30 October 2009

Darkness On The Edge Of Town

In the southern part of Hamburg, a city which is divided into two halves by the river Elbe, there's an old engine shed that's no longer being used. I went there twice this year (once in the winter, once in the summer), so I wanted to come back in autumn too. The fall foliage is particularly beautiful this year.
Upon my arrival, I noticed that demolition work had already begun some time ago. It might not be false to say that I may have been the last photographer to visit the place.

Apart from today's photographic trip (Friday is my day off of university), everything is fine. The professors and tutors & the other guys and girls are all great, and among the latter is the most lovely young lady you could possibly imagine.
In addition, I got a lot of books to read, a total of nine, that is. Some in German, some in English; fortunately there were no foreign language books on the list of books we were supposed to buy. I can only speak two languages. I've had five years of Latin back in school though. But who writes books in Latin? I don't even want to contemplate that question.

Have a nice weekend!

- Dom

24 October 2009

If I Should Fall Behind

So whatever I did write in my last blog post - which I have since deleted - forget about it!
No 15-blog-posts-per-month routine. I am too busy to keep up with that. I've already fallen behind that schedule in the very same month I thought about starting it.
Before the Christmas break, I got three presentations coming up that need to be well-prepared, and probably some more stuff. University isn't exactly like a Sunday picnic, it's hard work, at least if you wanna do well, and that is my intention. 

I have recently heard from my web designer, and I gotta call him soon, so we can finally put that homepage online. I had asked him to make some minor changes, and I still gotta resize and upload pictures, which I will do A.S.A.P.!

I'm gonna drop all the portraits taken with my first DSLR since they just can't keep up with the quality of my new 5D Mark II.
Long story short, I might as well drop all landscape photos taken with the old one from my portfolio as well.
Therefore, I'd like to - for one last time - show you some photos from my "Desolation Row" - series taken between autumn 2006 and spring 2008. They're the only old ones I still enjoy looking at.



Photos taken in Kingston, Richmond, and Surbiton, respectively. London, United Kingdom. 
2006 / 2007 / 2008.

Have a great weekend everyone!

- Dom

14 October 2009

No Surrender

Asbury Park, New Jersey. June 2009.

Hello there, everyone! 

It's been a few days since my last blog post. Today was the third day at uni and me and two fellow students successfully swapped our major and minor - not without a lot of convincing and substantial amount of trouble though! All three of us had Classic Archaeology as major, and Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology (P.a.P.A.) as minor. Upon learning that the latter is supposed to be much more of an applied science than Classic Archaeology, which is all about the art and architecture of ancient Greece and the Roman empire, we decided to respond to this issue quickly. 

If you got P.a.P.A. as a major, you can visit lectures about the Celts and the Germanic and Nordic tribes, in addition, you're going to work in the field, and upon graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, you've got lots of different options to choose from, no matter if you want to continue studying until you get a master degree and later a doctor degree which would allow you to lead archaeological excavatios, or if you want to find out more about other fields of science, such as Forensic Archaeology or Forensic Anthropology. At the moment, I'm interested in all those possible careers, and I'll definitely continue studying in one way or another and decide what I'm gonna do.

Apart from this trouble that we had there, everything is great. There are some really nice people among my fellow students and even though it's gonna involve a lot of hard work, I'm sure this whole university thing will be one hell of a cool time. 

Have a great week everyone!

- Dom

11 October 2009

Long Road Out Of Eden

Joshua Tree, in the national park of the same name.
California. June 2009.

The picture you see here is a combination of the original colour photograph and a sepia version of the same photo; by doing this you get the kind of reduced, desaturated colours we know from movies like "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"... it's a great way to illustrate what it feels like to actually be there in that place, out in the desert. In addition, it's the first square photograph to appear on this blog. I'm not shooting with a fancy, super expensive camera like the Hasselblad, but the huge image size of the 5D Mark II allows me to crop pictures into a square format without them becoming too small.

It's my 21st birthday, so I gotta go and eat some of my favourite apple pie now.

Have a nice weekend / week!

- Dom

09 October 2009

This Hard Land


Taken a short time after crossing the Arizona-Utah border. June 2009.

Sometimes, a telephone cable and a highway are the only things that connect you to the rest of the world...

Have a nice weekend!

- Dom

07 October 2009


Somewhere along the road, west of Winslow, Arizona. June 2009.

Crushed by a million suns 
Here the heart of you lies
(excerpt from "Proterra", by C. & R. MacDonald)

If you have not yet found a good book to read while you're wrapped in a blanket, enjoying a cup of tea and listening to the cracking logs in the fireplace, I'd recommend the following two books. They're set in the kind of places that I passed through to take the pictures you see on this blog, and places I'm gonna visit on my next American road trip...

Cormac McCarthy: "All The Pretty Horses"
One of the greatest American novels of all time.

Annie Proulx: "Close Range: Wyoming Stories"
A collection of short stories covering a broad spectrum of different moods ranging from happy to sad and from satirical to cynical, and last but not least the tale of an unconventional romance that has been dubbed the greatest American love story ever told.

Goodnight everyone!

- Dom

05 October 2009

Big Songs Of Hope And Cheer

The chapel and the sign of Roy's Motel & Café respectively, Amboy, California. June 2009.

For some reason it only occured to me today to try and find out how some of my photographs from this summer's road trip looked in sepia. And I'm quite happy with them. You may wonder why I'm posting pictures now that I took a few months ago... well, that's what I always do, reviewing the pictures, and occasionally I'll crop a picture differently or retouch a few things.

Next monday (October 12th, the day after my 21st birthday) marks the beginning of the university period in my life. This might consume something between three and seven years... but I'll always be taking pictures... archaeology is a field of interest, photography though is my greatest passion, even if I'm just browsing through someone else's photographs if they're good enough.

Those who are familiar with the kind of music I listen to most of the time might may have noticed that almost every blog post so far has been given, and future ones will be given, the title of a song either by Bruce Springsteen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Eagles, Runrig, or Ryan Adams. They're some of the artists that inspire me most while editing pictures, and their songs always cheer me up or make me feel even better. Just in case one of you has ever wondered where I get the titles from.
Have a great week everyone!

- Dom

03 October 2009

Glory Days

It's in the heartland of the American West where you find places that don't look much different than they did 30, 40, 50, even 60 years ago. When you're passing through small-town America, you feel like a character out of a novel written by Cormac McCarthy or John Steinbeck, or the protagonist of one of Annie Proulx' short stories. 

Driving along historic Route 66 through California's Mojave Desert, the hot and barren Arizona, or the badlands and canyonlands of southern Utah, you might not come across another traveller for several hours, but there's still lots of things to see. 

Driving through the American West at nighttime though means driving through hours of darkness. There are no lights except for your own dimmed headlights or the ones of some faraway truck. Distances seem to become greater and time seems to pass by slower, but all of a sudden you drive down a slope and the shining town lies below you, with all the yellow-ish street lights, stretching out vast across the valley like a lot of those western towns do. 

It's a great view, and the first thing you do is refuel your car at the next gas station and get an ice-cold bottle of Coke, and maybe three pancakes with maple syrup if there's some diner that's still open.

What I love most about this small-town America are the signs. Here are five of them, remainders of the glory days of Route 66...

All pictures taken in California & Arizona in June 2009.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

- Dom