«The Greeks aren’t the only ones sick of the euro crisis. Photographers are reaching the end of their tether too, struggling to shoot images of euro coins in various states of distress to illustrate the story. Though some of the photos are absurd, they still get published — because news outlets are equally desperate(…) Stratenschulte is a photographer with the German news agency DPA. He has been photographing euro coins from various angles for the past three years. He tries to convey the complex crisis in images. The problem is that the crisis won’t end, which means Stratenschulte has to keep coming up with fresh ideas. His colleagues have resorted to using children’s toys, arranging a plastic shark to look like it’s eating a Lego man holding a Greek flag. They have photographed coins in a free fall. Rumor has it that one photographer poured gasoline on coins to try to make them glow with heat.
“It is difficult to keep finding a new approach,” he says. “I’m glad the euro coins have different designs in each country. That makes it possible to vary things at least a bit.”
When he gets a freshly minted euro in shops, he holds on to it because shiny money makes for better images than scratched coins. “The bank advised me to polish them with toothpaste,” says Berg. Berg, too, experiments with his coins. He was sitting in his office trying to come up with an idea when he spotted an orange First Aid box. He put a euro coin behind the German word for “Aid” and pressed the shutter release. “That was pretty flat picture,” he says, almost apologetically. “But then I saw it on several websites.” Once, while visiting a friend, he saw a toy ship belonging to the man’s son. He borrowed the little plastic life preserver, placed a euro inside it and — presto! –another crisis image. Berg, like Stratenschulte, has tried to remove the silver circle from the coin. Instead of a hammer he used pliers — and came to the same conclusion as his colleague. “It was astonishingly easy,” he says.»