I assume, most of us like sleeping a bit longer on weekends or public holidays. Me, too. But, sometimes certain ideas require something else.
The week before Easter, I got a hint about a special occasion on Holy Saturday morning in Cologne. Cologne is not that far away, only a nearly 1-hour drive. So, I set my alarm clock for 4:00 a.m. When it rang, I got up and checked the sky if stars were visible. They were. So, starting the coffee maker was the next step before heading to the shower. Less than half an hour later, I sat in the car heading to Cologne.
Unfortunately, there were a few fleecy clouds between me and my target. Nevertheless, the results are quite satisfying, except for the black sky. Approximately 20-30 minutes later, the sky would have been perfect.
I gave it a second try on Easter Sunday morning, but now, the moon went down in a different position, so the composition wasn’t possible anymore. According to the source of the hint, this image is possible only once a year. So, Easter Sunday was already too late. The last image is taken on Easter Sunday morning, the others are from Holy Saturday.
Lovelocks. Lots of lovelocks. Literally tons of lovelocks. This bridge crossing river Rhine in Cologne is famous for carrying thousands of these locks. A couple of years ago, structural engineers came over to re-do the structural calculations because of the enormous extra weight the bridge has to carry. Although each lock weighs only a couple of grams, it sums up to tons because of the huge amount of locks mounted on the fences on both sides of the bridge over the whole span. Afterward, many, many locks were removed to secure the bridge. But, lovers filled up the cleared spaces quite fast.
The bridge is more than 400m long and nearly 30m broad. The longest span is nearly 170m to give room for the transport ships to pass below. Besides pedestrians, the bridge is used by more than 1200 trains per day. It’s one of the most important railway junctions here in Germany. You can find more details on Wikipedia, if interested.
I’m putting this topic up quite early. It’s about three weeks ’til Valentine’s day. So, take this as a reminder to prepare something for your darling. 😊
Every other year, the whole photo industry looks to Europe. Come a little closer and see, they are looking to Germany. Over there, in the west-north-western part of Germany is a big city called Cologne. Here, in the Cologne fairground is the Photokina held every other year for a week. This year they are also celebrating 175 years of photography.
This was my third visit in a row. After 2010 and 2012 I’m here again, walking through the huge fair halls looking at the new products. Cameras, lenses, tripods, bags, software, monitors and other gear is presented to the public. It’s always very interesting, although it was very crowded as usual.
As always the big companies i.e. Nikon, Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Hasselblad, have huge stands filling nearly half of a hall each.
Many companies offered presentations. Some presented their software, other have had invited famous photographers telling where and how they shot the photographs used in the companies advertising using that certain gear. Other have had organized show shooting, when a photographer demonstrated the gear in a commented live shooting on the stage where the results were instantly displayed on a huge screen to the audience. And again, many stands were equipped with beautiful female models to be a subject to be photographed for the people.
In my opinion, this years fair is quite lame. None of the big companies has something really new to show. No really new products, no new trends. Even some stands of the big companies were empty and you were able to touch and test some of their products. I guess, the fair was also a bit smaller than the last times.
The only new trend I was able to recognise was the lack of printed brochures at the stands of nearly all major companies. Instead, there were QR codes printed beside the products to direct the interested people directly to the corresponding material available online. A good choice for the environment and a good choice for the carrying shoulder.
As usual on an outside area they had birds of prey and let them fly free.
I put a few impressions in my gallery below.
The fair lasts until Sunday. So, you still have a chance to have a look on your own.