Konrad alias Konaction is one of the most important and influential Berlin Instagrammers, over 130 thousand followers speak for themselves. He is a master in capturing Berlin’s unusual, nonconformist beauty, in grey skies, concrete walls and geometrical shapes. Like hardly any other Instagrammer he has managed to keep a level of originality in his stream of photos that always makes you look forward to the next one, always makes surprised to see a side of the city that you never noticed before.
We met up with Konaction and talked about the usefulness of hashtags, photogenic hotspots and how he makes all of Berlin desire a Plattenbau apartment.
Smartphone or professional camera: How important is the specific type of camera to you?
When it comes to Instagram it’s very important. Smartphones opened the door to the world of Instagram to me in the first place. Also, the sleek app makes it possible for well edited smartphone pictures to be in no way inferior to pictures from a professional camera when published on Instagram.
It’s smartphones that allow Instagram to keep its original, intuitive and authentic touch. Therefore, smartphone photography will keep on finding its way into my stream and I will always appreciate it.
What’s your opinion on hashtags? When do they make sense and when are they purely annoying?
Generally, I’d never say hashtags are annoying. Hashtags are a useful invention for social media and very helpful to somewhat channel the constant overstimulation. I was able to find many interesting photos, Instagrammers and locations through hashtags. It’s just annoying when certain hashtags are spammed with pictures that don’t even match the subject matter.
It’s cool again to live in a Plattenbau. Do you think your photos of these iconic residential buildings from the 80s and 90s are also one of the reasons why?
Haha, is it cool again? I can hardly believe that I have had any influence on it. There are enough reasons why Plattenbau does not seem cool at all to many people. Still, I just have fun putting this mundane side of architecture in a more interesting perspective. I do question that apartments were sold for that reason, though.
#communityfirst, what does that mean in the context of Instagram?
In order to be successful on Instagram it’s incredible important to engage with the international Instagram community. When I travel these days I usually let local Instagrammers show me around town and often times, it also works the other way around. Almost every day I get messages from Berlin visitors asking for a meet-up or a little city tour. If I have time, I happily accept the request. It’s for that reason that I have made over 100 contacts and even friendships worldwide. I’d never have them without Instagram’s network.
Which 5 Berlin highlights would your recommend someone who wants to explore Berlin as a photographer for the first time?
Although it is a tourist hotspot I’d recommend every visitor who wants to take exciting architectural photos to go see the modern, minimalistic government district – exposed concrete and geometrical forms at its best!
Not as well known but equally interesting in my opinion is the Berlin Gropiusstadt. The area around the ICC congress center and the Hansaviertel are architectural examples of extravagant post-war modernism. I wish modern building projects had the same courage.
I am primarily attracted to the eastern parts of the city. Everyone who is into Plattenbau visuals, somewhat nostalgic or really needs to slow down: Lichtenberg, Marzahn and Hohenschönhausen are the place to be. Here, you find a Berlin that can still be discovered, off the beaten tracks.
I regularly find a little bit of nature and vast fields at Tempelhofer Feld. This place is always ideal for a drink after work, an extended walk and if the light is right, beautiful, unusual pictures of Berlin.