15 June, 2011

Lunar Eclipse

Hi all
Tonight, there is a rare Lunar Eclipse, peaked at 23:15 local time. Here is a photo taken with 18-250mm, at full 250mm/6.3 on a tripod, exposure was 1.6sec, ISO 1600

That's really stretching the limits of the camera, especially that the sky still carry some of the volcanic ashes from Africa :)

12 June, 2011

Das ist Berlin (This is Berlin) Part 4 - Remembrance


Hi all
I reached to the last part of describing my impressions from Berlin, and I would like to touch the sensitive topic of Berlin during 1933-1945.
This period casts a shade on Germany and specifically on Berlin. There are quite a few places that commemorate the Holocaust, most notable is the Holocaust Memorial on Behren street.


Alongside the state or other large organizations efforts to commemorate the Holocaust, there are some local and private initiatives. I'll describe two of them
Stumbling Stones
It all started in 1994 when the artist Gunter Demnig decided to install a Stumbling Stone as a memorial for a single victim of Nazism in Cologne. From that point on, ~30,000s of Stumbling Stone have been installed, ~3,000 in Berlin. Here are 4 stones located near to the hotel I was staying, containing the names and details of two Jewish families


"Places of Remembrance" in the Bavarian Quarter
The memorial "Places of Remembrance" consists of 80 street signs, presenting anti-Jewish laws and regulations under Nazi rule. The street signs are scattered all over the Bavarian Quarter, and in the main square there's a map of all of them

and here are some of the signs and a translation to English of what the relevant rule was


Jews must disclose their financial status, to "ensure the use of the assets in the interest of the German economy." 26-Apr-1938


All Driving and Car Licenses of Jews are not valid anymore and should be returend immediatly 3-Dec-1938


 Signs should be put in bakeries and pastry shops, indicating that the cakes are not sold to Jews and Poles. 14-Feb-1942

.
Jews may buy food in Berlin only from 4-5 pm. 4-Jul-1940
and the list goes on and on...

So, that's the end of my series of Berlin, I hope you enjoyed reading and viewing the photos

11 June, 2011

Das ist Berlin (This is Berlin) Part 3 - The Wall

Hi all
Let me start by "solving" the riddle in part 2 - it is the bells tower of the French Cathedral in Gendarmenmarkt. here is another photo

And now for this part topic - The WALL
The Wall between East and West Germany still carries a lot of memories not only for Germans. Although almost fully dismantled, there are few places where the wall still stands to symbolize the divided country. The most significant places are: The Wall Memorial Center on Bernauer street, the East Side Gallery on Mühlen street and of course the symbolic Checkpoint Charlie. There are also many other places where you're able to see remains of the Wall.
The Wall Memorial Center consists of several elements:
The Observation Tower offering a view to the original walls and the surroundings

General view of the Wall memorial area

The walls and the killing zone between them

The modern Chapel of Reconciliation that was built in 2000

The largest segment of the Wall that still stands is used today as an open air art gallery near the river. It stretches over 1,300m and is covered by many international art works, mostly related to Freedom. Here are some photos of the artworks:




Last, I paid a visit to Checkpoint Charlie which became to be an over-populated tourist trap :(

Well, that's it for the Berlin Wall. Next part will be the last one and will cover Remembrance

10 June, 2011

Das ist Berlin (This is Berlin) Part 2 - The classical city

Hi all
I'll continue my description of the city with more classical sites, as there are quite a few of them in Berlin.
One of the nicest places in Berlin is Gendarmenmarkt square. It is the site of the Konzerthaus and the French and German Cathedrals. Originally built ~200 years ago, badly damaged in WWII and restored later to original state. Here is a panorama of the square (generated by the camera)

This is one of the statues at the entrance of the Konzerhaus (shot with HDR Auto)

Views of the German and French Cathedrals

Moving on to one of the beauties of Berlin - Charlottenburg Palace which is located in the west side of the city
here is a front view of this palace, which is the largest in Berlin

Some photos of the palace (PS: they charge 3 Euros for taking photos)

The following photos were taken with 50mm/2.8 Macro lens

The new wing

and a nice view of the gardens

In the gardens there's an additional building - Belverde which accommodates a large collection of porcelain (all photos were taken with 50mm/2.8 Macro lens)


and surprisingly a Passover plate

I would like to wrap up with a riddle: The following photo is from one of the places mentioned above.
1) Where was this picture taken?
2) What do you see in the picture?

That's all for part 2, in part 3 I'll share some of the impressions from the WALL

08 June, 2011

Das ist Berlin (This is Berlin) Part 1- The New Arcitecture

Hi all
We spent few days in sunny Berlin, and I'll share some of my impressions from the city (...and from my camera).
Berlin has developed dramatically in past years, last time I visited Berlin was ~7 years ago, and all I could see was cranes everywhere, now the city seems to be still developing but in a more rational pace.
The most noted area is Potsdamer Platz, here are some photos taken in twilight time, using Hand-held Twilight scene.

Taken with Sony SLT-A55V, DT 18-250mm lens @18mm, f/3.5, 1/30sec, ISO320.
There are additional interesting buildings located there, please check the full size photos


all photos were taken in very low light conditions, however they are sharp and clear :)
Next to Potsdamer Platz there is the energetic Sony Center with it color changing dom. Here is how it looks at various times:


and, last photo for Sony Center is the following Panorama:

Another cluster of new buildings is in vicinity to the Reichstag, here are some examples, most notably is the new central railway station which is the largest in Europe of its type (Cross)


And the new Dom of the Reichstag

Finally, a look inside a rather "dull" DZ bank building in Pariser Platz 3 (designed by Frank O. Gehry)

that's it for part 1, in part 2 I'll cover some of the more classical sites of Berlin