Saturday, January 31, 2009

Strolling around the neighbourhood - a Fotosafari

Petunia hosts a rather special kind of meme: it is almost without rules. You post what you see on your way; if and when you want to and then give her a notice. She keeps the blogroll. What rules there are can be found in her sidebar - the text is in Norwegian.

My contribution (the first time on this blog) is just one of my "daily" strolls around the neighbourhood and what I might spot on the way. As I have written elsewhere - when other people walk their dogs, I walk my cameras. Since it was Saturday my wife joined in too. Here follows a few sample of what we found:

It has been a fine day, but with the temperature around zero degrees C a bit of frosty haze in the air was only to be expected.

And of course some frost on the ground.

Such a carpet of frost often changes a well known subject into something totally different.

I even got a shot of a magpie squeezed between two telephone cables. Maybe it was creating its own network.

A picture of my nearest bridge and a walkway leading to it is a must

Since we live where three fjords meet there is always something happening on at least one of them.

Or on all three of them

Friday, January 30, 2009

Reflection on a University building

This is the new Service Building for the students at the University of Bergen (my old Alma Mater). It was opened last year and serves among others one of my children. The building it replaced was erected while I was a student. Either I am getting old, or the quality of the building process is not what it once was. Or both.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hoisting Sky Watch Friday

You have to take your subjects where you can find them. For instance can a crane make an interesting pattern against the sky. In this case, right after sunrise in January.
First - the whole crane

Second - a bit closer and another angle

Third - a close-up for the technical interested

PS Please visit Sky Watch Friday's own site for more.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Colour or black and white?

The pros and cons of pictures in colour versus black and white is a popular theme for discussions among amateur photographers. Some seem to think that if you just remove the colours you get a picture with more "feeling" or that removing colours from an ordinary drab photo "will save it". In my humble opinion you need to have that option in mind when you take the picture. Black and white enhances the structures in the photo, so you have to have some structure there from the beginning. Here are three examples of the same subject in both colour and black and white. The subject is a bench beneath a balustrade in the Botanical Garden at the University of Bergen. The pictures were taken last Sunday and were shot from different angles and distances. To me they work in both modes since there are lot of structures an colours, but they might convey different atmospheres. Comments are very welcome - that's the way I learn.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

B is for Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Whom did I say it was? Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson is a household name in Norway, but today he is virtually unknown abroad, despite being a Nobel Laureate in literature in 1903. He was one of the four "great ones" in Norwegian literature in the 19th century. One of the others was the more famous Henrik Ibsen, with whom he was a classmate for a period and whom he knew very well. Wikipedia describes his lifespan shortly like this:

Bjørnstjerne Martinus Bjørnson (December 8, 1832April 26, 1910) was a Norwegian writer and the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. Bjørnson is considered as one of "The Great Four" Norwegian writers; the others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland. Bjørnson is celebrated for his lyrics to the Norwegian National Anthem, "Ja, vi elsker dette landet".

In his earliest period, "Bjørnson was anxious "to create a new saga in the light of the peasant," as he put it, and he thought this should be done, not merely in prose fiction, but in national dramas or folke-stykker. "

"At the close of 1857 Bjørnson had been appointed director of the theater at Bergen, a post which he held for two years, when he returned to Christiania (now Oslo)." The pictures accompanying this post shows a statue that was raised in his honour outside the theatre "Den Nasjonale Scene" in Bergen. The statue was made by the famous Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland and was unveiled 1n 1917.

From 1860 to 1863 he traveled widely throughout Europe. Early in 1865 he undertook the management of the Christiania theatre, and brought out his popular comedy of De Nygifte (The Newly Married) and his romantic tragedy of Mary Stuart in Scotland. In 1870 he published Poems and Songs and the epic cycle Arnljot Gelline; the latter volume contains the ode Bergliot, one of Bjørnson's finest contributions to lyrical poetry."

He lived for long periods outside Norway, and his literary career had its many ups and downs, but he managed over time to become Norway's "National Poet". He produced novels, plays and poems of both romantic and realistic character.

He was also a staunch defender of liberty, of human rights and the rights of every nation to rule themselves. He believed in a form of "Scandinaviaism" in his youth, but was one of the most staunch proponents for an independent Norway from Sweden when that became an issue at the end of the 19thy century.

Wikipedia concludes like this:

Bjørnson was, from the beginning of the Dreyfus Affair, a staunch supporter of Alfred Dreyfus, and, according to a contemporary, wrote "article after article in the papers and proclaimed in every manner his belief in his innocence".

Bjørnson was one of the original members of the Nobel Committee, and was re-elected in 1900. In 1903 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Bjørnson had done as much as any other man to rouse Norwegian national feeling, but in 1903, on the verge of the rupture between Norway and Sweden, he preached conciliation and moderation to the Norwegians.

He died on April 26, 1910 in Paris, where for some years he had spent his winters, and was buried at home with every mark of honor. The Norwegian coastal defence ship HNoMS Norge was sent to convey his remains back to his own land.

But to all Norwegians, he will be remembered as the man who wrote the words to our National Anthem, "Ja, vi elsker dette landet" (here sung by Sissel Kyrkjebø and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir).

