31.7.12

Eqip Sermia - Tidal rocks

It is no secret that Greenland is one of the places in the world where Mother Nature fully unleashes her beauty, yet every once and a while I find myself stunned and speechless by the stark visual impressions this Arctic paradise has to offer if one look carefully.

This was one of those moments:

Eqip Sermia - Tidal Rocks



2.6.12

Dusk Puddles

Dusk Puddles

A 15 minute stroll - A thermos with hot chili tea - low tide puddles -  the first summer sunset of year - fog playing at the mountains across the fiord - graced by a visit from Mr. Moon - and above all, an hour worth of total solitude.

Sometimes Mother Nature really do know what is best for us.

Have a great weekend all.

/Thomas

16.5.12

Spanish memories

I have had the pleasure of spending a good week around easter in Malaga and Sevilla in Spain
Malaga has for many years been a text book example of a destination totally destroyed by tourism and a place I have avoided as destination for the very same reason.

Breaking waves


However this spring an amazing woman offered me the opportunity to see Malaga thorough her eyes, as someone having lived there and knowing every back alley and corner inside out. Fair to say that there is a layer of Malaga unseen to most visitors and it is just beneath our own eyes. Below is a few of my personal highlights from the trip.

If you know where to go, there is a few surprises. A lot will go unmentioned in this post, as i could spend hours writing about the many experience.
Below is a few of the highlights that are easy to find and not necessarily depend on travelling with a local.

Master Chef

Tapadaki:

Yeah, I know the guy in this image look a little suspicious, but he is the master chef and king of the kitchen in Tapadaki, a place I can best describe as an up-scale Spanish/Japanese fusion Tapas restaurant.
It does sound odd, but the food prepared here is first rate and the service is equally good. I am not an expert on food, but i have had my fair share of Tapas, both before and particularly on this journey and Tapadaki is the place to go.If you ever find yourself in Malaga, you want to have dinner and drinks here.


Sunset at El Palo

El Palo:

Located just north of Malaga and probably very touristy during summer, but early in the season this is where the locals seems to gather up for drinks, coffee and seafood.
During the day and well into the evening it is bustling with a mix of young and old having a mix of anything from morning coffee to Mojitos, while kicking back and talking loud about nothing and everything.
The area is more or less free of those huge resort nightmares and mostly filled with cozy boutique hotels and hostels. Now the tourist nightmare is never far away, but it is a wonderful oasis of relaxed Spanish atmosphere and top class seafood.

La Tetería

La Tetería:

A local tea-house with more tea on the menu than I have seen anywhere else. Hidden away in a side street this cozy little tea-house was mostly crowded by locals, we spotted a couple of local guitar players jamming at one table and 3 friends doing an enthusiastic catch up at another.
It is just a wonderful place to rest for a while, have a cup or two of exotic tea and just take in the local atmosphere.
They have one of the wider selections of tea and if one are into sweets, then the they have a wide selection of home made sweets to accompany the tea.

La Consula:

La Consula
No this driveway may not look like much, but at the far end of it is Ernest Hemingway's old villa and it house the institution where the future Spanish master chefs and top waiters are educated. Better yet it has a lunch restaurant, where you have a chance to taste the fine cuisine experiments of the next generation of Spanish master chefs. Prepared under supervision of some the finest chefs in Spain and served by the future generation of top waiters. How cool is that.
A school cannot be star rated in guide Michelin, but la Consula is represented in the guide with a honourable mention apparently and while expensive by Spanish standards it definitely is worth a visit. I am going back next time that is for sure.


Nerja:

Nerja
A sleepy and increasingly touristy village 45 minutes bus ride north of Malaga.
Famous probably for the nearby Nerja Caves and the Balcony of Europe viewpoint (the image above was taken standing just below it)
If one are able to get of the touristy stuff, then it is such an amazingly cozy village with a huge amount of tiny beaches surrounded by steep rock formations.
From my viewpoint it looked like an bouldering heaven and judging by the number of crashpads being carried around by people I am probably right . In other words, I am going back there to climb some day:)
The village itself is a labyrinth of narrow streets, with a variety of shops, restaurants and cafés and judging from the pleased look on the face of my female travel companion, there are interesting stuff to be shopped here.
Seems quite a good mix, bouldering for the guys and shopping and beach time for the woman, all in one location - Not bad, not bad at all :)


Balcony of Europe

I hope you have enjoyed these fragmented Spanish memories of mine. Malaga is still a tourist nightmare to me, but there is a most intriguing local life going on beneath the surface of it and if they let you in, you are in for an amazing experience, an experience which cannot be shared in words.

Thanks for reading,
Thomas

13.5.12

Aviation Photography

There are times where an assignment is more like a birthday present than an actual job.
The chance to shoot Air Greenland's brand new Dash 8 in flight is definitely such an occasion.

Air Greenland Dash 8  - smooth flying in tough weather


Me at work
Now this post has been some months under way as images needed to go public in the Annual Report and the in-flight magazine before being posted elsewhere, but I still think both the images and the story is worth sharing.

The request came in shortly before Christmas, well early December actually and with a deadline of end 2011 it did not seem too bad.
Conditions in December in Nuuk however, does not favour air to air photography.
Temperatures rarely go above -15C, daylight is only a few hours a day and the light is something more like afternoon/evening light than real daylight.
Add to that a December where gale force winds and blizzards or heavy cloud cover seemed to continue without stop and you are in for a challenge.



We scheduled several slots, but each one got cancelled as weather turned bad before daylight arrived, finally on December 30th things started to lighten a bit, clouds were spreading east of Nuuk, but a northerly wind at 30 knots coupled with the -15C temperature and the need to fly with an airspeed of +125 knots with the door open did not sound overly promising.

Lasse and myself, suited up and ready :)
Lasse (assisting me on this assignment) and I, never the less suited up and got ready.
We had the helicopter rigged up with harness attachment points, sliding door, strapped the gear bags in and got ready to go.
After that we did the initial briefings and clearances with the airport tower and operations staff.
Finally we did a very detailed walk through with the pilots, they are very serious about their business and flying in tight formation is not something to take lightly.
Especially not with winds blowing at 30 knots, down wash from rotors and me hanging half way out the side of the helicopter to consider.
All geared up and with the communication routine locked down, we handed over the flying to the expert pilots and they took us through the initial bumps of take off and into flight.


An hour worth of freezing our rear ends off, with an open door in the helicopter and some world class flying from the pilots later we had the shots bagged. Including those sunrise shots the marketing people need for their add campaigns.
What I liked even better, we got several images showing the true conditions under which these skilled pilots work on a daily basis.
Clearing the Mountains
As we approached the airport, the sky turned black and snow started to roll in again, so as luck would have we used that perfect one hour window available. as to the temperature in the cabin of the helicopter, well it was really cold., Cold enough for our pilot to find out that his flying boots were frozen to the pedals and needed some work before he was able to leave the helicopter. I have done air to air work before, but never in arctic winter conditions and badish weather before.
I had a healthy dose of respect for the skills of the pilots flying for Air Greenland before, but this experience kind of put those skills in perspective, I would not have been able to do my job without their world class flying, or Lasse in the back to keep my safety lines under control and handling lens changes.

To conclude this little "a day on the job" description - a parting image:
The sunrise shot

I have included a small gallery with a mix of images from the assignment HERE

Thanks for reading,
Thomas