30 october 2005 - fernsehturm

one day in the fall i wanted to take pictures. given that i don't find berlin particularly picturesque, on an extended basis, for my purposes, i decided to take one part which i found picturesque, and photograph it to death. hopefully i would get some interesting pictures that way. and it came to pass.

the fernsehturm means, literally, the t.v. tower. i presume the antennas on it are used to send t.v. programs. i started by walking up to it in the afternoon, and taking the usual shots, including some of the usual deviations. i even went up close and got some shots of the base of it. on some of the shots, i tried to play with the angle of the picture. on one shot, i took some sideways hanging branches, and pretended they were the tips of the tree, getting a horizontal tower. i also compared the tower to the lamps at the base, an obvious comparison.

after a while, i started to move further away. i got other buildings into the shot. i found a bear with the tower painted on it. i photographed the tower next to parking garages and shopping centres. i found it peeking out from behind a building (one of my favorite shots of the day). i compared it to the slightly less run-of-the-mill parking forbidden sign. i found it in a scooter mirror.

at this point i ran into a family who were wondering what the hell i was doing. the mother crouched down, mimicking my position, and saw the tower in the mirror, let a whelp loose, and called the family over, and explained the view for some time before they looked too. they proceeded to take pictures. i chatted with them and showed them some of my other pictures. their eyes fell out of their sockets. i think they hadn't thought of playing with camera-angles before, so i unwittingly became some kind of folk-hero there, in spite of my mediocre results thus far.

the sun started to set, and i moved on, getting some dark blue sky pictures. i found a gazing statue, a fountain, a church, and then i turned around. then my first non-tower picture happened (if you ignore the bear). it is a wing of the berlinerdom, the berlin dome, which is the largest cathedral in town. there is also an observation balloon in the distance. i continued on past the marx and engels statue. i call picture DSC00013 "three giants". i went behind the old city hall.
then i stumbled upon an entrance to some underground tunnels. two guys were selling entry tickets to it, although i strongly suspect that they had no right to do so and no ownership claims. i didn't mind, since they were charging only 1.50 € and just paid them. i took some pictures, and when i came out, the guy selling tickets asked me if i took some good pictures. i confirmed his suspicion to which he asked if i could send them to him :) i did. i toyed with the idea of asking him to pay 1.50 € for them, but decided that if he was desperate enough to spend his afternoon sitting at a hole he didn't own, he could keep the money, so i kept walking.
i continued to cross over unter den linden and took several pictures of the fernsehturm and the dom. on the way, i found an oddly lit boat in the spree. i walked on past hackescher markt, an s-bahn station. i walked up rosenthalerstraße, noticing a store with a beautiful old jaguar. a couple of doorways on, i found a hof with some 10m high bamboo plants. i have to go back there some time and take some more pictures of that. finally, i took a last shot of the tower as i walked on home.
i see that the thumbnails are not as sharp as they used to be. i have used the same script to do them as i used to, so i can only conclude that mac os x 10.4.3 has downgraded the quality of its commandline image manipulation tool, which irks me.

i probably should have, but i haven't spent any time colour-balancing or otherwise manipulating any of these pictures. you will also notice that some are not that sharp. i did lean against whatever i could, but when the zoom is set high, it is really hard to get sharp pictures without a tripod and the self-timer. sigh. i would love to buy the canon eos 20d and the image-stabilised lens, but it is out of my budget for now.