With the hashtag #shoot_GR, RICOH aims to help building communities among RICOH GR photographers. The use of the hashtag #shootgGR_... and the city name of where the image was taken, e.g. #shootGR_Berlin, #shootGR_London or #shootGR_Paris - to name the three most used tags in Europe - is a good indicator of where most GR photographers can be found. And if interest is sufficiently high and the number of hashtags exceeds the 1,000 mark, this is the trigger to plan a meetup in that city.
After a first event in Paris, there was the GR community in Berlin met on 18th June at "Fotopioniere", in Karl-Marx-Allee.
In cooperation with the street photography magazine Soul of Street, the meetup was announced in conjunction with a photo competition. Here, 15 pictures were selected from over 200 applications for an exhibition, which provided the perfect backdrop on the day of the event. On top of this, the pictures were published in SoS issue #41.
On the morning of the event, the team looked sceptically at the sky. The forecast for the day was 35° Celsius and couldn’t help wondering how many of the registered GR photographers would actually turn up that day, perhaps preferring to go for an outdoor pool. It was amazing to see in the end there was a full house. And even though it was a meeting for the Berlin community, some GRists did not want to miss the opportunity, travelling from Leipzig and even Bonn, Cologne and Mainz. But for all participants, it was a special moment to finally meet the faces behind the Instagram account in person.
And so the day began with the "opening" of the exhibition, which was then followed by a presentation by Lintaro Hopf. Many know the GR Ambassador from his YouTube channel, and had the opportunity to meet him in person here. Even though he was busy producing the event video that day, he enjoyed meeting photographers. He describes his personal impressions of the day on his new YouTube Channel. Afterwards, Mike Suminski showed in clips from his YouTube production how the focal lengths of the Ricoh GRIII and the GRIIIx differ from each other. The first round of presentations was concluded by Mark Dieckmann-Lange, who talked about his year-round photo projects, where the GRIII and the GRIIIx serve as essential companions whenever he leaves the house.
After a short break, it continued with Markus Hurek, who uses the Ricoh GR for his work as a journalist, and showed that less is often more, and can lead to unexpected, and in turn very authentic, images. Even though it was getting warmer, the attention did not diminish when Martin U. Waltz gave the final presentation, sharing detailed tips for optimising street photography, which could then be put into practice immediately afterwards.
After a short introduction of the team from Soul of Street, the theme of the day was "Alone among people" implemented with a photowalk at Alexanderplatz in Berlin. A summary of the walk as well as pictures from the day will be published in issue 42 of the magazine, and can already be seen in short form on the SoS website.
After the Photowalk we went back to the Fotopioniere, where Andreas Kesberger and his hard-working team provided a fantastic finish with cold drinks and delicious cakes. Here we talked shop and philosophised until late in the afternoon. In the end, there was little criticism except for a few missing chairs.
We would like to thank the host and his team for the amazing support, the speakers for their fascinating contributions and, of course, all the participants. Together they contributed to a successful event, under difficult heat conditions, but in high spirits.