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Jahresausstellung…

click to enlarge …

The flood

About 1,5 months ago Halle and many other towns and villages have been severely flooded … Fortunately enough with the big help of the inhabitants damage wasn‘t as bad as it could‘ve been.

Tough life


©2013, Raisa Galofre

Sabine told me that she believes this photo is basically the allegory for our studies … Well it’s definitely a tough life. Have you tried taking a photo while not dropping your ice cream?

The photo was taken in a small town near Arles while we were on excursion.

Was einmal war

So this is it, my recent project, showing house walls – so-called fire walls („Brandmauern“) – that are usually invisible as long as two buildings are right next to each other. Once one building disappears you can often see the shape of it still on the existing house. Here in Halle I found about 35 of these wall marks … The photos below is my selection that had been shown at the big summer exhibition at the Burg Giebichenstein last weekend.

street signs

I‘ve always been a big fan of street signage – obviously also the rather „strange“ one …

Arles in Black

Last week I had the great pleasure to visit Arles and the famous „Rencontres d‘Arles“ photo festival. The city was wonderful, the photo festival amazing and the weather perfect. So besides seeing many of the most recent works of the worlds most famous photographers we could spend some time relaxing and enjoying the Provence sun.
I took a great ton of photos and this is just a start – I guess I will post more in the near future. For now just a couple of black and white shots as this years theme of the festival was „Arles in Black“…

Great! This Way …

death of a bird …

Preview

Here’s a short preview of my recent project … soon to be more …

Gebärdenklang

A few posts back I showed a very tiny preview of the project I did last semester. So here is short description and part of my work. Within the project frame „Hommage to Edweard Muybridge“ I basically stumbled across sign language and its advantages and disadvantages. Obviously sign language was invented because of deafness but it nonetheless has become a very strong and independent means of communication. What most struck me was the ability to visualize sounds. Being deaf doesn‘t mean not hearing anything – its more about the „band of sound frequencies“ that is shortened with deaf people. So of course sign language had to come up with a way to describe sounds as well. Being a fully visual based language the situation or sound is being visualized one-to-one. But sign language also gives the possibility to communicate the intensity of the sound itself. Mimicry and movement is intensified to talk about a louder sound, e.g. … In spoken language we rather describe the sound instead of „imitating“ it.

I had the great chance to work together with two deaf women who helped me realize a set of animation clips that on the one hand show the sign language and on the other hand include the actual sound being communicated.

My favourite clip is the one below featuring Steffi who showed me how the sign language for a bursting balloon is made.

Stockholm


ok, it really is a bit „kitschy“ but it’s actually quite close to reality – it barely got dark and dawn set in at around 3 am


a tourist with a lovely beard enjoying the view towards the city from the Museum of Modern Art


a visit to Stockholm should include a visit of the Vasa museum which hosts the famous war ship that sunk immediately after it had been launched from the docks …

Bamberg, etc.

On our way to Bamberg we took a short break at „Mödlareuth“ – the village that used to be similar to Berlin – divided in east and west and cut by the „Berlin wall“. Today the town hosts a decent museum and an outdoor section of the wall and its watchtowers. At the „Grenzgänger“ (border crosser), the local bar and restaurant, you get this rather strange view of the playground with the watchtower in the back.


… tourists in the „rose garden“ right next to the cathedral of Bamberg


I really didn‘t understand what they‘re trying to sell here („pork steak from salmon“) …


Franconia seems to be all about meat in its local cuisine …

Hochsitz

I suppose uploading some random photos is better than not doing anything … so here are two lovely „hunters stands“ – „Hochsitze“.

There are trees!

Bella Italia

It’s been already a month that we‘ve come back from Italy but I finally managed to upload the photos and see if they‘re any good. So I figured it would be time for yet another post. Since Sabine is in the childrens book business we decided to go to the Bologna Children Book Fair. Unfortunately – as most of you know – the weather was fairly shitty these days so visiting the city wasn‘t really a wonderful activity. The fair itself was nice though. I guess it can be also called the illustrators fair. Along with book companies a big illustration exhibition was basically the „centerpiece“ of the fair.
Even though it wasn‘t the best time with rain and wind, Bologna really seemed like a great city and I‘ll definitely try to get back there someday.


