Anniversary, Award, Apple, Allies and an Apology

Returned from my fantastic week in Berlin, where I covered both the MTV Europe Music Awards and of course the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The city was buzzing and I really connected to the place.

Fall of Berlin Wall 20th Anniversary

Balloons of Celebration

To the anglo mind, things just make sense there. This is the third city in Germany that I’ve worked in and each time I go there, I just step right in and I’m able to do what I need to. Not much is confusing. I’ve lived in Paris for almost 8 years and I still can’t figure out what’s happening at the end of my street!

Fall of Berlin Wall 20th Anniversary

Brandenburg Gate with Giant Dominos

Although the city is quite large (my ONLY complaint), thanks to the public transit system and a good pair of shoes, I covered a lot of it. After the MTV show, I spent the next 4 days shooting features related to the anniversary of the fall of the Wall. There were a couple of “made for TV” events which were less exciting as well as some very real memorial services and low key events.

Fall of Berlin Wall 20th Anniversary

Giant Dominos Fall Along the Path of the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate

The two highlights for me were the tumbling of giant dominos, each one made by young Germans, that lined the old path of the Wall as well as a small ceremony where individuals came to a well-preserved segment of the Wall to pay respects by placing roses in cracks in the wall. The big closing ceremony at the Brandenburg Gate included speakers such as Hillary Clinton, Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Dmitry Medvedev and via video, Barack Obama. It was an extremely challenging shoot only because it poured rain for hours and we (the photographers) weren’t under any cover. It took some serious creativity (and plastic bags, a poncho and some rubber bands) to protect my equipment and still get the shots I wanted, all while standing in 4 or 5 inches of water for 3 hours. Despite the mess, it was a joy to be there and experience the whole thing.

To see more pictures from Berlin, CLICK HERE.

Back in Paris, I shot 79-year old Clint Eastwood at the Elysee Palace where President Sarkozy gave him an upgrade to his prestigious French Legion of Honor title. Eastwood was originally given the lowest level (Knight) of the Legion of Honor – there are 5 distinct degrees – by President Chirac a few years back and now Sarkozy supersized him to a Commander.

CLINT EASTWOOD

Clint Eastwood gets his upgraded French Legion of Honor medal

Still not exactly sure why Eastwood got this award but it had something to do with his longevity and body of work.

Apple FINALLY opened their first store in France … and they started pretty strong. Their new store opened this week in the Carrousel du Louvre, the underground mall that connects to the museum. They got a primo spot, just next to the inverted pyramid.

apple store

Apple Store at the Carrousel du Louvre

I have to say I was expecting a bit more spectacular of a store but other than the glass circular staircase in the center of the showroom, I found it nice but not so different than other “regular” Apple stores. As a Mac person, I’m really glad it’s here.

And finally, I couldn’t help but notice the irony of being in Germany and in a certain sense, being rescued by “allies”. I’ve felt competent at my photography job for some time now but I realized in Berlin that what really makes one better at this job is having allies to work with all around the world. I couldn’t have done half of what I did on this trip if it wasn’t for tips and advice from local Berlin-based photographers who I know from various international events over the years. Unless you have a massive bureau with all the resources to get the information you need to do a good job (and you can count on half of one hand how many bureaus have this these days), you’re tasked with being as resourceful as possible to get the info you need to be at the right place at the right time. It’s a part of the job that I quite enjoy, though it has very little to do directly with taking photos.

Being that today is my birthday, I’d like to issue my annual apology to my mother for the 20+ hours of labor I put her through. 😉

Some pictures of the week …

apple store

Apple Store at the Carrousel du Louvre

CLINT EASTWOOD MEDAL OF HONOR

Clint Eastwood gets his upgraded French Legion of Honor medal

palais royal

Palais Royal

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by The Second Baseman on November 15, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Once again, Marvelous Photos…Almost felt like I was watching the Berlin event in person…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I Love You…

    Reply

  2. Posted by giulia on November 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    David BUON COMPLEANOOOOO!!!! Auguri auguri auguri!!!
    …en me souvenant d’un de tes anniversaires passe’ ensemble chez toi,..il y a, peut etre, 6 ans..
    1000 bisous

    Reply

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