Where the Snow Queen lives

Many of us have heard of her. Either through fairy tales or by watching a Disney movie. The queen with the cold heart, who turns the world into ice and covers it in snow, a woman of such cold beauty that no man can resist her once he has tasted her pale white kiss.. What ever she touches freezes and she is watching it with a cold, icy smile. You know who I’m talking about, It is her, the Ice Queen.

Last weekend I went into the mountains, hoping for some sun, but was instead greeted by a world hiding in white fog. I ventured on never the less, after all, I wanted to stretch my legs a bit too. It was a quiet walk, nothing but the sound of my boots in the cold frozen snow could be heard. Although I knew I was alone, I somehow felt watched. I even at some point thought I hear a woman laugh, a sound that sent chills down my spine as it was a cold sound, like Ice shattering a frozen lake.

A cold wind had started to blow, making my ears hurt and I wished, I would have remembered to bring a warm cap with me. I thought the sun would melt the fog, but I was wrong, it even seemed the world got colder with each step. The wind carried the laughter to my ears again, a cold chilling sound that made me feel cold from inside.

The track turned around a bend and, across a clearing, I could see the trees, standing tall and frozen. The woman laughed again and despite the coldness of it, it taunted me to get closer. I watched the fog move across the trees towards me, slowly, at a steady pace and I heard the trees crackle as it covered them making them freeze and I suddenly realized who was hiding in the fog, coming slowly towards me.

I turned and walked back the way I came from, hearing her whispers behind me, feeling her cold embrace as she hugged me and made my ears freeze. I walked quickly, only looking back once I reached my car. I heard the laughter again, chilling and haunting. Maybe my eyes tricked me, but, as the fog withdrew, I thought, that only for a moment I saw a glimpse of her, her white skin and the icy blue eyes as she looked back at me with a smile that made my heart freeze in fear and longing.

I know where she lives, just don’t ask me where this is. it’s better fi you don’t know it, trust me.

On a cold winter day

streetpixels:

Just in case you folks didn’t notice I plan to concentrate on black and white this year and therefore opened a new blog dedicated to this type of photography :)

Originally posted on Going Monochrom:

On a cold winter day, the world gets very quiet. No sound, just wind, a very cold wind, moving through the branches of the tree. The world is frozen, silent.

At least it is, until the moment a crazy Swiss photographer appears on scene, singing Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind” on top of his lungs. I admit, the hikers I later met gave me quite a strange look. But hey, that’s me and my internal iPod. In summer when it’s hot I sing “White Christmas” to cool me down and in Winter, when my ears are numb of cold and the wind tries to turn me into an icicle, I’m all summer songs.

And it’s a lot of Frank Sinatra lately, when taking photos, when working on them at home and even now. But hey’s it’s all nice and easy, night and day and I do it my way ;)

The…

View original 44 more words

I didn’t take notes – Do you recognize the place?

As (almost) every year since I got more serious with my hobby, I was collecting photos for my yearbook during the Christmas break.  I took a second look at my Photos from the Cornwall trip, wondering why I had only a small handful of photos out of over 700 I liked. So I had another go a the shots and this is one of my second round.

It’s just unfortunate i don’t know where I took the shot. According to the date I took the shot, it is somewhere between Keverne and Padstowe.

Which reminds me I really should take notes when I stop somewhere to take photos. I mean, it’s not as if it would be terribly difficult today, considering we have are never without our cell phones to take GPS tagged photos.

On the other hand, looking at the photo brought back memories of a nice morning when the weather started to change from a constant threat of rain to lovely spring weather. I almost smelled the sea, remembered the curiosity I felt when i looked at the boats at low tide in the harbour. it was a lovely day, the day I really started to slow down and enjoy the trip.

So, who needs to know where this was anyway?

The old house and #jesuisCharlie

What an old house can teach us about dealing with terrorism.

Let’s imagine for a moment we live in an old house. Just like the one in this picture. It’s a comfy old house with lots of charme. Our friends love to visit us and we party often and loud in the old rooms.

The only problem is the old electric infrastructure. When we vacuum, we need to turn off the stereo or we blow a fuse. After the first short circuit when it smelled like burned wood, we get a fire extinguisher. Just in case. Then we blow another fuse and we barely manage to stop the fire before our living room was a smoldering disaster area. Trembling like leaves we rush to get a fire alarm and a sprinkler system. Or friends look a bit puzzled the next time they visit, seeing the installation, but hey, we feel better.

A few weeks later, sparks set our office ablaze and after we manage to kill the fire, we decide to install a fire alarm and sprinkler in every room. Just to be safe. Next to each socket and each lamp. From the top floor down to the basement. Total surveillance.

It’s strange that friends no longer visit us since they got soaked last time time by the sprinklers when we blew a fuse. But hey, lets be fair, why did they have to turn on the TV while the huge electric grill is still on?

Much more important is that we feel safe. Lonely, but safe.

However… what about tackling the problem at it’s root and replace the ailing electric installation with a new, modern one? One that can handle modern life? Sure, our house would turn into a construction site for a while. It would be costly, complicated and noisy.

But renovating would not mean our house would loose its charm. It would just be – more modern and safer. If we want, everything would look just like before.

And most importantly: We could party again. With loud music, having old and new friends come over and have a good time. Without being afraid we blow a fuse and burn the house into ashes.

We could keep a fire extinguisher, back there in the corner next to the stove. Just in case our exotic flambé dessert gets a bit too…. fiery next time.