That’s more or less the only photo I took at the fair – not really a great shot but I did like the illustration of the city of Macao.

After Bologna we took the train towards the coast. Well not the coast near Rimini but on the opposite side north of Pisa. The region is fairly famous and even though the weather didn‘t quite change for the next days it was already full of tourists. But the reason is obvious – Cinque Terre is really beautiful. Being a UNESCO World Heritage site the villages along the small coastal stretch are supposedly still in their original state. We had our room in Vernazza and once the rain stopped and the sun came out we walked all across the narrow streets and up the green hills to the next village.


I‘m desperately looking for the sun …


While I was waiting for yet another train that was (about 2 hours) late a huge rainbow appeared on the sky …


… and the next day we really had sun!

sign language gif

just a short gif from my semester project … I guess there‘ll be more in the future …

Fritz


Fritz Kalkbrenner – Facing the Sun

Well ok, the Kalkbrenner brothers have been played a bit too much in the last years and this song isn‘t new either but it’s still such a nice song that you just have to listen on headphones with the volume cranked up. It definitely pushes the oh-so-grey winter mood :) . So enjoy.

Fall to winter

… and the crows are everywhere.

Tame Impala

Well if there are no photos to post I‘ll simply post some great new music. This time it’s yet another nice song from Tame Impalas most recent album „Lonerism“ that has just been released. So enjoy :)

nice discovery

I don‘t know how many people are actually reading this and I don‘t know how many people actually now that I arrived in Halle in Eastern Germany just about two weeks ago to start my Master in Photography?!
Anyway today we had an introduction on how to use the fancy negative scanner at the university. We had to bring some negatives so I took the only roll of film I found. It was a roll that I had develoved just shortly after I had found the roll in my old camera bag. It turned out to be a roll that I must have shot in 2004. The film had gone bad after all these years (which explains the grain) but I still like the look of these photos even though they look like they‘re from a long time ago. I was in Brasil in 2004 to visit Guilherme and his brother Johnny I had known from a High-School year in the U.S. I took these two photos in Rio de Janeiro at one of the biggest Favelas of the city. I can‘t remember which one it was I just remember that special tours were organised for tourists to show them around and make them understand that the favelas – at least the big ones in Rio – are well-functioning (social) „microcosms“ or maybe even „parallel“ worlds that exist as a counterpart to the middle and upper class quarters. All three more or less require each other and in this sense it is a really „harsh“ cut between the the „worlds“ compared to Germany. But in any case these places are not just the „ghettos“ but instead really flourishing centers of the town.


This shows a view from the favela down to the beach where the „rich“ people live. On the mountain in the left part of the photo you get a glimpse of the Jesus statue. The location of many favelas in Rio is really nice since they are being built into national parks that fall under city administration.


The lower half shows the favela, the upper part shows again the beach and the skyscraper-sea-view-appartment-blocks.

I will scan some more in the next days …

Balkarama

Well time has passed quick and this blog is certainly not being kept up in the last months and years (I just realize that I keep repeating myself). Anyway, since I‘m about to step into the next chapter and leave Bolzano for good I would like to share a really great picture with you. Obviously the quality is horrible and lighting was a bit „inarticulate“ but heck what can you expect from a webcam :) . The picture was taken last thursday at the Bachelor exam party where Martin and I decided to finally break with the habits of playing exclusively Minimal Techno and go to Balkan in the worst possible way. The Auto-DJ function (we have no clue of djing) made some trouble in the beginning but quite some crowd danced really crazy in the end. I suppose we were also motivating people since we were also dancing like mad behind the DJ desk.


Janović & Martičko feat. Balkarama

We also had some great loop visuals which unfortunately I cannot show due to clear copyright infrigements ;)

To give you an idea of the music we played I include a few clips with really nice Balkan style songs.


