After a short weekend break in the south of the country, this week’s post is centred around the river Saale.
As we have now reached halfway on the photographic journey through the year 2011, this week’s entry is interactive. All those entering the poll (see below) have the chance to become the lucky winner of a once in a lifetime prize.
So here goes:
The first two were taken directly on the banks of the Saale River in Hirschberg (Thuringia). This Bench is the longest to be cut from one log (according to the Guinness Book of Records), and seats approximately 97 people depending on which nationality you are.
f/7.1 1/250 ISO 400 @17mm
f/5 1/500 ISO 400 @34mm
The third picture was shot in Burgk (Thüringen) and shows the new tower (42 metres) with views over the river Saale, the Castle and the surrounding landscapes.
This is Uli, my colleague on a very wet day in Milan. We went from a glorious nearly 30°C in Berlin to a miserable 18°C and rain in Milan. Still I got to see the San Siro from the outside so all in all not bad for a day’s business trip.
The first picture (above) is a crop of the second (below), as usual I couldn’t decide so I’m hedging my bets once again.
Schleiz’s claim to fame is one of the oldest “natural” race tracks in Germany.
The first ever race took place on the 10th of June 1923, with the aim being to race as far as possible and as quickly as possible on five litres of fuel. The winner of the car race was Mr. Huldreich Heußer with a total distance of 87.3 km and an average of 41.4 km/h (which quite incidentally is similar to what I get out of my Dutch “sit up and beg” style bicycle when going downhill fully laden). Mr. Horst Raebel on his motorcycle managed six laps with an average speed of 64.2 km/h (which is something to aim for on that bicycle).
I’ve really no idea who won this particular race, but today the top speeds average 160 km/h per lap……I think I’ll get my coat!
It’s 21 years ago this Spring since I sat my A-levels and these ladies 20 years my junior will be studying hard as I write to make sure they get the grade for Uni. I certainly don’t envy them in the slightest.
Without wanting to sound like the pompous “old git” that I really am, I’d like to say to them “make the most of it all and above all enjoy it!”, I know I did (and do).
The picture below gives an idea how the scene my have looked in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s.
My special thanks go to:
The Music Class of 2011 at the Goethe Gymnasium Nauen, Germany
They are: Nora, Anika, Carolin, Susi, Anne, Deborah, Sophia, Fine, Anne, Jenny, Isabell, Alena, Kristina, Miriam, Franzi and Antje.
Apparently the official translation is “Ale-Bench” although I’ve never heard of this expression and I find the literal translation of “Bierbank” somehow more pleasing, even if it isn’t correct.
Sunday evening and the very last minute, with the inspiration once again coming from elsewhere (the usual source). All rather hurried in every respect as well, sorry for that and I hope you like it anyway.
Here we are back in not so exotic territories but home nonetheless.
Many thanks to Tom for this week’s suggestion and of course to the unknown cyclist who rounded off the picture nicely. It was taken from Park Babelsberg overlooking the Havel River to the city of Potsdam.
Thanks also, to those readers who pointed out that I have been living abroad for too long and that my blog should be named “53 Weeks on a bench” rather than “53 weeks on a bank”. Although both are of questionable heritage with regard to the English language and everything else for that matter, (one being a Geordie and the other a Yorkshireman), I will none the less adapt my “Germisch” or “Dinglisch” title to the correct “Bench”.
It would have been kind if someone would have let me know a little earlier, to which my better half will undoubtedly say “I told you so!” and she is German…… nuff said!
Aren’t I a lucky boy? I don’t just get to partake in a business trip to Hong Kong, but I also get to invest in a brand new razor-sharp Sigma 30mm 1.4 whilst I’m there.
This was shot from pier 9, Central district, Hong Kong Island looking across to Kowloon where the MS Queen Elizabeth was moored. I did try to persuade quite a number of people to let me take their picture on a bank, but they were not in the slightest interested (it must have been my handsome appearance).
Here’s a picture of the little people and their mother on a rather curious looking bank. It was taken during one of those now so very familiar winter walks in the south-east of the country.
This is a place I will undoubtedly be visiting again this year albeit, in a somewhat tempered climate. I might even use this location as a changing of the seasons project within this project because it really is ever so pretty here.
f8 1/25 ISO 250 17mm
P.S. Sorry about the blown out sky but sometimes you just can’t choose when you get the opportunity to shoot, and I really didn’t want to “Photoshop” it.
This weeks offer is a BOGOF (not to be mixed up with BOBFOC), where you get two for the price of one, which probably applies for both actually…..
I just couldn’t decide between the two. So why don’t you decide?
Both photographs were taken of the same bank on the floodplains of the Wisenta River in Schleiz (Thuringia). I was hoping for a little more variety of motifs, when I set out, i.e. a balance between portrait and landscape photography, however encountering someone sitting on a bank at this time of year in these weather conditions has proved more than just a little challenging.
It’s nearly twenty years ago since I first heard this song with a very good friend of mine travelling to his home in a small German town on the Polish border. Being six months into my year abroad at the time, it reminded me very much of my own home in the North West of England.
Today I see the song in a slightly different light…. guilty as charged? I don’t really think so, this isn’t the land of gold and poison, neither do the palm trees grow here naturally. It is nevertheless a very different place from “that” town, which conversely does not mean that I don’t look frequently behind me, to “my” valley of green and grey.
Photographically speaking I’m not really sure I like this weeks entry (colour key is out and my processing skills need to be honed), but it does partially summarise this place where I live today, particularly, and if not only, at this time of year.
I think you may have to get used to a number of these banks being within the boundaries of the city of Potsdam, as well as being taken at the last possible moment during the week.
The more observant of you will have noticed that this was taken on a Sunday, hence it was taken on the first day of the new week. This is correct, unless you live in Germany, where the first day of the week is a Monday. Although I always mutter that this custom is incorrect and probably goes against some international (most probably European Union) law, it certainly worked to my advantage this week.
To those readers used to my rants on this subject and the mixing up of commas and full stops in the German numerical system I have this to say:
“Was interessiert mich mein Geschwätz von gestern.” Konrad Adenauer (First German Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany)
This roughly translates as:
“Who cares what twaddle I have spoken in the past” A rather novel admittance for a politician I think.
That does not go to say that I will in future condone either of the above errors.
The image was taken on my Sunday “Bread-Roll-Run” with the kids, whilst their mother idled, well deserved I might add, in her warm and cosy bed.
We’ve had mild weather with rain over the past few days, which has brought the remnants of the New Year’s celebrations to the surface as well as preserving patches of dirty snow.
“It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.” – David Bailey – In “Face,” (London), Dec 1984.
It is with this in mind that we set off on our 53 week photographic journey. There are few things more ordinary than a bank, so in the hope that not all the images presented are just ordinary, let’s get started.
It was one of the those wonderful Winter afternoons that you get when the easterly winds blow across the North German plains making the air dry, crisp and very cold. We were out with the kids to see how the wild bison, horses and reindeer fared in the conditions. As the winter sun started to set I came across this makeshift bench.