evening walk, august 1

29 thoughts on “evening walk, august 1

  1. They are nice, although that greenhouse creeps me out. I’ve had a couple weird dreams where that building floats about. It doesn’t look like it’s touching the ground.

  2. Of course it floats about, Diana, wafting on etheric currents! It also gets bigger and smaller in harmony with the moon and changes shape in response to various eurythmy gestures. This is, after all, a BD nursery! I thought you knew about this anthro stuff!

    The black and white photos give me a feel of autumn, whereas from the colour one I see it as late summer. The sun is getting lower in the sky and the shadows bluer.

  3. Emad — thanks!

    Diana — you do have a gift for spotting the anthro vibe. What Falk wrote is true. Though they don’t use that greenhouse for growing things (there are much larger greenhouses for that) — it’s a showcase greenhouse. They’re agents for some manufacturer of greenhouses.

    Falk — ‘It also gets bigger and smaller in harmony with the moon and changes shape in response to various eurythmy gestures.’

    Haha! Yes. It does.

    There is a feeling of autumn actually — nature is almost more brown than green. At least the grass. They do a lot of ‘artificial’ watering, or else these beautiful flowers would not look this good. I try to avoid pictures of water-hoses though, they’re so plastic and ugly ;-)

  4. The light is of course very strange in that picture. Perhaps the northern European light is strange to me – I was once in Copenhagen for 3 days (and we went through the airport in Stockholm! hi Sune!) but otherwise have never been to Scandinavia. I get a very strange feeling from that picture. The flowers are lovely, but the “close” feeling is sort of unbreathable. In some ways to me this does characterize Waldorf aesthetics, there is not enough sky and light and always a touch of claustrophobia.

    Sune Nordwall has often claimed that critics of Waldorf may be biased against European things … maybe there is a kernel of truth in it. I was very attracted to the waldorf aesthetic – obviously – and it’s possible I’ve changed over time, but now I see these settings as cloying, tight, unbreathable.

  5. This is highly interesting!! Which one of the pictures is the strangest? I ask, because the greenhouse is visible on the second black and white photo too, and the light is sort of weird. It’s evening — an hour or two until sunset — and the sun comes in from the west — almost northwest, because a forested area (seen in the background of the pictures) blocks the sun from south-west. I’ve only turned so much from the sun as to not have it come directly into the camera, but almost. This is re the black & whites. The colour photo is less ‘bathing’ in sunlight. It comes more from the side. But given the light, the trees in the background become very dark.

    I’ve heard and read several times that the light in Stockholm is special. Usually not easy to explain how though, and I don’t know myself if it is and why it is, if so.

    But something hits me: the lazure walls of anthroposophy. There is a certain Nordic aesthetic to it. Light & colours, et c. Of course, this hypothesis seems sort of contrary to your statement that ‘there is not enough sky and light’. I wonder, though, if the enclosedness — I mean in my pictures, not in waldorf design/architecture — is magnified by there beings so much light, coming in from a certain angle, and thus causing a claustrophobic effect in the surroundings. As in: the trees behind the greenhouse are a black blurr, because of the contrast between lightness and darkness.

    Now, do you get the same feeling from non-nature shots, e g, like these:
    https://zooey.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/stockholm-july-30/

    Or from sea pictures like this:
    https://zooey.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/1105b_islande.jpg?w=600&h=903

    (From this post: https://zooey.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/the-island-early-may/)

    (They somehow have a similar contrast between light — almost ‘invisible’ sky — and dark enclosing rocks/cliffs.)

  6. It is very interesting – I’ll have to come back later or this evening to look through those more carefully, though … of course, some part of one’s response to a landscape photo will be subjective and also dependent on the colors one is seeing on one’s computer monitor, which can vary a lot depending on your machine and your settings. Then there’s your personal aesthetic as a photographer (I have sort of been watching yours developing … I definitely think you’re an even more expert photographer than you were a year or so ago – take that for what it’s worth since I know absolutely nothing about photography), and then there’s my own personal psychopathology LOL – I have a definite need these days for lots of sky and light in my real life, and other types of landscapes feel smothering and strange. This may well reflect the degeneration of my own brain.

  7. I’ve also been marveling over your remarks about it being dark at 11:00 in Stockholm and the feeling of summer ending. How very very different our homes are!! There is certainly no feeling of end of summer where I live … and the idea of it actually being light at 11:00 is funny. I did spend one summer in Paris (living in a little “chambre de bonne”) and the curtains at the window were insufficient, I had to find heavy blankets to put across the windows as I could not get enough sleep with it still being light at close to midnight and then light again at 5 a.m. A very different world to me (grew up in New England).

