Tuesday 30 March 2010

thank you!

look what blanca sent me the other day - the nicest card from polaroid notes, some little goodies and such a kind message, saying thank you for being part of her blogosphere. i was so touched. this really is way too kind. i still feel so grateful to all the people making up the blogosphere for having me at all. it has been such a welcoming place for me. or rather, you have been so welcoming. there are countless things i wouldn't have done or tried without your feedback. and that's the truth. your feedback really is something i treasure. like a smooth pebble in my pocket. something that keeps me thinking about things. keeps me on my toes. keeps me from being lazy. makes me more courageous and adventurous in my creative endavours than i'd otherwise be.

so thank you! blanca. and everybody stopping by here regularly. and everybody leaving me their thoughts in the comments section.

so, dear readers, would you mind terribly leaving me a quick comment, saying who you are and where you are based? i'd love that.

voigtlaender outtakes

you know i sometimes pick up my little voigtlaender or agfa silette, both vintage viewfinder cameras. quite often when i collect a film i shot with either of them, i'm a little disappointed and not much survives the picture editing (as in selection) process. nevertheless, sometimes those outtakes grow on me when i go back to them later. i think most people shooting film know that feeling.

today i thought i might start posting some of my outtakes. so here is the first round.

p.s.: credit for this idea goes to ida. she shoots the most amazing pictures in san francisco (and denmark!), if you don't know her blog and her shop yet, go and check it out!

Sunday 28 March 2010

time flies

such a cliché, i know. i wonder though, how come we sometimes feel this so acutely, and then sometimes time really seems long? obviously, it does seem long when we're waiting. but also, when we are really intensely enjoying something. then there are weeks like the past, where it's all a bit of a blur and time flies so madly i hardly even register it, since there's so much to do.

it's all psychology, right? or is it neurology? what do you think?

hope you had a wonderful weekend. i had a bit of everything. loads of work, a day full of running hundreds of little but urgent errands i had been putting off for too long. and an afternoon with friends who have just moved to berlin and now live a 10 minute walk from me. how cool is that? oh, and have a mentioned they have an amazing view and a roof terrace?

p.s.: not long to go now - there are little buds everywhere. and it's been raining a lot.

Thursday 25 March 2010

changing light

no buds and green and flowers yet outside, but the light is changing. i thought i'd show you.

juggling several projects, i'll have to skip corner view this week, the days just don't seem to have enough hours at the moment. see you soon.

Monday 22 March 2010

monday inspiration

1. Berlin 1971, 2. First light, 3. 73:365, 4. The Weekend is Here, 5. 63/365, 6. 63/365 2010, 7. 54/365, 8. Untitled, 9. Untitled

believe it or not, today the sun was shining and i'm almost thinking spring was just pulling our leg yesterday with that miserable weather. but time for some flickr inspiration. i'm still loving portraits but find it rather hard to take them myself. we'll see what this year will bring in the long run. never say never and all that.

as always, the photos in these mosaics are pictures taken by flickr photographers, not by me. please click on the respective caption underneath the mosaic to take you to the photographer's photo stream on flickr. enjoy!

oh, and a question for you: what kind of pictures do you mostly take and which kind of pictures do you wish you were taking more of?

Sunday 21 March 2010

comment te dire adieu

it's time to say good-bye to winter. and no kleenex needed for that, thank you very much. he's certainly had his moments - with the most beautiful snow, glorious light and happiness. but it's been a miserable drag recently. he's not exactly making a gracious exit at the moment, i have to say. today is officially the first day of spring, and neither is winter buggering off, nor is spring making much of an appearance. there must be some serious motivational problem. anyhoo, we are ready. go away winter, hurry up spring!

on this note... (ah, that video is not great quality, but so much fun. i've just been watching it tons of times. the studio set-up, the rather minimal expression, both on francoise hardy's part as well as in the audience. a rather jolly crowd. but hey, it's a sad song. plus, don't you think francoise looks a bit like a very young charlotte rampling? which makes me think i really want to re-watch a francois ozon film soon, preferably sous le sable. enough associations. have a good sunday.)

p.s.: photos are showing the cherry trees at the end of my street. pictures taken today at lunchtime. and they are colour shots, not black and white. what a glorious day, no? still, they will be flowering eventually. watch this space.

