30 August 2010

This Is Where We Walked

For all the shut down strangers and hot rod angels rumbling through this promised land, tonight my baby and me, we're gonna ride to the sea and wash these sins off our hands.

(Bruce Springsteen)

This is where we walked, this is where we swam. 
Take a picture here, take a souvenir.


A picture taken on 35mm film from my recent trip to Rügen. It's quite similar to this one taken with the 5D Mark II, but I'm still shooting on film from time to time so I thought I'd post this one, too. Taken with my old EOS300, and the 16-35mm lens which I use for most of my digital shots.

35mm Kodak Film, ISO 200. Exposure of 
something between 15 and 30 seconds.

Those of you who share my passion for cycling might enjoy this series of portraits on one of my favourite blogs.

Have a great week!

- Dom

26 August 2010


Gotta be at work at half past seven tomorrow. I went to bed early but couldn't sleep so I decided to upload another recent picture.

We're gonna expand the excavation site to almost double its previous size tomorrow. Everytime the driver of the excavator empties the bucket, we'll use the metal detector to search for metals such as bronze and iron. Pottery won't be detected, so what we don't see will be lost. I'm looking forward to that.

Hamburg, Germany. 
A beautiful, warm summer night.

Nightswimming, remembering that night
September's coming soon
I'm pining for the moon
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?

You, I thought I knew you
You, I cannot judge
You, I thought you knew me
This one laughing quietly
Underneath my breath

(Berry / Buck / Mills / Stipe)

Nightswimming is not only my favourite R.E.M. song, but one of my favourite songs of all time. Beautiful songwriting, piano playing, and singing. 

This evening, I found out that Christmas is coming early this year... November 16th, that is.


- Dom


Yesterday, I dug much deeper than last week into "what might have been a well"... turns out, it wasn't a well. According to the boss, it might have been a sewer pit because they were used for dumping waste too (and we did find a lot of bones and pieces of pottery in it), but we don't know for sure what we got there. Anyway, I wanted to give a little insight into the kind of stuff I'm doing all the time so here's a picture of what the situation looks like now. 

When you dig deeper, you take away a layer of soil no more than ten centimetres high (roughly four inches). We do this with a regular shovel. Next, you use a trowel to even the area. Photographs and drawings (in a scale of 1:50 for larger areas, and 1:20 for small sections such as this, respectively) are made for documentation. Last but not least, we use a dumpy level to compare elevations. And off you go, digging another ten centimetres deeper.

It's raining too much for us to work so I got another day off. Before I go on writing an essay I gotta hand in before the end of the semester break, here's a picture from last night...

Bardowick, Germany. August 2010.

With the eyes of a child
The wonder of it all
I used to search the stars at night
And I felt so safe and small

("Hearthammer" / Runrig)

Have a great day!

- Dom

24 August 2010

What I Have Left

Title taken from this beautiful song.

Rügen, Germany. August 2010.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
And I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
Miles to go before I sleep

(Robert Frost)

23 August 2010

The Great Escape from Gestapo County

It's a well-known fact that I've always admired five painters - more than anyone else Turner, followed by Böcklin, Friedrich, Gauguin, and Monet in no specific order. After I'd already visited Friedrich's chalk cliffs on Rügen, I drove further into eastern Germany to the ruins of Eldena Abbey, which appeared in another of Friedrich's paintings.

Eldena Abbey. 
Germany. August 2010.

The title is a reference to the classic movie set during World War II, starring Steve McQueen and an all-star cast featuring Charles Bronson, James Coburn, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough.
Greifswald, the town close to the village in which you find the ruins of the abbey, felt a bit like Nazi Germany. The typical socialist "Plattenbau" can be seen everywhere. There were three radar speed checks on what seemed to be the high street, all within a distance of less than a mile. And the gas station where I refuelled sold the Landser, a pulp magazine whose main goal is to glorify the Wehrmacht. Last but not least, there were two skinheads waiting on another petrol pump. Not the English, 1960's kind of skinheads - the German kind of skinheads! Frightening...

Check out my previous blog post featuring more photos from Rügen.


- Dom

Wish You Were Here

When you find the edge
Dangle one foot over the side
Feel the fear, know you're alive
That's how I wanna live

(Bruce Guthro)

So you think you can tell
Heaven from hell, blue skies from pain

How I wish, how I wish you were here

(Pink Floyd)

Jasmund National Park.
Rügen, Germany. August 2010.

According to the weather forecast, Saturday was the last beautiful day of the year. I hope they're wrong about that.

Have a nice day.

- Dom

Dig In Deep

It's been raining cats and dogs today. Fortunately, both the supervisor and I have taken Monday off, so I'm getting to enjoy another lazy day. Tomorrow and the day after we're gonna dig deep into what might have been a well. In the picture below, it's the dark area in the corner of the excavation site. Wells have often been used to dispose of litter that could no longer be used, such as broken pottery or bones. 

Excavation site. August 2010.

Song title taken from a song by Bruce Guthro.

Have a great week!

- Dom

22 August 2010

Edge Of The World

Rügen, Germany. August 2010.

1st picture: 15 seconds; F/10; ISO 100
2nd picture: 30 seconds; F/22; ISO 50
3rd picture: 6 seconds; F/22; ISO 50

In my opinion, Rügen is not only the most beautiful spot in Germany, but amongst the most picturesque in all of Continental Europe. I'm gonna have to exclude the UK of course, because there's some beaches in Dorset which outshine those of Rügen. The Baltic Sea is in the background. The chalk cliffs have been made famous all over Europe by 18th century German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich.

