A shooting day in Cologne

“The life you have left is a gift. Cherish it. Enjoy it now, to the fullest. Do what matters, now.” ~ Leo Babauta

By In Photography

It seems like ages ago already that I was in Cologne for the last time. Somewhere, on a hot summer day in 2020, I had a day of photography planned there. The intention was to meet up with several people at several different times, so a few logistics were involved, but we made it work. It was an awesome day.

Breakfast in Cologne

The day started with me meeting up with Dirk and Heidi, some friends of a group of photographers and friends that call themselves RatPack Cologne. I actually don’t know what’s in the name, but I know they’re a great bunch, who love the things I love, too. Photography, good food, and drinks. (We have since also visited Berlin for a couple of days)

street scene in Cologne

We went for a great breakfast somewhere in Cologne’s inner city, drank a good cup of coffee and a lot of water (it was that hot already), and made our way further into the city. We shot some street photography, walked, talked, and shot some more. And of course, we didn’t leave out the occasional refreshment (read Kölsch) on the way. Somewhere during the day we met up with Flodjan, another great photographer, and chatted a bit more. Flodjan was still at work, so he’d join us later.

street silhouette
A street scene with a contrast

Of course, Cologne has a couple of camera stores as well, so we had to make a stop at those as well. This has eventually resulted in one of us (it wasn’t me) buying a new camera. You’re welcome, my friend. 🙂

People photography

Somewhere during the afternoon, I had another group waiting for me to join them, to do some people photography, something I hadn’t done in quite a while. I knew 2 of the photographers a bit already, but that was all. I didn’t know who, or what else to expect. Because I can have my shy, introverted moments when meeting new people, I held back a bit in the beginning. But soon I found that that was not necessary at all!

Girl in front of a graffiti wall
Girl sitting at Rheinauhafen Cologne

The group consisted of Angelika, who I had met on a previous photo walk, Ingo, whom I knew from Facebook, Michael, Lia, Lara, and Fabiola. The latter four I didn’t know yet, but after my initial shyness, that wasn’t a problem at all. These kinds of walks are of course about photography, but also about connecting with other people with the same passion, no matter if it’s in front of, or behind the camera.

Girl at the Cologne Rheinauhafen
Girl standing at Rheinauhafen Cologne

Altstadt and Rheinauhafen

As we’d met up near the Dom, we started our walk there, and soon were at a spot I knew from my street photography walks, and the first photos were made. I was still warming up (despite the 30+ degrees celsius that day) to the idea of people photography again, so I did some behind-the-scenes shots first.

Girl sitting on steps in Cologne Altstadt
Portrait of a girl, mirrored in a window

Soon I found the fun in people photography again and we shot our way to and through the Altstadt which makes for some great photography spots. We stopped for an Iced coffee along the way and proceeded to the Rheinauhafen, a cool part of Cologne with many more cool shooting spots. The walk ended at a makeshift bar at the end of the Rheinauhafen, where we enjoyed a refreshing drink (read Kölsch), after which it was time to split up, and I made my way back to Dirk and Heidi.

Evening foods and refreshments

Dirk and Heidi were at a Brauhaus, joined by Dirk W. (yes, two Dirks, I know it can be confusing, and they were already finishing dinner. I ordered a couple of refreshing drinks (read Kölsch) and some food, and we had a good time eating and drinking. After we were done, we made our way through Cologne again to visit a rooftop bar of a hotel, but it was so full that we didn’t want to wait to get in.

A self portrait of Bas Brader

So back we went, to the Hauptbahnhof, where there’s a cool cocktail bar, where Dirk, Dirk, and I had some cocktails before we decided to call it a night. I walked to my hotel and don’t even remember hitting the pillow. The heat, the kilometers, the refreshing drinks (read Kölsch and cocktails) had done their job.

To all of you, I met that day, I thank you for a great time. Let’s repeat this sometime soon when Covid permits.

~ B.B.

Written by Bas

Photographer, traveler, lover of black coffee, red wine and gin & tonic. Wearer of black glasses and a black hat, always a camera in hand, and the occasional writer.

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