Tag Archives: Aarhus

Two Old Lomography Films

It has been lost, it has been found, and now finally it has been scanned: my first film, shot on the Lomography Fisheye! The fisheye effect is cute, but unfortunately both the camera and the film leaves some to be desired, not least because many of the shots came out quite dark.

Alors, my very first film:

I like all the photos here, and think that the fisheye effect has worked pretty well for these scenarios: close-up faces and wide areas — but notice the silly built-in flash on Guinness Envy, covering only half of the frame..

On the second film I’m most in favour of Summer Time! for the same reasons as above, and Green Bike for it’s distorted lines (colour tweaked digitally):

Both films are the Lomography Color Negative 400. And while I wouldn’t say that it’s a particular good film given the others I’ve tried at this point, it’s probably not supposed to be and in fact it fits nicely with the silly camera.

A Bunch of Black & White Films

I try to keep my Flickr photostream and this blog somewhat synchronised such that most photos on the former are given a context here on the latter. However, I realised the other day that a bunch of recent black & white photos have leaked onto the photostream without a proper presentation.

The first is a roll shot on the Fisheye primarily back in Aarhus, at a point where I didn’t have the time to develop it:

The next is from around the same period and the first roll shot on my Olympus OM-1 nicknamed Kurt — notice how many of the shots are from my former university office; didn’t get much out at the time:

Moving on, the next two are from the period around handing in my thesis, and contain a mix from my hometown Esbjerg, my grandparents diamond wedding, and going to Paris:

Finally, the last roll is also from Paris but this time on the latest OM-1 nicknamed Jane Graham:

So there it is, order has been restored!

Langhoff & Juul, Aarhus

This summer a new place opened just across the street from us that could potentially be very hipster: they only serve organic food, and in an environment that most of all reminds me of the wooden cabin we stayed in during our weekend in Norway. We’ve been there a few times — for coffee, for a sandwich, and now for brunch — and so far they’ve steered clear of the undesirable label (either that, or I’m more hipster than I realise).

The food is good, and although the plates are not amazingly huge, I haven’t actually walked away from it hungry. The prices are not in the cheap end nor expensive, yet not more than what I’m willing to pay for organic food in a good atmosphere. The waiters are kind and welcoming, and without baggy trousers, top hats, Ray-Ban sunglasses, or analogue cameras (I fit with two of these).

The bottom line is that Langhoff & Juul comes recommandable, and with a hope that they are actually trying to make a modern and honest café that is not just following the latest hipster fashion (unlike for instance the awful Joe & the Juice); this is not easily done but so far they manage it very nicely.

Searching for Sugar Man + Sixto Rodriguez

A month ago just before christmas I went with a friend to see Searching for Sugar Man at Øst for Paradis and I’ve been recommending it ever since. It was a bit slow in the beginning and at I was even preparing myself for the worst, however when it took off I was entirely captivated. The humbleness and general character of Sixto Rodriguez was very attractive, and add to that an incredible story and an amazing soundtrack!

Afterwards I’ve bought his two albums, Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, and it’s really a puzzle why he never made it until now — try Crucify Your Mind, Wonder, or Like Janis from the first album for instance. It’s not Dylan, but if you like him then I reckon there’s a good change you’ll like Rodriguez as well.

To make matters even better, it turns out that he’s giving a concert at La Cigale in June! Several in fact. My ticket is booked and definitely looking forward to this one.

Film: Amour

I went with my girlfriend to see Amour (winner of the 2012 Palme d’Or) tonight at our favourite cinema in Aarhus, Øst for Paradis. This is truly one of the pearls in Aarhus.

First off, it’s a great movie. You follow an old couple in the aftermath of the woman having a stroke and progressively getting worse through-out the film. It is very realistic — to the point of being almost a documentary — and in this setting it makes for a powerful story that is perhaps a bit too close. As such it is not necessarily an easy film to watch. It’s worth it, but you do not walk away feeling any less horrified about the idea of getting old.

It also illustrated yet again that going to the cinema is the superior way of watching films: had we seen it at home I would most likely not have stayed till the end, yet at the cinema one becomes captivated and remain focused. It’s the dark room, the big screen, the nice chairs, and the absence of distractions.

Concert: Blues on Tobakken

When my father invited us to a blues concert at Tobakken in Esbjerg I was happy to go but not really sure what to expect. It turned out to be great though, to the point where one of the bands have been the first choice of music for the past week now.

It was a gathering of three blues bands. The first one consisted of an old Danish film celebrity, Jes Holtsø, who played Børge in the Olsenbanden movies as a teenager. Apparently he ended up in a alcohol and drug abuse, recovering about five years ago, and went into music. Seeing him singing on stage was strange though, but he did a fair job and presented an interesting character.

Next up was Swedish one-man band Daniel Norgren. Almost one-man band at least, as he did the singing himself together with playing guitar, drums, and harmonica — but brought a bassist. He immediately reminded me of Seasick Steve and the fascination of sixties American culture we witnessed in Sweden this summer; from musical style to appearance there was nothing about him that couldn’t have convinced you that he came straight from Alabama as Seasick’s cousin.

His music was great. Something separated it from the other bands and provided an interesting twist. For a second I considered getting an album from his stand, but from Seasick Steve I remembered that what sounds great live may not work at all afterwards. I now know that this is not the case for Norgren as we’ve been listening to it on Spotify a lot since. In fact, we’ve booked tickets to go see him tonight at Atlas in Aarhus.

The third and final band was Buddy Whittington. He was an excellent guitarist but my father seemed to enjoy his style of blues more than I did. More classic blues I suppose.

