Ants collecting food

berlin main station hauptbahnhof mcdonalds
ants collecting food (2011) Olympus PEN E-P1 + M.Zuiko 17mm F2.8

Train stations are such fascinating places. This is the lower mezzanine of Berlin main station also known as the lower food court. Well it is not a real food court per definition but food vendors are a majority. At one end of the mezzanine sits the ubiquitous McDonalds restaurant. Yes they still call themselves a restaurant. One of the early advertisements (YouTube, in German but enjoy the 80s atmosphere) for McDonalds in television I can remember used the slogan „the slightly different restaurant“. Well this McDonalds does not really exude a restaurant atmosphere. It is almost always packed with several queues reaching the passageway and obstructing travelers coming up from the platforms. The restaurant itself has rarely any free seating so many people simply grab a brown bag of McDonalds food and eat on benches on the grey concrete platforms below. Viewed from the other side it looks like a busy ant hive in reverse. People are magically drawn to this McDonalds to collect their food and then disperse throughout the hive that is this huge train station.

Photographic Notes
I really enjoy photography in these kinds of busy places. There is so much to discover. But this place is quite difficult to capture. There is lots of artificial light but sunlight reaches down to the lower levels so white balance is always tricky. Well of course not for black and white which is my preferred way of shooting. This grey concrete cathedral ironically comes more to live without color.

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