May 1 in Berlin by jyokota

May 1 in Berlin

I've been in Germany on May 1 before. In Bavaria, there are parades of people in lederhosen and dirndls, maypoles and dancing. Some people go to the mountains for hiking.

May 1 in Berlin was very different. It was museum and lunch at outdoor garden day. But on my way home, I encountered tens of thousands of protestors marching by my flat, accompanied by dozens of police vans with flashing lights and hundreds of police walking alongside the demonstrators. Being curious (and finding a new opportunity to practice street photography), I walked beside them for awhile, but found myself right in the middle when the direction shifted. They walked at a steady pace, sometimes chanting, and with various noisemakers. At corners, the police would divert them into different streets, effectively breaking up the numbers on each street, but never blocking them. There seemed to be an agreement about how this protest proceeded through the night. Later, I learned that these May 1 parades have been known to become violent. No wonder the police had protective gear on.

I've never been good with night photography (as evidenced in my NYC attempts, even when @michaelelliott gave me the precise places to go for best photo opps) and I'm timid with street photography so this was a double challenge. My auto focus refused to cooperate, everyone was moving and I didn't want to be trampled. But I needed some photos! Suddenly, I remembered @darylo saying, "AIServo" and voila! I was suddenly able to get my camera to cooperate. Obviously still needing much more practice, but at least you can see who's in the photo.
Good one with the AI Servo! That would be a bit scary to get caught up in.
May 4th, 2013  
Yay!! So glad you heard me from afar-- now why can't I be in Germany to tell you in person? :)
May 4th, 2013  
@lynnb @darylo -- thanks for looking and reading (I don't realize how long some of my narratives are because that little box you write in is deceptively small as it scrolls.). Surprisingly, it wasn't scary to be among the demonstrators. You can see why people get "caught up" in mass behavior, though. And @darylo -- yes, you should be here because the Korean Film FEstival started yesterday with catered Korean food and live dj music to accompany the opening film. I'll be going to watch Korean films for the next couple of weeks.
May 4th, 2013  
Oh, please let me know any good films to put on my list of "to be watched"!
May 4th, 2013  
Such a cool shot -- I'm surprised it didn't feel more unnerving to be in the midst of it all.
May 4th, 2013  
I like this composition and the POLIZEI stand out really well. I'm getting bolder at street photography. I often stand around for 20 mins or so taking shots and no one seems bothered by it!
May 4th, 2013  
Good result for a doubly difficult challenge! I am shocked that 21234 is out of place; I expect more from German police.
May 5th, 2013  
Yes, they become violent in Hamburg as well. It's pretty bad.
This is the way you become better, moving out of your comfort zone and trying things you haven't tried before. :)
May 7th, 2013  
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