Archives for the month of: September, 2012

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This week will be  Black & White Week on my blog. I will even go one step further and make it Silent Week as in Silent Movie. Let the pictures do the talking! No twittering from me :). If anybody has a comment, I will of course reply.

… in New Zealand! I have to balance yesterday’s old lady in Munich with an image from Auckland. This one here was taken at the Town Hall. Nothing much happening here either :). What you can’t see of course is, that behind my back, on Aotea Square, a noisy political demonstration is going on. I was amazed that this fellow could sit there and quietly read his newspaper, while news was happening right in front of him.

On Tuesday I had to take some pictures at a gathering for one of my clients. That is something I usually don’t do. I don’t like to take images of people I don’t know. I always have the feeling that I am intruding and stealing their soul. It was a business meeting and it was surprisingly easy (I am not saying there were no souls to steal). On my way home I tried to remember any images I had taken showing strangers from the front, apart from the two tourists I posted earlier this week. My thing (when I photograph people) is to take images of everyday solitairy situations. Usually it is just  me with my (rather large) camera  and the other person on the scene. It’s very unlikely the other person doesn’t notice what I am up to.

Yesterday I sifted through old photographs and I found this one taken at the Viktualienmarkt in Munich. The Viktualienmarkt is a permanent farmer’s market dating back to the 1800’s. It is located wham bang  in the middle of town, only a few paces from the Townhall.  You can get all sorts of edible treasures here and the place is usually hustling and bustling during the opening hours. But Sunday is still a day of rest, so I must have taken this image on a Sunday in winter (as there are no leaves on the trees). In Winter the market opens when it is still dark and closes after night has fallen again.

This is something I easily could do without: Sunday trading. Even though I am not a religious person, I believe there is a good reason to have one day of rest in the week. It is a day when the entire family can do an activity together. Some sort of pastime that excludes shopping. I think Sunday trading has a lot to answer for in regards to the disintegration of family values.

I had planned to write a post about being boring, but one of the bloggers who I follow, Rose, beat me to it. She had a really nice angle and I love her refreshing style of writing (butIamBeautiful). In her last two paragraphs she pretty much covered what I wanted to say :).

The label “boring” is a third party attribute: Not many people think about themselves as being seriously boring. One might get bored from time to time, but  being boring?…. This is a totally different kettle of fish. On the other hand there is a huge discrepancy in numbers when one looks at how many people are described as being boring by others.

Isn’t it just a matter of having a little or nothing in common? Would it be possible, with a little effort to turn a bore into an inspiring fountain of knowledge?

In a lunch time conversation yesterday two of my friends revealed that they appreciate when I explain what I think about the images I put up, as I did with the image of the dam a few days ago. I am not keen on explaining as I think everybody sees something different in a visual. This image here for example, I took many years ago, when I didn’t even know how to take a decent photo. I called it: We are not alone. Why? …Many reasons.

The image was taken in one of my favourite places, the Karangahake Gorge at the south end of the Coromandel Ranges. It shows the reamains of a stone battery, another reminder of  the people who were here before us. At the same time it reminds me of antennas that might send out signals into outer space :).

One time when we were sailing around Waiheke Island (an island in the Hauraki Gulf not far from Auckland), we anchored at Hooks Bay, an isolated area at the back end of the island. When we stretched our legs we came across the remains of an old villa and next to it a tiny grave yard with two or three graves. I wondered how crowded this place would be if all the people who had ever set foot on this piece of remote land would be there at the same time. So clearly I could feel the presence of the spirits that have been. But it didn’t feel crowded… Which reminds me of a very interesting graph I once saw in the German Museum in Munich. It was a timeline showing the world pouplation since the very beginnings of human life. It was flat, flat, flat, flat, flat and then a sudden, very steep rise in the last century. It said that currently more people are alive than have ever died. I don’t know if this still holds true, but this graph really stuck in my mind.

We had a wonderful sunny weekend and I hear the summer is going to be drier than the last one (and the winter that followed).  New Zealand is a very lush country and everything grows wild. Nature is very good at reclaiming its territory when left alone. In the most unusal places you can find reminders of battles between settlers and nature. It must have been extremely difficult to get the huge machinery into the bush and when the pioneers finally gave up their plans they just left it there to slowly rust away.

Now to a typical  puppet subject… Emotional cross-dressing. I have been thinking about this for quite some time and I believe this is the real reason for my puppets’ existence. My puppets can have all these traits without being aggravating. They are not based on anybody in particular, but show easily recognised generic behaviour.

Emotional cross-dressing comes in different guises and is a kind of unintentional lie, a self-defense mechanism. These particular cross-dressers are people who, for some reason or another, hide their real emotions and pretend to have different feelings. It comes on a sliding scale with two poles. On one end you find the always friendly person, sweet and kind, but when you look away the bile rises straight to their eyeballs. On the other end of the scale is the old grump or tough guy, who pushes everybody away, but when you invest the time to know him better, he is the most generous and friendliest person ever. Of course there are a lot of shades between these two extremes.

In both cases the cross-dressers themselves suffer more than their surrounding, as they are not in sync with their own emotions and most of the time they have the feeling of being terribly misunderstood.

More often than not they are forced to cross-dress by expectations put on them, for example, by parents, spouses, friends. And they want nothing more than to oblige, to fulfill the expectations. But at one stage they have to, and will, crack.

PS: People who use these strategies to knowingly deceive others to get an advantage, I would call devious.

This image is a composition I couldn’t resist. I don’t know if you could call it subtle. Thank goodness, it is not  a self-portrait :) I am a middle of the road kind of person, through and through.

This is a dam in the Waitakere Ranges in West-Auckland, where the hustle of the big city gives way to the tranquilty of nature. It is right next to the main road, but only a few paces away from the car park the sounds are seriously muffled. You can physically feel the stillness. I like this image as it quietly unites so many opposites: Fluid – Solid, Nature – Man-made, Hard – Soft, Light – Dark…