The “Kulturpalast” in Dresden is one of the most recognizable architectural icons from the East German modernistic era of the 1960s and 1970s in the heart of Dresden. It received a complete overhaul over the last decade and was re-opened in April 2017. It is now as beautiful, in fact even more beautiful, than ever before. That’s true for the outside façade that stayed true to its origin as well as the modern interior that kept most of the references to the original design as well.
As I had mentioned here before it’s always a nice surprise to discover the photos you had taken quite some time ago when you bring back a film from development. Also, seasons seem to become somewhat meaningless, because at least as in my case, it can take up to six months or longer until I manage to finish 36 exposures on a roll of film.
Same with today’s picture. Apparently taken in high summer (of 2018), it’s quite refreshing to see it in the middle of (allegedly) winter, lest we forget how summer feels like.
Another shot from my little “touristic” stroll through the Dresden Zwinger.
As you know by now, from time to time I like acting like a tourist in my own hometown. I do think that by going back to places you walk by almost every day and you start looking a little bit closer you always find new perspectives and new details you had never realized where there.
This is a photograph taken in one of the stairways at the Dresden Zwinger looking down into the courtyard. Probably not the typical picture a tourist would take. Nonetheless I thought it provides an interesting perspective.
In my last post I featured some photos from the Dresden “Museumsnacht” aka “A Night in the Museum”. On our way to the exhibitions of course I couldn’t restrain myself from taking some random shots of the famous Dresden architectural heritage. It always feels a bit funny acting like a tourist in your own hometown, but Dresden is just such a marvel in so many respects, I can easily deal with the awkward feeling.
When I have to stay overnight in Berlin, I usually stay in a very nice hotel close to “Bahnhof Friedrichstraße” train station. I was always fascinated by the architecture and the maze of underpasses and small alleys in that station. It’s extremely confusing. But normally you rush through a train station, you don’t have time to take photographs – or better: you don’t take your time to make them. This time, I was so amazed by the light in the small overpass that crosses Friedrichstraße and connects to the U-Bahn station that I quickly checked into the hotel and went back with my camera and took a few photographs and then edited them right away on my iPad during dinner with Lightroom Mobile. I increasingly like the ability to work on the photographs right away – when they are still fresh in your memory.
Later on today I was then reading a bit about the history of “Bahnhof Friedrichstraße”. I knew a little bit about it, that it was one of the train stations that basically got cut in half and truncated East and West Berlin after the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961. I also faintly remembered that it was one of the biggest gateways for East German Stasi (East German State Police) spies to get into West Berlin. In September 1967 alone 1,700 of those spies crossed the border at Bahnhof Friedrichstraße. That’s a couple dozen per day. One of the reasons why the train station was so heavily frequented was because it was extremely hard to oversee and observe. So it was not only used by Eastern spies but also by Western RAF terrorists to get more or less undiscovered to their Stasi contacts in East Berlin.
When you wander through the train station today you can still see and appreciate why it was such a great place for the Cold War spy business – even I get still lost here sometimes.
I was always a bit skeptical about using Lightroom Mobile. I couldn’t quite fathom how a mobile application could deliver results that could stand up to what I can achieve with a full blown desktop application on my computer. Until recently I hadn’t even touched Lightroom Mobile although it’s included in my subscription. I just couldn’t be bothered.
But since I got my Leica SL that changed. Because with the SL comes a very nifty mobile application “Leica SL” which (among many other useful things) lets you sync your images via WiFi to your tablet or mobile phone. When you are on the road this is an incredible advantage that I had ocassionally missed on my DSLRs but also on the M Monochrom. Sometimes you just want to immediately share what you encounter during your travel. For Instagram, that’s a huge plus – it’s called “Insta” for a reason :).
Once you have the image on your tablet, it’s easy to load it into Lightroom Mobile and start editing it. And – at least to me skeptic – it was quite an eye opener how powerful that small mobile app is. You can use the vast majority of the functions that you are used to on the full-blown desktop application. With one incredible advantage – the touch screen lets you very easily zoom, apply and change radial filters and adjust curves. On a desktop you would need a graphic tablet to accomplish the same.
Of course the smaller screen is a drawback, and you can only work on the JPEGs, not the raw files (at least I haven’t figured out yet how to do that). But I can certainly live with that, since the primary purpose is to quickly edit an image for sharing on social media channels rather than the big screen or even a print. Another plus is that the edits you make are transferred into the desktop version of Lightroom once you are at your computer and load the images into Lightroom. So you can continue to adjust where you left it off and even go back in your editing and undo adjustments you had made on your tablet.
So here you go. The picture below of the altar at the Kölner Dom was taken with the SL and then edited during my waiting time at the Cologne/Bonn airport so I could share it on Instagram. No further editing in the desktop Lightroom version was done. Enjoy and let me know what you think. Oh and of course, feel free to follow me on Instagram :) (https://www.instagram.com/monokuro2k/)