If you want to visit Rügen, I suggest you watch the sunrise down by the cliffs. Listening to the best album for driving in the dark, Bat Out Of Hell, I left home around midnight and arrived in the parking lot closest to the cliffs just before five o'clock on Saturday. You can walk along the coast for many miles without seeing another person.

Have a nice weekend!

- Dom

18 August 2010

Radio Nowhere

I was tryin' to find my way home
But all I heard was a drone
Bouncing off a satellite 
Crushing the last lone American night

(Bruce Springsteen)

Somewhere 10 miles out of Lüneburg, Germany.
August 2010.
250 seconds; F/10; ISO 800

The Beatles arrived in Hamburg 50 years plus one day ago. They played at different venues such as the Star Club for a couple years before finally moving back to Liverpool and becoming the superstars they're known for. Those first years most have been very exciting because back in those days, Hamburg was the place to be and the so-called Reeperbahn was probably one of the most dangerous places in Europe.


- Dom

15 August 2010

City Of Lights

1st picture: 60 seconds, F/14, ISO 320; 2nd picture: 30 seconds, F/14, ISO 4000; 3rd picture: 35 seconds, F/10, ISO 6400. The blue lights in the last picture are from some disco in another town. All pictures taken in and around Lüneburg, Germany. August 2010. 

Title of this blog post taken from a song by Runrig, a Scottish folk/rock band who's been active since 1973. I've been to their 30th anniversary concert at Stirling Castle, Scotland, in August 2003. Gonna see them again at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow this December. I got tickets for the show, which I gotta pick up at the box office half an hour before the gig because they don't post outside of the UK. Apart from the tickets, I have nothing else booked so far. I guess I'll be flying from Hamburg to Edinburgh via Amsterdam because that seems to be the cheapest route available. Then I'll get to Glasgow via National Rail. I love Edinburgh more than Glasgow so I'll spend only the night of the concert there, then get back to Edinburgh and check out the pubs, go shopping for a kilt or a few more tartan scarves to  add to my collection, and do some more tourist stuff. I'll be in Scotland for a couple days but I reckon I won't rent a car. Maybe for one day to visit Loch Lomond, the famous lake I've been to on every one of my previous holidays in this beautiful country.

The fourth week of digging is over. We only worked four days though because both the boss and the supervisor had to attend some meeting. I signed up for another week, after which I'll take a week off to finish writing another essay and go on a little trip somewhere. Not sure where, I'm gonna decide between Rügen - one of Germany's most beautiful islands - and southern Sweden. The week after my week off I'll continue working at the excavation, and except for one week I'll work throughout all of September and the first half of October. Summer holidays are supposed to be a time when you hang out in the garden and read a good book, but working out there in the field - digging up stuff that no human before me has touched in the past nine or ten centuries, drawing maps of the site, seeing the progress you've made every day - all of that is so awesome that I wouldn't want to waste my time doing something else.  I've been interested in archaeology since I was a kid (I got this book about archaeological sites in Britain), and what I'm doing now isn't falling short of what I imagined it would be like. It's great that there's something else I'm good at other than photography, so once I've graduated I might work as either an archaeologist or a photographer or both of them.

Hope you have a nice weekend...

- Dom

07 August 2010

At My Most Beautiful

The following picture was exposed for 790 seconds at F/18; ISO 1000. The building isn't illuminated at night (except for during Christmas) - all the light comes from street lamps and the night sky. That's the reason why I chose a higher ISO number than usually (I prefer to shoot at ISO 50 or ISO 100), along with the fact that I need to get my sensor cleaned professionally before / if I go on holiday in England.

Click here to check out what this place looked like during Christmas time last year. Both times I was lucky that a car drove through this tiny street, which adds some nice lights.

I've mentioned it in the paragraph above - "if" I go on holiday in England. The third week of digging is over, and I've signed up for another week. I might add a fifth week. Then I'm gonna take a week off which will be dedicated to writing an essay which I gotta hand in early next month. My best friend's going to be in the area too, so we might do some stuff together. I definitely want to work some more weeks at the excavation site (preferably beginning early in September until right before the start of the winter semester), so I might postpone my planned vacation to another semester break.

As much as it is a shame that I won't be going on one of the road trips that I love so much this year, I think it's a great sign that working as an archaeologist is more important to me than going on holiday... this is the best proof that I've chosen the right job for myself.

Have a great weekend, and (hopefully) gorgeous weather.

- Dom

01 August 2010

The Ocean Road

Still the ocean rolled round this smallest sphere
Through an endless void, to fade and disappear

("The Ocean Road" / Runrig)

Ludlow; Essex; Santa Monica Beach. California. June 2009.

One night on my road trip through the American West last summer, I left the interstate and turned onto historic Route 66. I was too tired to continue driving and the world surrounding me was absolutely dark and silent. Not a light was to be seen except for my own headlights. I pulled over, parked the car and got out to take a look at the perfect night sky. I heard a coyote somewhere close to where I stood so I got back inside instead of taking a long exposure. The next morning I woke up to one hell of a noise... one of those endless freight trains was rattling through the desert and I realized I had parked just a couple yards away from the rail tracks.

Driving along Route 66 means travelling through the glory days of the long ago... seeing the remnants of dreams lived, and lives lost... the abandoned houses, burned out cars, empty beer bottles and coke cans, and a pair of boots left on a dusty fridge... memories and stories never told, soon to fade away like the twilight.

After this Route 66 experience, I found my way through the L.A. traffic until I had reached the shore of the Pacific at Santa Monica Beach. I took pictures of the pier before checking into an over-priced motel close to Redondo Beach.

Have a nice day.

- Dom