Saturday 20 March 2010

why we don't do what we want to do

some mornings - it used to be all mornings - i start my day by sitting on my sofa with my breakfast, a couple of good books, my diary, maybe a magazine and read or just let my thoughts wander. a little bit of quiet time, before the hustle and bustle starts. i hadn't done this in a long time. and i missed it. so there i sat down on my sofa this morning.

and out of the blue i started thinking: why is it that so often we don't do what we want to do? i think way up in the top ten of excuses are number one - i had no time - and number two - i had no choice. oh, blah-blah.

don't get me wrong here - i'm talking about the things we personally want to do, the things we know we feel deeply about, things that are really close to our heart, things we always wanted to do but never had the courage to. i'm explicitely not talking about the things other people think we should be doing, nor about the things we think we want to do, but really, we don't. we are grown-ups and can figure out which is which, right? no-one should be patronising us when it comes to our priorities.

so, about number one. if we are honest, there are really very few times in life when there really, really is no time to do the things we really care about. maybe we have to get up earlier or have to cancel other things, but in 99% of the cases, there is time.

as to number two, that's bollocks. most of us are not held captive, are not set under drugs or have otherwise been taken our freedom to act. we have far more choice in life than we like to face.

being honest about this, there are probably two very valid reasons for why we are not doing what we want to do: we either are scared of the thing we want to do, or we are scared we might fail trying. and these reasons are not to be dismissed lightly. my father often said: only the stupid have no fears. it's a sign of intelligence to be scared. and he is spot-on. it's ok to be scared. surely, there are loads of risks we sometimes have to take. but no-one's going to be helped if we chicken out all of the time.

so maybe today is the day to stop and give some thought to the things we want to do. and just start doing them.

(dear readers, remember that when i sound so preachy, i'm preaching to myself because i just had some kind of epiphany. you just happen to have the doutbful job of listening to my rant. hope you'll forgive me.)

p.s.: as to number two (no time), i have to make a big exception. people with small children. there, "no time" has a totally different quality. chapeau to all of you who juggle family life, you are amazing!

Friday 19 March 2010

more corbu

ok, i can't help myself and am posting the other photos from the berlin unité now. hope you don't mind...

le corbusier designed his berlin version of the unité d'habitation for interbau 1957, an international, star-studded building competition in berlin. the building was erected between 1956 and 1958. sadly, due to building restrictions (and i bet a fair bit of ignorance on part of the german city clerks) the original design was quite substantially changed, so that le corbusier finally distanced himself from the project. one of the changes apparently was the ceiling height, which corbu had meant to be 2.26 m (based on his modulor), and which in the end was 2.50 m, due to fire safety regulations. do you think that sounds about right or might be an urban myth?

anyway, these are some shots i took when we walked around the building. it was a dismal afternoon, very grey and windy and cold. i think i may come back in spring or summer to see how different the play of light and shadow will make the building seem. and how different the colours will look.

happy weekend!

inside le corbusier

you remember me saying i took photos at le corbusier's unité d'habitation (or corbusier house) in berlin and didn't know if any of them would come out because i used the wrong shutter speed? well, i got lucky. i used expired film and it was a tad dark (grey skies, again), so the colours are a bit flat, but you know that's how i like them anyway.

so here is the first round, taken inside the lobby of the building. sadly, the building is not open for visitors, the lobby is the only place you can access freely. there is a bit of a photo documentation of the building there, which is rather nice. if however you want to see one of the apartments, you can do so once a year (!) at the day of the open monument in september (the next one being september 12, 2010).

obviously, you can also look at the building from the outside. more about that in my next post.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

corner view: front door

quite a contrast to my last post, right?

my front door belongs to one of the few houses in our street that haven't been renovated. slowly, the neighbourhood is being gentrified and the university students, artists and bohemians are moving on to other districts in berlin, like neukölln or wedding. but still, rents are reasonable here and many of my friends live within easy bike riding or walking distance.

