My Sophort Safari Adventure
by Kady Kirchmayer
Hey guys, it's Kady! I'm one of the guides of Sophort tours here in Vienna, and I luckily got to participate in the Sophort Safari 2017. Here’s the inside scoop of what it was like for me.
Note: Kady was invited to attend and report from the event. Therefore she wasn't eligible for any prizes.
|The Starter Bag|
I had a very relaxed start into my Safari, as I came to pick up my Kiwi-green Safari starter-bag at around 11 am. The bag itself was filled with more than just a camera, film and the instructions for the day. It also contained some snacks (which I made good use of during the day), drinks, and other goodies. As I had been a Sophort tour guide for more than a year, I skipped the short introduction to Polaroid photography which was provided by the Sophort team, and checked out the eight photography missions of the Safari 2017 right away.
Snacking on some cake provided by the Sophorteers, I looked through this year's photo topics and immediately had some locations in mind for a few of them. "Vienna from above", for example, made me think of spots like the Kahlenberg, the top of Stephansdom, or perhaps the restaurant "Oben" (which quite literally means above). I ended up somewhere completely different, but more of this later. For the topic "Market Day", I instantly knew where I wanted to go. I grabbed my Sophort starter-bag and took off.
A short subway ride later I emerged into the urban jungle that is the Naschmarkt on a Saturday. It seemed like all of Vienna was gathered in the small alleys between the opulent food stands. Still, I made my way through there and reached the weekly flea market which was, as usually, filled with curious things and even more curious people. I even spotted a few instant cameras here and there. I snapped my first shot as soon as a large group of people had passed by, and thanks to the great light and the blue sky in the background this picture is one of those that I am happiest with.
|Submission to "Market Day"|
I was off to a good start, but I still had seven photo missions to go. "Air Guitar" was the next topic that I was going to attempt, and this was actually quite a quick one. It only took me a bit of persuasion to convince the boyfriend that he would make a fabulous air guitar player. In hindsight, this shot would have been more spectacular if I had told him to jump around while "playing the guitar". Oh well, I guess I'll have to keep that in mind for my next air guitar photo shoot.
After a quick lunch break I was ready for the next mission. I decided to go to Prater, as this would allow me to hit two birds with one stone. The topic "Adventure" was basically made for a location such as Prater. And as I had never taken a ride in one of the famous Viennese ferris wheels, I decided that now was the perfect time to try it for a shot of "Vienna from above". Upon arrival, I had a hard time picking a spot for the "Adventure" shot. After checking out the water slide and a variety of other rides, I ended up choosing the Rollercoaster, which conveniently had the very decorative ferris wheel in the background. I even got a cart in the shot as it was swooshing by!
|Submission to "Adventure"|
I had originally planned to go up on the famous red Viennese ferris wheel for my "Vienna from above" shot, but upon seeing the line for the ride, I decided to check out the second ferris wheel located across the Prater park. No line there, so I went right in. Thanks to the gorgeous weather I had a lovely view from all the way up there, so nice in fact, that I almost forgot to take a picture! Luckily you get to go around a few times, so I did get my shot in the end. I wish the cloudy sky would have turned out better in this shot, but all in all it was well worth the ride.
|"Vienna from above"|
Before moving on to the next location, I spotted a place for my "Reflection" shot – and I just couldn't resist a selfie. I did get a few curious looks from fellow fun park visitors for shooting a Polaroid selfie, but that didn't stop me.
By the time I walked back to the subway station it was already past 2:30 pm, so I had to hurry up a little to get to my last shooting location. I decided to go into the first district for some classic Viennese charm. As I got out of the subway station at Stephansplatz I realized that I was not the only one with that thought – I was almost swallowed up by a sea of tourists, all of whom were happily snapping hundreds of pictures. Still, I made my way over the square to my next subject, one of the classic horse carriages that roam Vienna, for my "Double" shot. Thanks to the beautiful light and the cooperative carriage driver, it turned out quite nice. The Fiaker seemed a little surprised when I whipped out my Polaroid camera instead of the usual phone or DSLR, and told me with a twinkle in his eye that I was "not exactly up to date with my photography gear".
|Submission to "Double"|
With only two more shots to go, turned towards the Albertina museum for what may be my favorite set of stairs in Vienna. It took me a little while to decide exactly how I was going to frame the "Stairs" shot. When I had finally found the right spot, I patiently waited for people to pass by to take the picture. I thought I was good but when I pressed the shutter button, two girls turned up out of nowhere and ran right into my shot. Uh oh, I thought, that photo is ruined, better take another one. Only after I had taken that second picture I realized my mistake – I had no more film left for my last photo topic, "Weekend"! Luckily we were allowed to choose our four favorite shots for the competition, so my loss was not too big. Also, it was almost time to bring back the camera anyways, so I made my way back to the Sophort headquarter.
I arrived there a little while later, a bit exhausted but very happy with how the day had gone. I even discovered that my ruined "Stairs" shot had actually become much more interesting because of the two photo bombers, who were luckily quite stylish, too!
|Submission to "Stairs"|
With a little help and advice of the Sophort team, I decided to enter my pictures in the categories "Market Day", "Adventure", "Double" and "Stairs" into the competition.
|All four submissions|
The Sophort Safari was all about creativity, and having fun with instant photography. Despite the fact that I frequently get to work with Polaroid cameras in my job as a Sophort tour guide, the Safari was an exciting experience for me. It pushed me to think of new ways to play with the medium. In addition, it also reopened my eyes to the beauty of Vienna. When you only have 8 pictures available as you do with an Impossible film, you really start to think about your subjects, and you look much more closely at your surroundings. Thanks Sophort, I had an awesome day!