Budzillus – Der Untergang


Russkaja – Dobrij Abend

Und natürlich durfte auch sowas nicht fehlen:


Nôze – Dring Dring

Kodak to Graph

Yesterday I was skipping through some new music and came across a musician called „Kodak to Graph“. Since I haven‘t posted any new music I discovered (and it’s not that I haven‘t discovered any new music lately, rather I haven‘t posted anything) I would like to share a particular song called „He/Basement“ that somehow struck me. Considering the mood this song conveys I think it perfectly fits to the idea of the train video clip I shared not long ago. The song is floating along keeping a certain melancholy that’s somehow not giving a depressed feeling. Well ok the train clip is different because it creates a feeling of restlessness in a more bustling way though being reduced to mere shapes in black and white. This song is obviously a lot more „laid-back“ but feels similar to me. I think it creates the kind of feeling when you‘re on the road for too long and simply don‘t care anymore. It might be uncomfortable, it might tiring but yet it doesn‘t matter because you somehow feel good at it. I suppose sometimes it’s just nice not to reach a destination but rather keep moving.

I almost forgot to mention that the Kodak to Graphs EP Visio‘l is free to download or at Bad Panda Records.

Pigeons

As I‘m cleaning up my hard drives in order to finally trying to systemize all my files I stumble across more and more nice video footage that I recorded a while back. Unfortunately I have forgotten about most of it but am always happy to find it again. The clip below is a set of several shots from pigeons – not the most interesting animals on our planet but yet nice to watch. I like it in combination with the music, a song by Babylon Circus.

trains in winter time

I spent a reasonable time on trains lately and most of the time had my camera with me. Of course I could have slept or read or whatever but most often I was staring out the window fascinated by the winter scenery that was passing by. I don‘t know if I should say „unfortunately“ but in Bolzano we mostly have sun and blue skies. The ski resorts are suffering a bit but I quite like the sun. It somehow makes you happy once you cross the Brennero and suddenly the weather changes from grey and snowy austrian weather to sunny „italian“ weather. But anyway I made this short video coming back from Munich two days ago. It’s basically three short clips in overlay mapped to the music – a song by Lali Puna called „Scary World Theory“. It’s a first try again (I keep forgetting things if I‘m not constantly doing videos and editing them) and at some points it definitely would need some fine-tuning. Other than that I‘m quite happy with the result. I hope you like it, too.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan – touch down in flight

Such an amazing video.

BI|KE – A Symmetric Vehicle

Besides the very nice filming technique with two perspectives I think this clip is closer to reality than most other clips that appear a lot more agressive with the help of music, camera perspectives, etc.
I like this clip, makes me want to go out and riding :) .

Coco Rosie


Coco Rosie – Promise

Haven‘t checked from when and which album it comes, but I really like this song. Although it’s not as „experimental“ as most other Coco Rosie songs their most recognised characteristic – the womens voices – come out quite nicely.

Donostia

Well yes it is summer once again and while most of you are probably enjoying a nice vacation I‘m already back to normal for a week, melting away in front of the computer at work.
But hey I finally took the chance to see some more of Europe and got my dad’s big Mercedes to visit France. Our southern most point was Donostia or San Sebastian in the Spanish part of the Basque Country. The photos below are taken from „Urgull“, a hill formerly used as a strategic defence point, now giving tourists sight across the city and its beautiful beaches.

Deuter

It’s already out for a bit now but if you get hands on a recent Deuter catalogue (I suppose German only) you will be able to find some photos we took on our trip to Iceland last year. We managed to „test-walk“ their backpacks and other gear in exchange for the photos they can use in their promo-material. I‘m very happy with the backpack, though it’s huge, and I‘m fairly happy we we‘re actually chosen to be printed :) .


This is already up for a lot longer, click the image to see the website.

Beirut – A Candle’s Fire


Beirut – A Candle’s Fire

About two years ago when I read that Zack Condon, the lead-singer of Beirut, stopped his tour after he had encountered a tremendous success with his band, I was a little sad not having been able to visit a single concert. Well good news came just a few weeks ago when a new album was announced. It’s already possible to pre-listen the whole album and I can highly recommend it. The above song is the opener to the new album The Rip Tide, the song below the second song that is wonderful as well :) .


Beirut – Santa Fe

Lisboa

Well I meant to close this blog for good already for a while, there’s a lot going on but I didn‘t feel like publishing it in the web. I was quite amazed though when I saw the statistics that I have constant visitors (constantly low like always :) but constant).

