I heard of the Berlin photomarathon first from my friend Boris (see his series here). Photo marathon, what's that then? Quite easy: you meet up with around 400 other enthusiasts, get an overall theme (this year: "What a surprise"), the first four topics and the first stopover location. After 4 hours, you get a stamp, the next four topics and the second stopover location. Same thing there, and at the finish, after 12 hours, you deliver exactly 12 photos in the order of the topics given. Best ones will win prizes, everybody gains pure experience. No post-editing, no raw-files. Basically, everything else is allowed.
Now, this is the more relaxing version (so I hear). In the years before they asked for 24 photos in 12 hours, and in former years, there have been more than 2 stopovers as well. Still, for me that was only hearsay, it was my first time and I feared that I just had not enough good ideas and not enough time to realize them. Before the event, I toyed with the thought of building 1:87 (or H0 for model train lovers) scenarios. I have experimented a bit already, inspired for example by London street artist Slinkachu and Seattle based artist Christopher Boffoli and have a decent number of little, but very patient models under contract already. But would that be a good idea? Once start with this style, I had to stick with it until the end. So it went back and forth, and in the morning of the marathon, I could not imagine going through with it.
Of we go, Saturday morning and I felt equipped but not prepared. As a beginner, I probably made the typical beginners' mistake: too much equipment. The backback was filled with cam (a Sony Alpha A77) and three lenses, the bike bag had another few kilos of equipment, like a mini tripod, flash, beanbag, bottle of water, and some other things from the checklist. Ok, the bike is going to carry it, that's what I thought. The bike! Can you move faster in Berlin? I don't think so.
Registration near the Nordbahnhof (thats not too far from my home), meeting Boris and his group, watching people showing of their equipment, waiting for 11 am to get the topics. The weather was very nice; all good. However, once I had the first four topics in my hands, I - well, how to put that mildly - did not have a rush of brilliant ideas in my head without those little helpers. Three of the four topics quickly triggered scenarios with 1:87 models in them. And if you have something NOT at a photo marathon, it is plenty of time for planning, thinking or preparing. So I went home and went for it. See the results in the slideshow above or within the report and some of my thoughts as the day developed below.
Note: in accordance with the photomarathon rules, the photos shown here have not been edited after they were saved in the camera; only the watermark was added.
Annex, July 14th 2013