Archive | October 2008

Checkpoint Charlie

Ulla Hennig

Foto: Ulla Hennig

This is a rather famous place in Berlin: Years ago, when the Berlin Wall was still standing, Allied forces had to cross the border here, and only they were allowed to do so – no crossing allowed for Berlin people or Germans from Western Germany. This was also the place where Russian and American tanks stood in front of each other, threatening each other.

Today a lot of people come here who never saw the Berlin wall standing. Busses are stopping here, emptying loads of tourists with digital cameras in their hands. I remember the time when the street simply ended there. I also remember the time when the first Germans from “the other side” came over, happy, with tears in their eyes, looking at the shops, shaking their heads in disbelief.

I remember all that. But I ask myself: how many of the people who come every day to this place remember the same as I do?

Derelict House in Jüterbog

Photo: Ulla Hennig

Probably not many of you know that Jüterbog is a town in the Mark Brandenburg – that means in the  Eastern part of Germany. I took this picture on a sightseeing trip trough the town. No, not all the houses in Jüterbog are looking like this. Indeed, that was the only one being in a derelict state.

But you wouldn’t know If I had mentioned this, would you? A town somewhere in the East of Germany – weren’t there a lot of newspaper articles about how poor the Eastern part of Germany is? And how many derelict houses there were and still are?

That’s where the responsibility of the photographer and the photo-blogger comes in. When presenting a photo, you have to ask yourself:

  • Does this photo represent reality? or does it not?
  • Is there more than one reality? If yes, what about the other ones you don’t show? You should at least mention them!
  • Are you documenting something with your photos? Then do some research. E.g. for how long has this house been in such a derelict state? What have been the reasons for it getting in such a state?
  • Are you not documenting something, but trying to present a certain mood to the reader? E.g. the contradiction between old and new? Or the bad feeling of seeing old houses going down? Then you should put this picture in relation to what you saw in the rest of the town – at least one sentence.

Always keep in mind: It is so easy to create wrong realities with pictures!

This is a contribution to Joanna Young’s article on Confident Writing: Giving 50 Ideas Away: An Invitation to Join the Conversation.

The last Flowers of the Year

Autumn is almost over, but there are still a few flowers braving the cold winds. In a few days they will be gone also, together with the green leaves. Taking pictures of them is trying to record nature as it is now – having the possibility to look at it in times of dreariness.

Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to everybody who visits this blog for the first time!

You can find here

  • some of my photos which I think are worth showing. Most of them have been taken in Berlin or the region around Berlin.
  • musings on daily life in Berlin, information about the places I show in my pictures, and sometimes even musings on life in general (although I am trying not to become too philosophical)


And, after having looked at the pictures and read my musings, it would be awfully nice if you could take the time and leave a comment (or two…)

Autumn Sky

Ulla Hennig

Photo: Ulla Hennig

Here in Berlin the heavy winds of autumn have taken down many of the leaves. On the one hand this reminds me of the coming winter, and therefore makes me a bit sad. On the other hand, you can now see what is hidden in summer: the structure of the branches. I like to look at them and sometimes I even want to take out a pencil and a piece of paper and make a drawing. I haven’t had the time yet…

Fallen Leaves

Actually, the part of the wooden containment you see in this picture here belongs to a boule place, where people can play boule. Boule is a game where you have one very little bowl which you have to try as approach much as you can with your own, larger bowl. In order to keep the bowls going off you have this wooden containment.

Of course now, in the season of autumn, the containment keeps the fallen leaves from being spread all over by the wind.

Autumn in Berlin

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

Some days ago, I just took my camera and went for a walk around the corner where I live. Time goes by that fast that I wanted to capture autumn when it is still here. This is just behind the house where I live.

The Art of Saying “No!”

It is 4 pm. Everything goes smoothly at the office. I am looking forward to meeting one of my best friends at 6 pm. It is the third time we try to meet, and everytime it was me who had to cancel the meeting.

Suddenly Claudia darts in my room. “We’ve got to put a new news item on our website, here’s the information I just got”. I take a look. The information is hardly to understand. It is about an exposition, well better called: a performance of one of our known artists. I don’t know how I will get three sentences out of that information which can be understood by normal people. It is 4.45 pm, and I am still not sure what to write. Maybe google can help. Half an hour later I have some reasonable information – not provided by google, but by wikipedia. But now time is getting short for my appointment with my friend.  I. Am. Not. Cancelling. That. Meeting. I feel my stress level rising.  And then I yell at myself: No! Stop! Think!

What alternatives do I have? What will happen, if I deal with the news item on our homepage tomorrow, first thing in the morning? And what will happen if I cancel the meeting with my best friend for the third time? Where are my priorities? I pick up the telephone and…

Dear reader, this is a fictional story. Things like that are happening to me very often. I’m someone who likes to meet everyone’s expectations – but there are situations where I simply cannot do that, a fact which puts me under considerable stress. I learned that in such situations it is the best to take a step aside and then to realize, that I have to decide which expectations I want to meet, and to stick to that decision, even with a funny feeling somewhere in my stomach.

This is a contribution to the October “what I learned from Stress” Group Writing Project, organized by Robert Hruzhek.

The Colours of Autumn

The Colours of Autumn

The Colours of Autumn

I can see this house every morning, when I leave my flat, and every late afternoon, when I return from work. Aren’t the colours lovely? They help me lot to adjust to autumn, to the shorter days, and the low temperature in the morning.