Photography: Walking The Back Streets

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on December 27, 2015 in Photography |

When I got up this morning, later than usual, but it is a Sunday, the weather looked reasonably good. That is, not perfect, but not quite raining. The day promised to be cloudy, reasonably warm – or hot, for December – and with enough good, natural light to make a trip out with my cameras worthwhile. Have a little time to myself – she’s working again – I’d rather get out and do things than sit around the apartment, surrounded by packing boxes and debris of a former living style. So, off to Bremen.

My plan was to simply walk through the streets and take photographs of storefronts. Easy enough, nothing too stressful, something which we all do at some time or another I’m sure. In the end it wasn’t just that, but I did spend a good few hours walking around, pointing my camera at things, and having people dodge out-of-the-way so that they didn’t ruin the image. By ‘wasn’t just that’ I mean to say that I did something else as well. Walking through one part of Bremen, packed with people and a lot of shops open, I happened to notice an exhibition on Photography and design at the Wilhelm Wagenfeld Haus which, of course, I had to see. If all goes well, and hope is the last thing that dies, you’ll be able to see the fruit of my expedition on Flickr – hope because there seems to be a problem uploading images from this computer at the moment and I am trying to use the old, basic uploader at the moment – with fifty-four of one hundred and forty-eight attempts which I considered worth keeping, even if they’re not worth more than a quick glance.

Wall Mural in Bremen

Photo Source: Viktoria Michaelis.

I concentrated mainly on storefronts with the idea of coming back to the same area in a few years’ time and doing a comparison. I’ve seen so many shops which have closed down, or are in the process of closing, I thought it might be interesting to record the changes. How that will work out we’ll have to wait and see!

The exhibition, on the use of photography to revolutionize the advertising and catalog industry in Germany, was fascinating. The simple photographs which we almost take for granted, household things such as salt and pepper shakers made of glass, knives and spoons, bowls and even egg cups, were once only illustrated graphically. An artist would draw the image, and another prepare it for printing. The exhibition showed the gradual changes from the most basic forms of photography – a vase or a bowl on a white background – through to what we see today. The concentration, however, is on the earliest forms, and some of the images shown challenge anything which we see in magazines or on billboards today. For anyone in the area, it’s open through to April 3, and well worth a trip.

Of course, being a photographic exhibition, I wasn’t allowed to take any photographs, so I happily share this wall mural I found in a back street. For the rest you’ll have to get into Bremen and see for yourself!

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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