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Berlin with the X-Pro1 - Part One

Berlin with the X-Pro1 - Part One | All about the gear | Scoop.it
I'd never been to Berlin before, but I'd seen a few films set there.
Forefront in my mind was 'Wings of Desire', Wim Wender's atmospheric tale
of an angel (literally) falling for a trapeze artist in 1980's Berlin. It
stars Bruno Ganz, Nick Cave and Columbo and it's all shot in the most
gorgeous black and white.

And that's how I thought I was going to shoot Berlin. I mean, this is
surely a monochrome city, right? Battle scarred buildings, grim brutalist
Eastern-bloc architecture, lowering skies, great concrete walls - one
amazing oppressive movie set. That's how my mind imagined it.

Turns out I'm an idiot. Berlin is tremendously colourful. I arrived on the
train from Schoenfeld airport greeted by some beautiful magic hour light. I
figured, "What the hell, let's capture a little colour at least," and set
the camera to Pro-Neg Hi colour film simulation. I never left that setting.
Whenever I confronted a crumbling ruin of a building, a concrete monolith
of a towerblock, it always seemed painted in lovely warm light and splashed
with the most vibrant graffiti. 'Poor but sexy' indeed and as splashed with
colour as a heaping of ketchuppy Currywurst.

With a friend kindly providing crash space and guided tours, for six days I
pounded the streets with the X-Pro1 and the 18mm and 35mm lenses. As ever
the 18mm saw more action. I became entranced by Berlin's transit system.
Each tube and overland station had its own distinct character. The train
and tram lines wove together in the most elegant way. It was a wonderfully
rational system humanised by a occasional grungy, knockabout visual appeal.
Lots of yellows, reds and the omnipresent tags and stickers and scrawls
upon any flat surface going.

I'm ashamed to say that I went to very few museums. I was just addicted to
the street photography. Berlin has a really comfortable, non-judgemental
feel. The people are friendly and the city lets you move at your own pace.
It's far less hectic and maddening than London and there's greater
tolerance towards the strange and the grungy. But you can see the rising
battle between gentrification, the Berlin Wall being a pale shadow of its
past and the renowned artist-squat gallery building Tacheles bought out and
boarded up by developers.

I flew back with enough photos to fill two blog entries. So here's the
first. I processed them all in Lightroom 5 using JPEG's created in camera
and a new filmic preset I created to try and get an alternating Bruce
Davisdson / Stephen Shore feel. I hope you enjoy and if you haven't been to
Berlin, you really owe it to yourself to go there.

We open with the rather nice Eastern-bloc apartment and base of operations
owned by my good friend Pimpin' Paulie. (Name may be fictitious...)

As ever, click images to embiggen...

I'd originally purchased the X-Pro1 due to it having an optical viewfinder,
which few cameras its size possess. However, I have found myself swayed to
the evil side of things with the EVF, which allows you to pre-visualise a
shot. Net result being far more crunchy blacks and much more shadow-play.
It really is a boon in helping you think about how light falls in a scene,
as well as composition.

Coming from a city without any tube or tram action going on, I became
rather giddy at the prospect of shooting street around the many Berlin
stations on offer. Combine that with a very reasonably priced five day
unlimited travel ticket within the city limits and it probably comes as no
surprise that a good chunk of my photography that holiday was done by
hopping on and off trains...

Honestly, it was all I could do not to hum Kraftwerk's 'Trans-Europe
Express' as I tootled around. By the way, for definitive subway photographs
check out Bruce Davidson's book, um, 'Subway'. In bringing you his
photographs he got mugged in the line of duty.

And now back on the streets. Berlin savvy folk may be able to instantly
clock my movements from these photographs, and will find the bulk of these
photos to have been taken in the West. The East, an entirely different
visual prospect, will appear in the follow up. Let's dive back onto the
surface level with a photograph of a sinister clone duo...

A little to the North of the Museum Island, near the Hackeschen Markt
station, you can find an odd mix of the gentrified arty scene and the slum
dilapidated bohemian counter-culture crash pads. Currently with the demise
of Tacheles it looks as if the gentry are winning...

There was a girl blowing bubbles near the station, she was very good. We
got to talking and I did an impromptu photo session with her. And then
proceeded to leave behind a recently bought bag of books as I ran for the
train. B'oh!

And then it was off to Checkpoint Charlie for obligatory Cold War
tourist-cheese snaps. Disappointingly there were no men walking around with
rolled up copies of the Financial times exchaging black briefcases with
significant nods.

We end this first part with three of my favourite images from the trip, the
last being, perhaps fittingly, a sunset. Next update we'll take in some
grungy East German bohemia and a rich slice of night-shooting. Thank you
for stopping by, and stay classy photo-fans!


