In an effort to get to know my host city better and reconcile myself with the horrors of winter, I embarked on a new discovery project based on a subject I absolutely adore: bridges. Did you know that Berlin has more bridges Venice? With two rivers flowing through the nation's capital, the Spree and the Havel, it is no surprise that bridges come as naturally to Berlin as the quintessential currywurst. Not all are photography-worthy though, and many were constructed more for practicality and not architectural beauty. Nevertheless, if you know where to look, there will always be a little surprise waiting.
Photographing bridges during daytime poses absolutely no challenge to me, and quite frankly, with the lousy winter weather we have in Berlin at the moment, it is hardly worth the effort. However, if I go out in the rain at dusk, then the story changes. First of all the challenge is not to get caught by sneaking under the chains that are intended to keep people away from getting close to the water. I started with the Luther Bridge in Moabit, a small bridge across from Schloss Bellvue (Bellevue Castle) which is easy to ignore because very few people ever consider going down to water level and look at it from below. There is a a lovely promenade that runs along the river and is loved by joggers, pram-pushers and grumpy dog-walkers, but I was definitely the only photographer out and about.
It was cold, dark and there was a slight drizzle, absolutely dreadful conditions to be out and about in the first place. But I have been wanting to start this project for a while now, and some of the bridges I want to capture in winter, especially since there are likely to be less people hovering.
Several attempts were needed to find an angle that I could live with, realising all too soon that I would have to break a few rules and ignore the chains. Making sure there was no police around to cart me away, I quickly descended the steps and positioned myself. Wouldn't you know, a dog-walker passed by and remarked "no swimming!" - I was wearing a down jacket, a hat and hiking boots, why on earth would I even consider going swimming?
In any case, I got my shot and scrambled back up to the promenade, just when the harbour police came cruising by on their boat!