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SIGMA OUR WORLD TOUR . DIARY
  • Sept
    28
    2012

    A part of German history...

    The sun finally breaks through the clouds and floods through the building. My gaze wanders upwards to the interesting roof construction. 3,500 square meters of safety glass, 16mm thick and weighing 105 tons appears to float above me. The teflon-coated lengths of material give this architectural highlight a distinctly futuristic appearance. I’m standing in the Sony Center in Berlin, this city steeped in history. It isn’t just Germany’s capital, with its 3.5 million inhabitants, but thanks to its history, nightlife, architecture, politics, and multicultural nature, has become famous around the world.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 26mm, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/250s.

    The history is what appeals most to me, since I can still remember very well getting the news on November 9th, 1989 that the border was going to be opened. There are still a few remnants of the wall in the city. So I head over to the East Side Gallery, the largest and most famous part left of the Berlin Wall. Since it’s opening in 1990, it has been the longest open air gallery in the world with its length of 1316 meters. Artists have commented on the political changes in the years 1989/90 in hundreds of paintings on the former east side of the wall, using various materials.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM - 13mm, ISO100, f/8, 1/13s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 26mm, ISO100, f/8, 1/8s.

    While passing through the city, I come to Checkpoint Charlie, one of the most famous border crossings through the Berlin wall which connected the Soviet and American sectors. This control point was also the sight of spectacular escapes from the former East Berlin.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 183mm, ISO200, f/6.3, 1/125s.

    There is no shortage of memorial monuments in Berlin. The Holocaust Memorial, opened in 2005, with its 2711 cement blocks, remembers the Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust when the National Socialist regime was in power.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 87mm, ISO100, f/5.6, 1/50s.

    On my way to the Brandenburg Gate, I pass a victory column that is 66.89 meter high. It was completely rehabilitated in 2011 and the Victoria Statue covered in gold leaf is visible to me from quite a distance.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 155mm, ISO100, f/8, 1/500s.

    But what would Berlin be without the Brandenburg Gate? This monument built between 1788 and 1791 is not just a symbol of the city, but until the wall fell, it also marked the border between east and west. Since 1990 it has stood as a symbol of the reunification of Germany and Europe. It is by far one of the most photographed motifs in Germany, but as evening starts to descend and the lighting provides a beautiful complementary color to the blue sky, I can’t resist.

    Quadriga: Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 212mm, ISO100, f/8, 0,6s.

    Brandenburger Tor: Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 51mm, ISO100, f/8.0, 3,2s.

    My last photo for the day is reserved for the government district in Berlin. Here on the Spree is the Reichstag Building and modern architecture, which create a successful symbiosis of old and new.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM - 8mm, ISO100, f/11, 10s.

    Summary: Berlin, due to its history, architecture, art and of course the many different cultures of the city, is a place that I can recommend to everyone, and naturally am always happy to visit myself.

  • Sept
    16
    2012

    "Nearing the finish line..."

    Exhausted, I climb the last steps up the hill and look around. While the twilight begins to descend, I’m overcome by a slight feeling of melancholy as I realize that this is the second-to-last destination of my trip. I enjoy the view, bask in memories and and suddenly realize of what the scene that lies before me reminds me. Just like Florence! Such gorgeous landscapes aren’t just in Italy, but also in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 70-200mm F2,8 EX DG OS HSM - 86mm, ISO100, f/5.0, 5s.

    The next day, I have a sightseeing trip through the city planned. I focus on the highlights, because Prague really has a lot to offer. Above all, the old city is really worth seeing. As a technophile, my first detour takes me to the Astronomical Clock at the town hall. Some of the workings of this clock, like the clockwork mechanism, are from the 14th century. It is a masterwork of Gothic innovation and technology and a valuable cultural heritage site.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 73mm, ISO100, f/8.0, 1/250s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 212mm, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/500s.

    I don’t deny myself the climb up the town hall tower, since one has a spectacular view over the city from the top. My eyes alight on the interesting Tyn Church built in the Gothic architectural style. It was built in 1365 and completed over the course of the centuries.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM - 18mm, ISO100, f/9.0, 1/320s.

    I come back down and follow the sound of beautiful string music that has reached my ears. I’m very surprised to discover a children’s string trio. The children of Prague seem to be very music. Since these three are very talented, I reach for my wallet to make my contribution.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 31mm, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/100s.

    Slowly my legs begin to get tired and I decide to take advantage of the public transportation system. I can particularly recommend the somewhat nostalgic 22 line of the streetcar system. When you take the streetcar, you can enjoy a beautiful view of Prague and the Moldau.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 73mm, ISO100, f/5.6, 1/200s.

