26 May 2010


From the churches to the jails
Tonight all is silence in the world
As we take our stand
Down in Jungleland
("Jungleland", Bruce Springsteen)

"What could be more romantic than
dying in the moonlight?"
(Tom Waits)

Picture taken at Falkensteiner Ufer, 
Hamburg, Germany. May 2010.
F/22; ISO 50; 66 seconds

I was challenged to take a self portrait, which I'll get done by the end of the week (hopefully). Maybe I'm gonna upload it on here, maybe not. Before I can think about what exactly I'm gonna come up with, I gotta finish writing this 15-page-essay about the Ara Pacis Augustae, a building in Rome. Usually, it's not difficult to write 15 pages, but it's taking a long time because you have to use footnotes every time you write something which isn't the result of your own scientific research into the topic.

Before I forget it, here's another picture taken about an hour before the one above. It's the Docklands building in Hamburg. I would've loved to take it during the blue hour too, but the shipwreck was more important to me so I guess I'll be coming back some other day, and shoot it from the same position as this one.

I hope you've had a great week so far.

- Dom

17 May 2010

Growin' Up

I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere and you know it's really hard to hold your breath / I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress / Well my feet they finally took root in the earth but I got me a nice little place in the stars / And I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car

(Growin' Up, Bruce Springsteen)

Lonesome tree, Lüneburg, Germany. May 2010.

The picture above is the result of combining several different images (see below). For the first one, I lit up the foreground with the lights of my car (373 seconds, F/22, ISO 160). The second one was shot at ISO 6400 and exposed for 120 seconds at F/22 to add some atmospheric lights to the background. The third picture was an even longer exposure (323 seconds, F/16, ISO 6400) and I lit up the foreground again. To achieve the result in the picture above, I used #1 once, and both #2 and #3 twice. I hope you like it... I haven't done that kind of stuff before.

Fellow photographer and friend Brooke - we've been following each other's photography-wise "growin' up" for a long time now - recently blogged about how she noticed that most people give up their dreams and passions. She ain't one of them and neither am I. Most of my buddies don't understand how I can possibly enjoy standing outside in the cool night taking pictures. But they're also the ones who study something that's related to economics, such as business studies, because all that matters to them now is how much money they're gonna make in the future. But what's all the money worth if you're not doing something that you enjoy doing? If you get up early in the morning, knowing that you're gonna hate the rest of day because you're working a job that you don't like? 

I've chosen two lines of work - archaeologist and photographer - which don't leave me with such big chances of making a lot of money (in fact, even some of our lecturers have told us that most archaeologists are unemployed), and it's gonna require a bloody huge effort of hard work to get somewhere in life, and a lot of courage too, and here applies a quote from To Kill A Mockingbird... in this masterpiece of a book, Atticus Finch says about courage, "It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."  - If only to prove them all wrong. 
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in the ending of The Great Gatsby, "So we beat on, boats against the current..." - and that's what it's all about. Not giving up, that is. 

I just wish that more young people wouldn't just give up on trying to turn their passions into a job and making their dreams come true.

Have a great week y'all.

- Dom

16 May 2010

Devils & Dust

"Devils & Dust", from a Bruce Springsteen song and album of the same name.

I was going to visit a few historic sites as well as an excavation today, but the trip, which was organised by my favourite archaeology professor at the University of Hamburg, got cancelled. No new pictures today...

Instead, I edited a few photos from my trip to the Nazi-built beach resort Prora on the island Rügen (off the German Baltic Sea coast). I've visited the place last year. I recently watched Band Of Brothers again - every single frame of which has undergone this awesome 1940's colour grading treatment. I've experimented a little and this is the result. I think it fits better than both the original colour version, as well as the black&white one. More pictures on my homepage, which also features interior shots of the giant building, and is soon to be both modified and updated. Other great pictures of the Prora KdF resort can be found on the following website, which belongs to one of my favourite photographers of abandonment and urban decay, Björn Sahlberg from Sweden.

Have a nice weekend!

- Dom

07 May 2010

Even Better Than The Real Thing

Another U2 song, from the Achtung Baby album.

Here's a photograph of the television tower at Berlin's Alexanderplatz. I don't know what the strange building in the front is for. The sky was lit beautifully by the city's lights and the long exposure and a little post-processing helped increase the effect. Picture taken on a cold winter night in February 2010. The temperature was below zero degrees Celsius.

From time to time I mention music or other artists that inspire me. Those of you who know me personally know that I'm a supporter of the Free Tibet campaign, but I must admit that I'm very impressed with this Chinese photographer.

Seems like David Cameron has won the election. Can't wait to find out whether or not the Lib Dems are gonna accept his offer to form a government together.

Have a nice weekend!

- Dom

04 May 2010

Running To Stand Still

Teufelsberg listening station, Berlin, Germany. May 2010. 

The weather on the 1st of May was great, so my buddy Sebastian, whom I was visiting over the weekend, and I went on a little urban exploration trip. Seb and I graduated together and left London within a month of each other.
Pictures of this place have appeared in a previous blog post from February 2010. More information can be found here.

Take a look at the other blog post from Berlin too, which features more photographs of abandoned places.

I hope you have a great week!

- Dom

02 May 2010

Where The Streets Have No Name

"Where The Streets Have No Name", from U2's The Joshua Tree album, which has always been one of my favourites.

I spent Friday and Saturday in Berlin, arriving back home Saturday night. The She & Him concert at the Lido club was awesome; they had a great set list and the sound was perfect. 

In addition, thanks to some urban exploring, I've got new photographs to show on this blog and add to my website. I re-visited Beelitz Sanatorium for the fourth or fifth time, and the NSA listening station Teufelsberg for the third time. 

The pictures below are interior shots taken in the abandoned hospital in Beelitz, a small town which is also famous for its asparagus (I'm a vegetarian, but I don't like asparagus at all, so I won't be able to tell you if it's worth a trip to Beelitz - it's out in the sticks).

I've done all my work for the Hedeby presentation; gonna watch an episode or two of Band Of Brothers now. Thanks to the British Shop in Hamburg, there's cool Spitfire ale in my fridge. Not only do they have the best looking bottles, they have one of the best advertising portfolios ever, too. Just think about it though, a beer called "Messerschmitt" wouldn't sell anyways.


- Dom