Ute i kylan

”Out in the Cold”  Summary in English after the photos.

Det har varit en mild vinter minst sagt.

Men i början av januari hade vi några riktigt fina dagar som bjöd på det bästa vintern har att ge. Jag gick ut. Dryga fem kilometers promenad senare kom jag hem, blöt med kalla fötter, men lycklig!

Promenaden var som en dröm.

En perfekt magisk vinterdag. Då kylan biter i kinderna, precis så där lagom så att de blir röda av kylan, men inte gör ont. Solen skiner krispigt blekgul lågt på himlen och kastar långa skuggor, himlen lyser vinterblå mellan lätta moln. Snötäcket bäddar in landskapet och reflekterar solen i bländande vitt. Pyttesmå snöflingor fyller luften med glittrande stjärnstoft när de fångas upp av solens strålar.

En vintersaga. På riktigt. Det var nästan så att jag fick nypa mig i armen för att inse att det var verklighet.

Känslan av att ha varit med om något riktigt speciellt och magiskt satt i flera dagar efteråt. Lätt i själen. Förundrad och lycklig.

Tänk att en promenad en perfekt vinterdag kan åstadkomma detta.

Har du haft någon vinter hos dig i år? Vad tycker du är det bästa med vintern?

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Kottla, Lidingö
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Långängen, Lidingö
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Långängen, Lidingö

Out in the cold

We have had a really mild winter.

But one day in early January, I went for a walk in a magical winter landscape. One of those fairy tale winter days where everything was just perfect.

The cold air was crisp and clear, just cold enough to make my cheeks turn red, but not hurt. Tiny tiny snowflakes sprinkled the air in fairy stardust sparkles as they were hit by the pale yellow winter sun. The snow cover blinded me as it reflected the sun.

It was such a fairy tale. Magical.

I had to pinch myself to realise it was all real. The magical feeling stayed with me for days afterwards. My soul so light. Astounded and happy.

Imagine that a winter walk on a perfect winter’s day can do that to you.

Have you had any winter so far this year where you are? What is the best thing about winter to you?

Annonser

Before and after: Winter vs summer

As you who read this blog on a at least somewhat regular basis know, I have my favourite place Elfvik as a recurring theme. You’ve heard me gush about it 100 times at least and seen heaps of photos from the place. And you will see plenty more in the future – you bet. No escaping Elfvik in this blog. So be prepared for another Elfvik blog entry right now.

For the very few of you who read this blog not living in Sweden, summer came by over the weekend here which was also a long weekend for most people thanks to the ”squeeze day” on Friday. I think the rest of Europe got a taste of summer this weekend too?

It caught most of us by surprise I think. Just a week ago we were freezing in our winter clothes and it seemed like spring would never come for real.

Anyway back to Elfvik. You can imagine how much I loved my walk and rest on my favourite spot by the water on Saturday. It was surreal to sit there now in just a summer top soaking in the sun and feeling it burn my skin. Listening to the waves hitting the shore and the birds singing in different harmonies from their tree top viewpoints. The last time I sat on this spot, I was in full winter attire and the only thing keeping me a tiny bit warm and fingers from frostbite was my hot tea.

So I thought I’d show you a photo I took on an Elfvik walk this winter of a beautiful weathered gazebo, and the same gazebo from my walk on Saturday.

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This winter. (This photo is previously posted in a Swedish entry Ett fönster mot fantasin)

_MG_7376The same window, in a wider angle on hot 7th of May.

I like windows. I like old buildings. I like this aesthetics of buildings that reminds me of early 1900s. So this gazebo really gets my imagination going.

What triggers your imagination?

Winter strikes back

We are now through the spring equinox so now the light is definitely beating the darkness. On Sunday it’s daylight saving time finally. The light is officially BACK! Yay.

But here in Stockhom the winter is still fighting spring. Snow is falling from the sky and it’s chilly. I love snow but now I have had enough of it. So these winter strikes are annoying, but deep inside I know – spring will prevail and conquer in the end. So that thought is what keeps me going now.

It’s like a metaphor of life. If you just hang in there, never give up, never lose hope and the sight of a sunny horizon, good things will come. The bad strikes back, it always does because life is a constant mix of good and bad, but the good always wins if we let it win. The key is also to see the good through the bad. It is always there if we are open to see it even when times are hard.

Even though the snow in late March annoys me, I can still see its beauty.

Life is beautiful.