  8. In June, it’s light all night through. I mean, the sun sets, but it’s never dark. You can go outdoors and read a book; it will be a strain to the eyes, after a while, but still quite possible. It’s probably why, when the nights are black (at like midnight), it feels so much like autumn. Temperatures are still high, though, but the draught, the brown grass, also contributes to the autumn feeling.

    Ha!! June nights in Paris are *dark* compared to here. They’re pitch-black! I’ve only been in Paris in the beginning of June, though. By then the nights are light here. This is midnight — in may! Almost a month to go before summer solstice.

    One scary thing is that I have no idea what my pics look like on another screen. I should try to get a glimpse on another computer one day.

    ‘Then there’s your personal aesthetic as a photographer (I have sort of been watching yours developing … I definitely think you’re an even more expert photographer than you were a year or so ago – take that for what it’s worth since I know absolutely nothing about photography),’

    thanks! it’s a process… I’ve been learning, trial & error style ;-)

    ‘and then there’s my own personal psychopathology LOL – I have a definite need these days for lots of sky and light in my real life, and other types of landscapes feel smothering and strange. This may well reflect the degeneration of my own brain.’

    I think it’s quite natural, actually. Wanting sky. I have a kind of craving for that too; I enjoy seeing much sky as in the archipelago. One thing I like with my apartment now is that I see so much sky — I hardly saw any sky at all when I lived on the 2nd floor.

    Well, here’s more sky from Stockholm ;-) No tunnels, et c.
    https://zooey.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/110712c.jpg?w=600&h=400

  9. As for the US, I’ve only been in New York. And it was late february/early march. Stockholm is probably much darker in december and much lighter in june, but in february/march, the difference was insignificant. Or so it seemed. The days were slightly longer in NY I think.

    But yes, it’s too light here, makes it difficult to sleep for many. And it’s not just the light. The birds start to sing around 2-2.30 am in june. The noise! Quite disturbing. And a little later come flocks of sea-gulls — screaming their lungs out.

  10. It is quite interesting. Honestly, I thought I was pointing out something obvious – that this was something you did on purpose, an effect that you liked, or that you wanted to apply to pictures with anthroposophical theme. I think when I said maybe it was the northern European light I kind of expected you to say that it wasn’t normal, it was an effect you created. If it’s not it’s really kind of freaky :) honestly that green house has been haunting me for some time, I find it quite sinister! The flowers are so lovely, if it weren’t for that damn greenhouse that’s always weirdly hovering!! It’s downright threatening!

    No, the cityscapes don’t have the same effect at all, at least on me. Like I say, I really don’t know if this is a comment on your pictures, or on my psychological state … I do in general find anthroposophical aesthetics disturbing. Stockholm is truly beautiful, and I don’t find those pictures strange or sinister at all, and don’t notice anything particular about the light. I don’t think my reaction really relates to anything inherent in anthroposophical aesthetics, however, so much as a reaction due to my negative associations with them. When we became involved with Waldorf initially I was drawn to all these things that I now find sinister. There’s no question your anthroposophical flowerscapes are spooky.

  11. I would have said you had to manipulate that image (the color one) to get the trees in the back so dark while the flowers are bathed in sunlight. So that may really be just a difference in the light where you live. It isn’t an “expected” landscape to me. I really did think you must have manipulated the light.

  12. I would really have trouble sleeping there … I can sleep through a lot of noise, but I really need it to be dark! This business of being light all night long … intolerable!

  13. ‘I would have said you had to manipulate that image (the color one) to get the trees in the back so dark while the flowers are bathed in sunlight.’

    Quite the opposite actually! Even though the photo does not show the scenery as it appeared to the eye, I didn’t manipulate the photo itself.

    To a certain extent, photography is a manipulation of light, I guess. But then… you could also say that the trees are this dark because it’s not possible to manipulate the photo to such a degree that the flowers and the trees (background) both show their natural colour and light. The spectrum — dark to light — is too wide for the camera to encompass; the eye is different in this regard. If I focused on a ‘correct’ exposure of the trees in the background — I’d have to overexpose the flowers, and over-exposure is usually — not always though — a worse idea than have some less significant parts of the picture under-exposed. Some people who like to work with their photos in the computer afterwards take several shots of the same scenery but with different exposures — and then put them together. The picture thus created then gets ‘correct’ exposure on every aspect of the scenery, and it looks natural, even if the *camera* could not handle such differences between dark and light. Thus, *with* manipulation, you could have a natural-looking background of trees, correctly exposed and all. The trees are in shadow, because the sun comes from behind them — not straight behind them but from the right side (on the photos). So the sun rays fall on the flowers, but the trees are necessarily in the dark. And, so:

    ‘… I kind of expected you to say that it wasn’t normal, it was an effect you created. If it’s not it’s really kind of freaky :)’

    It is and is not, at the same time ;-) I mean, the trees don’t appear *that* dark in reality, but the camera makes them this dark, if I want correct exposure of the flowers. It’s an effect, but not consciously created. Of course, using another angle, I would avoid this effect.

