compagnon live at the Fotomarathon Stuttgart

compagnon live beim Fotomarathon Stuttgart

A compagnon at the Foto Marathon Stuttgart

When I originally joined compagnon, Valentin and Vitalis were looking for someone who could lend their voice to both their brand and their dream. Someone who understood what they were doing, what they were working on and why. Someone who could communicate and represent these things. And someone who had as much of a passion for photography or film as possible. That's how I became a compagnon. I usually lend my voice and handwriting to tell you about compagnon, or to portray the "compagnons of inspiration" for you in an interview. Today, for once, I'm using my words myself: The occasion? The annual photo marathon in & through Stuttgart. Before I took part for the first time, I only had a vague idea of what to expect. It's about the following: The aim is to shoot a series of 10 pictures on 10 individual themes within a period of 6 hours. These themes as well as the overarching theme are secret until the starting shot. The memory card may only contain exactly 10 pictures at the finish line. More or less will result in disqualification. Likewise, the order may not be freely chosen or changed. For example, if you accidentally delete the picture for topic 4 or skip the task, all subsequent pictures will automatically be disqualified. The results only count "out of camera", so post-processing is off the table. Tricky and spontaneous. Planning the unplannable With our 'experienced' team backpack, my options were really extensive in order to prepare for every eventuality. But my aim was to pack lightly and efficiently. The name 'marathon' is no accident. You inevitably cover long distances on foot and search various corners of a city for your vision. In the end, I ended up with more equipment in my backpack than I would have needed. "There's no harm in having more than you absolutely need!" So I found my peace with the equipment, the tripod, the full range of my lens selection and the folding reflector, which I can still hardly justify to myself. Perhaps a force of habit. A low light setup, typical of my tours, in anticipation of a glorious, sun-drenched day. The backpack covered this futility with a comfortable feel. Everything will be fine. Not a gram too much for 6 hours of urban exploring.

Packing our own backpack for photo marathon Stuttgart tomorrow. @compagnonbags

Just the start... The most important part of the equipment is the mental attitude. Alternatively, the will to win. For me it was about the spontaneous element. The joy of this short adventure. And about meeting other creative people and exchanging ideas. With the casual look of the backpack, I was sure that the idea of competition would be seen as secondary. Especially in contrast to the radically loaded, spontaneous thirst for victory of some others. The marathon is open to starters with cameras of all kinds. From smartphones (1 starter out of 120), to Leica users with just an M9 on a strap, to 'Clint Eastwood' with a double 5D Mark III combo, including a good 5 kilos of concentrated glass force. What a spectacle. During my first lens change of the day, I promptly had an exchange with a young woman who was eyeing the storage space of the compagnon backpack closely and was already regretting the purchase of her own backpack within a few months. My compagnon had sent me another one for the competition. Together we awaited the starting signal.

On the pulse of the city

An umbrella theme that could hardly be interpreted in a more versatile way. Probably perfect for an event like this. The individual sub-themes for the photos were taken from the lines or verses of the Stuttgart city poem. Some of them offered greater artistic freedom, others severely restricted the possibilities due to precisely defined content. Around half of the starting field suddenly fell into a winter sales mentality. We forwent Ultimate Fighting in the cage (represented by a public transportation system) and took the time to plan a meaningful first step.

Photo 1: "A city of art and culture..." The real difficulty, apart from the quote itself, lies in the requirement that the first picture must contain the starting number of the respective photographer. It doesn't matter in what form. By chance, we found a parking space right next to a body art store. The owner came out into the street to point out to me that every non-exemplary parker in this street would be dealt with in the same way as the Manchurian Candidate. View through the shop window. Timeless #1, designed and built by the owner. The perfect environment for culture and art that you can wear on your head, on your skin and underneath. My starting number, held by something different, modern, vibrant, close-to-the-skin culture. The ideal #1 for photo number 1.

