Karoline's Work and Words About Working With Me in Norway

My lovely Norwegian clients were teenage sisters.  Their eye for composition and their ability to understand what I was showing them about photography, impressed me. 

They wrote of working with me and made me adore them even more :-)

Working with Di has been incredibly fun! At first, I thought it was going to be challenging learning everything in English, but it was surprisingly easy.

She is a really great teacher, and a really great person. I will definitely start taking a lot more pictures now that I know how to do it properly.

It has been an amazing experience that I will never forget!

Rebecca's Work and Words About Working With Me in Norway

You know us teens; we're bad at giving things a chance before deciding whether it's fun or boring, and I honestly thought it would be boring. But no, it was incredibly fun!

And not only was Di a good teacher, she is also one of those people who is easy to kind of connect with. And for me, that is very important. She taught us a lot more than just photography.

It was a great experience and I definitely have been inspired to photograph more.

Scenes from Norway ...

I had spent time processing the photographs I took in Norway ... needing to get them out and back to people there.

Today, in a terrifying moment where Ihavenoideawhatjusthappened, I managed to delete the entire Norway folder ... while deleting 3 smaller folders of photographs I couldn't access, sent by someone else.

I never ever delete folders in my Super JPG program but today I did. 

Never ever again.

I managed to recover almost all 1,853 images via one of those incredible rescue programs.  My punishment was that each file needed individually clicked to have to restored.  The day has been long.

But anway ... some Norwegian scenes.

Stavanger Konserthus, Norway

Located in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year Stavanger cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage. This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses,and has contributed significantly to spreading the city's population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger.

Stavanger is today considered the center of the oil industry in Norway and is one of Europe's energy capitals and is often called the oil capital. Forus Business Park located on the municipal boundary between Stavanger, Sandnes and Sola and is one of the largest business parks with 2,500 companies and nearly 40,000 jobs.

Source: Wikipedia.

I was walking back to Ren's place when we passed the Stavanger Konserthus.  I couldn't resist attempting to capture a sense of the place ... from the outside.

Denise Leith, 'What Remains' ...

I flew today, waking at 4am for a 6am flight from Stavanger to Copenhagen, Denmark.  And I have to confess, I love this feeling of the world making itself real as I travel.  Norway and Denmark were places that confused me back in New Zealand during those long-ago geography classes but today I learned where they were, having bravely taken a window seat, no longer fearing there may be dragons at the edge of my known world.

Copenhagen ... on an island so flat, or so it seemed from the air, that it looked like one big wave might roll over the city and cover it. 

But as I flew, I was reading.  Devouring one of the best fictions I've read.  'Best' because it was well-written ... best because it was written by a war journalist too, and their stories are the non-fiction genre I read most.

Denise Leith has a Ph.D. in International Relations, which she teaches part time at Macquarie University in Sydney. Her special interests are the politics of war, human rights and humanitarian action, peace keeping and peace enforcing, Middle East Politics, the Rwandan genocide, the United Nations and US foreign policy.

Denise has two published non fiction books, The Politics of Power: Freeport in Suharto's Indonesia (University of Hawaii Press 2002) and Bearing Witness: The Lives of War Correspondents and Photojournalists (Random House 2004) and the novel What Remains (Allen & Unwin 2012). She is also a contributor to the anthology Fear Factor: Terror Incognito (Pan Macmillan and Picador 2010) and 'A Country Too Far (Penguin 2013).

I was reading her book, What Remains, and I read as the plane climbed up out of Stavanger.  I read, glancing just briefly out as we passed over fiords in Norway.  I read as the pilot flew low over the North Sea, landing at the airport in Copenhagen.  And I read as I snacked there, breakfast, and continued to read after boarding that second plane returning me home.

And while I was curious about the view from those plane windows the book held me fast.  I dove into the story of Kate Price and war zones, of Pete McDermott, and a big love. 

I read the closing chapters on the 45-minute bus ride from Brussels Airport to Antwerp, wiping away the threat of tears while reading it right through to the end.  Then, still not quite home, I spun back to the start, just to be sure of what I had read there ...

