Berlin – Berlinale

My last post was written whilst in a cold and snowy Berlin. This post is written from a cold and rainy Los Angeles (I missed the snow by a few days… yes really … snow in Hollywoodland! )

I am here for a few jobs and then a little bit of a rest time for myself and a bit of art before returning home. So I guess the next post will be about Red (Blue) carpet’s on the beach, but until then, back to Berlin (a city and event I really love).

Dame Helen Mirren on the Golda Red carpet inside the Berlinale Plast shot on the X-HS2 with the 16-80mm & V1 flash.

So “Crossing the streams” right away and posting a colour image immediately followed by a black and white (I use that phrase as I am sitting below a Ghostbusters poster as i write, but I digress).

Dame Helen Mirren on the Golda Red carpet inside the Berlinale Plast shot on the X-HS2 with the 16-80mm & “catch flash”

Usually I set up with 2 cameras – one with flash, one without, one for full lengths and wides and the other for tight portraits. However after a little discussion and thought, I decided I would not bring the 100-400 with me, choosing the 50-140 as my longest lens on the trip. All the full lengths are being handled by the 16-80 (an often overlooked lens) – far lighter than the 16-55 with a very useful range for this kind of work.

Much of the time in Berlin I only set up a single camera; for all of the photocalls I used the 50-140 with which I could shoot single full lengths and headshots, for the red carpets, the 16-80, sometimes adding the 90/F2 if. I wanted a shot of the “talent” walking up the carpet.

This meant my usual plan of using flash on one camera and aiming to catch other peoples flash with the other was out of the window and so as you can see with the two shots above I choose to flip between these “modes” on the H2S by turning the flash on and off, slowing the shutter speed to help catch any possible flashes. It was a bit more hit and miss but there were enough hits….

Simon Baker shot on the X-H2S/50-140

At the photocalls, (above), it is easier to work this way with a single camera than on the carpet as the lighting is so good, a flash is not needed, leaving very few changes to the settings needing to be made as I shoot.

Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw Red carpet inside the Berlinale Plast shot on the X-HS2 with the 16-80mm (with flash)

Leaving the 100-400 at home meant I only brought 2 X-series bodies with me (I usually travel with 3) so I had space the pack the GFX50R as my “walk around” camera. I may have mentioned before how I love the tones and graduations this camera offers.

Inside the Neue Wache shot on the GFX50R with 63mm

The final image, taken on my final day in Berlin on this trip was taken inside the Neue Wache, a place I could spend hours inside, in silence. I find it incredibly moving and peaceful at the same time. I had been sitting in the corner for quite a while, almost in a meditative state with the camera on the floor just waiting for the feeling to be right to release the shutter. A couple walked in, both wearing red. They waked to the “Mother with dead son” work, paused for a short while then turned and headed back out. The red contrast felt right so I released the shutter with a resounding “thunk” the woman paused, turned and cocked her head, mirroring the mother, obviously noticing me for the first time.. “thunk” again… and thank you…. (1/100th @ F2.8 / 400ISO)

I have always said the key to photography is not kit, it is not speed, it is about waiting, understanding and sensing.. Make the right choices and wait.. If you take the time there are images everywhere.

(She says using a medium format digital camera that is out of many peoples pockets).

And on that note… time to wait… again.. for the next post 😉

Happy shooting and please let me know what you think.
J x