Wednesday 30 September 2009

corner view: white

when i heard what theme natsumi had chosen for this week's corner view (find more corner view links over at jane's spain daily) i wasn't sure if i even had much white, or what to photograph if i didn't find anything. so i went to have a look through my archive, which was quite interesting. there's definitely not much white around - i seem to be drawn to stronger or darker, muted colours lately. i wonder why. it's not a conscious thing.

here's what i found then (including some almost-whites): cherry trees in my neighbourhood, their pale, pale pink petals looking almost white in that overexposed shot - one of my absolute favourites, perhaps because it's from the first ever roll i took with my praktica. then impressions from venice, early this summer - bed, and then breakfast at the hotel. followed by santa maria della salute, angel detail, and an espresso maker at the scandinavian pavilion at the venice biennial. finally, a modern architectural concrete detail, spotted right next to the opulent russian embassy in berlin.

no interesting thoughts or stories this time, i'm afraid - my brain seems to be producing mostly white noise. a lot, an awful lot to do until the weekend. and the text i'm working on is all-consuming. have a good day!

Sunday 27 September 2009

sunday inspiration

1. in the sky, 2. STAY, 3. the rustic pear, 4. sweet!, 5. dance, 6. dance, 7. Earth, 8. Untitled, 9. Socks and shoes APC

i know, i know, i have only just shared some flickr favourites with you... but still. hope you like them! aren't those lbd's and dance moves so cool? go and check out the flickr friends who we owe these beautiful shots to (just click on the captions underneath the mosaic, which will take you there).

after having voted, after browsing the flea market, buying some flowers, enjoying the sunshine and pretend-working for a few hours, i'm now listening to coeur de pirate. don't you love them too?

oh one more thing: i could do with a little bit of inspiration for finger food to serve at my party next weekend. if you have any recipes or links to share, drop them in the comments - i'd be delighted!

hello little lady, and go vote!

it's official: my dear and trusty praktica has a little sister. isn't she pretty? i was quite excited when i found my agfa silette LK sensor on a flea market, but it took me a while to finish the first roll of film and have it processed. taking a first look at the outcome was lovely and yet a little disappointing. with this little compact i realised, i really have to take the minimum distance of 1 m seriously. i took lots of close-ups from a lesser distance and it just won't do. well, i guess you live and you learn. what i can see from this first roll though, is that the colours are slightly more saturated than the ones my praktica delivers, that the overall effect of pictures taken a little too close up show a painterly effect that i rather like, and that depth of field is quite an interesting thing with this camera. also, it has an in-built little light meter, which made me much more daring when taking photos in low light, as in cranking up the aperture way more than i would have by instinct. this in turn helps massively when photographing with my praktica. i love how experiences with different cameras have an overall effect on the way i take pictures and ultimately on the way i see. do you have any new cameras, or put differently, what's your favourite camera at the moment?

on a completely different note, today we are having general elections in germany. after four years of a grand coalition between conservatives and social democrats no-one really knows what to expect. most people wouldn't have expected them to last a full term to begin with, and now wouldn't be surprised if the results lead to another four years of office for the same government. and yet, recent regional state elections have shown some surprises - the smaller parties are definitely not out of the equasion, far from it. my feeling is that we will end up with pretty much of a 'patchwork' result. since germany has proportionate representation anchored in its constitution, the big question will be who can form a feasible coalition in the end. if you are interested in how it all goes, first estimates should be published from 6pm this evening, say on der spiegel's english site. i really don't want to bore you with politics, but i'm feeling quite passionate about this and am quite a bit distressed by the fact that in more and more countries people can't even be bothered to go out and vote. we can make a difference, every one of us and it is a privilege to have the right to vote. go and have your say!

and finally, since i don't want this post to end like a sermon and rather see you smile than frown - ever thought about getting shot by the satorialist? well, here's how to.

Friday 25 September 2009

inspiration friday

1. Dahlia Garden., 2. Untitled, 3. new york fashion week day 4, 4. Untitled, 5. tying sweater, 6. Untitled, 7. Untitled, 8. Untitled, 9. beacons

another week is coming to a close, i'm making mental lists of what to do and will add some real lists later on. there's plenty of work to do. plus i'll be turning forty the first weekend of october and i really have to work out what food to serve at the party and - question of questions - what, oh what to wear. any suggestions? i'm not in the best of moods - not because of my birthday next week, i'm actually looking forward to that - but because this coming weekend is the first i won't see my boyfriend. i knew this was going to be an issue, what with this being a long-distance love. which doesn't make it any less of a bummer. so i'll devote this day to cheering myself up in all imaginable ways. first off: flickr faves.

be inspired!

oh, and before i forget: i'm featuring a new café over on mostly berlin. a lovely, lovely place. don't you want one of their eames chairs too? or a big chunky table to have coffee, lazy breakfast, sunday lunches or dinners with family and friends at? ahhh.

