A Practical Test: Mobile vs. SLR Photography

Berlin Street Photography-1

In the last two years I have grown a bit tired of always carrying around my heavy SLR camera that I normally use to capture places and events in Berlin. I would still take pictures, but with my smartphone. I felt the quality was quite good and the convenience of it was too tempting. Also you just look less suspicious with a smartphone than with a real one.

But the fact is, I never really put it to the test how good the quality of mobile phone cameras really is compared to the big ones. A few weeks ago I joined a comprehensive workshop with famous photographer Paul Ripke who showed us some basic tricks on how to improve your photos and he also introduced one particularly interesting new development of smartphone photography which is the professional manual mode. We got to play around with the Huawei P9 and brand new Mate 9, both of which have quite remarkable cameras with a double lens by Leica. I took one of these two with me on a photowalk around Berlin and took direct comparison shots with a medium-sized SLR camera. The results will probably surprise you…

Frank by Frank
on December 29th, 2016
in Photos

Observing the Observers – Berlin From Above

Rooftop Shooting-155404

What does it mean to become an urban observer? What makes you notice things from a distance that others won’t see even up close? With this questions in mind I was thrilled when we had the chance to join Instagrammer Liz Vega on a photo shoot on a Berlin rooftop.

Liz has a particular talent for urban exploring and observing the city from high perspectives. As if she would be able to touch the invisible texture of the atmosphere beneath our beloved city with her fingertips and slowly bring it up into the light with her photographs.

Unfortunately, one of us had to stay behind during this photo shoot because we wanted to be as few as possible on the roof to minimize the risk to get caught. But thanks to the magic of modern technology we found a way for our remaining team member to join us on the roof, virtually. We had the chance to use the new Panasonic Nubo camera as a special equipment to help us out in this particular production situation.

Frank by Frank
on December 15th, 2016
in Products, Stories

Learn from a Pro: A Photography Workshop with Paul Ripke

Workshop Huawei Paul Ripke-7104

photos: Matthias Piket

Lately, I’ve been totally into workshops. I like the feeling of learning new crafts and perfecting already existing skills. So I was more than happy when Huawei invited me to a mobile photography workshop by Paul Ripke. If you haven’t heard of this man, you should definitely google his name. He rose to fame with his book One Night in Rio where he captured the German soccer team up-close and personal at the World Championship in Rio back in 2014. But he’s not a typical sport and event photographer. With his work he comes so close to the action and the main protagonists that it almost feels like being right there between the athletes celebrating their victory.

With someone so accomplished of course there is a lot to learn, so after he introduced himself to us I was really curious what secrets of his success and profession he would share with us during this workshop. Much to my surprise, in the end the most valuable insight that I got beside a lot of technical stuff,  was something quite more personal and inconspicuous…

Frank by Frank
on December 9th, 2016
in Photos, Stories

The Forgotten Gumball Machines of Berlin

Kaugummiautomat in Berlin by Sascha Kohlmann CC-BY-SA-2.0_12

photosSascha Kohlmann / CC

There are these times – especially when adulthood seems to be overwhelming and I am supposed to pretend to be an adult among others who are trying to fake it until they make it -,  when I reminisce the old days, when I was a child unaware of the grown-up world and its tedious complexity; when my deepest frustration would revolve around my aversion to the lunch my dad had prepared for me that day and my biggest joy would be Santa’s advent with his presents. I am inclined to believe that it is a universal tendency to look back at the past with nostalgia and think how beautiful it all was back then. This kind of nostalgia is the feeling that takes over when I see Sascha Kohlmann’s pictures of old gumball machines. I automatically have to think of my mom bringing me home after kindergarten and me stopping her on the way to ask her if I could have a gumball, which back then meant the world to me. What memories do gumball machines bring up to you?

Nikos by Nikos
on November 28th, 2016
in Photos

Beautiful Berlin Boys: A Portrait Series by Ashkan Sahihi

Beautiful Berlin Boys

We’ve already mentioned Ashkan Sahihi as the author of the captivating and personal portrait series of women in Berlin. Born in 1963 in Teheran, the photographer grew up in Germany, and today he lives in Berlin, shooting pictures for publications like “Zeit Magazine”, “New Yorker”, and “Vogue”.

His most recent project, however, references to the time back in 1987 when the author, still pursuing his artistic identity, moved to New York. There, as he recalls in the foreword of the new photo book, he met other young men, like him searching for their own ways of fulfillment, forming a community that encouraged all forms of self-exploration.

