Athens and Beirut – impressions of daily street-life and and a documentation of the last months in 2016

The title mentiones everything that this blog entry is about. I love documentary and street photography.

Pierra and Vanessa in the most famous Grande Bretagne Hotel next to Syntagma Square here in Athens. They took care of a huge german delegation that visited us in the end of 2016.

Our tasks were staying permanently on the phone, rushing from one meeting and location to another and trying not to fall asleep after countless hours of working.

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Work can be quite tough at some times, but we always try to make the most fun of it.

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Vanessa and me all dressed up for some cocktails.

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A few days later. My typical saturday morning routine. Get a strong double espresso and have a chill walk through my neighbourhood.

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It’s astonishing what you will be able to find and see, when you walk around your hood with open eyes.

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And it seems as if most of the time cats come across me.

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So I devote myself to capture all these little guardians with my street photography.

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A little lurker, sneaking behind bars.

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 The entire roll of film was shot in ISO 100 – Tura Professional.

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A rainy night in Athens. Usually I go out with my Leica M6 or my Hasselblad 503CW, but this time I enjoyed my strolling through Greece capital with my newly bought Contax T2. It’s an amazing point and shoot camera and I love the outcome and the way this camera operates.

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Random impressions.

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One of the countless hotels here in Athens around Syntagma Square.

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And one of the countless finger food shops, that serve inexpensive snacks and meals.

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Time for a portrait of Vanessa. I’m very pleased with the outcome – remember, old expired ISO 100 film – in combination with flash in low light.

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Try to find the photographer.

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Another day and another walk. This time I went to Monastiraki. A place for countless scenes and subjects. It’s a crowded area full of secondhand shops, hidden little gems – such as the Taf – a coffee place that you have to visit and many, many people that try to find the latest treasure in of of these countless shops.

And of course: somebody who is selling plastic mannequinns.

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Underexposed for a reason. The photographer tries to hide himself.

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Fast-forward into december 2016. I took a few days off to revisit Beirut and my friends there again.

And guess what.

The first taxi driver that encountered me remembered my name, where I lived and that I’ve worked here for four years. Left me quite speechless – since I haven’t been coming back within the last two years to Lebanon.

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Some quick and dirty street photography on the highway on our two hours drive from Rafic Hariri Airport to Rabih.

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The Contax T2 was the perfect workhorse for this task. Sneaky, easy to use, perfect haptics and a fast auto focus.

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Nothing change within the last two years. Beirut is still chaotic and the daily traffic jam is my personal nightmare.

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And of course I took the chance to visit my colleagues at work. Awhlan w sahlan fi Lubnani. 

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Fritz was so kind and let me stay in his apartment for a few days. Iimmediatly remembered my last days of 2015, when I had to finish my posting here in this country.

I also stayed at that time in his place, since we’ve become very good friends.

It was such a strange feeling to be back at a place that I had to call home for four years.

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Rabieh and Jounieh at night. What a view !

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Next morning: rain and coffee and blog writing and couching. Perfect setting for holidays, I needed that break.

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The sky cleared up a bit and after a long nap I decided to have a walk in this lovlely neighbourhood.

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Back in Athens, back into rainy days.

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Vanessa and me weren’t the only ones, that hid here for a coffee and some good cover from the rain.

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And back into the hotel for another delegation. All in all 2016 was a very busy year for me. Workwise and even in private life.

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Costas was unimpressed. One of our good and patient souls here at work.

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And the two that kept everything running here.

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Last shot on my roll. Time for a selfportrait.

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