I fell into bed here in Belgium, slept for 2 hours and was woken so that I would sleep tonight, only to realise I was missing the story that had carried me across a small part of Europe.

Denise Leith also knew the journalist, Marie Colvin, who was killed while reporting in Syria.  She has included an interview she made with Marie.  It appears in her book Bearing Witness but that particular interview is there on her website.

If things are never spoken of, if people accept all without informing themselves, then incredibly horrific things can happen.  I so very much admire those who go out and bear witness for as long as they can.  The price is huge.  I'm recommending Denise's book ... so very highly.

Meanwhile, I'm still playing with my new photo-editing tool.  I was out on the Stavanger fiord yesterday and took the shot below.  It was stunning out there.  Just stunning.

Norway ... Just So Much.

I'm not even sure how to tell my stories from these days spent in Norway.

The days have been intense, the company superb, the food a delight, the weather ... all that I needed it to be.  I've met lovely people and smiled often. 

Today, after a session with some exquisite horses, Ren took me on a boatride out into the fiords here.   No words but here I am, doing the 'selfie' thing while out there on the boat.

In Norway Today ...

I love the amusing things I'm finding here in Stavanger, Norway.  The big red supply ship, with the huge mouth and sharp teeth painted on the bow, parked in the harbour below.  The hairdresser's sign in the photograph at the end of this post.  And the graffiti ...the graffiti here needs a whole  its own post.  It's divine.

And Norwegians speak the most beautiful English.  Ylvis prepared me for the English but oh... it is everywhere in this country I've not known until now.  The interview I'm linking to, switches to English at about 1 minute but these guys were my very first introduction to Norway.

Today though, we were in the most exqusite teahouse I've ever had the privilege of visiting.  Thank you to Selman, for his hospitality and kindess, and his truly good tea.

Rebecca and Karoline were such a pleasure to spend time wandering with, and I'm loving the light and the photography too.

It's like that.

Zucchini Blossoms and So Much More ...

I have been waiting for my writing voice to return ... waiting for my desire to process photographs endlessly ... waiting for my creativity to reappear.

Tonight, perhaps it has begun to arrive.

It was the oddest kind of day.  A 15 minute photo-shoot turned into 8 hours of, sometimes, epic journey that began as I leapt from my train, fearing the doors might close on me but knowing I must leap because Mr Crazy Dog was barking up a storm out on mainstreet, and Miss 10 appeared to be the innocent cause.  Or so I was told over the phone.

Crisis averted, I finally caught up with Simon and Paola, over in Brussels, photographed their renovations and talked ..a lot  :-)  Well, perhaps all that talking was me.  Paola is the friend who so generously allows me to use her apartment in Genova.  I wanted to catch her up on stories from Genova ... this is my excuse for all the talking.

8 hours after leaving home, I returned.  Falling asleep on the train between Brussels and Antwerp but waking in time to get off at the right station.

Tonight, 10.30pm,  I began to download a treasure trove of photographs.  A portrait session I did at Lake Como, with my delightful business partner, Helen

And during the downloading I discovered the image below, taken during a lunch with Andrea, from IC Bellagio.  Thank you to Andrea for the lunch and for the conversation.  It was a lovely way to say goodbye to this country I've come to love.

So many more stories to follow in the days and weeks ahead although ... I'm packing for Norway.  I have a photography workshop there soon.  Not only that, it's summer too.  My little cup runneth over.

Ren Powell - poet, playwright, translator & teaching artist

The book released here in Norway in December is An Elastic State of Mind, which is an imaginative autobiography in formal and free verse. Three years of intense work with form, two years of historical research, and another two years with the translator: this baby was a long time in coming. The review that came out last week was positive, with the caveat that it was demanding of the reader. 

The book I am editing now, which will be finished in March, is Ewe in the Rain. It's more of a seduction than a demand.

Ren Powell, an extract from her post over on Mad Orphan Lit

Fascinating reading!  Take a peek. 

The photograph ... Boccadasse, Italy.