Michalina by Michalina
on November 25th, 2016
in Art, Photos

It’s a Match – The Face of Berlin’s Tinder Users

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The profession of the photographer has changed dramatically with the rise of digital photography and especially with smartphone cameras documenting our everyday life snap by snap. The ability of creating images has become somehow secondary. Nowadays outstanding photographers are rather conceptual artists that know how to translate the medium of photography itself into an outstanding piece of art by deeply analyzing social and anthropological dynamics.

More and more photographers became interested in creating work reflecting social media and especially dating apps where everybody uses  photography as an act of self representation and key selling point on the meat market. Photographer Andrea Lavezzaro caught our interest with her project “It’s a match”.

Over a year she scouted Tinder users in Berlin. No matter the shape, size, gender or if they were strange, sexy or surreal. Her focus was on capturing the diversity of our city. Every picture was taken at the location where she met her matches (all aware she was doing a photography project of course). The only rule her subjects had to follow while taking their portrait was: no posing allowed. The results are now featured in an exhibition at Gallery Ori in Neukölln that runs until this Saturday. We had a little chat with Andrea about her project and how it will continue in the future. Read on after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 24th, 2016
in People, Photos

The Story of Berlin’s Origin: Alt-Berlin & Cölln

Kollnischer_Fischmarkt_Berlin_1886

Köllnischer Fischmarkt, 1886, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

At iHeartBerlin, we believe that living in your city makes much more fun once you get to know it a little. Why not go beyond mastering the most frequented routes leading to Mauerpark, Warschauer Strasse, or Berghain (well, at least to its gates), and find out something about Berlin’s origins? We’ve got quick facts you may impress your next Tinder date with. You never know.

Michalina by Michalina
on November 18th, 2016
in Stories

Stunning Historic Photos of Berlin-Kreuzberg

Hallesches_Tor,_Berlin_1894

Hallesches Tor, 1894, photo: Robert Prager

On iHeartBerlin, we’ve already put forward arguments for claims like Berlin is a Psycho and so on, but today, I’d like to tell you for once what Berlin is not, although I might have thrown some such accusations in the past. Berlin is not a liar. Or at least Kreuzberg isn’t.

Leaving the dubious honesty of its inhabitants aside, Kreuzberg stays steadfast and true. I’ve checked. And now you can, too. Have you ever wondered why does the U1 like to trick us into believing we’d be seeing some gates (“Tor” in German)? And then you get out on Kotti and what you actually see (and smell) is so different from the Brandenburger Tor you even doubt you’re still in the same city.

We’ve found pictures from the turn of the 19th century, so before Kreuzberg was even Kreuzberg. It was officially formed on 1 October 1920 by the Greater Berlin Act, which reorganized Berlin into 20 boroughs.

Michalina by Michalina
on November 16th, 2016
in Photos, Stories

The Fluffy Inhabitants of Berlin

Zerletti Berlin Tierfotos 6

photos: Marcello Zerletti

We speak so much about the diverse population of Berlin that comes together here from all over the world. At the same time we have often neglected to give some of those inhabitants of the city some attention that have been living here much longer than we do. And I’m not talking about the Urberliner, I’m talking about the wildlife of Berlin that despite the urbanization of Men still secretly coexists here with us thanks to the fact that Berlin kept a lot of green spaces inside the city.

So without noticing us we are surrounded by cute fluffy creatures that live in the park behind the block, the overgrown piece of land next to the trail tracks or the gigantic Tiergarten. There we have fox families, squirrels, rabbits, hedgehogs and other kind of little critters; and of course lots of birds, the expats of wildlife. Of course most of these animals are quite shy, only come out during night or keep to the quieter parts of town away from human life. But if you have patience and know a little bit about their behavior you will get to see them.

Frank by Frank
on November 15th, 2016
in Photos

Rough Berlin meets Futuristic Tokyo

Berlin/Tokyo by Yuto Yamada

Last year we already introduced you to the work of Berlin-based photographer Yuto Yamada who captures abandoned places of the city for his ongoing series “Berlin Raw“. This year he is back with new photos of Berlins forgotten, dirty corners, but for his new exhibition he juxtaposes them with the futuristic and glossy Tokyo full of illuminated billboards and neons. The two very contradicting perspectives of two very different cities is a strong contrast but also something very personal to the artist as both cities represent a part of his life, the past and the present, even though aesthetically you could think it’s about the future and the past. Enjoy a preview of these fascinating places in Berlin and Tokyo below.

Frank by Frank
on November 9th, 2016
in Art