With photography, boldness is usually encouraged. Putting yourself into harm’s way is seen as a strategy to improve your pictures. I really don’t know. Rarely I’ve seen reward in doing something unpleasant or downright dangerous to get a certain shot - it happens from time to time, but not very often. That’s probably because I’m not cool. Even the smallest misdemeanors on my side send adrenaline pumping through my system, imagined punishment keeps me from thinking straight and makes my hands shake.

With this one here, I still had to overcome obstacles to get what I wanted. What I wanted was the very pronounced typography on these bike lockers beneath a German railway station. The problem was: the whole place smelled like piss. It wasn’t your usual railway station piss fest either - seemingly, a mob of diabetic muskoxen had taken multiple leaks there, and nobody had bothered to clean up the mess for a good week or so. Still I had to get those numbered lockers. So I held my breath and snapped away. It’s not only typography. I love pretty much everything about this picture - color, light, structure.

Luckily, smells can’t be photographed.

Christine and David Wade said thanks.

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Marcus Hammerschmitt

Writer, journalist and photographer. Eighteen books so far, on paper and on screen. My biography is boring, my life is not.

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