In Reykjavik city hall (Ráðhús) you can find a model of the whole country. It’s not only a map, but a 3D model. You can see every crack, mountain and so on. Distinguish water from ice and rock. It’s a good place, to review your trip and to gaze at this fantastic landscape from a different angle. The 3D-model is set up in the basement of the city hall.
This room has another highlight: huge panoramic windows let you look at the Reykjavikurtjörn, a lake. You stand below the water level and you eyes are only a few decimeter above the water level.
It’s fall here and the year comes slowly to its end. Fall also means, to harvest. Framers pray for good weather conditions to get the results from their year of work safe in their barns.
The cold and often wet weather is also the time of the year when the mushrooms pop out of the ground. They life the whole year in the soil and in fall their fruiting bodies come up to spread their spores.
While some mushrooms are eatable, others are (extremely) poisonous and some are only eatable, when young. You have to have very good knowledge of mushrooms, when you try to find them in the forests and decide the good guys from the bad ones. Some of them look so similar i.e. champignon and death cap, so you can go wrong very easily. I don’t have much more than a very basic knowledge in mushrooms, so I leave them alone. Fly agaric and stinkhorn are nearly the only one’s I’d recognize 🙂
As a child my father has had to go with his father to collect mushrooms in fall. They went to the forests in the early morning on weekends. They had to be back in town, before church started. The mushrooms were cleaned, threaded on twine and hung up in the kitchen for drying. During winter the mushrooms and also collected dried berries were used for food.
I remember a few mushroom collecting trips with my grandfather when I was a child, but my mother always was very skeptical in preparing them for food. But, they were always good. Even, when looking very strange like Ramaria aurea, a coral mushroom.
But, every year you can read in the newspaper from people dieing after having eaten poisonous mushrooms.
Since a few weeks, my calendars for the next year, 2016, are available in the different shops. Calendars full of fantastic images from Cuba, La Habana, the famous Cuban vintage cars and Iceland want to decorate your home or become a gift for you friends or business partners. Twelve wonderful photos in each of them. Give them a try and order i.e. via Amazon or a book store in your region. Here are the ISBN numbers you need for your order:
A tip: the UK editions are also available in the US at least via amazon.com :-). I also checked them at amazon.fr and amazon.es successfully.
Cuba Cars wall calendar UK edition DIN A4: 978-1-325-06023-8 UK edition DIN A3: 978-1-325-06022-1
CH edition DIN A4: 978-3-664-24656-4 CH edition DIN A3: 978-3-664-24659-5 CH edition DIN A2: 978-3-664-24657-1 CH edition DIN A5: 978-3-664-24658-8 (tabletop)
DE edition DIN A4: 978-3-664-23967-2 DE edition DIN A3: 978-3-664-23964-1 DE edition DIN A2: 978-3-664-23965-8 DE edition DIN A5: 978-3-664-23966-5 (tabletop)
La Habana / Havanna wall calendar DE edition DIN A4: 978-3-664-26185-7 DE edition DIN A3: 978-3-664-26187-1 DE edition DIN A2: 978-3-664-26186-4 DE edition DIN A5: 978-3-664-26188-8 (tabletop)
UK edition DIN A4: 978-1-325-06070-2 UK edition DIN A3: 978-1-325-06071-9
Havanna Portrait wall calendar DE edition DIN A4: 978-3-664-26337-0 DE edition DIN A3: 978-3-664-26336-3 DE edition DIN A2: 978-3-664-26338-7 DE edition DIN A5: 978-3-664-26339-4 (tabletop)
Traveling the South of Iceland wall calendar UK edition DIN A4: 978-1-325-08000-7 UK edition DIN A3: 978-1-325-07999-5
Unterwegs im Süden Islands wall calendar DE edition DIN A4: 978-3-664-49855-0
DE edition DIN A3: 978-3-664-49856-7
DE edition DIN A2: 978-3-664-49857-4
DE edition DIN A5: 978-3-664-49854-3 (tabletop)
Impressionen aus Islands Süden Wand-Kalender
CH edition DIN A4: 978-3-664-49885-7
CH edition DIN A3: 978-3-664-49884-0 CH edition DIN A2: 978-3-664-49886-4 CH edition DIN A5: 978-3-664-49887-1 (tabletop)
Entdecken Sie den Süden Islands wall calendar
AT edition DIN A4: 978-3-664-49877-2 AT edition DIN A3: 978-3-664-49878-9 AT edition DIN A2: 978-3-664-49876-5 AT edition DIN A5: 978-3-664-49879-6 (tabletop)
Do you remember the Hallgrímskirkja? Despite their size and location dominating the city of Reykjavik, is it not the main church of Iceland. That’s Dómkirkja right in the center of the old town.