Finally, let me comment a bit on the photos. I had brought my Nikon D60 and shot a bit from where we were seated. The room seemed to get progressively darker during the concerts so the quality of the Whittington photos also came out worst. However I’m still very impressed about the noise level of the camera (I had to push the ISO high to maintain somewhat of a decent shutter speed) and how well Lightroom does noise reduction. I still want a new camera but if you shoot in RAW format then you can surely pull a lot out of the files afterwards.

First Analogue Prints

We’ve spent a great weekend doing an introductory course on developing and printing analogue film — and it’s been nothing short of amazing! I’ve been wanting to do it for quite a while and finally the opportunity was there.

It was organised by the photographic society at Godsbanen and since it had not made it to our consciousness that we were supposed to bring an exposed black & white film, the first step was to quickly go and shoot 36+ photos of the architecture of this new place with the Diana Mini that I had brought (I had in fact also brought an exposed colour film but it turns out that developing such a bastard is a very different process).

Shooting with my Fish-Eye over the last year I’ve noticed the truth of spending more time on each photo when shooting analogue as opposed to digital: is the composition good, is it interesting, is it worth the 1/36th of a film? And during the weekend I noticed that developing a good print from a negative let me to be critical about it to an extend that would often not be matched in the digital setting: I spent more time picking which negatives to develop, how to frame them, how much contrast their needed, and so on. The slower process of waiting 5min between seeing the result of each new try-out might be part of the reason. So may the general atmosphere in the dark room without distractions to take away your focus. Time stops a bit and leads to an anticipation and excitement every time a print magically appears in the developer bath.

I was actually a bit surprised by how involved the process is. First off, the process involves more steps than I imagined. But perhaps more interesting was that the technique and tricks that one need to master to make good prints seems hard to teach but have to be discovered over time; a lot more hand-waving and good old experience. Naturally, you appreciate the printing even more afterwards, to the extend where it seems you can admire the print without liking the photo.

Finally, the result of a weekend’s work:

I’ve heard before that digital cameras even today have a hard time matching the dynamic range of film, and while it’s perhaps not clear from the digital reproductions above, the prints impressed me in terms of how much details there seems to be in the sky and shadows at the same time.

Klassisk Fisk, Aarhus

In occasion of my girlfriends birthday today we went for dinner at Klassisk Fisk in Nørregade. It’s a newly opened fish restaurant (with a few non-fish dishes) with an enjoyable decoration of white tiles leading the thoughts in the direction of a fishmonger.

We shared Le Plateau de Fruit de Mer (Grande), which in retrospect was an interesting first-time experience for me. My girlfriend grew up eating this and worked the “instruments” as a carpenter swings his hammer. There was no stopping her and I quickly just sat back and watched my plate fill up faster than I could empty it. I must also admit though that I prefer the bigger fish – the shell fish reminded me too much of bugs.

In this perspective, her verdict on the food carries more weight than mine. She liked the freshness of the food and in general happy about the taste. The mussels had apparently cooked a bit too long but nothing critically. She insisted that she could have eaten the plate by herself, and while I also think it could have been a bit bigger, it was fine for two persons; especially if it comes after a starter.

As for the price, it was a bit expensive (350 DKK for the plateau) but not more than we would come back. A glass of the cheapest white wine was 65 DKK but turned out to be very small (and only OK).

Notes for the future: recommended; food very good, a bit expensive, service a bit slow, good selection of wine. Prefer bigger fish instead of shellfish.

Northside Festival, Day 3

I’ve already written more than I expected for the other days, so here, for the third day I’ll allow myself to be a tad brief. The day also turned out to be the musically least interesting day, although definitely not with a few good experiences.

In general the festival has been very good. Perhaps not matching last year exactly, but very close: this year the good bands for me have been the lesser known bands, while last year I mostly enjoyed the well-known bands such as Elbow and Editors. A bit loud at times, and a bit expensive for just three days. However, it was well-organised without being forced to pick in the programme nor to wait at the toilets and food stands.

Little Dragon
At the concert I was not convinced: too electronic, too lounge. But I’ve actually ended up ordering Ritual Union after listening to it on Spotify for a while. It’s not amazing – the first two tracks being by far the strongest on the album – but there is something to a few of the songs that made it worth it. On stage the sound was letting her down but unmatched on the album. Official website.

Bat for Lashes
Another positive experience during the morning; as with Little Dragon I didn’t know Bat for Lashes prior to the concert. Preferred the quite, less electric, songs of hers which were great. Reminded me of Björk which is not generally a good thing. She also put on a good performance (smiling, sincere, general likeable) which is a big plus no doubt. Official website.

Although currently a big Danish name I’m not fond of their music at all. Let’s say it’s too mainstream. However, I noticed during the concert that I kept recognising people from the other days, which added a kind of local feel to the festival. Official website.

James Blake
Another non-favourite. Official website.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Not unlike Oasis (even played a few). I’m not a huge fan of their style but it was not too bad for what it was. Also, I thought he would have a lot heavier brit-pop attitude, but seemed way more likeable than e.g. Kasabian – positive surprise! Official website.

No guitar switching! Compared to some of the other bands that have played here this is very old-school by now. I enjoyed the concert, and only slightly ashamed when I realised half-way through that I knew them. No doubt preferred their old stuff. Official website.

Snow Patrol
Perhaps fortunately, the festival ended with Snow Patrol which was not really our kind of music, thereby making sure we didn’t go to bed too late. They engaged the audience well and were rewarded with a large scale sing-along. A good way to end the festival for all of us :). Official website.