John Sandell photography
holocaustmemorial4.jpg
Memorial in Snow

Memorial in Snow. Another image from my on-going project based around the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas) in Berlin – usually referred to as the 'Holocaust Memorial' – this time from my third visit in January 2013. This 'field of stelae' – designed by American architect Peter Eisenman – is set on an undulating site about 100 metres south of the Brandenburg Gate. It opened in 2005 after a long and often controversial planning and building process. The 2,711 concrete blocks (stelae) are arranged in a regular grid over an area of nearly five acres. Each is around 8 feet long and 3 feet wide, but they vary in height from a few inches up to nearly 16 feet. At first the arrangement looks uniform, but closer inspection shows that each block is at a slight angle to its neighbour, creating a feeling of uncertainty.

The last time I was here the Memorial was in strong sunshine. Now, fresh snow lay on the tops of the stelae and in the walkways between them, with almost no footprints. The sky was dull and grey, and new snow was blowing in from the east. I stopped down a bit more than on previous occasions, and I've pushed the contrast a bit in Photoshop to give a bit more bite to the image, and to highlight the falling snow. With 45 or so images in the camera I realised that one hand was completely numb due to the cold, and I thought it would be sensible to move on.

Technical: NIKON D300, f=105.0 mm, ISO800, 1/400 sec @ f11.0

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