Dómkirkja is one of the oldest building in Reykjavik. It was built in the late 18th century, because the bishop’s see was moved from Skálholt. At that time, all citizens of Reykjavik found place in this quite small church.
First we stayed in Dresden for 3 days, than we followed the river Elbe upwards and made Rathen our base camp for some hiking and photographing tours.
While the weather in Dresden was perfect, but it was quite cold (between 0°C and +10°C). Thus, we saw a lot of the old town, like Zwinger, Semper Oper (Opera House), Frauenkirche, Residence Chateau and so on. Everything is reachable by foot, although the city is way bigger. But these historic parts are all on a few square kilometers along the river Elbe.
Once Dresden was the capital of the Saxon kingdom. The last king had to resign in fall 1918.
At the end of WWII all these buildings were destroyed by the allied air-force bombs, but after the war they were rebuild and reconstructed. The last reconstructed building was the Frauenkirche from 1994 – 2005. The reconstruction costed about 180 million Euro. Donators collected 115 million Euro, while the city government and the state government covered the remaining 65 million Euro.
In Rathen, instead, we didn’t have had such a good luck with the weather. It was raining constantly with only few dry moments. The clouds also were on a very low level. Thus we were nearly unable to see the most impressive mountainous parts, this region is famous for. 😦 And, the worst part of this: our goal was to see and photograph these famous mountainous region. Sad, sad thing.
Fortunately, we were able to use one of the rare moments ,when the rain only was drizzling, and started our hike uphill to the Bastei. Over a short distance, you have to cope about 200m height from the village to the (former castle) above the river Elbe. A very, very impressive sight, even with the bad sight as a result of fog, drizzling rain and the low clouds. About 3 hours later, we arrived back in the village at our starting point. Glad, that we made the trip, because of the fantastic sights. Despite we were outside for about 3 hours on our roundtrip uphill to the Bastei and back by the Schwedenlöcher, we weren’t wet. Reality was better than the weather forecast. And, I know, I have to return (with better weather!).
Nevertheless, I have some photos for you in the gallery below.
This is the proposed post on Harpa. As I told you last week, when we had a look at the outside at night, I take you to the inside now.
The mantle is made from a very special kind of glass:Dichroic glass
This kind of glass interacts with the changing daylight. The different angles of the lightfall, the different frequencies of the light at different times make the glass reflect parts of the light in the complementary color or let it pass to the inside.
This impressive and very unique building is called Harpa. It’s an opera house, but it’s also open to the public during the day. You can enter for free and find a snack bar and a gift shop at the ground floor. But, way more impressive are the upper levels.
As you might have guessed already, I’m showing you this building at night. My next post will focus on the inside.
Harpa is located right next to the harbor. Behind the opera house, you can find the ocean. It was opened in 2011. Unfortunately, the english Wikipedia does not have many facts. There are way more in the German Wikipedia about the origin of the name, the logo, the idea behind the design and the used materials. All of these is inspired by the island: glaciers, northern light, hot pools, volcanoes.
The main concert hall has room for 1,800 people, but there are 3 more rooms Smaller in capacity, but all of them full of the most modern concert and audio technique. As well, as 9 cabins for interpreters.
We’re back at Monochrome Madness 🙂 Welcome back, Leanne!
4 weeks ago we have had our last challenge. The last topic was ‘urban‘. Consequently, Leanne has chosen ‘country‘ for this challenge.
When looking back at my last post, you can see a very similar image. Both images are taken from the same balloon flight. Germany has a very long culture in cultivating the soil for growing food or for ranges (beside the high density of population). You won’t hardly find any area, where the nature is really natural. Wilderness is extremely rare. Every part of the land is formed by men for centuries. Even the forests are used for growing wood. During the last 40 years more and more people recognized, that we are driving in the wrong direction and overusing the natural resources. They started to think ecological and organized many, many demonstrations. More and more these ideas got into the minds of the common people. It was (and still is!) a long and hard process.
