Monday 30 November 2009

monday, monday

morning! hope you had a wonderful weekend. i did some pottering around the house and some dreaded admin. on sunday, met up with friends to bake cookies and celebrate the first of advent. oh yum.

again, i need some help from you. i'm really not a technology wizard, but my macbook is getting slower and slower and there must be some cause-and-effect thing going on between that phenomenon and the fact i've been storing more and more pictures on it. (only joking - i know that's the reason.) anyway. i thought the best thing to do would be to get a decent external harddrive, to archive photos there and only keep the most recent in my iphoto-library on my macbook. is that what you are doing/would recommend, or is there a better way to archive photos and keep your computer from crying?

many thanks!

photos taken on a bike ride from kreuzberg to prenzlauer berg last week, which roughly takes me 40 mins (i'm not the racing kind of bike rider, for those of you who know the city). the sun was setting, and it was remarkably quiet on the streets. i stopped every now and again to take pictures. i love early evenings in the city.

Sunday 29 November 2009

seven loves and five obsessions

teaching the best part of these past two weeks feels like i've been sucked into some mysterious black hole. i'm slowly re-appearing. i had to cover for a colleague and, alongside my translation work, was teaching english for beginners at a college to students aged 16 to 28, eight hours straight each day. i was so knackered. but then i had lots of stories to tell at the end of each day. to all of you full-time, professional teachers out there: i admire you. so much.

today we are celebrating the first of advent, i lit the first candle this morning - such a beautiful time of year. this time, i don't have a advent wreath, but a simple candle arrangement with some silver baubles. will have to tweak it a bit though, it's not quite what i want yet.

while i'm re-appearing here, i might as well respond to those two tags passed on to me by blogging friends in denmark, sweden and france.

a long while ago (in fact a-g-e-s ago) i was tagged by wonderful julochka and kristina of across öresund. they very kindly gave me an award and asked me to reveal five obsessions. thank you so much! -- you should really check out their other blogs too, julochka's moments of perfect clarity and kristina's vigdis et al - beautiful and inspiring places!

and then there's marion of l'inventaire de l'esthétique, who tagged me to let you know seven things i love (which i think i'll extend to seven loves). i love the way marion discovers and presents photographers and artists from all over the world.

if you like, consider yourself tagged to play along and if so, let us know in the comments, so we can all come and take a look at your obsessions and loves!

five obsessions
photography - i can't really put this into words, but you know, right?
food - as in strolling across farmers markets, cooking with or for friends, enjoying meals around a big table with lots of talk and laughter
books - reading them, looking at them, holding them, smelling ink on paper, this definitely is a sensual thing
chocolate - what can i say
art - it just makes me very happy. life would be empty without it. how wonderful that humans have this inbuilt capacity for creativity. i refuse to believe there are people who are unable to create

seven loves
my loved ones - without you i would only see a fraction of life's beautiful mosaic. i'm grateful for your different perspectives on life and for your willingness to be there for me
beauty - do you know that feeling when you see or hear something that touches you with its beauty, quite unexpectedly? my photo of that fragile bare branch was taken in our courtyard amidst rubbish bins, bikes and tricycles
london - the city, the friends - love you tons!
berlin - i hated you at first, but now i love you all the more 
cafés - taking a break, just sitting there with a coffee and being happy doing nothing
johann sebastian bach - i love all kinds of music, but his has stayed with me since childhood and moves me beyond words
me-time - moments to stop and think, to step out of the routine, preferably somewhere quiet with some books and my diary

have a good sunday.

Monday 23 November 2009

monday inspiration

1. Untitled, 2. Untitled, 3. radio, 4. silly forest, 5. Dainty #1, 6. Untitled, 7. le camping, 8. Metal Plaid Thermos, 9. Untitled

be inspired by these flickr finds - love them all, particulary the touch of the banana peel on sandra juto's beautiful photo of a café table in gothenburg.

am really quite tired at the moment. translation work keeping me busy all the way through the weekend while i'm also teaching at the moment. only this week to go though, juggling two jobs, then it's back to "only" one!

have a good week.

Saturday 21 November 2009

this saturday kind of light

sitting on the sofa with my milky coffee and enjoying that special saturday kind of light - just a little longer. because there's a lot of work waiting. well, here's to a productive weekend!

p.s.: when i worked on those old family pictures in my last post, i was thinking of gerhard richter. my photos are part of a project in progress. will see how it goes.

Friday 20 November 2009

busy bee

sorry about the absence here, and about missing corner view this week. work-wise i've got so much on my plate at the moment, i hardly know whether i'm coming or going.

thought i let you know though, that two weeks ago i've finally settled for a DSLR, a nikon D3000. will take me a while to get my head round it properly, but it's exciting.

i 'richter-ised' some old family photos: me 'n mum 'n dad; me in the bath very early in my life. you can kind of tell which decade i was born in, just by seeing the colours, don't you think?

p.s.: thank you so much for all your kind comments recently. even though i've been very quiet, i've read them all and really appreciate every one of them.

due to some spamming, i had to switch the comment moderation back on. what a bummer. hope you understand.

