Traveling in Berlin

Gemany's famous Brat's. A backpack grill!

We went to Berlin for 9 days with our Travel class.  Our teacher, Kathrin and her husband are both from Munich so it was great to have tour guides that knew the city and German history very well.  Minus the below freezing weather for 12 hour days, I really enjoyed the city.  I especially found interesting the history behind the city fascinating.  I still cannot fathom how recent the fall of the Berlin Wall was in 1989 and also how recent the Holocaust was.  The Germans have completely accepted what they did was wrong and now are still trying to move past it.  Berlin is case in point where the remains of their past is still all around, but the city has and still is in the process of moving forward to a brighter future.  The Holocaust memorial provides an example of Germany’s history contrasted with a new construction of a governmental district in the background.  The contrast signifies that yes these terrible murders happened in the past, but we are looking to the future to become a better and stronger nation. We visited a concentration camp about 45 minutes outside of the city that was very eye opening to what went on during Hitler’s reign.  The entrance gate of the camp says “Work will set you free.”   This phrase really means we will work you to death.  The camp we visited did not have gas chambers, but rather worked the prisoners in inhumane conditions until they died.  Each prisoner got examined unclothed before entering the concentration camp.  The SS officers would mark an “x”  on the prisoners with gold  teeth because the Nazi’s wanted the gold.  Then the prisoners were asked to stand along the wall while the examiner left the room.  The prisoner thought they were just about to get measured, but the ones with x’s on their backs got shot through a slit in the wall behind them.  There were countless of more gruesome stories like this one that our tour guide explained to us.  Although most of the stories made me feel very uneasy, they needed to be told to understand the depth of what the prisoners went through.  Along with going to the Concentration camp we also went to the Jewish Museum in Berlin.  The museum tells the entire Jewish history of Berlin interactively.  We also, saw remains of the Berlin Wall all through out the city.  My teacher explained that since the demolition of the wall was so recent in 1989, there is still a divide culturally between the East and the West sides of the city.  The east side of the city(the former communist part) enjoys engaging in more social and communal activities where as the west side of Berlin is a more individualistic culture.  Although Berlin’s history is one of the most important parts about the city, the city also has a lot of other attractors including Museum Island, the Bauhaus archives, the governmental district, wonderful food, extremely nice and respectful people, and a great nightlife.  Here are a couple pictures that go through all of sites we visited and help explain Berlin’s culture.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin


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Blog 10-Beginnings of work on Videos

This is my first attempt at putting together my personal experience of Barcelona.  I have not added my own voice in it, but will as I start to understand Windows Movie Maker more. With this first attempt, I really was playing around with the new software to start to understand how it works.  Throughout this first video, I want to talk about what makes Barcelona such a special place to study abroad through my experiences.  I included in the video one of our favorite bands we love to listen to at Port Veil.  The band is always at the port on Fridays and Saturdays, so on sunny days we really enjoy listening to their music.  I included this particular song because it is my favorite, and it reminds of the atmosphere of Barcelona.  So, I felt that it was important to convey that feeling across to the audience. I created a youtube account to upload all of my videos to because wordpress would not upload my video files.  The link to my first attempt at Video 1 is below.

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BLOG 9 – discuss some ideas on your plan of attack.

For the Personal Video, I would like to discuss my host culture in relationship to all the places I have traveled while in Europe.  I think it is very interesting to compare the food, people, and views of each culture compared to my host country.  Barcelona has still been my favorite city out of all the place I have visited so far.  So I would like to discuss what makes one “fall in love” with Barcelona. I would like to use a lot of my pictures and some videos to understand the atmosphere of my host country and each place I have visited.

For the Professional Video, I would like to discuss the importance of studying abroad when studying to become an architect.  After being in Europe for more than two months, I have learned more about architecture and urban planning than I have in my two and a half years in Clemson.  I took three art/architecture history classes at Clemson which were very interesting, but it wasn’t until I got to see the art and architecture in person, that I actually appreciated what it stood for.  For instance, while in Germany with my travel class for 9 days we visited the Bauhaus in Dessau.  When studying the Bauhaus I never understood what was so groundbreaking about it.  It was not until we visited did I understand that it was the thought process that went into designing the building that was so groundbreaking.  Every detail, including doorknobs, windows, light fixtures were produced in the Bauhaus workshops and had a unique design.  I never knew about the colors in the building to distinguish floor by floor.  Also, the glass curtain wall on the building was groundbreaking when designed, but now we see glass curtain walls everywhere, so it is hard for us to understand how modern the design was at that time.  I would like to interview my professor Katherine to get her reaction about why it is so important for architecture students to study abroad and see architecture before there eyes, and what living in the architecture can teach you. Also I would like to show pictures and a video I took at the Holocaust memorial for one to experience how architecture can make you feel rather than just seeing it with your eyes.

For the Public Issues Video, I would like to talk about Pick pocketing in Spain.  Pick pocketing is such a huge manifestation in Barcelona and Madrid that it is a serious problem.  Many of my friends while here have gotten things stolen from them including myself, so I would like to interview them to show how easily it could happen to anybody.  In one of the situations, my friend went to the cops, but the cops claim they cannot do anything unless they see the person take it from you.  The pick pocketors target tourists  because they know they are easy targets.  Typically if the pick pocketors know you live here, they are not as a big of a threat.  The pick pocketors will act like they are talking to you and start messing with you and take money or a valuable before you know it.  The metro is another place that pick pocketors are very bad.  In most cases according to my professor, the police are no help.  The pick pocketors are normally immigrants that just want money.  The immigrants are very good at their job because pick pocketing is their only job.  They work in large groups and pass stolen objects off before one even has a chance to find them.