Thursday 24 September 2009

corner view: out the window

you tell me, what's a girl to do when she has no car and this week's corner view theme is "out the car window"? option a: pretend to be lee friedlander and post his photos as mine (don't think so), option b: tweak the theme and make it "out the window" (yup, this one will do).

what a lucky coincidence then that last week a film crew was shooting scenes for a new television drama just outside my living room window. apparently a love story and family drama, set in east berlin in the early 1980s (i.e. in cold war times, way before the wall came down). i had such a good time taking these photos, checking out the props the night before the shoot and the goings-on on the day itself. i know i'm stretching the theme even further when admitting that i couldn't resist and went outside to take pictures, rather than staying behind my window. so there. i'm not sticking to jane's theme at all, you caught me out.

. . . unless you want to count the many car windows in these shots, even though they were taken from outside the vintage east german cars they had on the set (with the exception of a black mustang they featured in one scene, i wonder why)?

travel around the world for more corner views via jane at spain daily.

Friday 18 September 2009

inspiration friday

1. Untitled, 2. Untitled, 3. fragile, 4. Sassnitz 1977, 5. Gothenburg 1967, 6. Untitled, 7. . . ., 8. Kaugummiautomat, 9. Untitled

how many beautiful photogaphy is out there? it really is very special to be able to share what we see and how this is inflected by our own story and vision. i do love analog photography, as you know, but the world of possibilities opened up through digital media is just so inspiring. so thanks to all those photographers willing to share their gems, your pictures stay with me and colour my world.

have a good friday and a wonderful weekend.

p.s.: the street outside my window is being turned into a film set. time is turned back to 1983, old east german cars are lined up. all set up for a tv series about two east german families in the eighties. they will start shooting soon. i already went out to take pictures of the props last night and hope to get the chance to snap away later as well. (hopefully i'll be able to leave the house this evening to catch my train, i'm off for a little weekend break.) 

Wednesday 16 September 2009

corner view: september

c'est la rentrée, non? back to school it is with corner view. and i've been missing it! jane is back and so are most of my corner view friends, it will be great to catch up.

september is all about the light changing. it's softer, there's a bit less of it, every hour and every ray of sunshine is precious. we are grateful for warmth, but we don't take it for granted any longer. we are sad to let summer go and yet love the crispness of the air, the colour of the first red berries, the first moist smells of autumn. it may just be that this is my favourite season of the year, but i need a bit of time to embrace it.

september this year is also about happiness and wonder, about gratefulness for friends and loved ones. it's about closing chapters and opening new ones, i'll be turning forty next month. it's about plums and chanterelles, apples and pumpkins. it's about evenings on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket, with a glass of wine and a chunky new candle. it's contentment and curiosity. let's see what's waiting around the next corner.

discover more corners at jane's

Tuesday 15 September 2009

mix-tape two

the blue and the red
light and shadow
it's already tuesday, isn't it? the weekend went by fast and slow at the same time. had a very special visitor, which may be why i'm a little distracted these days. we went to potsdam, which took us 2 1/2 hours (should have been no more than 40 mins, but the streets were cordoned off virtually everywhere - i have no idea why: a run, a rally). lots of laughing though, we even stopped for lunch on the way. walked across the bridge in glienicke, thinking of cold war days and spy exchanges; looked across the wannsee from the old casino at schloss glienicke; had a little picnic by the lake. a precious day.

today's mix-tape has my two most viewed flickr images. where the apple visitors come from, i've no idea (do you?), while the beach image was very kindly featured on sfgirlbybay a while ago (i was so excited!). now i really must get back to work - will leave you with this feet-shuffling song by jamie lidell. or, if you prefer, his slightly weird video. have a good day!

Friday 11 September 2009


for isabelle, here's my choice of yellow. (oh, and happy birthday to you, lou!)

do you want to play along? let me know in the comments section so we can all come and take a look at your pick.

in any case, have a wonderful weekend, catch some rays of sunshine!

