Sunday, June 8, 2008

Skagen Denmark ‘The Land of Light’

First I would like to thank very much all those who are regular readers of this photography blog. I have decided to post the blog membership of readers as presented by Feedburner. For the last month the total has remained over 500, which for me is a form of acknowledgement that the images and articles provide some enjoyment to you.

Feedback, whether comments on articles or as represent by number of readership, helps to keep me excited about continuing the weekly writings.

The SoFoBoMO project was a bit all consuming for a period of time and except for those images I have not been able to get out and take new photographs as I normally would.

As photographers, we are sometimes just ordinary tourists and this week I want to show some images I took from the very unique spot at the tip of Demark on the main land peninsula known as Jutland. The nearby picturesque village known as Skagen lends its name to the area.

This 4 km long point of land is where the waves and currents from Skagerrak (west) and Kattegat (east) smash into each other. Because of the wind and wave action the seas tend to be in opposing directions and there is great crashing and convolutions of a disturbed area. This sand tip has grown 1 km longer in the last 100 years as the sand is swept up the western coast of Denmark. Occasionally a small sand island will form off the tip, commonly known as seagull island, but will disappear within a few months.

Picture of my wife Claudette with the 2 seas colliding behind her. If you have ever witnessed large river rapids these waves have a similar form. The 2 seas each have their gentle rolling waves, but at the tip they crash together forming standing waves

Below are many of the tourists walking along the sand spit to the tip.

This is a map of Demark with Sweden on the right.

There are no cars allowed in the protected area and you need to embark on a sand trolley to head out to the sand point. The map below from google earth shows some of this landscape.

During the 19th century many painters were attracted to this area because of its special kind of light by which it was given its nickname ‘Land of Light’ and an artist community formed to capture its unique quality of life.

The village of Skagen is extremely beautiful and in many ways very representative of the traditional Danish houses, small, almost cottage like, but with pure white trim and brilliant yellow walls and red tile roofs.

While many people do drive to Skagen, for the locals bicycling is a main mode of transportation within this village, which can be seen in several of the images below.

There are very many small restaurants with patios where you can enjoy the quietness of a picturesque and small village. To stroll around is be in another time where the hustle of everyday life has failed to venture this far north.

Being a fishing community, fresh fish has always been an important ingredient in the food of Skagen. Fried fish is served with delicious specialities from the moors, such as honey-preserved cranberries. Also the famous Danish open-face sandwich can be obtained with the artistic approaches to decorating the toppings.

The bright blue summer skies and the red and yellow buildings make for classic colour combinations as photographic images as this church image demonstrates below.

If I wasn’t touring the rest of Denmark with my sister and her husband I would have liked to spend several weeks with my watercolours, capturing that special light this area is known for.

On a side note, I have upgraded my D200 to a Nikon D300 camera. I am not sure that this the best use of my funds since with the upgrade cost it’s the same as if I had rented the D200 for $900 for 16 months. I knew when the D300 came out that I would be upgrading eventually because of the low noise at high ISO and better colour rendition, but I figured it would be a few years away.

I found out from Henry’s store that the previous warranty was not transferable to the new camera since it was over a year old and they were not able to include it for the new owner or even let the owner contact me to transfer for them.

I never buy warranties except for laptop computers or new digital cameras, as I was able to use it on my D70, which I still have because of its ability to capturer good Infra Red (IR) images.

When I read about the live view capability and ability to fine tune focus in contrast mode (Tripod setting only), and have it connected to a 7” DVD player, I figured that I just had to have this now. This would have been easy if I was a professional, but an amateur who only sells a few prints, it may take a long time to recover the costs.

The live view with external monitor is very akin to using my 4x5 view camera, which I enjoy very much for its ability to precisely set focus, but is a bit of a pain to lug around as I need to have the film developed at the few stores that still support view camera technology. The D300 now provides some of these benefits in a smaller unit.

I hope to have a few new pictures in the next few weeks.

Niels Henriksen

All images taken in August 2004 with a Cannon A40 2Mp point and shoot camera

There is a good web site that has many naturalist type pictures of the tip of Skagen Skagen, Denmark


Anita Jesse said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for the delightful tour of "The Land of Light". I most certainly will never see that wonderful part of the world and I am grateful for your pictures and your insights. Please more posts such as this one. You do it so well.

Congratulations on the new Nikon. I know you will have a great time getting to know it. I hope you will write more about connecting to a DVD player with your new camera. I am quite intrigued as to how you plan to use that feature.

ice said...

Awesome post all in all, and I think congratulations are in order for your new toy :) Please let us know what you think of it, I am considering upgrading it from a D80 and I would be interested in your opinion aswell :)

advman said...

Goodness, It took me more than three weeks to read this post! That's for a backlog :)

Congratulations to your D300. I can guarantee: you won't ever look back or even regret it. It is sooo good. But .... you know that by now :D


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