    I guess I have a slight fondness for dark, forest backgrounds too. Sadly our Stockholm forests are rather pathetic, compared to the real forests.

    I suddenly thought of this picture:
    tyresta

    (That’s not an anthro environment, btw ;-))

    ‘When we became involved with Waldorf initially I was drawn to all these things that I now find sinister.’

    For me it’s strangely the other way around — but this may be because I wasn’t drawn to it, I became invloved through others being drawn to it, and for a long time afterwards I was totally spooked by anthro aesthetics.

    Just for the record (or something) — the greenhouse isn’t really anthroposophical, it’s just a greenhouse. As far as I can tell it wasn’t developed to meet any anthro aesthetics. (They have a website: http://www.swedengreenhouse.se/) Rosendal isn’t originally anthro either, they took over it in the early 80s, so by now some of its style is distinctly anthro.

  14. “Some people who like to work with their photos in the computer afterwards take several shots of the same scenery but with different exposures — and then put them together. The picture thus created then gets ‘correct’ exposure on every aspect of the scenery, and it looks natural, even if the *camera* could not handle such differences between dark and light. Thus, *with* manipulation, you could have a natural-looking background of trees, correctly exposed and all.”

    That’s very interesting, a comment on the belief of anthroposophists (and many other people) that “natural” is always better. Exactly what is “natural” is not really a simple concept.

  15. True!

    And to get the most ‘realistic’ (in this case: most closely representing what we see with our eyes…) photos may sometimes require some or even a lot of manipulation — and the end result isn’t always very interesting.

    (OT: I’ll fix your signature. DIana –> Diana.)

  16. I don’t know where Diana is in the USA but New york is on a latitude of 40 degrees, 1 degree south of Rome, whereas Stockholm is at 59 degrees. In New York the sun is always striking down from much more vertically overhead whatever the season. In Stockholm it is always shining in at a lower angle even though it remains in the sky for longer at midsummer. It follows a long low path from the north-east round to the north-west. So, yes, the light quality is different, the shadows are always longer.

    But also the air quality is very good in Stockholm – except in winter, when there is all the salt on the roads, it is very pure.

  17. The use spike tyres is very detrimental to air quality as well — but I don’t know if it affects light conditions, on the other hand, I’ve never heard it said about salt either. I’ve read that they’ve reduced the use of salt somewhat. There’s certainly lots of sand. (And virtual sand ‘storms’ when the ice melts…)

    Diana is in Philadelphia. About the same latitude as New York, I guess? But this is highly interesting. The difference in latitude compared to Stockholm is much larger than I thought. Anchorage is at 61 degrees… Also, the explanation on angles is great, Falk — I’ve never thought of it, but it’s obvious when you think about it.

  18. Philly is about an hour and a half to 2 hours south of NY.

    I’ve also been to St. Petersburg, which it seems is the same latitude as Stockholm. It was March and dark and totally horrible. You could have told me it was the North Pole. The cars had such pathetic headlights, they were like tiny flashlights in a swirling snowstorm. But this was in 1985 (when it was still Leningrad), and I’m sure it’s much nicer, and lighter, now.

    Yes you are way up NORTH there no doubt about it!

  19. Ah, Leningrad. Yes, I think they have better cars these days — with better headlights!

    And imagine — March is relatively light; compared to around December 20th, it’s really light!! You can feel the difference end January/beginning of February. But in December… oh dog. 5 hours of light or something. If even that. Horrible, indeed. It is dreadfully dark, even in Stockholm with all the artificial light.

    It’s even darker up here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiruna

  20. I guess it’s what you’re used to. I could never stand that, I would go crazy. Five hours of daylight!!

  21. It is awful. That’s all there is to say about it. It’s sort of ok in december, because I quite like november. And in december, the snow, if there’s snow, is cleaner and whiter than it is in spring. But by january, you’re just fed up. Winters without snow are even darker.

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