uberlin

überlin Official Opening Party

by James and Zoe

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Wow, that was a blast! Last weekend, hundreds of friends, fans and randoms joined us and raised a glass/bottle of craft beer to the opening of our brand new coworking space and photographic studio. We were overwhelmed with the sheer number of people who came, the all-round positive wibes, the fact that people stuck around long after the booze ran out, and the many opportunities to catch up with – or meet IRL for the first time – the people who’ve supported us all these years.

At the risk of getting all Oscar winner on you (it was an honour just to be nominated), we’d like to say thank you to all the people who helped make the party such a huge success. In no particular order…

Everyone who came, drank, tweeted, ‘stagrammed, tagged our postbox, chatted, laughed and played Cards Against Humanity (you wrong ‘uns).

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Our cotwerkers, for putting shots in us, generally being lovely and reminding us why we decided to do this in the first place <3

Our bartender Julia, for keeping her cool and keeping the drinks flowing, and to Maj, Christian, Mike, Ana and Hannah for helping out when demand got, well, ridiculous.

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The people who provided the drinks: Schoppe Bräu for the Kreuzberg XPA, Brau Sturm for the Prototyp, Our/Berlin vodka, Berliner Sommer and Thomas Henry. Special thanks go to Kiera from the Global Craft Beer Festival, Lucy vs. the Globe and Sina from DESCAPE for the hookups, and Marcus from Alchemist Gin for distilling a delicious and exclusive “übergin” (with freshly foraged mirabelle, juniper, coriander and a touch of black pepper nomnomnom).

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überlin resident INgrooves for their generous sponsorship (and the emergency Jack Daniels!).

Sarah from A Color Bright and Hannah (again!) for the event tips and advice.

Olli for coming through with the last minute branding touches and installing our “ü”s and that “überlin” lightbox that blew everyone’s minds on arrival.

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Kathy Kunz, who introduced some much-needed interior design details to the space. Oh and for putting the final finishing touches on it – flowers for our vase, and a bow for Olive’s collar :)

Chris, for taking these wonderful photos, and letting Zoë take the night off!

Our neighbours from inside and outside the Haus, for turning up and prosting our new venture. It’s nice to know that not everyone thinks we’re ruining the Kiez ;)

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Everyone who shared the event beforehand, including a certain someone who let the “free drinks” cat out of the bag early (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE ;) ). And NotMsParker from Kreuzberg’d, for writing up this sweet review.

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Extra special thanks to my wonderful wife and partner Zoë, for hustling to put together such an awesome event, looking amazing in a jumpsuit and for keeping her head when I was losing mine!

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Photographed by Cristopher Santos.

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Save the date: überlin’s official opening party!

by James Glazebrook

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Ever since we announced that we were going to launch the überlin coworking space and photographic studio, people have been asking us “when’s the opening party?!” Well, our friends, fans and all the borderline alcoholics we know will be happy to learn that we’ve finally set a date for our official opening. :)

On 888 (8th August, at 8pm), we’re throwing open our doors to celebrate the opening of our brand new creative space. There’s going to be booze and beats – both made in Berlin – bulldogs and beautiful people. And me. ;)

So join us to get a sneak peak of Kreuzberg’s new creative hub and to raise a glass to the people who helped make it happen – including our super-supportive community. That would be you!

RSVP and get event updates over on Facebook, or get the details for your diary below. Me, Zoë and Olive look forward to welcoming you to überlin!

uberlin coworking and photo studio 1

überlin Official Opening
Facebook event

Friday August 8th, 20hr
at überlin, Böckhstrasse 26, Berlin 10967 (map)

Drinks from Our/Berlin vodka, Berliner Sommer and Alchemist Gin (made in Berlin!)

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Berlin on Film

by Zoë Noble

There is something so special about shooting on film. I used to tell people that was bullshit before I got my first analogue camera at Christmas, but now I take it all back!

