Monday, 5 September 2016

Game On!

Another Tech Event Photo Shoot in Berlin


 

One of the best things about photographing events in Berlin is the unique variety of venues in which I get to work. One week I'll be on the deck of a boat plowing slowly down the Spree, and the next I'll be in a open courtyard photographing men in business suits spraying graffiti on walls as a team building exercise.

  
 


I recently photographed another tech event in the riverside event hall Arena Berlin, a massive 1920s bus depot-turned-armory-turned-refugee-camp-turned abandoned Berlin building. The huge urban space of Berlin is littered with hundreds of such buildings, which have withstood the tests of time and wars to be reclaimed for modern use.




Brick walls and vaulted, cantilevered ceilings held thousands of convention delegates playing a new game: advertising and providing online gaming software, servers and safe havens for the multi-billion dollar online gaming industry. A space which once smelled of bus exhaust fumes is now home to the smell of hot waffles being made fresh and handed out to hungry attendees to munch on during breaks. At the other end of the sprawling space is a gaming bar with baristas brewing up vitamin J in ample networking spaces.

 


I must photograph all speakers and audiences at each stage, but I am also interested in the fine details unique to each event: the brick figures pushing out of the exterior of the hall, the soft light beaming through skylights over iron beams, and a Berliner's bicycle chained to a drain pipe. A friendly fussball table competition between attendees is always a good photo op.



After the work day, a walk between buildings leads you to the Badeschiff, a floating swimming pool forged out of the hull of an old river barge, and a stroll down a graffiti-blasted alleyway leads to the new location of White Trash Fast Food, a mainstay of the Berlin music and food with 'tude scene. Just beyond is one of my favorite river bars in Berlin: Club der Visionaere, where you can test your balance while drinking cocktails on floating decks.


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