21 February, 2007
Tales From Germany, Part I:
"München Mag Dich"
"München Mag Dich"
As some of you know, last year I spent three months in Germany photographing and exhibiting my work by invitation of Munich’s Department of Culture. Since in a few days I will be celebrating the first anniversary of this event, the next posts of FotogramaBits will tell some behind the scenes stories about my adventures in Bavaria and the Villa Waldberta.
Among the 28 photos that made it to the final selection, the picture above was one of the most appreciated by visitors of my exhibition. Therefore, I found it interesting to tell details about how this image was accomplished, showing how persistent and creative a photographer must be when searching for a good photo situation.
At first I was determined to photograph a tree from above, in the early morning or late afternoon, with its shadow projecting on snow. I almost drove people crazy trying to get what I needed in order to achieve my goal: A helicopter? A hot air balloon? A crane? A church tower in the middle of nowhere? A flock of birds feeding under the tree, with its shadows also projecting on the ground? Or maybe some typical Bavarians herding cattle under the shade? Time was short, there were many uncertainties and costs involved, so that I ended up quitting on the original idea.
Some time later I was shooting in town with Juliana, a long-time friend who helped me as an assistant during some assignments. In the middle of the afternoon she wasn’t feeling so well, and didn’t want to join me on the last visit that we had planned for that day, to Olympiapark (where the 1972 Olympic Games were held). I was also about to give up, since I was pretty tired too and didn’t believe that any interesting shot could come from there, but ended up going on my own. I paid 4 Euros to get up on the tower that provides a panoramic view of Munich and the Alps, and was very surprised to get – almost entirely by chance – an image very similar to the one I wanted, of a tree seen from above. It was a very complicated shot, since there was a glass protection and its concrete frame sticking out right underneath, so I had to stand on my toe tips and stretch my neck in order to get a proper shooting position.
Besides the visual beauty, this photo was successful for showing a couple holding hands and forming the letter “M” as in “Munich” (the city’s motto for the 2006 Soccer World Cup was MÜNCHEN MAG DICH – “Munich Loves You”)…