The look is so unique and although there are loads of filters out there that can take your digital photos in the direction of a film photo, they just don’t cut it. But more than the look, I love the whole process of shooting on film. You have to really slow down and consider the shot before you take it. With digital you can just shoot and shoot and delete later, but this can mean you’re not as invested in each shot. With film you have to nail the exposure and compose the picture correctly, because every shot costs you money!

I wish I’d picked up an analogue camera sooner and I urge anyone who’s serious about photography to get one. It’s a steep learning curve but it’s absolutely worth it!

berlin water shimmer bokeh

berlin building man at window in film fuji

bokeh closeup lights fuji400 film

berlin flats skyline

fuji400 film colour blocks

berlin fernsehturm skyline warschauer

berlin reflection on ground

tempelhof in winter

tempelhof fire hydrant

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A big announcement

by James and Zoe

We have BIG news here at überlin. But before we tell you what it is, we’d like to explain how it all came about.

überlin started as a short blog post written on a one-way flight from London to Berlin, back in November 2010. We had sold our belongings, packed up our laptops and popped our two cats into their travel crates. When we stepped onto the tarmac of Tegel airport on that rainy winter’s day, we were equal parts thrilled and terrified. We had nothing, we knew no one, and we had no idea what was going to happen next.

It soon dawned on us that moving to Berlin was the best decision we had ever made. Unshackled from her desk, former digital designer Zoë bought her first camera and started developing the beautiful photographic style that graces our blog’s pages. I got paid to write, sat in my pants at our kitchen table. In our spare time, we explored the city we loved and shared our experiences with a small but enthusiastic readership: our friends and family back home.

We were pleasantly surprised by how popular überlin became, and how quickly it happened. The close-knit expat community in Berlin took us under their wings, and into their hearts. They read, commented on and shared our content, pointing it out to their German friends and anyone they knew who was planning to move to, or visit, Berlin. Before we knew it, we were running one of the city’s biggest English-language blogs.

überlin has given us the chance to thank the community that still supports us, by extending all the help we can to expats and Berliners alike. We pay it forward by highlighting the awesome things that are happening in the Hauptstadt, and the talented people behind them. Now a customer support guy, I take my work home with me, spending my evenings answering questions and offering advice about moving to Berlin, getting an apartment and a job here, and how and where to learn German.

But while überlin has been more successful than we could ever have imagined, we’ve always longed for more. We’ve been looking for a chance to bring this community to life, to make our virtual network a bricks-and-mortar reality. And now we’ve found that opportunity…

Which brings me to our big announcement: as well as a blog, überlin is now a coworking space and photographic studio!

We’re busy fitting out a split-level space in the heart of our beloved Graefekiez in Kreuzberg. The bottom floor of this carefully renovated former factory is already a fully-equipped professional studio, where Zoë shoots for clients like Etsy. Now we’re hard at work upstairs installing custom-built storage and wireless speakers – as well as the all-important desks that we’re going to rent out.

Our hope is to provide freelancers and creative professionals with everything they need to establish themselves in Berlin. As well as a beautiful workspace, überlin members will get access to our network of experts, exposure to the opportunities that come our way, a bunch of perks and the privilege of spending all day in the company of Berlin’s cutest office dog, our Frenchie Olive. Anyone who uses the space or studio will also benefit from the support of a powerful platform to promote them and their work – this blog!

Don’t worry, überlin the blog isn’t going anywhere. We’re currently in the process of a huge redesign, and we’re going to continue to explore the places and people that make this city great, make funnies about expat life here, and provide valuable information for anyone thinking of coming to Berlin, whether for a short-break or a full-blown life-changing experience.

Stay tuned for updates and for an invite to our upcoming preview party, when you can come have a drink with us and check out our beautiful space! Until then, we’d like to thank you all for reading the blog, and providing us with years of support and friendship. You are the reason we do this, and without you we might not even be in Berlin, let alone embarking on this exciting new adventure. Danke sehr!

