A Fairy Tale Door • Thursday Doors

A Fairytale Door • Landcape

For Norm’s Thursday Doors is this fairy tale door. Having followed this challenge for some time now, I’ve seen lots and lots of doors, big and small. But I have never seen them this small…

A Fairytale Door Landscape • Thursday Doors 2
A Fairy Tale Door • Thursday Doors 2

A sense of how small this ‘door’ is:

A Fairy Tale Door • Thursday Doors
A Fairy Tale Door • Thursday Doors

Even for fairy tale standards, this is a really small door.

Mid-Week Monochrome • MWM #30 • Underneath the Swimming Pool

Underneath the swimming pool • Mid-week Monochrome
Underneath the swimming pool • Mid-week Monochrome
Underneath the swimming pool • Mid-week Monochrome

Underneath the Swimming Pool • Mid-Week Monochrome #30 (a.k.a. MWM) is the entry into the challenge from Brashley Photography. It was shot underneath an art installation with a glass bottom. Part of the excellent collection of Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, the Netherlands.

The Voorlinden website reads: ‘Leandro Erlich designed his Swimming Pool especially for Voorlinden. He gave his work all the characteristics of a real swimming pool, including the recognizable pool blue on the walls, the typical lamps and even a real stairway through which you seem to be able to descend. And yet as a visitor you can walk on the bottom without getting wet. Leandro frequently plays with the eye. He transforms everyday spaces into absurd situations, to creating an experience that makes the viewer think about the reality around him. The work only really functions in its use by the public. Without people, according to the artist, the work is not complete.’

For more entries in this photo challenges, go here.

Center Frame • Loneliness • 52 Week Smartphone Challenge

Center Frame • Loneliness • 52 Week Smartphone Challenge 16:9

Center Frame is the prompt for this week’s 52 Week Smartphone Challenge. A challenge by Khürt Williams.
The rules are simple: there’s a ‘theme’ every week and your photo has to be taken with a smartphone. For the fine print see the linked post.
This week’s challenge is ‘Center Framed composition is a great way to isolate your subject. Use this Portrait knowledge to create a portrait that exhibits loneliness.

Center Frame • Loneliness • 52 Week Smartphone Challenge
Center Frame • Loneliness • 52 Week Smartphone Challenge

Took this photo with my iPhone XR (back camera 4.25mm f/1.8) and pimped it a little in Adobe Lightroom.

All Along the Watchtower • Distance • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #90

All along the watchtower • Distance • Lens-Artists#90.jpg
All along the watchtower • Distance • Lens-Artists#90.jpg
All along the watchtower • Distance • Lens-Artists#90

All Along the Watchtower • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #90 is my entry into Tina’s challenge of distance. And it triggered a wonderful song again. While Bob Dylan wrote this multi-layered masterpiece, my favorite performance is the one by Jimi Hendrix (see the link below).

I’d like to point you to the last verse, which ties it back to the prompt of distance:

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too
Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl

Jimi Hendrix • All Along the Watchtower

There are many interpretations of the lyrics of All Along the Watchtower floating around, see for instance this. My favorite is along the lines of the first, not in the least since I vaguely recall an interview with Bob Dylan where he said something similar…

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

Inside Windows • Monday Window, 30 March

Inside Windows • Monday Windows

Inside Windows is my entry in Ludwig Keck’s challenge Monday Window, 30 March. I photographed these windows inside of the building of the Dutch Broadcasting Corporation (NOS) nearly 10 years ago. At the time it was one of those rare shots without any people running around. I guess that today there’s hardly anybody to be found…

Inside Windows • Monday Windows
Inside Windows • Monday Windows

Click below to see what fellow bloggers cooked up for this Monday Window, 30 March .

monday window-badge-2

If you’d like to see more of my Monday Windows, click here.

Cadaquès Murals • Monday Mural, 30 March

Blip on the horizon • Monday Mural • landscape

These Cadaquès Murals, for Monday Mural, 30 March, are painted on the small doors that give access to the utility mains.

