5 Berlin photos from before the reunification and from today

Berlin is the city we call home. We’ve had our offices here for years now, first in Friedrichshain (near Oberbaum Bridge and East Side Gallery) and for the last three years in Mitte. The city is loaded with history and you can feel it on every corner. This year is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Berlin has changed quite rapidly over the last years and so it seems kind of unimaginable that the city was divided for more than 40 years. When our photographer suschaa uploaded a selection of old photos that her dad took in the 1970s or early 80s in West Berlin, we got really excited about these pieces of history. Our Berlin photographer zettberlin helped us find out more about where and when the photos were taken. Walking in the footsteps of suschaas father, zettberlin took current images of the old photos. We are very happy to show both the old photos by suschaas father and zettberlin’s pics from today. Many thanks to suschaa and zettberlin!

Suschaa also wrote a personal history of her father’s old slides for us. You can read it all in the blogpost under the photos.

Ready for a little journey through time? Here we go!

5 Berlin photos from yesterday and today

Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin

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The Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin. The building to the left is the Martin-Gropius-Bau. In the middle, you can see the Berlin Wall.

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The permanent exhibition “Topografie des Terrors” is located in the area next to Martin-Gropius-Bau today.

Martin-Gropius-Bau

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The reconstruction of the Martin-Gropius-Bau began in 1978, which means, that the photo must have been taken earlier.

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This is how the location looks today with the permanent exhibition area of “Topografie des Terrors” of the foreground.

The Brandenburg Gate

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The Brandenburg Gate with the Berlin Wall, that was still brick-built back then. The bricks were later replaced by the characteristic concrete segments.

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The Brandenburg Gate today

Sowjet War Memorial on 17 June Street (Tiergarten)

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Das The Sowjet War Memorial was erected in 1945 and was located on in the British sector, but the guarding by Sowjet soldiers was allowed by the Four Allied Powers.

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The Sowjet Memorial today

Corner of Bernburger Street / Köthener Street (near Potsdamer Platz)

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The whole area around Potsdamer Platz was
fallow. There was only one building intact, the “Weinhaus Huth”. On the right, you can see the Kammermusiksaal Berlin-Mitte (Meistersaal), the later Hansa studios.

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Only after the wall came down, the place has been rebuild from the ground up.

Here are the 5 locations of the photos on a Google map.

The story behind the old Berlin photos by suschaa

When Photocase contacted me and asked if I would like to write a guest post about the old Berlin slides of my dad, I was very skeptical at first, because I have hardly any information about them. But of course, there’s a personal that surrounds them and I would like to tell you this story – given that you are patient listeners and can take pleasure in the small banalities of life (just like in my photos).

That I did rediscover the old slides after all, I owe to the circumstance of my old car going kaput. I’ve been carting the old boxes around since 2012. There was no space in my old, tiny apartment and somehow I seemed to have always been looking for that opportunity to end up somewhere where I can finally have a proper look at them. But who still has a slide projector nowadays? In summer, half inflated air mattresses piled up on the slides and so I totally forgot them. When I rediscovered them, I was very excited and curious what they would show.

In my family were discussing the question, if and why my father should have get slides made in the first place. We all agree on the point, that our family never owned a projector, we never did slide show nights, that were quite popular when I was a kid. Do you know those small square boxes, that look like a small TV and where you can insert a slide? I got exact that kind of thing on ebay lately so that I can finally look at my finds. After I saw the first slides (and of course it were old vacation snaps), old memories came up of travels that I wasn’t allowed to take part in. My mum for example only recalls photos, that she didn’t want to take. For example when my parents were on vacation in Greece (some of those photos are on Photocase btw), where they went through a marital crises because my dad stepped on a sea urchin and as a consequence, his head swell up to the size of a huge pumpkin and my mother refused to leave the hotel room with him. She didn’t even want to take a souvenir photo, much to the regret of my father and of course us, the kids that would have liked to see their dad with a watermelon head.

I remember all those small trips of my parents that they never took me to. Even so the trip to Berlin, that my father did with my sister. It must have been in the 70s or early 80s, when I was still little. This corresponds with zettberlins estimations, who was so kind to provide some information about the old Berlin photos. My mother told me that my father went to Berlin for the “Grüne Woche” (editor’s note: an international fair for food and agriculture in Berlin), together with my sister anstead of my mother, who suffered toothaches. For my sister, this was the lesser evil because at home she would have had to baby-sit me.

One thing is for certain: finding these old slides is the most beautiful legacy that my father could have left me. It is something very personal and now more than ever I recognize in his photos his open and interested mind that you wouldn’t expect of a small farmer. Someone who went out for drinks with members of the German Bundestag after work. Someone who never kept quiet, even when others didn’t have anything to say any more. And sometimes he did the same with his camera. I’m curious, which treasure are still to discover in this box of old slides… to be continued .. eventually.

Old Berlin photos: suschaa
Today’s Berlin photos: zettberlin

Design Sneak Peek part 1 – the new photo browser

Looks good on your mobile, tablet, laptop and everywhere! Our new photo browser.

At the beginning of this year, we did a little workshop. As you probably know, Photocase has been around since 2001 and most team members have been here from the beginning. That’s why we invited someone from outside to help us get a fresh look on Photocase. What’s going well? Where is still room for improvement? What are are we doing better than the rest and what are the others doing better than us? At the end of the workshop, we found that we had a lot of homework to do.