Anyway I took the time to travel to Lisboa last weekend to visit Martin (have a look at his blog, his photos are great). It was my first time in the city, in Portugal in fact and I‘m sure it won‘t be the last time. The city’s touristic board advertises with the slogan „Em junho, Lisboa está em festa!“ (In June Lisbon is partying!) at the moment which is quite an ambitious ad. But to be honest I actually do believe them. The last weekend was the celebration of St. Antonio, the city’s patron and it was somewhat of an „Ausnahmezustand“ (state of emergency). Literally everyone was on the street and at 5 in the morning it felt like it was still just the beginning of the night. It was crazy but very relaxed, nobody was fighting or being aggressive, just some nice „let’s-get-drunk-and-celebrate-together“ feeling.
Other than partying in the evening I had enough time to just walk around, go to the beach or listen to live jazz music in a nice park above the city, great times.


view from Miradouros


Martins terrace is fairly beautiful


decent party decoration


midgets on the left, regular people on the right


I have no idea what this is but it looks quite nice


last sardines at 5 in the morning

Hermann Düne

Hermann Düne – Sunny Sunny Cold Cold Day

I listened to a few more songs of Hermann Düne but came across this particular song on the radio which is by far the best I found.

the Highlands and onwards

I never actually finished up with Iceland so I guess it’s time for it now. As you might have read our last stop was Reykjavik. From there we decided we would love to head north and finish up the circle by crossing the Highlands. We felt fortunate after hearing that we had bought tickets for the last bus across the Highlands for this season. Well, it turned out to be not as great as we hoped. Most of the time we had gray sky and endless fields of dark gray rocks. Our bus was an old Toyota Van that was bumping along the gravel roads. The driver was probably in his early 60s and didn‘t speak much English except for telling us the time how long we would stop in the middle of nowhere as the schedule stated it. In the beginning we stopped once again at the famous sights of the Golden Circle near Reykjavik but after we had crossed the northern most sight of it everybody except us and the bus drivers‘ sister were left. We eventually reached Akureyri after 15 hours of rain and tons of rocks.


our private taxi across the Highlands – the bus driver and his sister somewhere in Iceland between glaciers

Luckily though the weather changed in Akureyri and in the following days we had bright sunshine and fairly high temperatures. We decided to leave Akureyri quickly to head to Myvatn (Mosquito Lake), again in a Geothermal area. From there we started our last hiking tour from Dettifoss, yet another waterfall, along the canyon northward towards Asbyrgi.


a local girl who gave us a ride told us that it was a good time of the year, the weather was perfect and the amount of mosquitoes rather fair, in summer (it was supposed to be fall already) you have black clouds of them flying all over the place


a skiing slope in Geothermal region, I really wonder if that made any sense

While you start your hike in a moon-like landscape with strangely-shaped, dark gray rocks all around you it keeps changing and getting greener with every kilometer you get closer to Asbyrgi and the coastal line. At one point you end up at a cliff and below you is – behold – one of Icelands few forests. Asbyrgi is a horseshoe-shaped cliff that protects the forest from wind which obviously is the biggest reason why there is almost no forest elsewhere. Our travel guide advised us in fact not to make fun of the forest of Iceland for reasons of politeness but we found out that the Icelandic themselves make jokes about it.

„If you ever get lost in the woods in Iceland, just stand up.“ (Icelandic saying)


Dettifoss is Europes biggest waterfall in terms of the amount of water flowing down per second (which is a number I could tell you if I still remembered it but that really goes beyond imagination)


the canyon along the way to Asbyrgi just gets more and more fascinating, once again a nature highlight (as if Iceland hadn‘t „showed-off“ already)




and there we are in a forest which appears fairly odd

We hitchhiked back south on the eastern ridge of the canyon and headed further back to Seydisfjordur to catch the ferry a few days later. After four weeks in Iceland and another 3 days on the rather boring ferry we reached Germany again.


yeah well a cliché-photo and in fact we were picked up by pick-up truck at that point and had to throw the bags in the back


in Seydisfjordur we decided that it was time for another beer and were happy that there was a state-owned liquor store – „vinbudin“ – which is usually not the case for most place in Iceland…


… but we could only start laughing about the opening hours of the shop.