Liebe Grüße,

James and Zoë

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Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground 2014

by James Glazebrook

Olympus Photography Playground Visitor

The Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground is back! Compared to last year’s edition (see our review here), the new Playground is less edgy and more family-friendly, which is either good or bad news, depending on whether you have or hate kids. The exceptions are three exhibitions in stark monochrome that use light, sound and material to fantastic effect – whether by creating an HR Giger-esque organic/industrial sculpture, or a sonic strobe-scape with as much impact as Amon Tobin’s 3D live show.

My personal highlight was local artist Clemens Behr’s fragile, fractured installation, pieced together with the materials of the Opernwerkstätten site – a thoughtful work of impressive scale. We totally recommend a (free!) visit, at a time when the place is less likely to be crowded, when you can spend all the time you like immersed in disorientating, photogenic installations. Click here to get all the details.

[Edit: if you want to borrow a free Olympus camera, don't forget to take your passport and Anmeldebestätigung!]

Olympus Photography Playground Hanging Webs

Olympus Photography Playground Webs

Olympus Photography Playground Visitor Taking Photo

Olympus Photography Playground Lens Flare Exhibition

Olympus Photography Playground Light Beams and People

Olympus Photography Playground Light Beams

Olympus Photography Playground Exhibition

Olympus Photography Playground Zoë Noble Portrait Selfie

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Epic collages of vintage Berlin photos

by James Glazebrook

Tripods at Mauerpark

Check out these stunning collages from our favourite new Tumblr, Old pictures of Berliners. Ana, a journalist originally from Madrid, started collecting old photos at Berlin flea markets when she moved to the city six months ago:

There are plenty of them, everywhere, just stacked inside buckets or lying around in albums. I’ve always liked old pictures, they are tiny windows to stories from the past, how people lived, the way they behaved and dressed, and how similar they sometimes look to us. Berlin seems like the perfect place to go picture hunting because it has gone through so many changes over the years, it’s interesting to place a family pic of a Berliner on a timeline and let the imagination flow.

Originally planning to share the photos, “to bring them to light after being lost”, Ana began creating collages that introduced sci-fi imagery and other anachronisms – placing the scenes of old Berlin in new contexts:

The inspiration comes mostly from word games, or maybe songs, or just a story or image I made up while looking at a particular photo. Sometimes I just cycle around Berlin and catch a scene that would work well with a picture I bought and I take a quick snap that I incorporate later into a collage.

We would love a giant print of Tripods at Mauerpark (above) – which of these images is your favourite?

Family meal

I went picture hunting today

Österreich

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Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground

by James Glazebrook

The interactive exhibition Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground has been extended until Sunday June 2nd – which is great news, not least because it gave us time to share our impressions before they’re totally irrelevant! Situated in the vast former opera and theatre prop factory which hosted Pret A Diner this year, the playground is a triumph of branding, a showcase of the Olympus OM-D digital camera and a great day out for anyone, regardless of their level of photography geekdom.

Different artists’ installations across three levels of the impressive Opernwerkstätten are designed specifically to provide amazing subjects, and occasionally feature the OM-D itself – as with my favourite, which hooks up a Korg synth to a dish of water atop a loudspeaker, and uses the camera to project the resulting patterns. Entrance is free, including rental of an Olympus OM-D (with valid ID*), so visitors can capture the lights, lazers, blacklit thread and weird Alice in Wonderland-inspired scenes. Check out the Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground website for details of how you can visit while you still can!

*You need an official ID card or passport to borrow a camera; a driving licence won’t do. Because of this, these photos were taken with Zoë’s own camera, not an Olympus OM-D.