In the coming months or weeks, we would like to give you a glimpse behind the scenes. We would like to invite you to have a look over our shoulders while we are at work and tell us your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

We kick off with a layout draft for our photo browser and lightbox system. It was very important to us to design these as simply as possible. This way, we want to ease access to the site. The main focus lies on the photos, so we introduced bigger thumbnails got rid of everything else that seemed redundant. We are very proud of photographers and their photos and we want to show that to the world. The lightbox handling will be faster and easier with no more confusing pop-ups.

One thing that is also super important to us is that Photocase looks good on all your devices. From mobile to tablet or desktop with large cinema display.

Go to http://new-photocase-browser.webflow.com/ to see the current state of our work. Please note: What you can see there is not a finished website, but a model for testing layout and features. Some things are clickable, others not. Just check it out. To get to the lightbox view, just hover over (or tap on) a photo and click the “+” icon that will appear.

So what do you think? We’re looking forward to reading your opinions in the comments. Thanks! :)

Stock photography inspiration: Christmas is coming…soon

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We know, Christmas ist not exactly around the corner yet, but let’s be honest: Fall is in full effect and so it’s not too long until the hunt for presents starts, Christmas cards are sent out,  trees decorated and opulent feast planning begins. Same procedure as every year… That’s why we put together 4 lightboxes with cumulated inspiration for all your creative christmassy projects this season.

1. Photocase Lightbox: Celebrate together

Isn’t this the best about Christmas? – Spending time with your loved ones. Celebrating together and having a real good time. So turn on the fairy lights, put the roast in the oven and fill the cups with eggnog.

To the lightbox

2. Photocase Lightbox: Christmas lights & decoration

Speaking of fairy lights, there’s no Christmas without the appropriate lighting and decoration. Candles are a good start. Furthermore, we recommend the colors red, golden and fir green. This has proven itself for many years.

To the lightbox

3. Photocase Lightbox: Christmas feast

A very important part of Christmas is eating. Roast turkey, stuffing, Cranberry sauce, mash, pies, Christmas cookies and fruitcake meet eggnog, hot chocolate and champagne.

To the lightbox

4. Photocase Lightbox: Presents

Up next: Presents! No matter if they are handed out on Christmas Eve, or on Christmas morning, this is the part of the holiday that children eagerly await.

To the lightbox

Week 41 as a link list – Design, Photography, Web and Society

 

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Every week, we put together a list of articles, tools, videos or news that we came across during the week. Most of the notes will deal with the topics of design, photography and web development, among other stuff that caught our attention.

  1. Bill Murray sings a Bob Dylan song. What could go wrong.
  2. Why woman leave the tech-scene.
    http://fortune.com/2014/10/02/women-leave-tech-culture/
  3. 50 cool fall icons
    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/10/10/freebie-50-icons-of-autumn/
  4. Nowness – a beautiful video channel / magazine about culture, arts, design and music
    https://www.nowness.com
  5. Dries Verhoeven – a dutch artist caused a lot of trouble last week. He was sitting in a glass cube in front of the HAU in Berlin, chatting with other people via Grindr App while projecting the conversations onto a wall so visitors could read the whole chat he was having with strangers.
    http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/22063/1/artist-causes-outrage-with-public-broadcast-of-grindr-pms
  6. Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows will have the number 10 in the name. But there is a slight problem regarding privacy in this next version. http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2014/10/06/windows-10-spying/
  7. 75 photos that will define how we see the 21st century. http://news.distractify.com/mark-pygas/pictures-taken-in-past-10-years/?v=1&img=3bfcac
  8. “Boiler Room knows what you did last night.” Lets dance next to the DJ to look tremendously “awesome”.
    http://brkwydln.tumblr.com/
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Enjoy clicking & reading!

Camera hack no. 2:
Build your own Bokeh aperture

Dear fall, you’ve been pretty kind to us weatherwise so far, but we still have issues getting used to the fact that afternoons are going to keep getting darker. But hey, instead of wistfully mourning summer, we should concentrate on the positive! The earlier the dawn of the day, the sooner you can capture great night photos. The night lights of your city make a great scenery for beautiful Bokeh photos for example. In this blogpost, we show you how you can make your own Bokeh aperture in 4 easy steps. Ready, steady, Bokeh!

Step 1

Take a sheet of cardboard and cut out a circle. The easiest way to do this is by using a circle cutter.
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Step 2

Now you can cut out any form you’d like from the circle with a cutter knife or by using a punching die (like we did in our example).
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Step 3

Fix it to your camera with masking tape.
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Step 4

… and start taking photos. The best time to try your new Bokeh aperture is when it’s dark outside. This way, you can bring the lights on your photo beautifully in shape. Here are a few examples, that we took on Photocase Day in August.

Throw your hands in the air for Bokeh! Photo: Kai

Throw your hands in the air for Bokeh! Photo: Kai

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Heart shaped Bokeh aperture. Made with love, of course. Photo: Kai

The origin of our photo hack how-to no. 2 was (just like last time) the video “7 Simple Photography Hacks by COOPH” on Youtube. Thanks to pischare for the inspiration!

Photocase Lightbox: Bokeh

Sea of lights, colorful dots and blurry city skylines. You can find lots of great Bokeh photos on Photocase.

Check out this lightbox for more. Have fun experimenting!