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Elefantentreffen

Photojournalism, Reporting, Sport

Project visual Elefantentreffen
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Saturday, January 10, 2015
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€20
Out of €1,300
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A photo reportage of the most extreme motorcycle event in Europe. An adventure of men, motorcycles, cold and passion.

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Actuphoto supports the project Elefantentreffen

Elefantentreffen

I'm Alessandro D'Angelo, photographer. I work as a freelance for many magazines and web sites. Life, passions, sadness, joy, love or hatred, victories and defeats, all "the human comedy" I try to capture, to absorb in me and tell with portrait photography. Maybe it's a way for me to live more lifes than this world there allows. Understand the other for find myself, to discover that there aren't right streets to live but many hidden paths to go.   alessandrodangelo.it

 

 

 

The Elephant Rally, or Elefantentreffen, is a winter motorcycle rally, which takes place on the first weekend in February or on the last weekend in January annually in a valley between the towns of Thurmansbang and Solla in the Bavarian Forest in Germany. It is organized by the Federal Association of Motorcycle Riders in Germany.

 

  He has take place in the Bavarian forest, near the Czech border, where snow is guaranteed. Each year between 5,000 and 10,000 riders from all over Europe participate, some bringing modified motorcycles and special designs. The most important thing is the complete prohibition of all vehicles except motorcycles for several kilometers around the periphery of the meeting area.

 

 

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Johan, age 41, motor mechanic, Holland.

 

 

 

 

Article from BIKE magazine UK with my photographs:

 

 

Held since 1956 at various frozen venues, it attracts a hardcore of regulars and plenty of one-off fringe visitors, it is routinely bitterly cold but far from inhospitable. Despite the appearancesof the majority of bikers it is not compulsory to look like a Woolly Mammoth at the Elefantentreffen. But deep in the Bavarian forests winter temperatures can sink as low as minus 15 Celsius with snow cover for six months. Only the last week of January or the first week of February are considered suitably cold enought to hold this event for masochists and sub-zero filth monkeys.

The organisers (Bundesverbrand der Motorradfaherer aka German Federal Association of Motorcycle Riders) reckon to attract 5000 souls to this holiday on ice. Exept the 2014 event was more of a mudfest owing to this year's unseasonably warm winter. The name Elefant was chosen because the majority of machines employed for early rallies were Zündapp KS601 combos, known affectionately as Green Elefants when the event was held at Solitude near Stuttgart.

This experience in suffering is leavened (slightly) by mass fireworks displays and heavy drinking, but despite the anarcho-Goth meets Grizzly Adams costumes, there are no bands - no music. Instead attendees are asked to enjoy the silence of the mountains. That is when the fireworks have been exhausted and various specially-built snowpeds have either run out of petrol or exploded.

 

 

 

 

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Danielko Jaroslav, age 55, truck driver, Czech Republic.

 

 

 

My experience about:

 

While I'm looking for a spare part for my father's old motorcycle, the mechanic tells me: if you want to photograph a motorcyclist you must go at Elefantentreffen. 

01/ feb /14 "The bad thing of summer is that the motorcyclist mingles with who have the bike." This phrase written on a leather jacket greets me in the Forest of Loh (Bavaria), in an abandoned quarry, frozen. Thousands of motorcyclists are reaching this place, with the bikes loaded with tents, axes, beer and meat. It's 58 years that this is repeated, that snow, rain, mud and frost greet men with their partners: the bikes. For three days only with straw and firewood, without no other entertainment if not the noise of the engines, motorcyclists from all over Europe celebrate their passion for two wheels.

 

 

 

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Martin, age 31, maintainer of roofs, Czech Republic.

 

 

 

The work has been greeted with success by the best European magazines (Moto Heroes FR, Bike UK, etc.), and from there I had an idea to complete the project with new images, for a exhibition or a book  in future, that celebrates the sixtieth edition in 2016.

 

 

 

 

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Tomas During, age 66, Germany.

 

 

 

Here you can see the story in black and white of the three days I spent with the bikers, in the cold in the snow and mud, wrapped in the smoke of engines and roast pigs, between gasoline and beer: alessandrodangelo.it  

 

 

 

 

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Dotze, age 26, job unknown, Germany.

 

 

 

 

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Helmut Stockinger, age 46, truck driver, Austria.

 

 

 

 

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Gianni, age unknown, farmer - Valentino, age unknown, construction worker, Italy.

 

 

 

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Manuel, age 26, carpenter, Germany.

Allocation of funds

The funds raised will be used to produce a reportage of expansion: complete the work for the purpose of publication, to produce a book for the sixtieth edition of 2016.

The idea is to be able to have multiple images, that best describe what has taken place since 1956 in the Bavarian Forest, able to translate the best passion that warms the hearts of  ice covered bikers. The characteristic of the Elefantentreffen is that he is held in the coldest period of the year with big snowfalls in a remote area, but the 2014 edition that I photographed was not characterized by this (an abnormally hot day, much of the melted snow) and, although full of beautiful images and excellent feedback editorial is not enough to fully portray what this event is celebrating from years. Integrating my reportage I would have enough material to publish a photo book or  an exhibition,  that it's not excluded, could also take place in the mythical Yeti Treffen  during the 2016 edition.