The tree project 7 – trees in winter

I was planning to get out to take photos for Jen’s and my tree project this evening after I came home from my trip but I got caught up with work so those plans had to go. So for this week’s theme – trees in winter – I go back to old photos. I took a photo on one of my photo walks in the beginning of the year that I have been saving for the tree project for one day it might fit one of our themes. And now I think it fits! 🙂 Especially since winter now is no longer this beautiful. All the snow is long gone and has been exchanged by rain, rain, rain and more than 50 shades of grey.

What do you think?

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Setting sun.

Go over to Jen’s blog to see her entry for this week’s theme. Her photos will be more current and I know they will be beautiful! Can’t wait to see her interpretation of trees in winter with her skills with textures and light.

Life. An update

The last couple of weeks have been wonderful. Now we are facing mild weather and the snow is melting and getting dirty. I mourn the beautiful sunny sparkly winter days, but I would not mourn if this was actually the end of winter. I long for spring and light.

How was your weekend? Mine was fine. The weather was dull so I didn’t get to take any new photos for our tree project this week, the theme being backlight. Difficult when there is no light. So I will have to put up old photos this week. Next week we will have a very cool and very creative theme coming up. You will find out what it is on Thursday when Jen and I present this week’s photos.

On Saturday I did my volunteer work at the cat shelter. Adorable kitties – they always melt my heart. They are like medicine to a tired soul. I always feel revived when I leave, so fulfilled of their cuteness and peculiarities and mischief. Charming creatures to say the least! ❤

Tomorrow morning I will leave the car to get it fixed after my clumsiness. They will be quick. I can pick it up again already on Wednesday. I like very much! 🙂

And I will use some flex hours at work in the afternoon to meet a former colleague. I am really looking forward to that.

Life goes on in it’s circle of day after day. I love it.

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Longing for spring. Old mobile photo.

 

 

The tree project 4 – black and white

Jen’s and my tree project  continues. Last week’s theme was texture in black and white. This week black and white in general. I love black and white photography. It immediately gives the photos a whole new atmosphere about them when you remove colour. I also think that winter time is a good season for black and white because the season offers a graphic element to the landscape that you don’t get the same way during the other seasons. The graphic-”ness” of winter, trees and black and white is a good combination in my eyes.

Ok, so here they come. My two project photos of the week. 🙂

This first one is a winter version of a scene I have posted before in autumn. I like how I find new details the more I look at the photo.

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The second one:

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I am rather pleased with the photos this time. I am seeing some development… I hope you like them too? If not, are there any tips you can give me that might improve them?

Both of these photos also happen to partly illustrate our next theme. Backlight. I love backlight and want to be able to really use that beautiful light and ambience it gives a photo. Unfortunately the weekend will be cloudy, so we’ll see if I can catch any backlight. Else I guess I have to use some old photos for that theme – but that is not the same. I want to get out there and experiment.

Now, go check out Jen’s photos on her blog. Can’t wait to see hers. I am so excited to see what she made of this theme with her artistic eye!

Horses

This post is kind of a throwback to my photo walk. Also it is kind of a recap of yesterday’s Swedish blog where I wrote about how fortunate I feel to be living so close to nature and countryside, even though I live in a big city. I guess one can call this a throwback entry even to my tribute to Elfvik. 🙂 Hey, why not call this a throw back post to make it simple?

Anyway, to the point. As I said in my Elfvik tribute, the place carries a lot of childhood memories.

One of the favourite things about this place is that there is a stable here with large and vast greenyards for the horses which you pass when you drive here. And if you are lucky, you get to see the horses out and about in those yards, running around, relaxing, eating and having fun. I loved this when I was little. I was always hoping to get to see the horses. I still do. Everytime I go to Elfvik, I still hope the horses will be out with the exact same anticipation. And I was lucky this time! The horses are also very friendly and curious. If you walk up to the fence, they curiously walk up to you and you can talk to them. They just look at you and shake their heads and make a little jump and a little happy grump to you.

I am not good at taking photos of them because they move fast and I don’t have a good lense for it. But I still took some photos of the beauties that came up to greet me! 🙂

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If only I had gotten the focus on this one, but he (or she?) JUST started to move as I pushed the button – the second after he was turned the other way… but I love it anyway.

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Beautiful face!

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Chewing yummy hay!

Amazing animals, aren’t they?

Stick around for the next tree project update here at 2 pm today! 🙂

Wintery tea break

On my photo walk on Sunday in my dear Elfvik, I was out for four and a half hours. It was such a lovely winter day. Clear blue sky with the low and pale yellow wintersun bringing out the sparkles in the snow and in the ice. -10 C with high clear air that filled my lungs with freshness and new energy. Photo walks are the best walks. It makes you really take notice on what is around you because you are looking for possible photo opportunities, and at the same time you get exercise and in winter, that so important spare daylight. A photo walk forces you to be completely present, here and now, both physically and mentally.