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Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin 1

Recently, C/O Berlin invited us to a private blogger tour of their current exhibition, Timeless beauty: 100 years of fashion photography from Man Ray to Mario Testino. We saw stunning work by Helmut Newton, David Bailey and even Diane Arbus, got the chance to reconnect with Chasing Heartbeats, The Field Office (see their post here), Grateful Grapefruit, Berlin Reified and meet for the first time the guys behind Finding Berlin (their post here) and Jenni Fuchs (see her review of the exhibition here and her behind the scenes photos here).

But the highlight of the tour was the rare opportunity of seeing behind the scenes of the photographic centre, as we were led by a curator up some back stairs to the top of the former Postfuhramt. Told to stick together, because some of the floor might be unsafe (!), we were shown the space between the domed roof and the cupola that formed the ceiling of the post office, and evidence that some conscientious soul had attempted to document the building’s original appearance (with small notecards placed in each space). While we won’t get the chance to see that again, we’ll definitely be back to enjoy C/O Berlin’s programme of “visual dialogue” – so big thanks to Hie-suk and the team!

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Change of View: Berlin

by Guest Blogger

Change of View is a photo documentary article series that captures a personal view on the status quo of our cities. This article compares the view of Berlin by a local photographer and a foreign photographer, who then collaborated on two pictures. Enjoy this visual dialogue between Berlin photographer Marcus Werner and Copenhagen photographer Caroline Kurze. This article originally appeared on Smart Urban Stage.

1. WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY IN THIS CITY?

Markus Werner secrets of Berlin

LOCAL
Discovering the secrets of the city

Berlin is a vast city with a ton of obvious things to like about it. What makes us happy though are not the elements that are on the surface but those which lie beneath it. Berlin is host to many secrets, from a cultural to a visual perspective. There are endless possibilities of exploring the many sides of a city. It’s all about seeing the details and interpreting them for ourselves. We appreciate how many different facets Berlin has to offer in that way.

Caroline Kurze faces of Berlin black and white

VISITOR
The faces of Berlin

Any city shows its true face by the way its citizens look and behave. Berlin is a melting pot of styles and characters. There is no way to sum them up, just like there is no way to sum up Berlin properly. What makes me happy is that I can just sit anywhere in Berlin and watch who passes me by, realizing that never will there be two characters even remotely alike.

2. WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN THIS CITY?

Markus Werner Prinzessinnengarten

LOCAL
Making something out of nothing

Berlin has many leftover spaces that have once been abandoned and forgotten. But there is a movement within the people of the city to use these places creatively and form them into something useful. It’s very inspiring to see what a small idea of a few people can achieve here and what motivates the individual to participate in the work. The Prinzessinnengarten at Moritzplatz in Kreuzberg, an urban gardening project, is a perfect example for that.

Caroline Kurze Berlin architecture

VISITOR
Composition of the city

Architecture is the most visually compelling element of a city, but Berlin basically draws you into it by its many contrasts and dichotomies. Behind every corner could lie the perfect shot and a most mesmerizing composition. For a photographer, that in itself is very inspiring; but I do believe that every person can actually profit, inspiration-wise, from a place that is as erratic as Berlin.

3. WHAT WORKS FOR YOU VERY WELL IN THIS CITY?

Markus Werner Admiralsbrücke

LOCAL
Youth Culture

If there’s one thing in Berlin that works, then youth culture it is. Every kid in the streets from Charlottenburg to Kreuzberg has the luck to grow up in a liberal and overall peaceful environment, thus enabling everyone from a young age on to participate in the shaping of the city. The Admiralsbrücke in Kreuzberg is, next to the vivid club scene, just one of those organically grown spots to hang out in the summer. Always packed with young adults, from the sporadic tourist to the local singer/songwriter presenting their talent, this is only possible thanks to the lax laws about drinking in public and the people’s general openess towards youths.

Caroline Kurze Hauptbahnhof uBahn

VISITOR
Public Transport

No doubt: Berlin is a huge place to get around. Besides a very comfortable traffic situation for all the passionate bikers, for a tourist the public transport possibilities are probably the most important. And thus, compared to many other big cities in the world, Berlin exceeds all expectations: buses go all night, hardly any train is late and the condition of the platforms are usually high quality. Logistically, this is probably what makes Berlin an easy place to visit as well.

