Last Friday I went down to the Rieserferner Mountains in South Tirol, Italy. It´s a wonderful area with some good peaks and beautiful valleys. Early on Saturday morning, the sun was just peeping over a mountain ridge and back lighting this tree.
“Wie rasch Vergangenheit zustande kommt” Max Frisch
I´ve now put up the gallery on my website so please have a look at it. There´s a lot of black and white there, it seems to fit the dark, snowy scene. It´s even turned into a bit of a tribute to Czech photographer, Koudelka – in my opinion, at least. I´m just not as good as he is though.
At the time I recorded sound and shot a bit of video footage, which I´ll edit together with the photography in the near future.
Yesterday evening in Munich, 15000 people turned up in the cold and snow to demonstrate for peace and tolerance. Carrying lit candles they formed a human chain through the centre of Munich for a number of kilometres. There were all sorts of people there, old, young, families and Mara and Theresia from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Thank you both, Theresia and Mara for letting me take your photograph, you looked wonderful on that cold and snowy evening!
Interestingly enough, there was another demonstration at the same time, but they demonstrated against openness, tolerance and peace – they numbered about 200. Not bad that 15000 against 200 – there is more than hope yet!
The “expanding” picture gallery “Munich in Winter” is now online, and can be found here, I hope you enjoy it! Actually I´m off to Munich again, today. I want to photograph a demonstration supporting a multi-ethnic Munich. In case you´ve not heard, there has been a resurgence in Germany of open racism and demonstrations against foreigners and refugees. It´s been orchestrated by a loose group of individuals called Pegida. To compensate for this, in my mind, obnoxious group, counter demos have been organised throughout Germany promoting tolerance and openness to people of all colours, religions and nationalities. So, as I wrote above, I´m off to Munich to photograph it – partly for the story but also because I support the humanist idea behind it.
This bridge and station is just up the line from the central station in Munich. There is a lot of new development on both sides of the railway lines here but the old bridge still looks good. I´ve often looked at this area and thought it would be good to photograph. I still think that, but I did´t really get the right view points this time. I like this shot, but I´ll have to come back and really concentrate on the place. This time I was rather tired after tramping through Munich with all the gear and, to be honest, I´d lost the concentration that is required to really get into an area.
Another shot taken yesterday on my walk through Munich. I´m looking down onto a walkway which divides the small River Mühlbach from the much larger Isar. As with the photograph in yesterday´s post, I had to hang around for a while, leaning over the balustrade of the Maximilian Bridge until a walker came by to act as my model. Often, I find, people get in the way when photographing in cities, they choose to stand in exactly the wrong place, walk across the shot at exactly the wrong moment, sometimes, I suspect, with the purpose just to annoy me! But with this short of photograph, I think it needs someone in it to provide balance, to provide tension and a focus for the eye.
I was wandering around Munich today, photographing what caught my eye. The plan is to photograph Munich for the website. At one point I was up by the Friedensengel (Angel of Peace) which is a few hundred meters down river from the Bavarian State Parliament, when I noticed the shadows being cast against the wall underneath the statue. I stood around for a while photographing people as they climbed up or down the steps. Eventually a young chap came by and bounded up the step with a fair amount of élan. This is the result.
A few months ago I received an email from the editor in chief of the UK magazine “Woodworking Plans and Projects” asking if he could use one of my images. He wanted it to illustrate a story written by one of his readers. It told the story of how some of the wood saved from the demolition of the Tate and Lyle Sugar Refinery in Liverpool. UK, had been used in various woodworking projects. The editor had googled Tate and Lyle and the search result threw up a Blog article that I´d posted in February 2013. I was pleased that I could add to the readers enjoyment of the article – hopefully.
This enquiry and licensing of the use of one of my photographs highlighted a number of points for me. The first being that a photograph that I´d taken more than 40 years ago still had a use today. The second being, as well as fun, how useful blogging can be. The third, how important search engine optimization (SEO) is. And last but not least, the importance of picture captions and that they should say something useful about the photograph.
Going back to the first point, a photograph never looses it´s power to say something, to illustrate something and to bring back memories. I can still remember walking through the remains of the Liverpool dockland as they went under the wreckers ball and disappeared for ever or was spruced up into a sort of Disney World of the British nautical and industrial past. It also brings back harder memories of strife, poverty and division that was so much part of the British story of the 1980s.
By the way, the now long gone Tate and Lyle Sugar Refinery and it´s demise still has an important place in Liverpool folklore. No-one can know how something – even an ugly building – or a photograph of it´s innards being ripped out, can retain meaning.
I really should get on with scanning more of my old negatives and positives and getting them archived and online – who knows what stories are buried there, and for who!