Flohmarkt is also great and for high-end things you can't go past the Flohmarkt in Charlottenberg. There are some great photo opportunities at all of the Flohmarkts and if you begin your morning with brunch at one of the local cafes you'll be on your way to capturing a 'typical' weekend for many Berlin locals.
Are there any specifics to take into consideration while shooting and do you have any special recommendations on how to get the "perfect picture"?
It rains a lot in Berlin and for a lot of the year it's pretty cold and grey. This doesn't necessarily make for great tourist photos with blue sky backgrounds, but if you embrace the weather in your photos you can end up with some interesting photos that really pick-up on Berlin's unique character. But don't forget to make the most of it when the sun does come out - the sunset over Museum Insel from the east bank is really quite wonderful as the colours of the sky are reflected in the sandstone of the buildings - definitely worth waiting for over an Aperol Spritz (or two!)
While traveling, what camera equipment do you normally take?
I always travel with my DSLR. For a long time I had an old and trusty Canon Rebel but I've recently stretched out and up-graded to a Canon 7D! I have two main lenses that I use; 90% of my photos are taken with a Canon 50mm f/1.4, although I also have a telephoto lens (80-300mm) which I occasionally use. I don't think this is necessarily the best combination, you loose out on lots of architectural shots, and on my wish-list is a wide-angled lens - something like a 24-70mm f/2.8, but I think I'm going to be dreaming about that for a long time before it becomes even close to reality!
What is your most favorite picture of this place and why?
All pictures by Clare of Pampelmuse and Me.