In our 15 years of iHeartBerlin, we have seen quite a bit in terms of Berlin photos and of course taken a lot ourselves. Especially the great Instagram photography era has given us many wonderful impressions of our city, which has shown us many unknown and surprising sides of Berlin. So understandably, it’s a bit difficult to impress us with Berlin photos nowadays. Or so we thought.
A few weeks ago we received an email from Mark Rautenberg, who drew our attention to his Berlin photographs. We get such submissions every now and then and are of course always grateful and happy when we can share the work of creative Berliners on our blog, especially because it allows us to give new or lesser-known creatives a platform.
photos: Cpt Olf
Following the first two features of our series about ‘Dangerous Photography’ that brought us to prohibited places such as the underground subway tunnels or the closed-off rooftops of Berlin, we are continuing our series today with something that can only be described as the superlative of the previous editions. Instagrammer Cpt Olf seems to be the king of them all, climbing higher than anyone we’ve seen so far. His photos are amazing slash panic inducing slash does his mother know he’s up there?
Among other places such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Vienna, Bangkok, Olf shoots stunning pictures from the highest points of Berlin, that we never thought one would be able climb to climb. I mean he climbed onto the rotating Berliner Verlag sign on top of the Berliner Verlag building at Alexanderplatz! Sometimes with company, sometimes without, Olf never fails to amaze us with his shots. While following what we assume is his passion for climbing on the craziest places, he doesn’t destroy anything while making his shoots. Check out some of his photos and be mesmerized and make sure to follow him on Instagram! (For people with a fear of heights like me they are absolutely distressing, but their magnificence can’t be denied!)
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.
“Before you think, music makes you feel” states Pedro Carneiro Silva at the beginning of his beautiful video shot on a Berliner roof. Watching the sun go down along with the view over the city makes it impossible to argue against that, as one is instantly overwhelmed by the Brazilian’s heart-warming piano melody. The concrete of the roof in combination with the bricks, the clear sky, his music and voice in the background showcase a different aspect of the German capital: calm, creative, cordial; away from its well-known untameable wildness.
photo: Franz Becker
From a bird’s-eye view you’re watching, wondering what life might bring
The city’s sleeping in a cloud – summer came by and got right out
What are they dreaming, these sleeping heads, lying in their tiny beds?
Is that a smile upon their face, looking forward to another day?
From the rooftop you see the couple brushing their teeth
The older lady with a cat and a book on her knees
The manager about to work, the party people still up with a smirk
The student studying for an exam, the musician playing a joyful jam
They all are living in this house, this backyard, this street
And somewhere you can still hear a beat…
photos: Franz Becker
Remember when we told you about the dangerous photography in the underground tunnels of Berlin?
This time, no less dangerous but a lot higher- we want to take you to the top.
Started from the bottom, now we’re here. Sometimes, to get a clearer image of things an overview right from the (roof-) top is all you need. With your legs dangling from the edge and your head in the sky some problems seem teeny tiny.
Young photographer and urban explorer Franz Becker seems to feel the same way and takes you above and beyond with his photos, right to the rooftops of Berlin. Where others stop is where he begins. On his Instagram he captures extraordinary views of the city that are nothing short of breath-taking. And dangerous to shoot. Rooftops, Railings, Stairs – anything elevated really serves as a platform to the aerialist.
With his photos Franz allows us a perspective of Berlin that is exclusive and majestic. We love his airy images so much that we included him in our #berlin Instagram exhibition. Time for you, to check out some of his shots right after the jump and float around in the sky.
photo: Jeisson Martin
We are at times a little hard on Berlin. It’s messy, it’s heartbreaking, it’s lost, it’s dirty… But with all the things that are going wrong here, one thing is for sure: It’s always going forward. And this gives us hope.
It’s sad, that some places we love are vanishing, that people we care for are leaving, that districts we live in change for the worse. But when you take a look at Berlin from a distance you can see that it always moves on. And we will, too.
We might not have the power to change everything that we think is bad, but we will fight for it, regardless, and remain hopeful. When things get difficult, the people of Berlin will stay strong together and pull through, hand in hand, may it be to rebuild the city, tear down walls or help those in need.
This city has proven so many times through history that it can overcome pretty much everything from war to economical crisis, and from oppression to separation and I’m sure it’ll handle present and future challenges such as globalization, migration, crime, and commercialization just fine. Berlin will keep on changing and with its past as a testament we can be hopeful that it will always remain a unique place in the world.
photos: Julia Luka Lila Nitzschke
Summer is in full bloom, and finally you can enjoy the weekends in the warm sun. What could be better than to get yourself an aperitif after a stressful week and experience the Italian feeling?
Traditionally in Italy, wonderful late afternoons are spent with friends in a bar, drinking a cold Negroni and eating delicious snacks. For such offerings we already introduced you to the Bar Milano in Berlin Mitte and now we want to expand on our recommendations and share a way for a sparkling start to Saturdays.
The event series Aperitivo a Berlino ties in with the beloved Italian tradition. It all started with two boys from Berlin who invited some friends and acquaintances to Sale e Tabacchi and had a great evening of drinking various aperitifs and eating small Italian appetizers. Now as the Italian afternoon is becoming increasingly popular, the Aperitivo has been moving around to several places such as Bar Milano (on vacation till September) and currently takes place on a wonderful rooftop on Linienstrasse in Berlin Mitte. See more details and have a look at the pictures from last time after the jump.
How far would you go for the best shot? I’ve seen people crawl on the floor, bend over backwards and climb up lamp posts to take the most impressive photo possible. But there are some people who go much further: Stand on the edge of a skyscraper, climb onto a crane or sneak into the restricted areas of subway stations, constructions sites and abandoned ruins.
Young Berlin-based photographer Jeisson Martin is one of those crazy people that won’t be held back by a “Do Not Enter” sign to make an amazing photo. For him the extreme situation that he puts himself into at times have become part of the fun of taking photos. In a world where almost everyone who has a smartphone and the VSCO cam app can take cool pictures it has become more of a challenge to really stand out, and what better way to stand out than to stand in a position where most people don’t dare to go.
And Jeisson’s work definitely stands out as he manages to show Berlin from angles that you haven’t seen before because they are mostly taken from restricted areas and dizzying heights. We would like to show you some of his amazing shots that he made in the underground of Berlin, abandoned places and from the rooftops of Berlin. Enjoy his photos and if you want to see more you should follow him here.
For a couple of years now photographer Diane Vincent has been climbing up to the rooftops of Berlin and taking photos up there. She finds a lot of peace and tranquility on these urban and empty deserts, capturing a view of Berlin that is for many of us invisible otherwise. I have been fascinated with rooftops too, but more because I think it’s completely wasted urban living space. I think all of the rooftops would be amazing living space to enjoy the sun and to drown out the noise of the streets while still being outdoors. But sadly most rooftops are forbidden to enter because the roofs are not built in a way that they are safe to walk on. Shame really.
With her collection of rooftop photos piling up Diane has now compiled a selection of them into a cute self-published book titled “Oben” (up) which you can order now on her website. After the jump you can see some of our favorite rooftop photos.