Monday, September 29, 2008

Up the Fjord to Oslo

My vacation to Denmark was a chance to visit family members I had never met before and until a few years they never knew I even existed. There are three very warm and loving nieces and nephew living in Norway. They treated us like royalty and the feasts if not to die for, were at least to gain weight for.

My three brothers also wanted to join my wife and I on the trip to Norway as the 4 boys had never traveled together and yes in someway we were like little kids again. They thought it would be exciting on the trip to take a ferry from Copenhagen and head up the largest fjord as we sail into Oslo.

The ferry is not the type of ferry I am used to in North America as it has 14 decks, with 2 swimming pools and a hot tub, movie theatres and numerous restaurants and a grat area for young kids.

As we leave, you can see the bridge that connects Copenhagen to Sweden. You can also see a few of the wind generators that are located in this sea and now make up almost 40% of Denmark’s electrical power needs. For some reason the caption did not want to back up the ship so I could frame the imager better.

We rented 2 cabins, one for the boys and another for the 2 wife’s that also joined us.
These cabins are not large and since I can suffer form claustrophobia went it is warm, dark and I am laying in bed, I was not able to get any sleep during the night. At about 3:00am I decided to get up and roam the decks until our scheduled breakfast at 6:00am.

The ship at night is a lonely place and with the constant rain outside even the open deck on top became a problem. I did find one overhang that provided about 3 feet of dry space for a chair. During my sojourn I only meet 2 cleaning persons and 2 deck officers.

The main reason that the ship leaves late in the evening is so that the passengers can sit in the restaurant in the morning and gaze out the windows and watch the spectacular scenery unfold and we head up the fjord. Being up early ensured that I was first inline when the restaurant opened and we got the front row, center seat and we were therefore able to see the vista on both sides of the fjord.

With a long telephoto lens (300mm effective) I was able to compress the distance and have the ferry behind us appear more realistic in size to the tiny lighthouse on the small island.

It appears that many other large ferries also have departure times that coincides with arriving early in the morning to be in the fjord.

It is somewhat strange to see towns high up on the cliff sides and almost no housing along the waters edge. The main reason is for some coastlines, is it is too steep and only access would be by water.

The image below is just as we are starting to head into Oslo, which is through the opening in the islands ahead of us. While it rained all night it just stopped a few minutes before breakfast, the skies remained overcast and occasionally the sun would peek through and provide a natural paint with light landscape.

Below is one of the islands just outside the harbour of Oslo and from the high vantage point on the ferry, it almost makes the houses seem like Legoland structures. The red ship is a ferry that goes to Oslo and if you look closely it is bringing oil to this tiny community. Not many trees to heat with.

We only stayed part of a day in Oslo and while other members were doing the shopping thing I had to do what I do best or is it incessantly and that is my photography. There was a small canal that ran through the city to the sea and I enjoyed the reflections created in the water.

If you have read my other posts you may realize that I have a strong affinity for the abstract and when I saw these colourful patio tables, I just couldn’t walk by without getting an image.

The windows below is one of my favourite abstracts or close-ups. The rich yellow wall is being complement by the warm purple windows. There are several diagonal lines formed by the wall trim and in the opposite direction with the window frame elements. Even the standard grouping of three comes into play.

It was a bit hard trying to select only a few of the images taken for this post as I wanted to provide just enough for enjoyment but not to inundate the readers with too many similar type scenes.

I have now converted the almost 1,000 better RAW images into jpegs and for my family, a DVD should be arriving soon. I didn’t use automatic conversion but decided to hand tune each slightly and I averaged about a minute each. These images represent me and something within me drives me to always make each photo the best. Even if I only send them to other family members. You never know when they will get posted somewhere else and I only want one standard for my work and that is the best I can do.

I still haven’t had a chance to really review and work any photos to the quality I want for saleable prints. This trip should provide me with enough material to keep me busy for years.

As a side note I have now also started to paint with oils. I did have some experience with watercolors, but oils require new techniques and approaches and right now I feel like such a beginner. I do hope I retire soon as I am running out of time to get all the projects and artistic endeavors underway. I sometimes feel that it was a mistake to pursue a normal career and I should have just stayed with the artistic passion that drove me at an early age,

To others, if you have something that gives you passion, don’t give it up for the standard career. You might be poorer early on, but the riches (not necessarily money) you will gain from your artistic work will keep you a lot happier, unless you are one of these troubled artists. I now really regret that I put things on hold for way too many years.

Thanks for taking the time to drop by.

Niels Henriksen


bob wong said...

Great looking vacation. One of these days I too will have to exercise the Dane in me. You're not missing too much at home.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, just wondering if you would be able to tell me the name of the castle up on the hill in your sixth photo? Your photos are great and the trip looked like it was a lot of fun. :) Many thanks, Rozzarooni

nielsp said...

I ttok a look at google maps and earth and I couldn't see any names for specific castle. I remember that just as we were about to enter the harbor for the ferry there was this castle on the right (facing harbor. Not too far away as zoom was just 200mm.



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