Massive Attack

… finally released a new album this year titled „Heligoland“. I was listening to the album while working and got stuck at a certain song titled „Paradise Circus“. When I checked for a video to put it on here I came across several websites discussing the video itself which is described as somewhat between a „Mini-Featurette“, an art clip and a clip to jerk off. The main „actress“ of the clip is a certain „Georgina Spelvin“ who used to be a pornstar in the 70s, apparently playing in one of the most famous movies at that time „The Devil in Miss Jones“.

Of course the clip has been censored, but you can still find it here if you‘re interested.

The song is fairly beatiful and I suppose should be enjoyed without the pornography background. Listen below:


Massive Attack – Paradise Circus

Reykjavik

With around 120.000 inhabitants Reykjavik is by far the biggest town in Iceland thus the capital of the state. I suppose it is not the smallest capital town in the world but I‘m sure it is the smallest capital that maintains such a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Apart from the architecture which is rather „down-to-earth“ the town is truly different. I have never seen such a wild nightlife in a small town like this (just come to Bolzano and find out yourself – we are about as big as Reykjavik), the music scene is as diverse as you hear it and yet the town is very relaxing and by far not chaotic or „never-resting“ like most other capital towns (I know it’s about the size…).

We spent a few days in Reykjavik mainly relaxing and regaining energy for the next hikes. So most of the time we just walked around and looked at what we saw or simply went to the pool to soak in the hot pools.

I checked my photos and the only place on this trip where I didn‘t take a lot of photos was Reykjavik. Here are just a few of the few that I really like.


The famous Hallgrímskirkja in the city center, its architect Guðjón Samúelsson was inspired by the basalt pillars created by volcanic activities. With it’s 74,5m high bell tower the church is among the highest buildings in Iceland.


who is watching who now?


probably the best website you could imagine for an erotic store

Tame Impala


Tame Impala – It’s not meant to be

I was once again sorting through my music and came across this band and particular song which instantly made me happy :)

hot spring action

After the disappointment of the Laugavegur we headed to Selfoss, a town close to Reykjavik. The next town is Hveragerdi [Kverageri] which is the starting point of one of the geothermal regions in Iceland. Once you leave the town northward and hike for about 1-2 hours you reach a creek that has a nice temperature to take a bath. One of the smoky sulfur springs flows together with an ice cold mountain spring which creates a creek with an average temperature of around 40°C near the crossing. We spent the whole afternoon relaxing after the days of hiking and enjoyed it a lot.

On the following day we walked further towards Þingvallavatn, a lake that was created by the gap between the eurasian and the north American tectonic plate. It is supposed to be one of the Top 10 scubadiving spots on earth due to the clear water leaving sight of approximately 100-130m.

volcanic ashes

One of the most interesting treks in Iceland is the „Laugavegur“, a 4-6 day hike either starting in Landmannalaugar or in Skógar, a small town on the southern coast with one of the most famous waterfalls, the Skógafoss. We decided to hike northward starting in Skogar. The first day led across a small path between Myrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. After the eruption in March the trekking path has been changed and now leads across dark lava fields that are still hot inside.


In the higher parts of trek the landscape turns from grey rocks to black sand. After a while you realize that you are actually walking on snowfields covered by black ashes from the recent volcanoe eruption.


We weren‘t extremely lucky with the weather that day but a big part of the fog is also produced by steam from below.


Many people told us that we shouldn‘t put down our backpacks as they could catch fire very easily. I don‘t know if it’s more of a legend but the ground was hot in some parts.


A lava stream found its way down a valley.


On the first day we reached „Þórsmörk“, a mountain ridge facing Eyjafjallajökull. It’s name derives from the Norse god „Thor“.


The following days after Þórsmörk led across black sand deserts lined with green rock formations sticking out of the ground. Once again I was stunned by the landscape.


Several rivers have to be crossed on the hike which never was a problem except for the temperature.


In Alftavatn, about 1 day trip before Landmannalaugar, we had to turn around and take the bus back to the coast. On the day of our arrival severe snowstorms were raging on the last mountain pass and on the morning of our departure it still didn‘t look very promising. Another reason to turn around was our food calculation, we made a mistake and were running out of food.
The bus was fun though, an old offroad bus that is crossing rivers and rocky paths, rumbling on southwards.