 

During the past experience of the January 2014 I photographed alone, reaching the abandoned quarry (where the rally takes place) every day walk from the nearest village (Thurmansbang) where I was based at an inn to recharge the equipment and manage files every evening / night. With all the equipment backpack I have traveled 7 - 8 km round trip, to reach for the three-day event also passing through the paths of the forest Bavarian cream. Given this difficulty and also given the complications in the management of the alone camera flash, I hypothesized the help of an assistant to assure me best work and safety.

 

Travel                                                       400 €

Food and Accomodation                      300 €

Photo Assistant                                      300 €

Production and Post production         300 €

 

Total                                                         1300 €

 

I hope to achieve this and if your contribution, riding my enthusiasm exceed the planned budget, I can afford with the money more, to stay one more day in German forest to take photographs that describe the beautiful and wild place reached by motorcyclists. I could also get better the post production and raise the quality and attention necessary to a professional project, as well as pay more adequately my assistant.

Choose your reward

For €5

A heartfelt thanks and an email invitation to every exhibition or presentation of the project.

For €10

A big thank you and a picture postcard signed on the back. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project.

For €20

A big thank you, a picture postcard signed on the back, PDF with the photo diary of the project. A postcard sent or a small object from the Bavarian Forest found during the trip. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project.

For €25

A big thank you, a picture postcard signed on the back, PDF with the photo diary of the project. A photo taken by me at the Elefantentreffen 13x18 signed and inscribed on the back by motorcyclists during the three days. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project.

For €30

A big thank you, a picture postcard signed on the back, PDF with the photo diary of the project. Two 13x18 photos taken by me, signed with the imprint of motorcycle grease or oil and with a dedication on the back by motorcyclists during the three days. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project.

For €40

A big thank you, a picture postcard signed on the back, PDF with the photo diary of the project. A significant object (a piece of motorcycle, a bottle of alcohol unknown drained and signed, a bone of roasted pork devoured and signed, etc.) Recovered during the three days of Elefantentreffen. A photo taken by me 20x30, signed and dedicated by motorcyclists. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project. Shipping abroad, add 10 €

For €50

A big thank you, a picture postcard signed on the back, PDF with the photo diary of the project. A small object or souvenir of Bavaria, a significant object (a piece of motorcycle, a bottle of alcohol unknown drained and signed, a bone of roasted pork eaten and signed, etc.) recovered during the three days of Elefantentreffen. A photo taken by me 20x30, signed and dedicated by motorcyclists with grease and motor oil. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project. Shipping abroad, add 10 €

For €60

A big thank you, a picture postcard signed on the back, PDF with the photo diary of the project. A small object or souvenirs typical of Bavaria. A significant object (a piece of motorcycle, a bottle of alcohol unknown drained and signed, a bone of roasted pork eaten and signed, etc.) recovered during the three days of Elefantentreffen. A photo taken by me 20x30, signed with lipstick by one of the rare women riders that participating to the event. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project. Shipping abroad, add 10 €

For €80

A big thank you, a picture postcard signed on the back, PDF with the photo diary of the project. The excellent Bavarian beer (a can or bottle), a significant object (a piece of motorcycle, a bottle of alcohol unknown drained and signed, a bone of roasted pork eaten and signed, etc.) recovered during the three days of Elefantentreffen . A Elefantentreffen souvenir purchased at the rally (a hat, adhesives, military memorabilia German or Russian, etc.). A photo 20x30 taken by me, signed with motorcycle grease and dedicated by the oldest rider in the rally. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project. Shipping abroad, add 10 €

For €100

A heartfelt thanks, PDF with the photo diary of the project. The excellent Bavarian beer (two cans or bottles). A significant object (a piece of motorcycle a bottle of alcohol unknown drained and signed, a bone of roasted pork eaten and signed, etc.) recovered during the three days of Elefantentreffen. A piece of Bavarian Forest collected during the trip on foot to reach the abandoned quarry (special stones, leaves of characteristic trees, fragrant wood etc.). A Elefantentreffen souvenir purchased at the rally (a hat, adhesives, military memorabilia German or Russian, etc.). The favourite recipe written and signed by the lady of the inn in Bavaria where I will stay. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project. Shipping abroad, add 10 €

For €300

A heartfelt thanks, PDF with the photo diary of the project. The excellent Bavarian beer (4 bottles or cans). A significant object (a piece of motorcycle, a bottle of alcohol unknown drained and signed, a bone of roasted pork eaten and signed, etc.) Recovered during the three days of Elefantentreffen. A photo print 50X70 signed and dedicated by me of the rally. Ten portraits such as those of motorcyclists in Germany, shot by me at your event (transfer costs excluded). The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project.

For €500

A heartfelt thanks, PDF with the photo diary of the project. The excellent Bavarian beer (4 bottles or cans ). A significant object (a piece of motorcycle a bottle of alcohol unknown drained and signed, a bone of roasted pork eaten and signed, etc.) recovered during the three days of Elefantentreffen. A photo print 50X70 signed and dedicated by me, of a picture taken at the Elefantentreffen. Twenty portraits such as those of motorcyclists in Germany shot by me at your event (transfer costs excluded). The exhibition of photographs project, in your spaces. The email invitation to each exhibition or presentation of the project

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