Dispatches & Sketches

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Sweden, slowly

I think I haven't been photographed that often in my whole life.

If you spend most of your time on the bow of an old boat on its way along the Göta Canal in Sweden, this is inevitable.

It seems, the whole country is out celebrating the summer on a party of a national scale, and you come invited—and looked at.

It is a perfect holiday.

Yes, the boat is old (from 1931), the cabins are tiny, and the facilities are shared. There's no TV, not even a radio, and guests are asked not to use their mobiles when on board.

On the other hand, the going is so slow, the space is so limited, the concerns are so non-existing, that all you seem to have is time, and that in abundance.

This is like being a child again, with long days of nothing to worry about, of having nothing to do, of doing nothing, just sitting on a deck, or standing on another, watching the world go by, not fly, for a change, not waiting for anything to happen, not expecting anything to happen, aside from the next meal being called out, delicious as always.

Taking your time.

Having the time of your life.

Morning along the Göta Canal, Motala, Sweden

The pictures from the Göta Canal in Sweden are online now.

Rain in paradise

"You better leave your life vests at the pier before venturing out. They might go off in the rain, we saw it happen."

We are in the small harbour of Puerto Edén, just out of zodiacs, and from head to toe in waterproof gear.

The village sits on a small island lost in the labyrinth of Chilean fjords, only accessible by boat, facing the nearing winter, drowning.

The guides are seeing us off to roam the place on our own, and off I go.

It's raining cats and dogs, and all other creatures. I am glad to have left the camera on the ship, it is awkward to be without, the hands seem totally useless, hands down, I shrug to keep them busy.

The hamlet is a crisscross of boardwalks in different states of repair, it seems they would keep it in place from sliding downhill, and it looks as if missing planks already put some ends out of reach, lost them to the elements, forever, irreversible.

Myst, Stoneship Age

I can't help thinking of Myst, that old adventure game, and its Ages, with their isolation, and their confines, and their pathways.

I have to think of its unnamed hero, fallen into its world by accident, having opened a wrong book, or was it the right in the end? There wasn't even an end, just thereafter.

The boardwalk here does have an end, it leads to a gazebo protruding into the sea, there is a chair, not very comfortable one, plastic and tubes, with legs thin enough to pass through cracks in the floor.

I move the chair, trying to avoid the void underneath with all legs, and sit down. I look out to the sea and check the time on my mobile, there is still plenty.

The rain hasn't stopped, but at least I have a roof over head here. I listen to the rain and keep thinking about Myst and this, my adventure.

The weather was nicer in the game. Yes, the weather was so much nicer.

The pictures from Patagonia are online now. If you need a soundtrack while watching them, try this.

YouTube and you

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A kind of magic

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Telling weather

In this issue, we'll explore how to predict weather and what tools to use for its forecast, both short- and long-term, anywhere in the world. After all, you never know where your next holiday will bri…

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Bright side

December is the darkest time of the year, at least in these latitudes.

I cannot tell how much I miss the light.

I wake up to the persistent ringing of the alarm clock, and have to kick me out of bed every so-called morning which feels like the deepest night instead.

Every single day I start with waiting for the light to begin functioning again.

One would argue, waiting for the light is what photographers do the whole time anyway.

This is true for many, I agree. For my part, I rarely can afford it. I have too little time to spare at any place I visit.

Even if I spend a reasonable amount of time in the vicinity, I almost never return to the same place. I know I have to work with what's available at the moment and try my best both on location and later, when post-processing.

This is as simple as it gets.

You can wait for something to happen, or you can do your best with what's at hand.

Think about it for a minute.

Late afternoon at Lac de Moiry in Val d'Anniviers, Valais, Switzerland

The images from Lake Maggiore in Italy and Val d'Anniviers in Switzerland are now online.

Selected pictures from both last series are also available for print orders on the dedicated page.

White space

White space is what graphic designers call empty room surrounding their "important" content.

We see it constantly, on- and offline. We don't notice it, because this is how it is supposed to be.

White space separates letters, words, and lines of text from each other. It stands between paragraphs, highlights images, and breaks pages.

It doesn't have own value. Its purpose is to make other, meaningful things stand out. We only pay attention to it when it is missing.

Photographers call the same negative space, but this sounds, erm, too negative—forgive the pun.

Greenland is full of white space. It is the largest island on Earth, a huge area with a thin coastline inhabited by a tiny population. The rest, its entire interior is covered with ice.

Its map is still full of Unexplored markings, to this day. Obviously, the Age of Discovery had spent its time elsewhere, and now it's simply too late.

It seems, Greenland may remain white space for some time.

Its sky.

Its seas.

Its ice.

Its light.

The old Civilization II computer game had a scenario with an alien military base banged dead in the middle of Greenland.

I always liked the idea.

Iceberg at sunset off West Greenland coast

Images from the extreme north of Greenland are online now.

Dog days

These last several weeks have been extremely hot all over Europe. The current forecast assumes it will stay this way, for a long while.

I have had enough, I am ready to escape. 30 hours after I will have posted this, I will hopefully land in Greenland, on to discover Thule, the mythic world's end of the Greeks and Vikings, in single-digit degrees Centigrade, thirty-to-forty-something Fahrenheit, for a change.

The same scorching heat tormenting the northerners lately seems to have taken care of the sea ice along the planned route of my cruise. Ironic, I am going to benefit from what everybody around, including myself, has been suffering for so long.

Notes to self: Open windows don't make the heat disappear, quite the contrary. Retaining some decency in your attire doesn't make you feel more comfortable, but so much more confident. The life still goes on, but on a low heat, or so it seems, strange, high vs low and outer vs inner. The latter note doesn't relate to arguments, though.

Two days ago, the longest total moon eclipse in this century took place, as an omen of some kind.

I am off to pack, I hate it.

During my holiday, I won't be able to check my emails, nor tend to your orders, sorry. I will be back on August 15.

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Cool, man

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Deep purple

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In your face

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As white can be

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Reach for the stars

Mountains make great photo subjects, and their pictures – executed right – make great photo prints. Take this one. With its assuring "yes-we-can" attitude it will be easily at home in any environm…

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Word for word

Photography isn't exactly a science, but even so, it is rooted in one. With this, and its strong technology links to boot, it is no surprise that it comes with a whole bank of its own terms. These pho…

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