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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Berlin in Sepia Tone

 I was so excited to be visiting Berlin for the first time since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989!  Ok, so it was February and cold and overcast... I would make the best of it.  
But an overcast sky gives photographs a flat, gray look with a depressing feel and that is what I had all week!  What to do?
There is one option: don't include the sky in any composition.  But that didn't solve the problem of grayed out color.  I decided to experiment with sepia and I liked the results.
Here is a comparison of the same dome in both color and sepia:

Notice that not only does the color photo look gray but the color also competes with the tree branches and they look too busy.  Two fixes were called for: not as many tree branches and the use of sepia tone.  The sepia tone calls our attention to the age of the building.  It gives the photograph a "period" feel.

These two images were taken on the Museum Island in the historic centre of Berlin.  The buildings are large and beautifully designed.  The sepia tone give a feeling of grandeur.  The gardens are asleep this time of year but people are not.  I love how my daughter captured the movement of the people walking to the museum.  
This accordion player was entertaining tourists as they bought tickets for the museums.

My daughter was a willing addition to my photographs to give them a feeling of perspective and motion.  The buildings and the sculptures were very large.  You can see that in relationship to her.  Doesn't it look cold?  I wanted to give the images a wintery feel.  But spring is right around the corner.  The bicycles and people strolling give a feel of everydayness to the image on the right.  


The Tiergarten is a huge park in the middle of Berlin filled with turn of the century architecture and lighting.  Paths, ponds and gardens are beautiful in spring.  In the middle of the park is the Victory Column with the Goddess of Victory in gold at the top.  It was moved to the park by the Nazis along with other monuments in the 1930s.
The modern glass buildings of Berlin are striking in color but my favorites are the sepia toned images.