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In Heidelberg with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the m.Zuiko 12-40 2.8 Pro

In Heidelberg with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the m.Zuiko 12-40 2.8 Pro | All about the gear | Scoop.it
The Easter weekend was near and I decided to take a short brake and visit my birth town. The last time I visited Heidelberg must have been more than ten years ago. My wonderful wife was not with me…
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Daniel Stocker has got a new flickr account

Daniel Stocker has got a new flickr account | All about the gear | Scoop.it
Explore Daniel Stocker's photo on Flickr!
Stockografie's insight:
Feel free to follow my new flickr account
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With the X-T10 in Winter wonderland

With the X-T10 in Winter wonderland | All about the gear | Scoop.it
On a resent business trip to the north of Sweden I had one day off. The days are short but the working days are long. As I knew I would have the Sunday off I took the Fuji X-T10 and the XC 16-50 II…
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Budapest, a city trip with the X100T Part III

Budapest, a city trip with the X100T Part III | All about the gear | Scoop.it
First of all you can read Part I and Part II of the short trip to Budapest. In the first two parts I have written a few words about the three day lasting trip to this wonderful city in Hungary wher…
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Budapest, a city trip with the X100T Part I

Budapest, a city trip with the X100T Part I | All about the gear | Scoop.it
You might have been following my last posts about my switch to Olympus with the Pen-F and then the move to something quite radical. A few weeks ago I decided to go the very minimal route with nothi…
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When GAS becomes stupid

When GAS becomes stupid | All about the gear | Scoop.it
I know, I know. In my last blogpost I told you all about my switch from X to F and now this. I am hear to tell you that the X is back. How stupid is that, you will think. And rightly so. After just…
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The Fuji X-T1 in Myanmar

The Fuji X-T1 in Myanmar | All about the gear | Scoop.it
The last blog post I showed you some of the photographs which I took with the Sony RX100M3 in Myanmar. Yes of course I had my Fuji gear with me which consisted of the Fuji X-T1, the XF 16-55 2.8 an…
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Vietnam – Hoi An – part 2 | Gregor Harih photography

Vietnam – Hoi An – part 2 | Gregor Harih photography | All about the gear | Scoop.it
Kitajskemu novemu letu sva nazdravila v mestu Hoi An. Prvi dan v novem letu je gneča z ulic izginila in številne trgovine in restavracije so zaprle.
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Fujinon 18-135mm OIS Review

Fujinon 18-135mm OIS Review | All about the gear | Scoop.it
The Fujinon 18-135mm OIS is Fujifilm's 'superzoom' for their X mount system. Love them or hate them, superzooms have a place in many photographers' bags because of their convenience and...
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Why I Chose Small Compact Camera Like Fujifilm X100T

Why I Chose Small Compact Camera Like Fujifilm X100T | All about the gear | Scoop.it
© 2015 Wazari Wazir | Kuala Lumpur Train Station© 2015 Wazari Wazir | Kuala Lumpur Train StationActually this is not so much about Fujifilm X100T camera but more about on why in certain situation it is better to have a small compact camera than using a big bulky DSLR camera. Most…
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Street photography

Street photography | All about the gear | Scoop.it
Every now and then I start thinking about my personal photography. And occasionally I realize that the shots I am taking do not make me happy. Just recently my wife and I had a wonderful vacation i…
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The X100 Series camera and its versatility

A short video showing how versatile an Fujifilm X100 Series camera can be. The cameras used are the Fujifilm X100, X100S, X100T and the X100F You can fin
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Fuji is Fuji

Fuji is Fuji | All about the gear | Scoop.it
Some time ago I wrote about my switch from the Fuji System to Olympus. With a switch of system I thought to myself, I would change everything. My photography would become more creative, I would pho…
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Budapest, a city trip with the X100T Part II

Budapest, a city trip with the X100T Part II | All about the gear | Scoop.it
If you have not taken a look at Part I of this going to be three part blog post then just head over via the link. In this post I´ll talk about day two and day three in Budapest as well as the main …
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The X100 vs X100T

The X100 vs X100T | All about the gear | Scoop.it
As the title says this is a shootout between both of Fuji´s fixed lens cameras. The question is: Can the X100 deliver an image quality that rivals that of the X100T? Both share a very similar body …
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From Fuji X to the Olympus Pen-F

From Fuji X to the Olympus Pen-F | All about the gear | Scoop.it
Since 2011 I have been using Fujifilm X cameras exclusively. Starting with the first and original Fuji X100, the X-Pro1 with the XF 35 1.4 to the X-E1 and the X-T1, X-Pro2 both with the awesome XF …
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The Fujifilm X-T10 Review - A small powerhouse

The Fujifilm X-T10 Review - A small powerhouse | All about the gear | Scoop.it
It's May 2015, and today the world has seen the launch of yet another great X-series camera from FUJIFILM. The X-T10 is the newest addition to the "T" series, which started with the introduction of...
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The Wandering Lensman: Differences Between the Olympus E-M1 and the Fujifilm X-T1 Used Side-By-Side; A Comparison Of Images

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Wildlife photographer Chris Weston puts the new XF16-55mm f/2.8 through its paces

Wildlife photographer Chris Weston puts the new XF16-55mm f/2.8 through its paces | All about the gear | Scoop.it
Fujifilm’s new XF16-55mm f/2.8 weather-resistant lens lives up to expectation. With a new type of nano-coating that reduces flare, the optical excellence of the lens matches the supreme quality I h...
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