Looking back at 2014, the year that inspired again

So, another year is over. And to celebrate the arrival of the new year, I sit in the Starbucks I wrote the majority of the blog posts at, have some English breakfast tea and think about the year that is not fading into a distant memory.

It was a bit of a weird year from a photography point of view. A year my photography lost it’s inspiration and then found it again. I guess most of us know that feeling. Looking at the camera but not going out and shoot. Or leave the house and just not seeing a thing that makes you lift the camera and press the shutter. And if you do, you come back home, look a the shots and think – meh.

Prime example is the trip to England I did in May. As much as I enjoyed the trip and Cornwall, I felt uninspired. Didn’t know what I wanted to shoot. Shots I had taken, thinking they would look great turned out mediocre. They lacked fire, passion. Just look at this one. It’s a nice shot but that’s all. It’s just nice.

Salisburry, a little town in England, where you will find one copy of the Magna Carta
Salisburry, a little town in England, where you will find one copy of the Magna Carta

Came Summer and it got even worse. I even let the house without camera on numerous times. It’s kinda natural that the only shots that were a bit inspired were shot in my apartment, watching birds. Thank you Capt’n Sparrow :)

Capt'n Jack, watching over his family and making sure the coast is clear
Capt’n Jack, watching over his family and making sure the coast is clear

Came Fall and with Fall the trip to Kyrgyzstan. It’s probably pretty obvious I loved it. It was a great adventure, a complete new, different world I experienced with good friends. And how could I not take pictures there? Back home I looked at them, worked with them and realized how much i love to do this. Take pictures and share them with the world, with you.

It's just incredible, how much dust one single motorbike can create!
It’s just incredible, how much dust one single car can create!

So, back home, after having worked on the photos, I started to think about where to go next, what to do to make sure I don’t loose that spark of inspiration. I looked at my photos, had a look at what felt right, what was fun and decided to concentrate on Black and White photography. So, for 2015, the only color photos i will take will be on the motorbike trip with by buddies. Everything else will be in 50 … ahm… lots of beautiful shades of grey.

I hope you will come along and like what I explore here :)

And with that – happy new year!

May the new year be full of joy and celebrations!
May the new year be full of joy and celebrations!

It’s that time of the year!

It’s Christmas time!

Oh well, at least almost. And this means three things. Christmas shoping, Christmas markets and spiced wine. And so I only have one question for you:

What are you doing here at the computer? Shouldn’t you be out there, taking photos, hunt for presents and have that spiced wine giving you a warm fuzzy feeling in your belly?

Traveling Kyrgyzstan with Muztoo

There is more than one way to travel in a country you don’t know, where you don’t speak the language and can’t even read writings on the walls. You can go on your own and read books, surf the net and spend months preparing it. It’s the way of the real adventurer, the way deserts and the highest mountains have been conquered (well, except consulting Google) and it is probably the most satisfying way to travel, specially if you can spend months traveling.

if you don’t have that much time for preparation or if you don’t feel that adventurous, you can use a local company to organize the travel and hire a guide to show you around. Of course you’re taking a bit a gamble here if you don’t know the company. It might be a total let down or worth every penny.

We decided to make use of a guide and I’m happy to tell that by using Muztoo, we had a great journey. Although there were still some risks, one could get seriously ill or fall off the bike and get hurt seriously, we quickly realized we were in good hands. Let’s call it an adventure with safety net. Sounds decadent, I know, but trust me, if it is the first time you do such a thing and you have to be back home in time, it is probably the wise thing to do.

Muztoo is a Swiss company that is in Kyrgyzstan for many years now, organizing trekking, bike and jeep tours. They handled our trip flawlessly and with Peter we had the best guide one can imagine. They know the country like the back of their hand and are known well beyond the borders of Kyrgyzstan for being the go to company in Kyrgyzstan if you have trouble with your bike or just want to service it on your trip east. And they are incredibly helpful and skilled. For example, when a biker damaged the cooler on his BMW in Mongolia, he was sent to Osh which is a few hundred miles away and told to hook up with Muztoo. He arrived a day before we left and Muztoo got in touch with us, asking if we could organize the spare part and bring it with us and one day later he was in their shop fixing his bike.

So if you ever consider a trip to Kyrgyzstan, I can really recommend Muztoo

let me illustrate what makes a good tour guide :)

Meet Peter Scheich, the best guide you can imagine
Meet Peter Scheich, the best guide you can imagine
He knows how to fix a flat tire while being on the road. Having a spare wheel on the jeep of course helps big time too :)
He knows how to fix a flat tire while being on the road. Having a spare wheel on the jeep of course helps big time too :)
Dinner
He knows a family that will welcome you with great hospitality, even if you arrive well after night fall.
He knows the one place in the desert where a tree grows that lets you have lunch in the shade
He knows the one place in the desert where a tree grows that lets you have lunch in the shade
He arrives at the right time at a gorgeous spot to make a couple feel like being on their second honeymoon
He arrives at the right time at a gorgeous spot to make a couple feel like being on their second honeymoon
He takes care of little details. Like fresh coffee. Every day. :)
He takes care of little details. Like fresh coffee. Every day. :)
He knows how to treat pain. Although I admit it is spooky to have him press a few points on the arm and have the pain in the shoulder vanish...
He knows how to treat pain. Although I admit it is spooky to have him press a few points on the arm and have the pain in the shoulder vanish…

Pictures and thoughts from someone exploring photography

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 329 other followers

%d bloggers like this: