Teufelsberg is an artificial hill in Berlin, Germany, located in the Grunewald area of former West Berlin. It rises approximately 80 meters above the surrounding Teltow plateau and 120.1 meters above sea level. It was named after the Teufelssee (Devil’s Lake) in its southern vicinity. The hill is made of war debris and rubble, and covers an unfinished Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnische Fakultät). During the Cold War, there was a US listening post on the hill, Field Station Berlin. After the Cold War the field station was abandoned and many of the inhabitants of Berlin expressed themselves by painting on the structures. Today, the place is a cold post-war hovel and a very special place with a lot of street art.
First of all, the view is fantastic from Teufelberg. As it is the tallest point in the area, you get a 360 degree witch alone is worth the trip.
Then you get to see the structures and it’s history
Old machinesOld machinesAmazing street artTorn down walls on the highest domeOther domes and more street art
And finally, all the amazing pieces of art
The entranceA special atmosphereFantastic piece of artYou face larger and larger pieces of art as you move alongThe contrast of cold war and modern city
During, and after, the Second World War, many acts of war were carried out in Berlin. The city, and the country for that matter, have moved on, but they will never forget what once happened. In Berlin, there are many reminders of just that. There are a number of other sights in Berlin, but here is a small selection of the ones I think were worth visiting.
The Berlin wall
The Berlin Wall was a wall built by the East German authorities in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to separate West Berlin from East Berlin and the rest of the GDR. The wall was 45.1 kilometers long and was erected on August 13, 1961. The main purpose of building the wall was to prevent a growing number of refugees from the GDR from crossing the border. The wall was a physical barrier made of concrete, barbed wire, and electric fences that spanned 155 km in total. The wall was demolished on November 9, 1989, during the democratic revolution against the dictatorship in the GDR. Today, there are few traces left of the wall, but it can be seen in some places, such as at this memorial.
The Berlin Wall
Checkpoint Charlie was the most well-known crossing point of the Berlin Wall between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. It was named by the Western Allies and became a symbol of the separation between East and West. The checkpoint was located at the intersection of Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße and was used by diplomats, military personnel, and foreigners to cross between the two sides. The checkpoint was also a site of tension during the Berlin Crisis of 1961 when Soviet and American tanks faced each other at this location. Today, there is a museum at the site that provides information about the history of Checkpoint Charlie and its significance during the Cold War.
The sign at Checkpoint CharlieThe reconstructed guard booth at Checkpoint Charlie
Berlin holocaust memorial
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a memorial in Berlin that commemorates the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The memorial is located near the Brandenburg Gate and is one of the city’s most impressive sights. It consists of an undulating field of 2,711 concrete steles that can be passed through from all sides. While walking between the columns of different heights and the labyrinthine corridors, visitors may experience a brief moment of disorientation, which should open up space for discussion. Beneath the memorial is the Information Centre, which documents the crimes of the Nazi era in themed rooms. The field of steles and the place of information complement each other and together form the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
Inside the memorial it is cold, the ground is uneven and the columns are not in levelThe memorial seen from one of its sides
Gleis 17 is a memorial located at the Grunewald train station in Berlin. It commemorates the thousands of Jews who were deported from this platform by trains of the Deutsche Reichsbahn to concentration and labor camps during World War II. From autumn 1941 to spring 1942, approximately 10,000 German Jews were deported from this platform to concentration and labor camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau and Theresienstadt. Of the more than 50,000 Jews in Berlin, over 30,000 were deported from the Moabit freight yard and nearly 10,000 from the Anhalter Bahnhof. The memorial was designed by architects Nicolaus Hirsch, Wolfgang Lorch and Andrea Wandel and consists of 186 steel-cast plates embedded in the railway gravel. These plates list all the deportation trains from Berlin in chronological order with their destinations and the number of Jews deported. The vegetation between the rails is a symbol that no train will ever leave this platform again.
For me, this memorial was the one that made the biggest impression. It is so simple, yet so strong.
Entrance explanationThe stairs leading up to the platformThe platform and the overgrown trackThe steel tiles with the deportation date and numberFresh flowers at the memorial plate
I was given the opportunity to visit Berlin and of course I joined. For me, Berlin is a city with a lot of history but in this post I will focus on Berlin itself. There will be stand alone posting of the war history from the city.
My hotel was close by Alexanderplatz, one of the squares on Berlin. From here it is easy to get to most of Berlins areas as it has a station that covers underground, busses, trams and railways.
One of the many train stations in BerlinOne of the many underground stations in BerlinA tram going down one of the streets in BerlinA tram waiting for signal in Berlin
With Alexanderplatz as starting point, I went in loops at about 7-8 kilometers. Perfect lengths to cover most of the city center areas.
North east is Prenzlauer Berg. Walking the main street from Alexanderplatz is a quick way to get there. If you want to go even faster it is possible to take one of the many busses, trams or even the underground. Once you enter the area, you should search for one of the smaller side roads and less trafficated streets will appear.