We now have quite strict laws protecting the environment. Air pollution by factories or cars, throwing waste or wastewater in the rivers, lakes or forests is under high punishment. Especially here in the Ruhr-Area we have had a huge problem with air pollution because of the high amount of steel plants, coke oven plants and coal and ore mines. Nearly everyone tries to reduce waste or at least tries to give the materials for recycling. The collected resources are paper, glass, clothes, metal, plastic, batteries or other electronic devices. You’d be surprised, how many different waste-bins we have at home and in public places for collecting the materials.
In the 1970s even private people got paid for bringing paper and glass (bottles) to collection stations. Nowadays, these (used) materials are still worth their money, but only the local governments and specialized dealers earn money with it. They set up big collecting boxed in the public and the common people bring the used bottles or paper here to throw it in.
I don’t want to go deeper into the recycling business, ’cause it’s Monochrome Madness today and not a lesson in ecological living. If anyone is interested in some more details, drop me a note. Maybe it could be the topic for a post on its own or I answer questions vial email.
Below the feet, there is an other world. Quite dark, weather independent and very different to the surface of out plant.
Saturday afternoon I met with some other photographers for our monthly photographers roundtable. And, this time we went underground 🙂
October 3rd is our national holiday and so all of shops are closed, just like on Sundays. City-centers and shopping malls are empty. Only few people are inside the cities. This gave us the opportunity, to apply for a permission to take photographs on a usually very crowded place: in the subway stations. We got permission for 3 very stylish subway stations.
Despite we were underground instead of enjoying the nature at such a beautiful, warm and sunny afternoon, we were very happy about the locations and that there were only few people.
Hey, you like to go out and taking photographs? You brought back (and bring back at least occasionally) a card full of great photos? Raw-development is also already done? And now? Only using up several giga-byte of storage on your computer?
How often do you look on your photos stored on your computer, usb-stick or cell-phone? Do you show them around? How do you do it? Do you put them online to a web-forum, your blog, at g+ or at flickr? Isn’t there more? What else could you do with your photos?
Many years ago, when photos were taken on film, you’ve had to bring the film to a lab for development. A few days later you got your developed film back via postal service or fetch it from a store. According to the order you placed with the film, you also got at least one print in 9x13cm (3,5×5 inch) or 10x15cm (4×6 inch) from each photo.
Nowadays you can find self-service print stations in supermarkets, drugstores and small photo shops. These might be the replacement for the ordered prints I mentioned above. I guess, this is used mostly for photos taken at family events like birthdays, christmas or weddings. Photos taken during a vacation might end in a self-designed photo book. According to the ads, they seem to be very popular. But is this all? No!
There are also labs around, that are offering prints in bigger sizes. I ordered some of such prints in 30×45 cm (12×18 inch) or 40×60 cm (16×24 inch) to put them on a wall. What a great impression. I put them with a passepartout in a wooden frame behind a sheet of glass. Thus, the print is saved well. But, the glass is mirroring. Especially in quite darker parts of the photo. Nevertheless, such a big photo not only reminds you to that special situation, it also can motivate you.
Up to DIN A4 (20×30 cm / 8×12 inch) prints are distributed in a hardened envelope and transported by the usual mail service. Bigger sizes prints, instead, are distributed rolled in a cardboard tube and transported by a parcel service. Furling such a print is easy for distribution, but has a big problem: the print memorized the time being rolled and tends to roll up again after being unrolled. Additional, you are in risk of kink or bend the print while pulling it out of the tube. These kinks often are irreparable damages.
For some time, there are also a few alternatives available: Canvas prints, metal prints (compositematerials) and Acrylic prints.
A few weeks ago I ordered two canvas prints sized 60x80cm (24×32 inch) to test the quality. They came in a parcel as expected. Each frame wrapped in air bubble film separately and together in a stable cardboard box. Despite their size, they are surprisingly lightweight compared to a conventional framed print.
Interestingly, both canvas prints have an impression of depth and three-dimensionality. It seems for me, as if I could really touch the subject in the image, when looking at them. That’s a very different experience compared to conventional prints. Maybe, that’s a result of the structured surface of the canvas material.
