uberlin

Ask überlin #2: Snap Chat

by James Glazebrook

Ask überlin #2 Snap Chat

Find out the secrets of Zoë’s success! For this week’s Ask überlin we help out a reader who’s looking for photography work here in Berlin. Listen in to learn about the humble beginnings of Zoë Noble Photography, how to set yourself apart from all the iPhone snappers out there, and which Berlin photo blogs and instagram profiles we go to for inspiration.

Oh, and if you’re a figurative artist and/or a fan of Käthe Kollwitz, then we need your help! A reader who’s moving to Berlin in the new year is planning a study of the local art icon, so if you are able to help, or know someone who can, then we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment on this blog post, or our SoundCloud, or send an email to the address listed below. Thanks a lot, art nerds!

Got a question for us? Stick it in an email to ask@uberlin.co and we’ll answer you on an upcoming episode of Ask überlin!

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Fantastic photos from Berlin’s biggest Christmas market

by Zoë Noble

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Tis the season! While all the other bloggers are seeking out the quaintest, most traditionally festive Weihnachtsmarkts in Berlin, we thought we’d go to arguably the worst and take the best photos of it! Wintertraum, which stretches from Alexanderplatz to Jannowitzbrücke, bills itself as Berlin’s biggest Christmas market, but really it’s a funfair – complete with candy floss vendors, vomit-inducing rides to test the stomachs of adventurous candy floss eaters, and what seems like a billion flashing lights. So what better place to test out the steampunk-y Petzval lens I had on load from Lomography?

The Petzval comes in stunning gold, and apparently “is a stunning reinvention of the legendary Petzval Lens, which was first conceived of in Vienna, Austria, in 1840.” It works with both analogue and digital cameras, and allows you to take photos with a narrow depth of field, producing a trippy bokeh effect in the background. I really enjoyed using it to capture the insanity of the Wintertraum Christmas market, including the creepy clowns, retro rides like “BREAK DANCE”, the possibly-BER-inspired “Chaos Airport” … and James’ beard! A photo opportunity if ever there was one. ;)

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Der Adlershofer Fundus: Prop House

by Zoë Noble

There are some places in Berlin that you can’t quite believe really exist. The Museum of Things is certainly one of them, Spreepark another, and now… Der Adlershofer Fundus. This prop house is completely unassuming from the outside, the exterior giving away nothing of the size and scale of what lies within. Walk down a few flights of stairs and the first thing you’re greeted with is the cutest little dog called Fundus… awwww. Once Fundus gives you the OK, you head into a warren of corridors. Filled to the brim with objects, clothes, set pieces and weird oddities from almost every decade, the sheer scale of the collection is jaw-dropping.

We wandered for hours, soaking it all up – around every corner a new era or object or mannequin to be terrified of. It just kept going, so I kept snapping. If you’re in the film industry or you need to build sets, then this place needs to be on your radar. I will most certainly be coming here when I need props for my next photo shoot, that’s for sure!

Der Adlershofer Fundus Telephones Der Adlershofer Fundus Terrier Dog Der Adlershofer Fundus Soldier Der Adlershofer Fundus Bottles Der Adlershofer Fundus Stuffed Grizzly Bear Der Adlershofer Fundus Clocks on Wall Der Adlershofer Fundus Retro Cameras Der Adlershofer Fundus Typewriters Der Adlershofer Fundus Milk Pales Der Adlershofer Fundus Wall Hangings Der Adlershofer Fundus Knomes Der Adlershofer Fundus Doll Der Adlershofer Fundus Lights Der Adlershofer Fundus Retro Televisions Zoë in Mirror Der Adlershofer Fundus Bags Der Adlershofer Fundus Stuffed Crocodile Der Adlershofer Fundus Medical Area Der Adlershofer Fundus Doctor Mannequin Der Adlershofer Fundus Prams Der Adlershofer Fundus Books Der Adlershofer Fundus Antlers Der Adlershofer Fundus Chairs Der Adlershofer Fundus Pottery Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothes Der Adlershofer Fundus Wigs Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothing Der Adlershofer Fundus Disco Ball Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothing Der Adlershofer Fundus Batman

 

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Five months of coworking: An überlin update

by James Glazebrook

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It’s hard to believe that our coworking space has already been open for five months! It seems like just yesterday that we announced our new venture and started collecting furniture, equipment and, most importantly, awesome people with which to fill our space. We’ve kept things pretty quiet since our super-successful opening party, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy. Zoë, myself, and the wonderful community we’ve gathered around ourselves, have been plugging away, producing, promoting and photographing awesome stuff from within our converted biscuit factory.

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Here are just a few of the great things to come out of the überlin coworking space and studio in its first five months:

  • Berlin Besetzt, an interactive map showing the development of Berlin’s squatting scene, a work in progress by developer Eike
  • Cumulus Diaries, a beautiful blog by Aussie expat Rachael, all about design, style, people and adventure
  • Our resident startup, Descape, which offers brief getaways into exciting professions. You can even sign up to spend a day with Zoë and find out what it’s really like to be a photographer!
  • Speaking of which, Zoë’s been using our studio to shoot for clients like EtsysisterMAG, Alpha Cruxis and Ableton, as well as her own fashion editorial shoots (check them out here)
  • Freelance recipe developer Sophie has relaunched Das Brunch, a pop-up breakfast experience (nom)
  • And Arielle, Desi and the INgrooves team have distributed a bunch of awesome records from Berlin labels Hotflush and Seppuku, and our personal favourite – Octave Minds, a collaboration between Boys Noize and Chilly Gonzales. Here’s a selection for your listening pleasure:

Want to join us? We’re adding a few more desks into our intimate little coworking space. If you’d like to be in the best place to do your best work – or to rent out our photographic studio – just drop us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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!

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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!

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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!]

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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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