when i moved here, i had to completely renovate my apartment. without the help of friends i couldn't have done it. we freed the walls from layer after layer of hideous late eighties/early nineties wallpaper. and painted walls white and some of them in deep colours. for a while though, i have been very much into white, and the dark, tomato red wall in my kitchen is getting a bit much. the next time i have time and funds for decorating projects, walls will be painted white.

eventually, the front door will be renovated too, along with the facade. perhaps i will have moved on by then.

p.s.: those old signs in the hall date back to east german times and ask you to separate your household waste, as well as glass, bones, wood, medical products, wood and plastic. i've always wondered about the bones and medical products. peculiar.

UPDATE: well, i thought i'd better check up on the bones recycling as otherwise it sounds way too sinister. recycling has a long history in germany, east germany (the GDR) had a state owned company called SERO that was very effective in recycling waste. households separated their waste and had collection points nearby for plastic, wood, metal, paper etc. bones clearly refer to the old bone in your steak or chicken etc. i haven't found out yet what they were recycled for, but one thing seems to be bone meal (an organic fertilizer) formerly used heavily in agriculture. today, mostly synthetic fertilizers are used (organic farming being an exception, of course.)

Tuesday 16 March 2010

i wish

... spring would finally make its way to berlin. how is it looking at your end?

p.s.: do any of you have experience with growing seedlings on the windowsill? if so, what kind of seeds would you recommend?

Monday 15 March 2010

new week

thanks for all your well wishing - i did sleep rather a lot and started refreshed into the new week. on saturday, boyfriend and i drove across town to the grunewald district to see le corbusier's unité for berlin and to have coffee at café k on the grounds of the kolbe museum. i so love the old buildings at the museum.

when we got home, i realised that i had used the wrong shutter speed for my corbusier roll of film. such a shame. i hope the lab can rescue at least some of the pictures. we'll have to see. if not, i'll just have to go again...

there is lots of work waiting, so i better get back to it. have a good week!

Saturday 13 March 2010


we've made it. we've made the impossible possible and finished the exhibition catalogue in time. i don't think i'm ever going to touch a project like that with a barge pole in the future though. too many nights in the studio that ended between one and five a.m. - starting again late morning the same day. i think we ended up floating in a rather worryingly weird space/time continuum.

so now i'm going to sleep. zzz.

Tuesday 9 March 2010


i've been sucked into a parallel universe in which people work through the nights, order pizza at impossible hours and try to maintain a minimum amount of sanity. all for the sake of making books.

see you soon.

Thursday 4 March 2010

thursday inspiration

1. New Life | New Lives, 2. 62:365, 3. early spring signs, 4. hare tricks, 5. tragedy, 6. 52:365, 7. Marshmallow stack, 8. Spring Came Early!, 9. 53:365

i wish i could start planting my flower pots and i was going to buy some spring plants this week, but it's turned miserably cold again. i'll have to wait a little longer. at least the sun is coming out more often these days.

so here's a little taste of things to come. and some ideas on how to get a little sneak preview of spring at home or lift your spirits in some way. that little garden in a box is so clever, don't you think?

all photos, as always with my flickr favourites, are the work of fellow flickr photographers. click on the caption underneath the mosaic to visit their photo stream, and their flickr profile to find out about their blogs or websites. (hare tricks © Paul Grand)

Wednesday 3 March 2010

corner view: coffee companion

my favourite coffee companion is friends - the more the better. a while ago we had brunch at a friend's house. with coffee. such a great time we had. today i picked up the film from the lab.

(if i had to pick a food i love most with my coffee, the list would be long. new york cheese cake. or pastel de nata. or portuguese rice cakes. or madeleines. or chocolate in any form.)

for more corner views, stop by at jane's!

Tuesday 2 March 2010

open your eyes

sometimes seeing isn't as easy as 1-2-3. at least i do sometimes forget that it's not just about processing information but about beauty, about poetry, about the familiar, the unexpected, the surprising and the 'ugly' too. but when i remind myself it's quite incredible what you start seeing.

here are some more washing machine shots for you.

p.s.: i had a wonderful weekend with boyfriend. what have you been up to?