Last weekend we participated in a “photomarathon,” which is easily the coolest thing I’ve done since I’ve been here. The event is part of Photokina, which is a massive photography trade fair held here in Cologne this month. The marathon demands 8 photos in 6 hours, with each of those photos representing the city of Cologne through a given theme. The overall motto was “The city is worth a visit,” and then we were given four different themes to capture…and GO! We had about three hours to take the first four pictures that would fit our themes, and then we would meet at a different location to receive our last four.
A challenge was that these had to be done in order, so you really had to commit to your idea before moving on. You couldn’t have more than 8 photos, and you couldn’t enhance them in any way, so each photo had to be well thought out and done right. About a hundred others participated, so there was also the challenge of thinking outside the box and trying to avoid what we thought might be standard or cliche tourist choices! I swear I’m not as pretentious as I sound right now?
Anyway, even though we took the challenge seriously, we had a lot of fun during those six hours of running around the city center. It was so cool to see and appreciate the city, and all of its quirks and details, through a whole different lens (HA!). Or from a whole different angle? On a roll now… I felt like a tourist and a local at the same time. The city really IS worth a visit. Below I will share our photos and the themes they went with. They’re not perfect (we’re not huge fans of the last half), but I’m really happy with them, mostly because it was such a fun experience. 😀
Like any marathoner, we were given a number (ours was 168). Our first picture had to incorporate our number, so we chose to do that on beer mats, which is what servers use to tally your beers here in Cologne. Kölsch is the local beer and a highly important part of this culture! Nice picture, right? The best part is that it gave us an excuse to have a few morning beers! Excellent way to start a marathon.
The theme here was “I pack my bag and I put in…” so we used a city map and photographed this against the main station’s sign.
“It’s a beautiful view here” was our third theme, so we captured the famous Cologne cathedral through a “tourist’s” sunglasses.
“Different countries, different customs” was the last theme of the morning. Cologne is famous for Karneval (which I cannot wait to experience, btw), so we used the symbolic red nose and some confetti to do this one.
“Is this art or can we throw it away?” Since we decided it would be too mean to photograph a real person, we went with this guy.
Next theme was “Big city jungle.” These themes kept getting more difficult! It’s not a brilliant picture, but it has a big city feeling.
“A souvenir from Cologne.” Christina can now add tattoo artist to her resume.
The final theme was something like “A little part of you will always stay here” and so we went to the famous love lock bridge where couples immortalize their love on a lock and throw the key into the Rhein! I think a lot of people took a similar picture on this bridge, but it just fit.