A Weekend in Frankfurt
I’m obsessed with monochrome and for the last few years I’ve only worked with and published black and white images. Further than that I tend to focus on three main areas; traditional landscapes, minimal coastal work and modern architecture.
I’ve had some great landscape and minimal trips over the last year, but had been somewhat neglecting my architectural work. For some time I’ve admired the work of German photographers in particular the wonderful Wolfgang Mothes whose compositions and style are hugely inspiring. Wolfgang is based near Frankfurt, so the buildings there have become familiar to me over a number of years. It didn’t take long to decide this would be an excellent location for a long weekend trip and a quick check on Ryanair and Booking.com assured me I could find cheap flights and accommodation. Pretty soon the trip was booked, and last weekend I made the journey. Some people think I’m mad to travel so far just to take snaps of buildings, and maybe they’re right but each to their own, eh?
After an uneventful one hour flight, I had to take a two hour coach transfer. As is often the case with low cost airlines, Frankfurt Hahn turns out to be nowhere near Frankfurt, but at least the coach transfer was easy and efficient. The first glance from the coach of some of the buildings that have been etched into my memory didn’t disappoint. Towering edifices in concrete, steel and glass arranged very neatly in a compact city centre.
It was a short walk from the central station to my hotel, where I checked in and dropped off my bags. It was about 4pm on the Friday and conditions were looking good, so I headed straight out in the direction of the Messeturm, one of the buildings I’d picked out as a ‘must have’ for the weekend.
Finding your way to Skyscrapers is easy really you just look up and follow your way. On the way to Messeturm I noticed Westendstrasse 1, a tall tower with it’s distinctive ‘crown’ and thought it was catching the evening light nicely. This was my first image captured and then I carried on with my walk towards the Messturm.
I tried various compositions and settled on one of the ‘classic’ views with elements of the Messehalle 1 as the foreground.
After some more wandering and getting my bearings I headed back to the hotel.
After a quick breakfast on the Saturday I headed out again. First stop was again Westendstrasse 1, this time getting up close and personal including a handy streetlamp and some trees.
Following this, it was along Taunusstrasse towards the Silverturm, now home to Deutsche Bahn, the German state railway company. Another iconic building, I focussed on the two pods looking up symmetrically. Ideally I could have done with a lens wider than the 16-35 I had with me, but it was just enough for the composition I was after.
Just next to the Silberturm are the Skyper buildings and another one where a wider lens would have been advantageous. I feel a new purchase coming on quite soon.
Another short walk on from Skyper are the impressive twin towers that house the Deutsche Bank. My first composition of these was made from across the street with the clouds reflecting nicely on the mirrored glass of the towers. From there I walked around the building and tried a few different viewpoints. One near the front of the building worked well again with the mirror panels reflecting the sky well.
Deutsche Bank 1
Deutsche Bank 2
I had a break over lunch during which time the sky cleared completely and I was left with a clear blue sky. Later on I ventured out again and went to find the main tower. I set up and waited patiently for a cloud or two to drift past, but none did. I did capture an aircraft trail in this image, but it could have done with being a bit bigger.
On the Sunday morning I headed back towards the Messeturm, stopping off at Tower 185 on the way. To get the viewpoint I was after you have to walk clearly onto their property. It was quiet apart from two guys cleaning up the courtyard, but they were friendly and engrossed in their work. Over the whole weekend I wasn’t questioned once by security, which makes a pleasant change to London, where I get stopped at nearly every building now. This is another one that I could have benefitted from a lens wider than 16mm.
On to the Messeturm and looking for alternative viewpoints. This is one in a more abstract style with the top of the tower reflected in a neighbouring building.
Getting up close and personal again, this is looking straight up the side of the tower.
After a break again, my last session involved walking a few miles along the river so I could get an image of the skyline, looking back towards the city. The weather had clouded over quite a bit at this point, but that worked quite nicely for this image.
Overall it was a successful weekend with a few more images for my architectural portfolio. Frankfurt’s a great city with very friendly people and some fantastic buildings. I was pleased with how my equipment performed in particular this my first architecture outing with my new Benro tripod, which performed flawlessly holding everything steady for the long exposures I was using even in some quite windy conditions. A return visit is definitely required, next time with a wider angle lens.
I feel very honored by your dear words and am delighted that your trip to Frankfurt has been so successful. Your pictures are really very nice. Besides, I am glad that my home town and its inhabitants have received you as well and kindly as they always do.
Nice blog Steve. Sounds like a really good trip. Love the images, especially Tower165 and Deutsche bank 1. Nice work mate!
A fantastic diary of your trip and a great bag of images to boot. Fantastic work Steve
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