A Path To The Sky V – The Destination
Jewish Museum Berlin design by Daniel Libeskind
– IPA 2012 – International Photography Awards – Honorable Mention
Few buildings have impressed me the way the Jewish Museum in Berlin did. The fact that it is designed by one of my favorite architects may or may not play a role here, but most likely does because I’m probably more responsive to this kind of architectural language and to the way it manages to convey ideas and feelings. And the fact that Libeskind was for years a theorist of architecture also plays a role in the fact that I am drawn to his style, as I firmly believe that no valuable work of art can be created if one doesn’t first know the basis of his art, the theory behind the way shapes and volumes, colors and textures work with each other to give an outstanding result.
I believe and have seen it over the years around me that this stands for all kinds of art, because nothing can make an artist more bold in using his language and more sure about what to say and especially how to say it and how to make his feelings reach the world, than knowing that the instruments he uses to create his art are the right ones.
And theory, well-assimilated theory, is one of the most important instruments in the hands of an artist (although an invisible one), one of his best friends when it comes to conveying his feelings through his works. And no, theory – feelings, that’s not a contradiction! Maybe because I believe all this about theory and art and because I’m convinced that knowing it helps a lot (otherwise it wouldn’t have been taught in schools), I’m now working on a tutorial about architectural photography that will try to cover the theoretical part of it seen from a practical point of view.
The Jewish Museum in Berlin is a poetry of forms and a building that makes you experience very strong feelings. The predominant angular shapes, the dark grey color of the exterior zinc cladding, the apparently chaotic window cuts on the façades and the slim, long, dark openings all along the exterior walls, that are somehow repeating their pattern on the exterior pavement and the garden, as well as the narrow corridors and uneasy interior spaces, together with the edgy and unexpected aesthetic elements: the almost randomly intersected beams, the stair that leads to nowhere, the very shape of the building, that is a deconstructed Star of David, everything makes you think of a path, a difficult and very emotional path to walk, a path that leads to somewhere, maybe for everyone that walks it leads to somewhere else, maybe it leads to the sky, maybe it’s the destination itself.
This shot is the very last shot I took in Berlin at the GPlus Euro Photowalk
Almost everyone else had left by then and the moment was filled with mixed feelings, I was sorry that the photowalk was over, missing my friends, I was thought excited to be there shooting this building, especially that I was waiting for the clouds for a quite some time and almost sure that I will have to go back home without a single long exposure shot of this place, I was late for my plane and checking my watch a hundred times per minute (since this is a 4 and a half minutes exposure, I probably checked it 450 times but I think this shot wrapped up in the best of ways a wonderful experience that was Berlin Photowalk 2012.
What was the most difficult thing while working with this image? The lines. The “chaos” of lines that you can see while looking at the building. Finding and putting an order in these lines, finding an idea that would support the emotion I felt while looking at this corner of building and applying it in my composition and light shaping. And the idea is the idea that this whole building tries to convey, the idea of a path.
This is why this shot is probably the most representative in my series of buildings as paths to the sky and of clouds as paths in the sky.
FURTHER STUDY RESOURCES
FINE ART BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY, ARCHITECTURE PHOTOGRAPHY, LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY
You can find more resources about fine art black and white photography, (en)Visionography, long exposure photography and architecture photography in my extensive collection of photography tutorials. To receive my future tutorials directly via email you can subscribe to my website.
Learn more about how to create fine art photography, from vision to processing and the final image in my book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography, in my video course From Vision to Final Image – Mastering Black and White Photography Processing and in my video tutorial Long Exposure, Architecture, Fine Art Photography – Creating (en)Visionography, or by attending one of my workshops.
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Julia Anna Gospodarou is an internationally acclaimed award-winning photographer, an architect with a Master’s degree, a best-selling author, and a highly sought-after educator, teaching workshops and lecturing around the world. Founder of (en)Visionography™ and creator of Photography Drawing™, author of the best-selling book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography, multiple times awarded in the most important photography competitions worldwide (Two-Time International Photography Awards IPA Photographer of the Year 2016 & 2021, World Photography Awards SWPA Top 10 Finalist, and Hasselblad Masters Top 10 Finalist, as well as 100+ more awards), widely published internationally in books and magazines, Julia is passionate about art and photography and striving to spread the ideas of fine art photography and (en)Visionography all over the world.