Saturday 14 November 2009

black and white: two

two more shots from my first roll and b/w film. i may be pestering you with more over the next few weeks. just so you're warned...

p.s.: those photo classes are great and unsettling at the same time. our teacher is a photographer who makes us look a lot at work by famous artists to realise what they are doing and how they are (technically) achieving it. looking at work by robert frank, richard billingham, rineke dijkstra, nan goldin, eugene meatyard and many others is so inspiring and yet at times frustrating. so many, many gifted painters with light out there!

black and white: one

i think i mentioned that my photo classes in analogue photography are all about black and white. well, i had my first roll processed and am not quite sure where i'm going and what i'm aiming for. most pictures were not at all what i expected and didn't work at all. i'll just have to keep going.

anyway, here are some shots to start with. i kind of like them but don't even know why.

happy saturday!

Thursday 12 November 2009

corner view: dish

ok, the dishes on that top photo are not mine, but you'll have to admit they are exceptionally nice. i spotted them at a friend's house when we had that famous 1920s poker night last month (remember?). i really like things with history. this may be why i love browsing for pretty dishes on flea markets. lots of my plates and bowls, pots and pans, glasses and vases have a little story to them. brought back from a holiday, found in a charity shop, passed on to me by a family friend - or found on a fleamarket ... i am a hunter and gatherer at heart, i guess.

find more links to corner views around the world at jane's. enjoy!

Monday 9 November 2009

bornholmer strasse: 9 november 1989

twenty years ago, the berlin wall came down. long before i moved to berlin, it all started right here, less than a five minute bike ride from my house. it was a november day, nothing spectacular, until that press conference by GDR party officials who by the by mentioned that from now on, east german citizens were free to travel. yes, as of now. and yes, that goes for berlin, too. people were stunned. seriously? just like that, after 28 years?

after it made the west german news that evening, east berliners started queuing up at the checkpoints, thousands of people. finally, at half past eleven that night, the border patrol at bornholmer strasse decided to let people pass. have you seen film footage of that night, or photographs? people were crying, they were elated, they couldn't believe it.

i went to bornholmer strasse this afternoon. it was raining. i expected to be able to quietly stroll across the bridge before the official celebrations started, and take a few pictures. how naive. it was crowded. but although i usually can't stand crowds, i stayed. i chatted with some people who told me how they had been living in the neighbourhood when the wall came up in 1961, how they waved at the relatives from their window and cried. and how they were there in 1989 and walked over to the west. finally able to see friends and family in the other half of the city.

i'm glad i went.

read a bit more over on my other blog.

Saturday 7 November 2009

oh weekend

i so, so need this weekend. and the sun is out, spot-lighting some of the very few leaves still left on the tree outside my window, what a good morning. last weekend i had visitors: my sister and her family were here. my nieces loved looking out the window too, as you can see. if that's no proof we're related, i don't know... we also went for a ferry trip to kladow and a walk at the wannsee, which is where we saw those lovely autumn leaves.

apart from all this, i really enjoyed my photo classes last week. already learned a lot. we have a very open theme which should be guiding us when taking photos for the course these next few weeks. 'me, my friends, my flat, my neighbourhood' we can pick one aspect and interpret it or do a combination. haven't decided yet which angle to take. maybe i could do a portrait series (portraits scare me, so that would be a bit of a challenge) or a series about my flat (that would be staying in my comfort zone i guess). hm. we're going to work with black and white film. honestly, i have no idea how it will turn out.

and finally: today might be the day i buy a DSLR. after long to-ing and fro-ing it looks as if i'm going for the nikon D3000. a D90 is simply without my reach at the moment. it's a first step.

and no - of course i won't stop using my analog cameras, i love them far to much!

have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

corner view: contrasts

contrasts are fabulous. thinking about it - without them we wouldn't even SEE anything, right? i love colour contrasts, the contrast of shadow and light, the clash of styles. my photos were taken in september, at art forum, berlin's annual art fair. isn't the colour contrast in the first just a dream? i couldn't believe my luck. the visitors in front of the neon tubes in the second shot almost turned into silhouettes against the bright light. and the clash of classic midcentury modern, scandinavian furniture with contemporary painting and those dramatic and yet calm african and asian artefacts was so inspiring.

generally, i'm a harmony seeker. sometimes perhaps overly so. but i think contrasts are making our world so much richer (and that includes contrasting opinions). they are really rather something to embrace, don't you think?

for more corner views around the world go visit dana's. jane is back from philly, back on the corner view carousel next week. welcome back, jane!

p.s.: if you have any thoughts on my camera question, please leave a comment, i'd love to hear from you! lots of food for thought already - thank you, me dears!

Tuesday 3 November 2009

camera question

being a bit absent here - so much work! i have a wee little question for you though: still thinking about that DSLR i'm going to buy. i'm tending towards nikon. the usual forums feature very different opinions on whether to go for a new model D3000 or D5000 or rather go for a used but new-ish D80 or even D200. i've read a bit about the technical differences but still can't make up my mind. what would you say? (personal experience, gut feeling, what you've heard - i'm taking all votes... ;)) many thanks!