It’s no secret that I've taken quite a long break from posting stuff this year...especially for those few who followed my 365 project on Instagram. The last post I did on that one was on May 1st. Like I said in my last blog post; for a variety of reasons I ran out of the urge to upload things, so that account became dormant along with many other online outlets of mine.
I didn’t stop shooting though during the “downtime”, so I still have pictures for my project. Now they are posted in galleries here on my website instead of in big gloops of pictures on Instagram, because it would be wrong to spam the heck out of that account with all the pictures!
I do think it’s a good idea to have monthly summaries, so even though not many have seen these images before I’ll write a bit about some of them like I did for the first few months of the year. There’ll be very frequent postings with my wrap-ups and there’ll be two months in each of these, since we’re closing in on December 31st and the end of the year-long photo project.
The "cover image" is taken on May 30th and is a somewhat exaggerated version of the stunning dawn cloudscape I saw as I made it home one morning. Summer mornings in Sweden can be amazing as far as the light goes and this was definitely one of them (even if I've massaged the image a bit in Snapseed before uploading it). There were hints of mammatus clouds up there and that’s such a rare sight for me that I had to try to take a picture of that.
I wrote underneath the cover image about the morning light, and this is another case of that. As I made my way home on May 5th I passed by "main street" of my small hometown where they were setting up for the annual town fair (in the local lingo: "Bonnamarknaden"). I thought the illuminated snack food stall would look good against the blue sky, and it turned out to be a good test of the phone camera's low light capabilities. From what I remember I didn't have to tweak the colors and brightness TOO much for it to reach an uploadable state.
As a soccer fan and Malmö FF fan in particular it's always a treat to head to the Stadium area for a game. I thought the harsh light of the spring sunshine made for a potential cool looking silhouette shot and it turned out that I was right. The black steel cladding on the stadium in the background emphasized the shadows and the bright areas even more. Sadly the home team lost the game...but that's okay, there's always the next game!
It seems my picks for May are almost all about light, and the lack of it in some ways. This was taken in Pildammsparken in Malmö after the sun had left the city for the day. It's another silhouettes picture, but with a completely different feel to it. This is calmness to me, unlike the picture above which is more hectic in a way (even if the people in the picture aren't moving around a whole lot). I think it is the water surface in the foreground that makes for that calmness.
This image is the one that "breaks the mold" as far as focusing on various kinds of light goes, but I like it anyway, because it sort of shows you can take pictures of just about anything. First I should say that these discarded medicine packets are not mine; thankfully I do not need pills or medication to this extent. They are the empties after my dad had loaded up the weekly dispenser that he uses so he doesn't forget to take his pills.
My photo club had a "closeup" challenge going, so I figured I'd throw this one into the mix, just to break up the long line of flower close-ups that were submitted. It turns out the jury who picked the winners were much more into colorful flower close-ups than contrasty black and white shots, but hey...what can you do?
In a way this image is about the light too...or rather the lack thereof. It's also about a surprisingly speedy kitty that I encountered one night as I was making my way home. I often see cats out and about at night and being a feline friendly person I often try to say hello. It's interesting to see the different behaviors between felines. Some are extremely indifferent to my greetings, while others are VERY social and obviously used to people. This one started out as an indifferent one, but suddenly decided to be very inquisitive...to the point of bumping its head on my knee. It moved so fast that on my phone's camera it became a dark blur with a pointy end for a tail. It's not a technically perfect image in any way, but I still like it. I think it’s one of those pictures where when you first see it, It makes you go...wait...what's that?
The 365 Project June Wrap-Up
The cover image for the month of June is taken in central Malmö on the pedestrian street Södergatan. At certain times of the day there are some really funky reflections coming off the mostly glass building to the left of this image, where you get light coming into the frame from both left AND right as well as providing some interesting shadowy shapes on the cobblestones below. It looks like I've copied and pasted the guys in the right hand side of the image (they seem too sharp and contrasty to fit in), but I can promise you that I've done no such thing to the image. One of the rules I've set for myself in fact on this project is that I am not allowed to erase or insert anything into the image, and while it may look like it here, that is not the case. A cool looking picture though that was none of my doing!
The limits of a smartphone camera can sometimes provide you with interesting effects in your images. I was waiting for a bus in central Malmö when this car went by, rather fast. I was playing around with panning at the time and I _almost_ got the image of the car, but not quite. Still, with some tinkering in Snapseed I think it turned out rather interesting.
This image was taken at the Copenhagen Photo Festival, an event I tend to go to every year to look at exhibitions. These sheets strung across the path marked the end of an outdoor exhibition of photos taken in Nepal. I frankly thought the setting was more interesting than the photos, so I took a picture of the drapes instead. I guess you can't like every photo out there, can you?
During the month of June I had the chance to go to Berlin, a city I hadn’t been to - even though it’s just a short plane ride away for me. I do wish I'd been there at least once before the fall of the Wall so I could compare it to today, because 29 years after the fall of East Germany the traces of the old split city were pretty hidden.
You definitely could see traces of history's effect on the city though, and while it's not as historic a location as some others (it was inaugurated in 2005) the Holocaust Memorial near the Reichstag building felt like a historic place. The mood walking around amongst the slabs of concrete that ranged in height from a few centimeters to well over 3 meters was somber...at least it was to me. I didn't think it proper to run around and play there as some people did, treating it like a maze. The reason for the memorial made it a place of remembrance, a place that warranted respect.
In a strange way it reminded me of the above ground funerary monuments and mausoleums I saw in New Orleans last summer. I guess it was their similar sizes and the fact that both places honor the dead, albeit in very different ways!
One of the places I was told I "had to visit" during my trip to Berlin was the TV tower and the (observation deck) in the dome that sits two-thirds (at 200 meters) of the way up to the spire's peak at 368 meters. I have been to a few tall buildings, but at 200 meters this one tops the list…so far!
I don't have a fear of heights - in fact the very crowded and cramped elevator ride up the tower was a lot worse - but I can easily see why some people find it uncomfortable to look down upon the city from that height. Interestingly enough, that was one of the few times I could clearly see the difference between east and west. In the western part of the city there were a lot of the small scale, older-style buildings still left (or more likely rebuilt after the war), while on the eastern side there were a lot more boxy, square buildings, and often taller apartment complexes (Stalin boxes as some locals call it).
This is the Berlin Cathedral at the heart of what used to be Imperial Berlin. While it looks similar to both St.Peter's in Rome as well as St.Paul's in London it is nowhere near as old as either of those churches (it was completed in 1905 during the reign of the last German emperor Wilhelm II and reconstructed after heavy bombings in World War II). It was a very impressive building and the architecture inside was just stunning. You can also climb up a crapload of stairs to the base of the dome for a stunning view all the way around the church...if your knees and leg muscles don't give in before you reach the viewing area!
I've processed the image to look like an old postcard because all over the Museum Island you could see traces of World War II and the effects of that, columns and pillars with bullet holes in them as well as museum buildings with wall frescoes and paintings that are now just remnants of what they once must have been etc. As a history nerd this was quite interesting to me; to be in a location where such pivotal events happened.