Unfortunately, on all four sides you’re losing parts from your image. That’s because of the canvas is pulled over thewooden frameandfixed at the back. Depending on the thickness of the frame, you lose several centimeter / inches. Therefore, make sure, you don’t have any necessary content in these border parts. Some (if not all) print shop know about this problem and face it with different options to choose from. The simplest option is accepting the loss. Or, you can add extra space for the wrapping in white, black or fitting to the image. Now, it’s up to you, to choose the best option for your purpose.
You don’t need a picture frame or a gallery system necessarily to put such a canvas on the wall. Simply put needles in the wall and use the wooden frame inside the canvas for hanging your picture up.
I also ordered an acryl print. It’s much more expensive than a canvas print. The look-and feel is similar to the conventional prints mounted behind glass and you don’t have any losses and the borders of you print. Delivery is also in a flat cardboard box. The surface is sensitive for scratches. Thus, it comes with a protective foil, that you have to remove after delivery.
For this kind of print, you definitely need a clamp behind your print to hang it up. Not every print shop includes it per default. So, look carefully for it.
I like to change my prints every a few times a year. Thus, I have to store them somewhere. Storing conventional print is easy. They don’t need much room. I take them out of the frame and store them in a folder, I bought in a store for artists (painter). It’s a cardboard map big enough for A2 prints. Usually it is used by art students to collect their works. And, my photo prints are save inside, too. It’s also quit easy to reach them when I want to change one.
Canvas prints are way bulky. You also have to take care of them, while storing them. The material is quite sensitive for pressure. You have to avoid, that something else lays on top of a laying canvas frame or might press an edge from the side while storing them standing upright.
Acryls are also not so easy to store. OK, they are not as thick as canvas and less sensitive for pressure. But, you have to save the surface from scratching and, most importantly, handle the jutting clamp on the back.
For me, each of these different materials has its own pros and the quality is very similar. At the moment, I like the canvas print most, because of the mentioned feeling of depth.
But, I don’t want to conceal a drawback. You can only use the predefined formats for your print.Usually, the print shop offers his products huge variety of formats you can choose from. But, supposed you have i.e. a panorama in a format, not available at any print shop. In this case, you can print is on paper and cut off the unnecessary parts, cut a passepartout and build a frame on your own. This is not possible with the other materials.
I’d like to get your comments. What do you think about hanging your own photos in i.e. your living room or your hall. Have you ever tried, hanging up your own photo? What kind of material do you like most and why? Are you interested in printing you own photos now, if you didn’t do so before?
The icelandic word Sólfar is “The Sun Voyager” in english.
It’s a sculpture made from stainless steel by the icelandic artist Jón Gunnar Árnason (1931–1989) in 1986 and set up at the coast in Reykjavik. You can find it beside the street called Sæbraut looking to the sea in the northern direction.
It’s a stylized model of a viking ship with five vikings on board sailing to the north. I don’t want to sum up all the controversy discussions about finding the right location during the planning phases between the artist and the city government. If you want to read it, head over to wikipedia and search for the sun voyager.
This sculpture is quite big: 9 m × 7 m × 18 m (29.5 ft × 22.9 ft × 59 ft) and you should definitely visit it, when in Iceland. I’d recommend, visiting it at twilight.
I like this amazing sculpture very much. The material stands for me for the power of the vikings and their bravery. They trusted their tiny boats so much, that they entrusted their lives to them and undertook very risky voyages on the rough northern ocean without knowing what they would finally find.
You can also see, each man does not have very much room on the boat and they have had oar blades by the sides for each of them. The five men on board have lifted their arms. Are they happy about finding new land or found back home again? Is it a victory in raid or in a war?
The polished stones below the boat symbolize the endless ocean carrying the tiny boats and reflecting the idea that the ocean is the basis of the vikings life. Here, the ocean is not much bigger than the boat, while head and tail of the boat jutting out of the ocean. This symbolizes the idea, that the bravery of the vikings is the key to reach every possible coast. Their home shores weren’t their borders and the round shape of this ocean symbolizes the endlessness of the ocean.
It’s often very hard to photograph art. Often, you can only take photographs of the material or a few details. But, this sculpture has so much to tell and is set up in such an amazing location, that you can’t screw it up. Come, stay for a while, walk around, watch it from different angles and let the sculpture talk to you for a few minutes. Afterwards, take out your camera and let the sculpture be your photo model to take your own interpretation of this amazing sculpture.