Sailboats in harbour • Monday Mural
Sailboats in harbour • Monday Mural
House by the sea • Monday Mural
House by the sea • Monday Mural
I love you • Monday Mural
I love you • Monday Mural
Boat entering harbour • Monday Mural
Boat entering harbour • Monday Mural
Boats on the beach • Monday Mural
Boats on the beach • Monday Mural

Artists unknown to me.

Discovered in Cadaquès, Catalunia, Spain in February 2020. Entry in Sami’s challenge March 23. For more Monday Mural entrees, click here.

NEW BEGINNINGS • 52 Week Smartphone Challenge (week 13)

NEW BEGINNINGS• 52 Week Smartphone Challenge

NEW BEGINNINGS is the prompt for this week’s 52 Week Smartphone Challenge. A challenge by Khürt Williams.
The rules are simple: there’s a ‘theme’ every week and your photo has to be taken with a smartphone. For the fine print see the linked post.
This week’s challenge is ‘Our world is full of circular patterns; as some things end, others begin. Tell us a story of a New Beginning.

NEW BEGINNINGS• 52 Week Smartphone Challenge
NEW BEGINNINGS • Always leave the cage door open…

Always leave the cage door open, so the bird can return

I first heard of an ancient wisdom ‘Always leave the cage door open, so the bird can return’ during my early days in Kyoto, Japan. It does imply an end, a new beginning, and a possible return to the old way if the new beginning doesn’t prove to be fruitful after all.
I was trying to get a steady ‘supply’ of sosaku hanga (modern Japanese woodblock prints) for a gallery I was about to open in Amsterdam. I deliberately didn’t (want to) work with the endless stream of middle men, brokers and galleries in Japan to save both time and money. So here I was, a 21-year old half Dutch, half Chinese, with pockets full of borrowed cash, sitting opposite an elderly lady who was revered in Japan (and the US) as the leading artist in abstract sosaku hanga.

The Japanese Way

A slight complication was that I didn’t speak a word of Japanese. I had to rely on my girlfriend who was half Indian and half Japanese, to interpret for me. The other complication was that she didn’t believe in my plan of cutting out the middle men. At all! ‘Ah Han-chan, this is not the Japanese way nèh’ she would tell me over and over and over again. In fact, the last time she told me this, looking at her feet, was when we were just about to enter the artist’s atelier where I had successfully made an appointment only the week before. (Which led to another debate about respecting the Japanese way.)

My girlfriend had, for the short term successfully, tried to teach me the merit of patience. Which I needed in spades during that first meeting that went on for hours. The first hour or so was spent on exchanging pleasantries and me getting accustomed to the tediously slow pace of the translation.

So, finally after that long first hour or so, to our utter amazement, this lady artist said ‘shall we cut to the chase and discuss what you want exactly?’ Turned out she spoke (some) English, which made the going considerably easier. It took me less than half an hour to give my (well-rehearsed) sales pitch.

Completely in line with the ‘Japanese Way’, we were invited for a stroll around the garden, where nothing of any consequence was discussed. And then, more tea (I was dying for a glass of Vodka, preferably neat, by then).

New beginnings

To cut a long story short, the lady artist had some questions so could we hang around for a couple days and then come back for a follow up meeting.
This went on for another 10 days or so. My patience was wearing ever so thin, as was the remainder of my travel budget.
And then, in what appeared to be the final meeting, she gave me everything I had asked for. No middle men, all dealings directly with her, and a hefty discount on what Japanese and American galleries had to pay. The only thing she did not agree with is that I had first right to the valuable first ten of any numbered new series woodblock prints. (First come, first serve is where we left that.)

And with her onboard, it proved to be relatively easy, albeit just as time consuming, to broker deals with other artists. New beginnings truly. For me, for the lady artist who finally had a foothold in Europe, and for the sosaku hanga as a whole.

I will never forget the moment when she took my hands and answered my question ‘Why me over them?’, knowing full well any artist can only produce so much in any given time frame. Whatever she was selling me was basically taken from somebody else’s allotment. Wasn’t she afraid her regular customers would give her a cold shoulder if my adventure turned south?

And that is when she told this 21 year old this ancient saying, now almost 40 years ago.

Took this photo with my iPhone 6 (back camera 4.15mm f/2.2) and pimped it a little in Adobe Lightroom.