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The Waiting Game: Olympus Photography Playground

Disclaimer: Contains fictional interpretation of real events.

This morning — while the cats happily slept on different body parts — I was pulled out of my dreams by Andy ringing my phone. Barely awake I heard him talking about some photography playground. He wanted me to come there. As I oppose any photographing of children in playgrounds I politely but firmly declined his offer. He then had to go, I guess he was overheard by the many women in his house.

I turned over, pulled a cat under the blanket and held it there until it stopped fighting me. Everything was fine. I went back to sleep.

The next time I woke up from a wet feeling around my stomach area. The cat had clawed me in my sleep and escaped, leaving my skin hanging in bloody pieces. My phone’s alert LED flashed. Andy urged me to come to his photography playground. I sighed, opened the google and searched for „photography playground -pedophile“ just to be on the safe side.

I found out that he actually meant the socially more acceptable promo feature that Olympus held in Berlin. They give people cameras of the newest variety and send them into a maze of funtastic installations. All of them are especially designed to show off the amazing features of their newest model. I also remembered that the Tegan and the Andy went there already last year, and that Tegan’s blog post looked like they had a fun time.

I decided that fun had to be had, saddled my horse and rode to Nordbahnhof while Berlin showed itself from its most beautiful side.

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On my ride there Andy called me again. He sounded like he was in a rush, heavily breathing and I heard banging in the background. He said that they were so many people. Way too many. He had to hide. They were coming after him, but he managed to bar a door and hide. He needed me to help him coping with the Germans. I nodded. He said „I can’t hear you.“

When I arrived a few minutes later I saw the endless stream of Germans. I heard Andy’s screams for help. I shouted „GERMANS! According to §223a you have to form a line!“

Like being drawn by a mystical force the Germans silently started forming a queue. And what a queue it was. It was so long, I couldn’t see both ends at a time.

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Andy introduced me to his loved ones and Tegan. He, his grand dad and his mother got trapped by the German mob. We silently slipped into the queue and waited only an hour to be let into the amazing fantasy land of Olympus Photography Playground.

We did not get Olympus cameras because after we waited for an hour we didn’t feel like waiting another hour to get a camera. And we brought our own. The next photos are not taken with any Olympus camera but with my trustworthy Canon 5Dmk2 and a EOS 35/2.

Last year they had lasers, fibre wires and big climbing nets to climb into. This year they had — painted walls to stand in front of. As we were already there, we took the opportunity to stand in front of a few coloured walls.

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Tegan is in fact a model for the dental care industry.

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You might realize that there are no people in front of the two walls coming up. Yes.

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And then there was Andy, still frightened from the events earlier, doing his thang (it is a slang word for „thing“. Look it up).

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Tegan is pointing out the direction towards the next big thing in photographic technology.

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A giant mirror. As a promo for a mirrorless camera. How ironic. Hipster Olympus, much?

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You might have noticed that there were an awful lot of children. Apparently the playground in the name was taken to seriously by the Germans who herded their offspring into the halls of photographic discovery. We could not get a totally cool picture of us pretending to hang from a window because the queue was too long. THANKS FOR NOTHING, childbearers.

Their signs were also not correctly assembled.

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The painted walls look from above just as exciting as from the ground.

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We decided that after an hour standing in line the best thing to do would be to stand some more in line, as we now had a lot of practice doing that. This is when this happened.

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We stood in line for another 30 minutes in front of a wooden cabin. The cabin looked intriguing and interesting. A sign read that there would be some hidden messages only to be seen by the light of a flash. Although Tegan and I did not possess the power of flash photography as we are both (light) naturalists, we still decided to wait. We were curious and the other team members should be able to cast their flashes on the insides of the box.

30 minutes later we were inside. A woman told us something along the lines of „this is an artist’s interpretation of a replica of a room that is somewhat important in London. And when you use your camera’s flash, this is what happens.“ Andy had already fired his flash before she could finish.

And „this“ is what happened. A disc, that was quite well visible before, started turning. And the doors opened. „haha, you do not have to leave just now“ was the last I heard from the lady as I left the cabin. This was the stupidest installation I have seen in a long time. And I went to picture berlin’s final presentation.

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At least the curtain at the end was pretty. And it gave birth to Tegan.

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This song was unfortunately not the background music for the upcoming installation. Please feel free to play it while you look at it. Make sure to stop it when you’re done with this section as it would not be fitting for the rest.

A giant dragon like creature made of kitsch. Pearls and glass and stuff. After only 10 minutes of wait we had the permission to be underwhelmed when approaching the thing.

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This was a common thing done by the people there. Photo pose squatting. Why.

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Andy did a poor job photographing women up the skirt.

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While Tegan presented hanging glands.

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The next bit was a lot of wigs that stared at you when you flashed them. Tegan flashed them but was only eyed by the other visitors. „You have to use your camera flash“ I said smiling over her sillyness. She pulled dress back up and said „Ah yes, I got confused.“ I then used a combination of my phones flash and my DSLRs photo capturing function to get this picture.

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Then something about light refraction and big screens to cast your silhouette on.

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I like this one.

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More bits and pieces that were mildly exciting.

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Last year they had a huge dress up station, with dresses and wigs and fake prosthetic legs. This year they had jumpers matching the patterns on the wall. Yay. I don’t know the person in the next picture.

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I know this person though.

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The last bit was an impressive installation of sound and light. Good thing was, it was so dark and suddenly bright in there, that no camera could capture the events going on there. All long time exposures looked like this:

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Way to promote camera features, Olympus!

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Oh and we also had some light painting done by an overenthusiastic fellow. The new camera’s function allows you to do better light paintings. I will definitely buy the camera as I do light paintings on a daily basis. I am very original, you know? But here is the picture anyway. The camera morphed my head, usually my forehead is way bigger.

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Although the waiting was really fun we turned our backs to the photography playground and went to get waffles. It was a good idea as we could wait some more there in line to order our waffles. A successful day.

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(I will link to Tegan’s bloggy thing once it is there. She will have all the juicy pictures of food and me standing in a coloured corner. You don’t want to miss that.) 

Filed under: photo.

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Hi. I live in Berlin, I write about food and photography and everything else. I am a plant scientist and I studied biotechnology in Berlin. I am younger than some but older than others.