It was cloudy unfortunately but you can still see the volcano smoking white steam into the sky.

Jökulsárlón

Taking a long-distance bus in Iceland is fairly expensive so at some point we decided to hitchhike to reach our next destination. One day I got a ride from the campsite with two Germans we had met on the ferry so we split up considering that just two will be picked up more easily. Well this day we were wrong. While I reached Jökulsárlón in no time, together with Anna & Simon, Stanzi and Max were stuck in Höfn a small coastal town in the far south-east.

I decided to stay over night so I could spend the whole day relaxing in the sun with the spectacular scenery of Jökulsárlón. The lake/lagoon is situated on the southern end of Vatnajökull, the biggest ice cap in Europe covering about 8% of Iceland, which constantly spits icebergs that slowly float in the crystal-clear water. You turn around and just a few meters behind you is a black sand beach that is also flooded with melting ice. In between all this you constantly spot seals diving up from the ocean into the lagoon to hunt herring.

One very happy coincidence was that I met Johanna (my flat- and „soulmate“ from China) who I knew was in Iceland but we didn‘t talk before we both left to exchange travel plans (well I didn‘t have any until I reached the island). We sat for a great while talking and watching the sun set behind the glacier leaving the lagoon in a spectacular light. Despite the trouble Stanzi and Max had it was a wonderful day for me.

Just imagine flapping your tent open in the morning to see the lake just right in front of you. It wasn‘t my last time in Iceland when I thought that this scenery is just extremely absurd.



up north

After a night of heavy drinking with two guys from Stuttgart and a Dane who was riding his Chinese motorcycle across Iceland I got up around 7 in the morning because the air in our 9-bed cabin was horrible. Traveling in the cheapest category on the ferry to Iceland means staying below the car deck in a cabin that has beds (quite a luxury I admit) but is far from being „spacious“ and comfortable. When I got on deck the sun was already up and the sky was clear blue. There was no wind and so the ocean was calm. When I looked up front I was a little worried though. In the near distance a banner of clouds was going from one end of the horizon to the other. Iceland was ahead of us and I started thinking that everything that is told about the weather on the island was true at last.

It is said that traveling by ship to Iceland is the best way to experience how this rather unusual strip of land is raising up in front of you. And indeed it was wonderful. While we were standing in the cold fog trying to recover from the evening before we could see the land slowly appearing right next to the ferry. Once we had crossed the clouds the sight was open into a vast green fjord landscape that was shaped abrasively.

Seyðisfjörður is described as the „boom town“ of the east and „town of arrival“. The sleepy village, if I may call it this, is at the end of a fjord with the same name and has been a strategically interesting place ever since it was founded. Not only is it harbour for the one ferry to the island it was also the first town to receive a telephone line and has played a major role as a Marine harbour for Allied troops during WW2.
We were all a bit disappointed because Torshavn seemed a lot nicer but the sourrounding nature made up for a lot of it. And in fact, Iceland isn‘t exactly famous for its beautiful coast towns but rather its spectacular natural highlights.


I didn‘t take a single photo of the architecture of Seyðisfjörður that is supposedly special and still mainly in its original state. Instead I found this photo of a house that was on the northern end of the town. I have no idea why the owners painted this pink monster on their wall but it was definitely special so I took a photo of it.

We decided that it was time to hike on south from Seyðisfjörður into the next two fjords instead of leaving the valley by bus or car like most travelers on the ferry. Together with two Swiss we took a path, which proved to be an unmarked path described as being „rather difficult“ which took us from Sea level to about 1000m in a fairly short distance. In the beginning it was a nice hike across green fields and numerous small streams and waterfalls. In the upper part it became a bit more rocky and extremely loose in addition to snow fields. We ended up climbing the last few meters on a rock wall that was crumbling away under our steps. The way down was similar but not impossible.


It doesn‘t look nearly as impressive on a photo, but our „campsite“ was definitely beautiful.

The guidebook describes the sight of a reindeer as a rare experience we did see them right on our first day in Iceland – browsing in the green moss fields below us and later on this skeletton that was nearly intact and was just below our „camp site“.