Olympiapark München in glorious infrared

I took a stroll around Munich's Olympia Park with a roll of Rollei infrared film with some decent results. Join me for some unusual shots of this wonderful park and sporting venue. 

Munich's Olympia Park was built to host the 1972 Olympics and it is located in the north west of the city. I live relatively close and thought I would pop by on a recent public holiday for a stroll, along with my Hasselblad 501c system and 1 roll of Rollei infrared film. I brought all 3 lenses (50mm f4, 80mm f2.8, 150mm f4), although ended up using the 50mm and 150mm the most. 

A bit more about the park

As you would expect with any Olympic venue, the park caters for numerous sporting events, including the main stadium for track and field, an Olympic size swimming pool, indoor soccer and many others. The whole area is now used for a variety of activities, whether that be as a general park, for outdoor activities, or for open air concerts. It also has a big auditorium for indoor concerts. I was surprised by how busy the place was with a mix of locals and tourists enjoying the facilities. 

You have to pay to visit some of the venues (e.g. the stadium), but is it worth it. I can't say I have ever been to an Olympic stadium before so that was quite a treat. I think it is great that a venue that is so old is still very much in use today, as many of the other Olympic cities that hosted the games recently have struggled to properly re-use the expensive venues.

A bit more about the photos

I took a bit of a gamble with the weather as it was due to be a bit cloudy and I was not sure how sunny it would be. In my experience the best time for infrared photography is during the middle of the day with a very bright sun. However there is no time like the present, so off I went with 1 roll and for a long walk. I was looking for at least some element of greenery in my shots to be able to accentuate the infrared look. I got some really strong infrared effect in at least a couple of the shots, along with some other mixed results. 

A telephoto view of the stadium. It is amazing how modern and futuristic some of the architecture looks given how old it is. 
A shot from inside the stadium. I will add a colour image of a similar show at the very end of the post so you can compare. Some decent infrared effect going on here too. I really like how empty and isolated this shot feels, especially if viewing this on anything bigger than a mobile phone).
The Olympic Tower, with a height of 291m offering some fantastic views of all of Munich and including the Alps on a good day. This is the best infrared effect shot from the roll and funnily enough it was the first shot of the day!
The Olympic Tower from a different angle, with less infrared effect and more clouds though.
Slight underexposed in some areas but then some decent infrared effect on the trees. The shot has the Olympic Tower on the left and the BMW offices on the right.
Shot from the viewing platform of the Olympic Tower.
A cropped version of the above shot, focusing more on the Olympia Park.
I really like this shot, with the solitary BMW offices (part of the BMW Museum complex) rising above the trees.
A different angle of the Olympia Tower, also very good infrared effect in this shot!
This shot came out completely differently than I had expected, although I quite like it. It looks like a regular black and white shot as opposed to infrared, I am not sure I got the exposure settings right, 
The colour shot of the Olympic Stadium I promised to add.

Overall observations

I'm actually very pleased with the shots I got, even though not all of them had that strong infrared effect I was hoping for. Aside from exposing the right way and keeping in mind the use of filters and focusing for infrared, there are likely some environmental factors around the strength of infrared lighting at specific times or specific climatological conditions to keep in mind (something I will research more about). 

I have noticed that some of my shots (not only this post but other infrared posts) have a really strong infrared look, whilst others look more like a mix between infrared and regular black and white. That being said, I quite like the shots that seem to be a mix (usually those with clouds it seems) as they provide both a very sharp shot but one with plenty of character (if that makes any sense?!). I think the pure infrared shots are so sharp that sometimes they lack any kind of character, although if they have a strong composition they can work really well.

Aside from the photos, I highly recommend a visit to the Olympia Park for a stroll around to enjoy the views, amazing venues and plenty of other distraction including beer gardens (of course!) and plenty of kid friendly attractions. And if you have a camera on you...even better!

Thanks for stopping by,

Neil