DDR SpeisegaststätteCafe Neue LiebeA beautiful street in Prenzlauer Berg
My goal for the walk was Mauerpark. It is an interesting place where Berliners went out and planted flowers and trees when the wall was torn down. I had envisioned a more sprawling park, but it was very systematic.
On my way back I went past Zionskirckplatz. The church standing there is quite a building
The tower of ZionskirckeZionskirckplatz
The next day I went on a bigger trip south and west. There is a good deal of war history here, which I will come back to in a later post. Nevertheless, there is much else to look at here. What might be worth mentioning is Brandenbruker Tor, the Reichstag and the river that runs through Berlin.
Brandenburger TorReichstagThe river
One of the biggest advantages of living near Alexanderplatz is that Berlin’s TV Tower is located here. If you’re a bit lost, it is very easy to aim at the tower to get back. You can see it from most parts of the city.
The Berlin TV tower is seen from most parts of the city
The aperture is one of three parts in the exposure value equation. In this week’s video I present it a bit more.
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Todays video is about the shutter speed. A short example on how the shutter actually work and how it affects the image you’re producing. Feel free to like and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more goodies
I’ve started to explore the possibilities with infrared photographies. Some subjects will be quite different, but others are almost equal to a normal black and white image. Infrared waterfalls are one of those subjects that are almost the same, but not quite the same still. The contrasts are a bit different. Especially the parts of the water that are transparent in normal vision will be almost black in infrared. It is really interesting to see the world through an infrared camera. You should try it once.
It’s been a while now, but I thought you might wanted to see a bit of my latest project. When I swapped out my Canon gear for the new Fuji, one of the lenses I was most exited to get my hands on was the 100-400, witch on a Fuji X-mount equals about 150-600mm.
My first experiment was small birds on a bird feeder. I made one from old branches that were cut of a fallen tree. I wanted to have a natural background so I installed the feeder in my back yard.
Sitting on a little chair in the back yard waiting is a game in it self. It really takes patience, but the birds eventually showed up.
After almost a decade with a full format camera, I am considering swapping back to a crop sensor. Why? You might ask. To explain this I have to start early in my digital camera career. I started out with a compact Canon G6. 1/1.8” sensor and quite good quality. Soon I realised that photography was what wanted again after years away from a camera. So I ended up buying my first DSLR, a Canon 350D with a Sigma 24-70mm Lens. This was a great camera. One day I came across the Canon 7D I knew I had to have it. The lust for quality images grew. The quality was, in my opinion, strongly related to sensor size and the purchase of a Canon 5D Mark III was a fact.
In 2016 I realised that my expedition across the Greenlandic Icecap was going to be without my dear Canon 5D Mark III. The reason was that I had to drag along at least the 24-70mm f/2.8, a spare battery and a charging system for those 7,4V batteries. My solar charging system was only at 5V. This meant that I had to bring some bigger and heavier gear to accommodate my full frame. Ending at over 3 kilos of equipment. The result was a Sony RX100MK2. And luckily the images looks great.
A while after the expedition I got hold of a Canon M100. A nice little camera with a 15-45 lens and a 22mm lens. Both are quite acceptable but not close to the quality of the 5D. I bring along the smaller M100 on my mountain bike trips. If the trips are long I almost always regret not bringing better gear. I did how ever ditch the 5D because of its weight while packing for the trip. If the trips are short I go back later with my big camera to get those images. The M100 is a good camera, but the selection of lenses Canon got for the EF-m mount is not. There is barely a handful of choices and they are all entry level ones. Of course I could have had the adapter and bring my full size lenses, but then again the compact format of the M100 is a bit wasted.
Værnes as the sunset were about to end (Fujifilm X-T4 w/XF16-80mmF4)
And then a good offer from Fuji got me thinking. I’ve selected so big and heavy gear that I have upgraded myself away from mobility. The alternative I got isn’t a real alternative because I know what I could have had. And here is where the Fuji X-T4 comes into play. With professional quality glass in the 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR it is weighing in at total of about 1 kg. About 350g more than the M100 with the kit lens and almost a kilo less that my Canon 5D with a 24-70 f/2.8. The size is acceptable as well. I could have done a lot with the 5D to get it lighter, but the fact is that the body alone is close to a kilo.
The question now all comes down to the quality of the image. And quality does not necessarily come from the amount of mega pixels on the cameras sensor. My Canon 5D Mark III got 22.3 megapixels, my 5Ds got 50.6 megapixels and my M100 24.2 megapixels. Even if the pixel count on the M100 is higher that the 5D Mark III, the 5D produces better results. To understand this one have to analyse everything from quality of the glass to the sensor technology.
The difference between the tiny mirrorless Canon M100 and the Fuji X-T4 is that Fujifilm wants the X-4T to be used by professionals and are following the camera lineup with a lineup of high quality lenses.
After almost a month of testing I’ve come to a conclusion. It is actually the X-T4 that will get to tag along on the next trips.