Today's post is my second entry in the fouth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.

For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

Monday, January 26, 2009

There is no telling in Odd Shot

I'm keeping mum.

Please visit Katney's Kaboodle for more about Odd shots!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today's Flowers: A touch of spring in January

This weeks contributions to Today's Flowers were not growing on my hard disks - they were shot today. And it is still January:

A snowdrop found beneath a Rhododendron.

A flowering bush. I don't know the name, but I'm sure that somebody else does!

PS The Today's flowers meme is hosted by LUIZ SANTILLI JR. . Please visit and enjoy.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

No. six out of six out of six....

Yesterday I was challenged by my old friend GAWO to go to the 6th picture folder, take the 6th picture and present that with the story behind the picture. Normally I'm not terribly fond of such challenges, but what are friends for if one can't accept such things?

My problem is that I store my pictures in a semi-chronological order; that is: year followed by month, but with the odd special occasion (typical Holidays in addition) also. On top of that, under each of these are the folders for pictures that have been processed. Of course one can choose to sort each folder according to the alphabet, date taken, date processed, up-wards or downwards or what-ever until one finds one that can be used.

In-stead I found that it was easier to go to the area where I store the files that have been used on one of my blogs or on my now dormant home-page. There at least there are some normal groupings. The 6th folder contains pictures from travels abroad and the 6th picture according to day taken was the one above - the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The typical picture-postcard tourist snap-shot. It was first presented 1n 2008 in a post in Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday.

So to the story behind the picture:

It was taken on May 31. 2005. I had not intended to go to Paris at all. However, my then soon-to-be 16 years old son was going there with part of his French-group at school together with two teachers. Less than 24 hours before departure I got a phone call from the French-teacher saying that the other teacher had become ill and could I step in. After a hasty family council, we decided that I should do so. Luckily I had some unused holiday I could draw upon, and I managed to get someone else to take a scheduled lecture for me and off we went.

It all went very well, with the French-teacher, myself, my son and a small bevy of 16 years old girls...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Spring in January?

This winter has been almost without snow so far, and the temperature hasn't been too bad either. 8 degrees C has not been unusual (if you don't believe me, look up this official weather-site and look for Bergen). In fact, yesterday I found the sallow above starting to bud, and today I found the hazel below almost ready for action.

I suppose we will have snow more than once after this, but at least there is now hope!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reflection of a sunrise

I do it with a mirror.

PS Please visit Sky Watch Friday's own site for more.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter in Norway

No snow; only showers of rain in the distance at sunset.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A is for An African-American President in America!

What else than this immensely important occasion, both for the United States of America and the rest of the world, can be my contribution to the fourth round of ABC Wednesday?

I congratulate all Americans with their new president. He represents at the moment the hope of "The remaking of America" for both Americans and the rest of the world.

This may be an Anti-climax, but:

Today's post is my first entry in the fouth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.

For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

Monday, January 19, 2009

Headless activity in Odd Shot

Taking pictures of birds has never been easy. On top of a pole one moment - (partially) gone the next.

PS If anyone should doubt the authenticity of the photo, I have a 12.5 MB RAW-file to prove it.

Please visit Katney's Kaboodle for more about Odd shots!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today's Flower - A Water Lily

This one was not blooming in Norway in the middle of winter. I have just been on a trip to my hard disks.

PS The Today's flowers meme is hosted by LUIZ SANTILLI JR. . Please visit and enjoy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Peace by the water

Living where we do we have to make the most of the low sun in the winter. We also have to make the most of the days that are like this. No snow, but a nip of frost in the air, and most of the boats are laid up for the season. But not all...

Friday, January 16, 2009

A logo for Petunia's FofoSafari

Petunia is running a rather specialised form for meme called FotoSafari: There is almost no rules and you post when you will.

She has now launched a contest for a new logo and my attempt is shown to the left and below. More about the contest is here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The storm is coming

The storm is fast approaching, but we can still get a glimpse of the sunshine - so let us hope that it will soon pass.

PS For those who saw my former post about server problems, I can only say that they are not solved but I'm uploading directly. I prefer to use the other way, but...

PS Please visit Sky Watch Friday's own site for more.

Server out of order

Updating: Pictures can now be seen, but adding new ones to this site via the external server is still impossible. Bear with me.

Some of my pictures are not being shown at the moment. This is as far as I know due to problems with the servers belonging to my employer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Benches not on the run

My Internet-friend Paulie has just celebrated her birthday. She collects benches. So what would be more appropriate than sending her a couple? So I went looking. Here is what I found in the neighbourhood.

These were standing outside the local shopping centre - just waiting to be used.

They even had their own litter bin!

Only - the owners loved them so themselves that they have chained them to the concrete. I hope she will be satisfied with a picture. Happy (belated ) birthday)!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Zebras at the Zoo in ABC Wednesday

We have finally arrived at Z for the third time. Searching through my hard disks I found these two Zebras in the Zoological park in Kritsiansand, Norway which we visited in 2007.

Zo, what iz the next thing in ztore for uz? ;-)

Today's post is my entry in the third round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.

For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site or
a no-comment blog where you can post a copy or short version of your post with a link-back to your original post for the full version and comments.