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Four night trip to Amsterdam-Feb. 18-22

Our first day out in Amsterdam.

At the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. We learned how the beer was made and got to taste everything that goes in it.

Heneiken Brewery

Having our Heneiken beers straight from the brewery

Had to borrow some hats because it was freezing and raining all weekend!

On a canal tour of Amsterdam.

Renzo Piano Aquarium

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EMBT-our studio neighbor

We got to tour EMBT-Enric Miralles firm now owned by his second wife

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BLOG 8 – Refer to the photos you have posted previously on your blog. In this entry, evaluate the “tropos” of these photos. What rhetorical decisions were made in choosing the subject? The angle? The objects included/excluded in the foreground/background? What kind of story do these pictures help you tell?

1. The first picture of Florence’s skyline really helps one to understand the feel of the city as well as Italian architecture.  When taking the picture I really wanted one to feel as if they were peering out of a window and seeing the beauty of Florence.  The angle of the photo shows the ornate detail of the Duomo and better displays the details of the facade.  I chose to show the window of the tower and the facade of the Duomo in the foreground of the picture to show off the magnificence of the Duomo against the background of the Florence skyline.  This picture also shows off many characteristics of Florence that the city is known for having like the red roofs and romantic feel.

2. The tropos behind the second picture included the experience of actually being there.  I loved the Italian market in Florence and bought my parents and sister gifts there, so wanted to convey the atmosphere of the market through a photograph.  I showed the market in the foreground with city buildings and the sky in the background to get a sense of scale of the market in the city.  Also I really like the play on light that occured when I took the picture.  It contrasts the shadows of being in the market with the sunlight that reflects off of the city buildings above.  The lighting helps one to feel like they are actually in the scene that I captured. The market was very crowded and busy which is shown by the picture.

3.  The tropos behind the third picture included the futuristic housing complexes that were very foreign to us.  With our teacher Katherine, we visited a newly developed eco-housing community in Madrid.  The community was very barren and seemed like everyone had evacuated the area.  It was in the winter, but for the size of the housing complex, we saw maybe up to 10 people all together.  The eco-complex is a very modern and still far out idea for us to even fathom.  Once the vegetation starts to grow and everything starts to season, the area definitely could have a lot of potential.  Just right now, it seemed very odd and so barren it was not a happy place.  I wanted to capture the oddness and barrenness of the place which I tried to do with this photograph.  By just taking a a picture of one person in the foreground with no one in the background, this conveys the emptiness of the housing complex.  Also, by showing part of the houses in the background, it shows the futuristic architecture that we are not entirely used to.

4. The tropos behing the fourth picture was the solemness of the moment I was there. This picture is of a memorial for the terrorist attacks in March of 2004 in the Atocha Train Station in Madrid.  The monument is a dome that was located in the center of a vast blue enclosed room.  I chose not to include the entirety of the space because I felt that showing the words that were written up close and from far away made a larger impression on the impact of being there.  Choosing this angle, I felt explored the lightness of the material and scale of the dome.  The perspective angle beautifully captured the natural curves of the monument at its most flattering angle.

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BLOG 7 –Explore Digital Photography Principles – Take some photos that explore the principles Pat discussed in this talk: horizontal vs. vertical, close vs. far, rule of thirds, etc. Post a few examples with a description of how these considerations were helpful to you.

Close vs. Far: View from the tower in the Duomo on our weekend trip to Florence

I experimented a lot taking shots of Florence’s skyline as I was climbing up the tower of the Duomo.  I really liked this shot because it shows three different ranges of distances.  It shows where I shot the camera from because I included part of the window detail right in front of me, then the photo shows a detail of the facade of the Duomo as several feet away.  Then, the farthest recognizable landmark in the picture  is the Basilica di San Lorenzo.  Finally, the skyline drifts into the horizon.   I also enjoyed this photo because it’s usage of the thirds principle.  I feel like the window detail does a nice job to frame the picture taken of the skyline, and it really makes one feel as if they were actually peering out of a window.

Horizontal vs. Vertical-The Italian Market near the Duomo.

I really like the angle of this shot because it shows the verticality of the city buildings behind the horizontal awnings of the market.  I like the contrast of the market in the middle of the city street.  I also like how the lighting is just on the buildings in the top of the frame and the market is darker with just streams of light coming through.

An Eco-Housing complex we visited.

I really like this picture because of the naturalness of the shot.  Rachel (the girl in the photo) saw me just as I was capturing the moment, and this was her first reaction.  I love all of the colors in the picture and the geometric shapes contrasted with the curved wall.  This is a good example of how graffiti does not always have to be used in a negative way.  Also, this picture could be applied to the rule of thirds due to the three black geometric rectangles in the background of the picture that get farther and farther away.

Atocha Train Station in Madrid

This picture is of a memorial for the terrorist attacks in March of 2004 in the Atocha Train Station in Madrid.  I love how this photo captures the solemn moment one felt when visiting the memorial.  This photo always is very interesting due to the light bouncing off of the material that the memorial was made out of.  This shot is also one that explores close vs. far because of the angle that I took it from.

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