It has been a while

It has been a while since I met someone new. It has been even more of a while since I visited Berlin. People were reluctant to meet and most places were closed in Berlin. Why bother sitting masked in a train to go where everything is closed and the winter weather makes long walks uncomfortable. But this was the first really nice day of spring even though it is almost summer. It felt like the many young people around me had released their pent up energy and tension from the long lockdown winter. It felt great. But I have no pictures capturing the mood. I did not take any. I forgot. I was swept up in this mood and I was having a great time. I was too distracted with conversation. It is kind of sad I forgot to take pictures but obviously whatever I was doing was much more interesting after all. So I ended up with some strange impressions of a local train station on a Sunday afternoon. And a car.

arrow symbol on floor
Here we go (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

These arrows are supposed to direct traffic flow through the station. People were not supposed to cross each other because they might catch COVID this way. Of course it is utter nonsense and rather Kafkaesque but this day the arrow marked a beginning. A start. Or rather a restart. Adventure. Let’s go!

closed restaurant
Not yet (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

Seating for the local “Asia Snack”. A cheapish establishment selling what some Germans consider “Asian” cuisine. Alas dining in the comfortable atmosphere of a train station / shopping mall was still forbidden. Despite the rather low brow food I went there sometimes. It is the place where I learned that my then 18 months old daughter actually loves spicy (and I mean spicy) Udon noodles.

closed supermarket
Big K (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

Germany’s own K-Mart. Well it is called Kaufland (which literally means buy-land). Of course it being a Sunday in Germany the store was closed. I pitied the few lone shopping carts who did not make it home in time. I hope someone will bring them in on Monday. Maybe give them a gentle pat, telling them they are still important to the store.

view from the escalatorview from the escalator
Ups and Downs (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

What an apt sign for what I was about to do. Meeting someone new. Will it go forward, up or will stop somewhere and go down. Who knows. Of course one always hopes for the up but it always depends on the shared experience and space two new people are able to create or not create. Maybe this makes it always exciting and sometimes even frightening. It is a process no one has any real control over. Meeting someone in the context of polyamory is even more complicated. There is no guide, no fixed rule, no “how do I know I am in relationship with a guy” article in glossy magazines and no pre-conceived idea about what a potential relationship might look like. The only two important things are trust and communication…and off to chart new territory.

view from the escalatorview from the escalator
Descent 1 (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter
view from the escalatorview from the escalator
Descent 2 (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter
view from the escalator
Mirrored Descent (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

Escalators are exciting places. A place that is forever ephemeral. Nowhere to stop and see what it all is about. Stepping on one puts you on an inevitable path up or down that only the very brave and very stupid dare to oppose. The only thing one can do is to take a few snapshots. A few moments of life on the escalator. One of those snaps even caught me.

shadows in pavement
Shadowplay (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

The interplay of geometric shapes, light and glass. Ever changing shadows. Do not forget the rule to not step on the shadow lest something terrible happens. Like the only toilet on the train is out of order on just the day you actually need to use one.

Warning Sign train station
Be careful (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter
do not enter sign
Temptation (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

Warning signs everywhere. We are a society of warning signs and pictograms. There are so many different signs that I sometimes do not understand them. This one confused me. What is it supposed to say? Take the stairs with arms wide open? Roll your head on your arms and shoulders (the person clearly has no neck)? Or maybe it says to stop here but then why is the gate open? A questions that has to be answered later as my train would arrive momentarily.

Vintage Porsche
Vintage Penis Car (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

A nice dark vintage penis car. I made someone laugh with this silly comment. Nothing brings me more delight than making someone else laugh with my jokes. Something lights up in my heart seeing my words being transformed into a smile and some laughter within another person. Such a magical but also fickle thing. It does not work with everyone and sometimes I am the one not laughing at someone’s futile attempt at a joke and feeling bad about it. But the person with me did laugh…in fact we laughed quite a lot that day. It was nice.

Facade Invalidenstr. Berlin
Facades of Berlin (2021) Fujifilm XQ2 Monochrome film recipe +yellow filter

Modern facades. Berlin has so many new buildings. I was too distracted for more photography but I did snap this office building. It was a pleasant distraction that kept me from taking more photos so I have no regrets. But this image makes me miss living in the big city. Seeing the architecture, feeling the vibrancy and watching the people. But it is too much on a daily basis. I need my small town calm combined with exciting adventures in the city. Which is what this day was exactly about.

Photographic Notes:
I am quite in love with my new, old Fujifilm XQ2. This day was not suited for carrying a big camera. I do not like having a conversation and pausing it whenever I look trough the viewfinder. In this moment I need to focus (literally 🙂 and have to shut out my surroundings for just a few seconds. I always feel uncomfortable letting someone wait these moments. It works better with people I know quite well though. Maybe it is just me and they don’t even mind. Nevertheless this small camera makes snapping shots so easy and with so little distraction. I could stay within the conversation and still take some images. And despite it’s tiny sensor size the image quality is outstanding if your are not demanding the utmost sharpness. I used the Monochrome film recipe from Fujixweekly for X-Trans I sensors for it’s high contrast and pronounced blacks and added the yellow filter for a bit more drama.