A race against time.

The UPR, an annual photo competition running under the motto:

“Twelve hours

. . . . Six themes

. . . . . . . .Eighteen photos

. . . . . . . . . . . . Four checkpoints”

Theme 1 – “Poor but Sexy”

Someone once explained the economic situation in Berlin to me like this: There’s a North/South divide in Germany, the South is much richer than the North, and there’s also an East/West divide, the West is much richer than the East, and where is Berlin?

In the North-East !!

Berlin is certainly very poor, and because of that, it has a certain “je ne sais quoi”.

Theme 2 – “Hungry Hearts”

I found this theme very difficult, I had already taken the two gentleman breakfasting outside a café when I heard two English voices, I turned round and listened and then went over to ask if I could take their photos.

During the ensuing conversation (because they were very interested in the concept of the UPR) it transpired that the lady with the red hair and myself had been to Art-School together years ago, we actually knew each other vaguely – what a coincidence!

And doesn’t she make a lovely contrast to the two lonely souls engrossed in their reading and writing?

Theme 3 – “Break the Rules”

I had wanted to do a series in black and white using conventional composition: leading lines, framing etc, when I came across this gentleman sitting in a shopping trolley alternately singing to himself and chatting wildly to anyone who would listen, and I thought “it doesn’t get more rule-breaking than that”, and so here he is.

Theme 4 – “Time Traveller”

This theme was almost my downfall, I decided to attempt it with a series of ICM (intensional Camera Movement) images, but the success rate is always very low, maybe only 1:50, and the 150+ I took to get just these three severely compromised my camera battery, and left me at the last checkpoint with a huge problem, because the transfer of all these pictures with no battery was almost impossible.

Theme 5 – “Tear Down this Wall” (Reagan)

Tear down this wall?

Why, it’s now Berlin’s biggest tourest attraction, people come from all over the world just to stand in front of it and have their picture taken. A phenomena, which I hope I’ve captured.

Theme 6 – “Nowhere”

Where is nowhere?

Everywhere is somewhere, so I chose the reflection in a window, because it seems to have form, to be real, and yet it is but an illusion, it doesn’t actually exist, we certainly can’t get there, and so it is literally, nowhere.

© Andrew James Kirkwood – 2017

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