Hanging with the tourists at Checkpoint Charlie

Such an interesting place to see in Berlin!

As I have said here before, I am WAY behind in sharing a lot of photos from a lot of different places.  Take today's pics for example - I went to Berlin (for half a day) back in July 2013.  Yeah, I'm a little behind, but I am working on it.

My Germany trip that week consisted of me flying into Leipzig by way of Frankfurt, and spending 5 nights or so there.  I had business in nearby Halle, though I never shot in that town - I just popped over on the train each day.  I shot a lot in Leipzig though, and you can find some of those shots here and here.  It's a nice little town.

gotta love having a mcdonald's there, just in case you need a big mac!

But being SO close to two German towns I had always wanted to see - Berlin and Dresden - I pretty much had to find a way to squeeze them both in.  So, I just made it happen.  I'm a bit of a World War II enthusiast anyways - hence my love of all things European, I guess - and getting into Germany is always something I want to do.  I actually lived in Mannheim Germany as a kid, for about a year - my Dad was in the Army, and that was our home for a bit.  I loved the country then, just as I do know.  So much awesomeness.  I could spend years exploring and photographing it.  But I digress.

Because of my work schedule, I ended up with only a half day in Berlin - literally, about 6 hours..  I finished work early enough to grab the 1 hour train over there, and ended up there just after lunch.  I had a list of spots I wanted to see, like the Berliner Dom, and continued until I made it to all of them.  What this also means is that, being there for about 6 hours, I didn't have the choice to shoot all these spots under ideal lighting conditions.  The day was warm and bright, though some storm clouds made their way in, which I was glad for.  I always like interesting skies, and nothing is worse than blue boring nothingness in the air.  

That's the challenge with day trips.  You can't wait for better weather.  You just have to shoot whatever grabs your attention, as soon as you see it.  Then you move on, because if you are like me, you have more to go see.

standing in the street and firing away

But I did make it to lovely Berlin, and I made it to Checkpoint Charlie, which is something I really wanted to see.  I went through high school in the 80's, and I remember all the Cold War talk back then, and I remember when the wall came down.  This is just historic, awesome stuff, and I had to see it.  It's just cool.

So my pics today were taken one afternoon while yours truly wandered rather frantically around Berlin, hitting a few key sights and generally just enjoying the fact that I had, finally, made it to Berlin.  The light wasn't great - it was mid-day after all - and frankly, it was a crowded mess.  So these pics are more "journalistic" or "documentary" in nature, which is not what I normally do.  I like to stylize my shots, but I took a different approach with these.  Also, these are all single exposures - no HDR on the blog today.  Hope that's ok.  :-)

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed standing there at Checkpoint Charlie, soaking it all in, and raising my camera a few times to fire off a few shots.  Admittedly, despite the deep rich history of this location, it's mostly a tourist trap now.  And since it was sort of a gateway to the West, it's not some fabulous-looking architectural gem to take photographs of.  It's basically a guard station in the street now.  So yeah, it doesn't qualify for the "epic photo locations" kind of thing, but it sure offers some rich and significant history.  I'll take that, being a history buff of sorts.

I have read many times about how great a city Berlin is, and though my visit was short, I could see that I definitely liked the place.  I hope to be able to return some day and shoot it properly.  There's a lot to see!

Thanks for having a look!

old pieces of the wall, painted with other dictators around the globe - pretty cool!