Tuesday 8 September 2009

inspiration tuesday

1. everyone needs a rock, 2. typical, 3. Untitled, 4. one of my favourites, 5. little forest, 6. finland, 7. george jetson., 8. food set, 9. Chair

this is the first time i'm uploading some flickr favourites, thanks - yet again - to some technical help from kristina at greenwiggle. the first time i saw these mosaics on other blogs i loved them but had no clue what they were about. don't get me wrong, i'm always assuming you are much cleverer than i am, but in case you don't know what flickr favourites are either, here goes: flickr gives you the option to make images you find on their platform a "favourite". after a little while of browsing you are bound to end up with quite a selection of favourites, little mosaics of images you find inspiring. interesting to see then, how sometimes a certain colour seems to be creeping in over and over again. or that there are times when you seem to be inexplicable drawn to, say, photos with trees, or feet, or moody lighting. it may have to do with the subject matter of those images, their composition or palette, but it may equally have to do with your mood, the seasons, and the ways we see and we photograph that constantly evolve.

flickr favourites are also a great way to share inspiration and to explore what's out there. take your time and visit the photos that speak to you (using the links above), it will be worth it. maybe you'll even end up exploring yourself. go on, you know you want to...

thanks to all those flickr friends whose images constantly inspire me. and happy tuesday to all of you!

Thursday 3 September 2009


lonely apple on ladder
this morning, it's been raining for hours. it's been much cooler than yesterday, change is in the air. letting summer go always makes me a bit sentimental and i'll savour every summery moment while it lasts. this afternoon, the sun came out again - guess who was happy then?

remember my weekend at the baltic sea and our apple picking there? well, we picked some green ones too. i really liked that old ladder.

thanks for all your comments on my last post. let me know how it's going if you're giving it a try.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

the bigger picture

thanks for your patience, i'm a bit airy-fairy these days and not quite up to speed with all the things i wanted to do. but here's the promised post about bigger pictures.

a while ago i felt it was time for a change on my blog and so i started looking around, picking up on ideas i liked and things that might be working for me. one thing that struck me, was that i felt the images on my blog were too small. but how to get them bigger? i already had selected the biggest option in the "new post" menu on blogger. then i happened to find a very helpful link (via fine little day), describing how to get bigger pictures on a blogger blog. basically, that link is a quick tutorial on how to publish bigger images using picasa as a platform. which means you'll have to register with picasa (which is no big deal due to its tie-in with google and the fact that you already have a google account by default when blogging with blogger) and upload your images there. the maximum number of images you can upload per month for free is quite generous, so that's a plus. the downside is that not too many people seem to be using picasa (yet), so there isn't really that big a community there. if you're not bothered about that, i can recommend this option. check out the link and don't despair in face of the html gobble-de-gook, it's easy once you've done it once.

if however you'd like to benefit from the photo community and networking that flickr offers, you should maybe not take the picasa route, which is what i'm finding at the moment. i started out using picasa, now have a flickr account and find it just that bit tedious to run picasa and flickr side by side. so i was starting to wonder if there wasn't a way to post bigger images using flickr. not quite getting to grips with it, i asked my namesake kristina, who isn't just a great photographer but also a true source of wisdom (if you ask me - she knows everything). and she told me how to do it. here goes: once you have a flickr account (it's easy to sign up for free), and have uploaded your photos, you click on whichever image you would like to blog and select the "all sizes" icon on top of the image. this opens a new page where you can again chose from "available sizes". say you want the large size, you click "large" and then scroll down to underneath the picture. copy the html code under "1.", then go to your blogger "new post" menu, select "edit html", paste the code there and write whatever you want. eh voilà. i'm finding that it's easier to write the post first in "compose" mode, then switch to "edit html" and paste the html code(s) for your image(s) on top of your text once you're done writing. less confusing, i find. (i promise this makes sense when you do it step by step - i admit it sounds daunting when just reading it, but don't worry!). the only "issue" with flickr is that the amount of free uploads is not that big, so you may find you'll have to upgrade to a payable "pro"-account to really make the most of it. it's not that expensive though, under 25 US$ a year, i believe.

on another, but related note: what i did back then when i switched to bigger images, was also to change the layout of my blog. that was a bit of a hassle since unfortunately, some elements couldn't just be imported into the new layout. for example, i had to completely retype my link list. my advice if you fancy switching to bigger images and change your blog layout at the same time, is to take a day or two to fiddle with it and let your readers know that your blog might look like a bit of a building site for a while. be patient, put the kettle on, or make some lemonade and try until you find what works for you. 

hope this was helpful in some way - do let me know if you have questions, i'll do my best to answer them.

p.s.: the above photo shows my family in summer 1971. it looks good bigger, doesn't it :) ... just to give you an idea - my images are 800 px wide. and always keep in mind: if a complete html dumbo like me can do it, so can you!