4. WHAT WOULD YOU DO BETTER?

Markus Werner Blu graffiti Cuvrystrasse Berlin

LOCAL
Challenging Changes

After the relocation of the old YAAM club the place at Cuvrystr. is abandoned since. But in Berlin this doesn´t mean that it’s empty. To the contrary it gets used now as a nice chillout spot alongside the Spree river with a perfect view on the historic Oberbaumbrücke. You can find open air raves there as well as Barbecues or a graffiti wall of fame. It’s a free spot just how Berlinians like it.

Caroline Kurze Berlin Tempelhof landing strip

VISITOR
Weather & Water

The old Tempelhof airport is a raw diamond in the heart of the city. With the size of New York’s Central Park everybody is curious about how the area will develop in the next years. Until then it´s a perfect hangout spot for the summer with a lot of possibilities for outdoor activities and a nice open view.

5. HOW WOULD YOU DO IT BETTER?

Markus Werner Tempelhof beach

LOCAL
More water, and more nice weather

It would be cheeky to ask for a lot more than Berlin has already to offer. And yet there are exactly two things that seperate Berlin from a near state of perfection: more water, and more nice weather. The summers are short and the water is rare. It‘s unlikely that we can improve the situation by praying for a tropical climate or artifically attaching the sea to the borders of the city. But how about more water in parks and more free access to the rivers and lakes?

Caroline Kurze Blu graffiti Cuvrystrasse Berlin

VISITOR
Free state of mind

Berlin is a very rapidly changing city. With the new influx of tourists and the international hype drawing more and more investors to the German capital, citizens are often suprised by economic and political decisions, for instance such about free spaces. We would love for the people to accept and embrace these changes by getting involved, possibly even defending their city from too many economically driven influences to keep it in its lovable and free state of mind but all of that without becoming intolerant. This general interest is what has kept the waste land on Cuvrystraße in Kreuzberg a free place for everyone.

About the photographers:

Marcus WernerMarcus Werner
Local 
– Marcus Werner aka DT64 is a Video- and Photographer with an MA in Media Science and Intercultural Business Communications. Together with Clemens Poloczeck he runs the media agency SUPERIEST focusing on Production, Consulting and Conception of Video-Content. He also contributes to Finding Berlin.

Caroline KurzeCaroline Kurze
Visitor – Caroline Kurze is currently working as writer and photographer in Berlin. She just relocated from Copenhagen where she completed her studies and worked for one year. In Berlin she started as freelance editor and photographer at iGNANT. iGNANT offers the possibility to follow her passion for art, architecture, photography and design as well as developing her photographic approach.

Check out the Change of View looks at Istanbul, Madrid, London, Paris and Rome on Smart Urban Stage.

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Takeshi Suga Exhibition at Lomography Gallery Store Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Takeshi Suga 1

Takeshi Suga recently returned to Japan having spent a few years working for the NME, taking lo-fi backstage shots of bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Tribes and First Aid Kit. He’s coming back to Europe to open an exhibition of both his NME work and his dreamlike nostalgic shots of endless summers, at the Lomography Berlin gallery store. Suga’s also kind enough to be leading a Diana Mini workshop, during which he’ll explain how he gets “dreamy double exposures” with his cheap analogue camera.

Analogue cameras look and sound better than digital ones, don’t they? I also believe that the magic will be lost if I know I can shoot as many frames as I like

Takeshi Suga 2

Opening: Thursday 5th July 2012 from 6pm to 10pm
Exhibition: Friday 6th July 2012 to 6th August 2012
Workshop: Saturday 7th July 2012 from 2pm to 5pm

Lomography Gallery Store Berlin
Friedrichstraße 133
10117 Berlin
Full details on lomography.com

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