Photo 1 - Style culture in Stuttgart

Photo 2: "...framed by green, by forest and meadow..." After the urban character of the first release seemed to ooze directly from my actual style and taste, this line somehow lost its groove. What was being asked seemed very bold. Hackneyed. Or simply not the shoe I like to wear. With my backpack only half-shouldered, I prepared myself to look for a solution in it. As if technology alone helps in these cases. The side street a few meters further on, a corridor framed by greenery, was heaven-sent. Because time is tight.

Photo 2 - a city hallway framed by nature

Photo 3: " say Schätzle to your wife here." The direction was clear. My companion and I headed towards the center. There are couples there. But you can find them everywhere. What makes a "Schätzle" a real "Stuttgarter Schätzle"? Does such a sweetheart always have to be a woman?

Photo 3 - Stuttgart's precious

Photo 4: "It's really worth having the confidence to look at everything in peace..." Precise concepts? Not at all. Just like in the Swabian "Hanoi!", the whole world is in here. Understand it as what you want! Nothing could be easier. I found peace and quiet to look around a good kilometer further on. A certain spiritual confidence was included.

Photo 4 - taking time to wander around in peace

Photo 5: "The opera house is always a feast for the eyes and ears. Such a stylish and noble setting delights both men and women." A quote like a feast for participants who were hoping for explicit tasks. A horror for us. It already smelled of 120 identical photos. We must have spent 60-70 minutes avoiding the opera house like vampires avoiding sunlight. Noble frames, pleasures for man and woman. But characteristic of Stuttgart. Not without. The handle went to the backpack for the heavy guns.

Photo 5 - passion of the opera Stuttgart

Photo 6: "For those who prefer to have fun loudly, not quietly." Saturday lunchtime is an extremely popular time for discos and music events in Stuttgart. But who wants to cling to such ideas? It gets loud wherever exuberant fun reigns. And who knows more about exuberance than carefree kids? Exactly!

Photo 6 - having fun in Stuttgart

Photo 7: "In Stuttgart, the motto is always: long live sport. In the last 9 kilometers I had learned that my teammate is an ambitious triathlete. But asking her in front of the camera again was out of the question. What's more, sport in 2016 offers a wider range than a soccer pitch or a forest swimming pool. It's just a matter of finding these new temples of sport. Hey backpack, get the tele ready!

Photo 7 - sporty city Stuttgart

Photo 8: "And strolling, that's the custom, you can do that in the city too." Well, if you have to. The fact that an estimated 90 percent of all shopping bags transported now carry a certain design doesn't exactly speak for the region, but a questionable understanding of values has to put up with this kind of finger pointing these days.

Photo 8 - shopping in Stuttgart

Photo 9: "That's why we recommend everyone to relax in Stuttgart." My colleague literally had this topic in front of her lens in seconds. I really struggled with it. As if it was difficult to find relaxation in Stuttgart. But a kind of relaxation that is typical of Stuttgart? I don't know this city nearly well enough for that. When the motif found me after another 2 kilometers, a song line from the Jungle Book rang in my ear ("try it, with Gemütlichkeit..."). Only in Swabian.

Photo 9  - relaxing and chilling in Stuttgart

Photo 10: "Discover the whole width, Stuttgart from a different perspective." Home stretch. And finally a theme to my taste. Now just subtract the light. With the backpack, the tripod was quickly at hand. Off into the underground. After all, "other sides" are not just right and left.

Photo 10 - another side of Stuttgart

Finish at Calumet in Stuttgart. And now? With our quick steps, we beat the maximum time frame by a whole 90 minutes. In the coming weeks, a top-class jury will evaluate all individual performances and select the best participants. On June 4, 2016, the winners will be honored at the Bad Canstatt customs office and an exhibition of the resulting works will be shown. This exhibition is open to everyone. For my part, I've gained an exciting experience and will probably be attending the event again in 2017.
I won't hesitate to grab my backpack again to accompany me. Honestly.

Just finished

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