    In a cafe with museum, I discover an interesting stairwell. Sadly it wasn’t accessible towards the top because of renovations. I satisfied myself with a shot from below.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM - 18mm, ISO100, f/3.5, 1,3s.

    But Prague isn’t only captivating because of its old architecture. In an extraordinary realization of their ideas, architects Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry created the so-called Dancing House. Since it looks like a dancer in a pleated glass dress leaning on a man with a hat, the building is endearingly referred to by locals as “Ginger and Fred” (after the dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire)

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 22mm, ISO100, f/8.0, 1/200s.

    A walk over the Charles Bridge is a must on every visit to Prague. It has been decorated with many Baroque statues over the centuries. The oldest of them is that of Saint Nepomuk. The saint drowned in 1393 at exactly this spot after being thrown in the Moldau by Wenceslas IV for being unwilling to betray the sanctity of the confessional.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 250mm, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/640s.

    Später wurde er heiliggesprochen. Seitdem pilgern viele Leute zu seiner Statue, denn es soll Glück bringen, diese zu berühren.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 87mm, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/400s.

    There is also a statue of John the Baptist here. He shows me the way to other attractions, Prague Castle.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 183mm, ISO100, f/9.0, 1/250s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 73mm, ISO100, f/8.0, 8s.

    Later I was driven back to the city in an oldtimer. Prague is restoring many buildings as well and also covered with printed scaffolding. I love to use these as backgrounds because they compel the view to look at them more closely.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 31mm, ISO100, f/5.0, 1/50s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM - 18mm, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/100s.

    Summary: Prague is a city with charm and flair. Because of its old architecture, the Moldau with its beautiful bridges, the lovely old city with its pedestrian zone and comfy cafes, it leaves you no choice but to fall in love with it...

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 106mm, ISO100, f/5.6, 1/80s.

  • Sept
    12
    2012

    On the trail of an empress ...

    Slowly the chocolate melts on my tongue and I’m overcome with a slight feeling of euphoria, but then the apricot marmalade reaches my taste buds, and the flavor profile is perfect. I’m sitting in the Café Sacher in Vienna and trying the original, world famous Sachertorte.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 51mm, ISO200, f/5.0, 1/50s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 51mm, ISO100, f/22, 3,2s.

    After this small, delicious pause, I head out to discover the capital of Austria. I see several carriages, and what would Vienna be without a hackney tour?

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM - 18mm, ISO100, f/16, 1/10s.

    We pass the important sights, like the Hofburg, the Burgtheater and the Pallas Athene Brunnen.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM - 18mm, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/250s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 8-16mm F4,5-5,6 DC HSM – 11mm, ISO100, f/8.0, 1/200s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 51mm, ISO100, f/5.6, 1/320s.

    After 45 minutes, the comfortable ride sadly comes to an end, so I make my way on foot to discover the rest of the city. Alongside Mozart, many other famous people have lived and had an effect on Vienna. There are statues of famous individuals everywhere, such as Johann Strauss.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 250mm, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/25s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 70-200mm F2,8 EX DG OS HSM

    I visit Schönbrunn Palace as well, to trace the steps of Sissi a bit. Surely everyone has seen the film with Romy Schneider and Karl-Heinz Böhm, so what is more romantic than having your photo taken directly in front of the palace on your wedding day?

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM

    Other palaces in Vienna have their charm as well, naturally, like the beautiful Belvedere Palace.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 26mm, ISO100, f/9.0, 1/500s.

    After I’ve had enough of palaces, I head out to discover another Viennese attraction, the Church of St. Carl. The foundation stone for this beautiful Roman Catholic parish church was laid in 1716, and reflected in the water, it is double so beautiful...

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM - 13mm, ISO100, f/8.0, 1/50s.

    I continue to stroll through the streets and reach the Hundertwasser House. This colorful, now somewhat aged residential house was built between 1983 and 1985 by the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It still brings many tourists to Vienna today.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM - 20mm, ISO100, f/3.5, 1/125s.

    It slowly is getting darker, and I make my way to the famous Vienna Prater. Along the way, I pass many beautifully lit squares that I naturally capture on my camera chip.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250 mm 3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM- 22mm, ISO100, f/7.1, 2,5s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill Objektiv: SIGMA 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM - 18mm, ISO100, f/7.1, 2,5s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 8-16mm F4,5-5,6 DC HSM – 16mm, ISO100, f/9.0, 2,5s.

    Kamera: SIGMA SD1 Merrill, Objektiv: SIGMA 18-250 mm 3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM - 26mm, ISO100, f/7.1, 6,0s.

    Summary: As one can see, Vienna has a ton of sights and motifs to offer. It is worth spending a few days here.