When you come home, you have the excitement of downloading all the photos you took into the computer and start editing. I can never wait, I am too curious on how the photos came out so I download them immediately. And even if I tell myself ”I will only look at them now, and start editing later” I end up editing them all anyway. Hours later I realise that time flew by!

One of the best parts about a long photo walk is the break. Especially on a cold beautiful winter day to sit down in a beautiful spot and drink my hot tea and eat a piece of chocolate.

This is a mobile photo I took while drinking my tea. Looking at the beautiful scene of frozen water and all the people ice-skating, walking and skiing on it. Hearing the buzz of voices and laughter echo across the ice. The only thing reminding me of warmer days are the mooring buoys. Frozen in time and movement, waiting for their boats to take the water back in the spring and summer.

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I love winter, but I also can’t wait for spring now. To see the nature come back to life and the snow sparkles get replaced by the sparkling but yet fragile spring greenery. I feel so fortunate to live in a part of the world where we really get to experience four seasons. So far…

Do you long for spring and summer?

Texture – the tree project

Yesterday was one of those perfect winter days.  I was a bit late for my little photography excursion so I missed a lot of light. But I did catch the amazing winter sunset.

The air was completely still and the sky was cloud-free. The sun was just about to set and cast long dark shadows over the ice-covered lake. Despite the near sunset, the time was just around three. The lake was still buzzling with life from people iceskating and skiing across it like an icey lake highway. On a barbeque site by a wooden wind shed on a hill facing the water some people had a barbeque party in the snow. Voices of laughter and excitement both from the ice and the barbeque broke the otherwise peaceful air.

It doesn’t get any better than this in winter.

I was lucky to be out on this perfect day for my contribution to Jen’s and my treeproject. Theme of the week: texture. This is a difficult theme for me. To find texture and to make it into an interesting enough photo on top of that. I am not sure I even have ”interpreted” this theme correctly. Jen however is a master at textures, being the artist she is.

The theme also allowed tweaking with filters in Photoshop.

Here they are, my texture photos.

The first photo is a typical old boring ”Marie” photo. Nothing spectacular… But I must say something positive about every photo. I like the combination of the soft colours, the very last glimpses of the soft daylight and the sheer twigs with tiny little cones. They all go together. That is why I even post it.

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Next is my ”three-in-one” photo. The same photo but different Photoshop effects. I turned the photo into sepia since this deep into the forest the sun didn’t come through. So the original colours were very dull, but I still like the ”vertical” trees. For the first photo, the most original one, I only added some light brushes as a sunlight effect. The middle photo is tweaked with the stylize filter, adding a cool effect I think with the twigs and branches making the photo less busy. The last one is a couple of blur filters. I kind of like the photos together more than each one separately. All filters are meant to emphasize something with the texture. If they succeed – I don’t know. 🙂

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My personal favourite photo is this last one. And I promise – this photo is real, no special tweaking. It is the setting sun lighting up the tree, making it glow in that fantastic red colour, causing an amazing contrast to all the busy dark twigs against the sky. It was surreal. I think I managed to catch that. Nature is god damn amazing!

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What do you think? Which photo do you like best, if any? 🙂

Now don’t forget to check out Jen’s texture photos in her blog. She knows her stuff so definitely worth a visit! 🙂 If you want real art, read her blog.

Winter Wonderland no more?

Where is winter?

Outside the grass is actually green. The leaves have left the trees since long ago – but there is actually green grass in December.  It’s warmer than on Midsummer’s Eve for God’s sake – we’ve had up to 12 degrees! I don’t know which is most weird – warmer than normal in December, or colder than normal in June??

It’s an upside-down world. What is happening to the weather? Am I the only one who find the weirder and weirder weather scary? Something is not right.

I also wonder if we have the time to stop the effects of global warming. How many big ”climate meetings” have there been with ”the urgent need to come together to stop the development”, that end up with nothing. Because short-term profit and hunger for power are more important than having a world left to give to our children and their children.

And instead of coming together to save the world – our common home, we keep fighting and hating and killing each other. Talk about screwed up priorities…

Mankind must be the stupidest animal that has ever existed. A species doing everything it can to extinct itself – for power and greed!

Meanwhile – I miss the beauty of peaceful snow sparkling in the rays of the pale winter sun, ice crystals, and snow-covered postcard trees and meadows.

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A low-res mobile photo from 5th of December 2012. Taken right outside work – frosty trees, snowy ground and beautiful pale winter light. Sigh.