Saturday, April 19, 2014

in the middle of nowhere.

Some days ago, I had such a strange but in the end beautiful day. Let me tell you the story of this adventure:

It all started off by my internet breaking down: It was about 3pm when the signal became weaker. Before being completely disconnected, I decided to check out my list of remaining unvisited destinations in the region of the trojmiasto, because unfortunately I have to go back to Germany in two months. Well, I could check the bus line's number only, when the internet broke down. 
Consequently, I grabbed my camera, tripod, my new polar and neutral density filter and some food. On the SKM station of Sopot, I was still bad-tempered because of my internet, but in the blink of an eye, I was very positively surprised about the SKM's timing, so that my mood changed again, because of this lucky coincidence. Sitting in the SKM (happy mode turned on) I arrived 20 minutes in Gdansk Glowny, went to the bus station and realised that I unfortunately missed the bus. I checked the schedule and my bad mood was back again, because of this very bad bus clock. I starred at the schedule and couldn't believe that I have to wait 25 minutes for the next bus.

After aimlessly walking around and practicing some card tricks, the bus to Górki Zachodnie, my destination, in the east of Gdansk finally arrived. Just a few minutes later, the rumble of wheels caused by very bad street quality jarred on my nerves again. After ten minutes, the bus left my familiar environment, so I lost my orientation and began to become quite nervous, passsing some very destroyed and abandoned buildings, huge security areas and other weird things. Finally, after a ride of 35 minutes, I left the bus in Górki Zachodnie, the middle of nowhere. Due to my lacking planing because of the the lost internet connection, I didn't know where to go.
So led by just a few memories which I could remember from my glimpse on google maps, I followed the street searching for the beach, until I found a small forest. Then, the thought popped up to go into the woods, but still I had no idea where I was; I just knew that I was stranded in the middle of nowhere, but my optimism and my spirit of adventure came back, so I went deeper into the forest. After a while, I could follow a small path which seemed to be used by cars sometimes. When I spotted some buildings, I was convinced of finally having reached my desired destination...Think again!
Disappointment came back on my emotional rollercoaster, since I had to realise to be located on the wrong side of the river. My eyes were searching for a bridge or a ferry, but of course in the middle of nowhere something like this doesn't exist. Turning frustrating backwards, a young woman passed me, so I took the chance to ask her "Czy pani mówi po angielsko?" (Do you speak english?). To my luck, she spoke english very well and explained me how to reach the coast: "Just go straight. After a while you will cross a road. Just follow it and you will be there."

Due to this easy explanation, I changed my mind, since I didn't want to come home seeing that I failed and wasted my time. Following the described route, I suddenly was frightened to death by two very aggressive dogs, jumping against the fence of a private and monitored area. I assumed the worst thinking of a hole in the fence, but fortunately I couldn't find anything. So I calmed down and tried to leave the barking behind me. But just 2 minutes later, the next curiosity happened: I passed a guy, digging a hole, so I had absolutely no idea, if he is burying a corpse in the swamps or if he tries to dig for a treasure. Anyway, I continued walking and reached the road, turned right and continued walking for a long period of time again. Taking a look at my watch, I saw the watch hands standing on 5pm. Before I started my adventure, I read about a traveling time of just one hour.
But walking down the street, I was passed by numerous cars, so I was convinced of my route's correctness. At 5.30pm, I finally arrived at the beach and was overwhelmed:
Turning my head to the left, my eyes looked straight into the low standing sun, in contrast to cranes in an industrial area on the horizon in the shadows; turning my head to the right, I finally found that kind of long wall, going from the beach into the baltic sea. Enthusiastically, I began to run and 500m before I finally reached it, I had to realise that there are lots of fishermen standing on the wall. Consequently, there was no possibility to go to the end of the wall, nor was it possible to take a picture without people on the wall. Such a pity!!! All was for nothing.

"annoying fishermen" - This picture also refers to the end of the article, since those guys are the "two boyfriends" - fun fact: When I took the picture, I didn't know jack that they would help me in the end.
Nevertheless I tried to overcome my disappointment to take some beautiful pictures and as you might imagine, it was not easy. I still wanted to climb on that wall, but I hesitated to climb on top of it, due to some big waves in an very unequal rhythm. In addition, it was not really warm this day, so I decided to leave it at that.

But I still wanted to try my new camera filters in combination with water from the sea, so I decided to go towards some small stones, my eyes caught some minutes ago. In the beginning, everything worked pretty well, but in a moment of inattention, some bigger waves soaked my converse. I screamed loud and was really really angry, since I had no possibility to change my shoes. How I said before, emotional rollercoaster. So I took off my socks, put them onto a stone in the sun that they would hopefully dry a at least. But the problem of my wet sneakers were still not solved. Suddenly I realised that this unfortunate incidence offered me new possibilities: "I know, it's still cold (7/8°C), but your feet and shoes are wet already, so you can't lose anything. Now the time has come, to climb the wall, because you are already wet." - No sooner said than done! After one hour of taking pictures on my bare feet, interrupted by some sprints on the beach, to drag the blood into my feet again, I packed all my stuff and decided to go home. But at this moment, I saw the sun contacting the horizon, so probably it would be dark very soon. I knew how long it would take to go all the way back, especially with wet socks and shoes.

Right now in this moment, two young women came my way, so I decided to ask them (honestly in the hope that they would offer me some other help): "Przepraszam (sorry), can you tell me where I can find the closest bus stop, because on my way here, I needed about 2 hours and it's getting dark soon, so I don't want to walk through the dark forest." - "Just come with us", they answered, "we saw you taking pictures and were wondering why you were walking around with your bare feet. Our boyfriends are fishing right there on the wall and they want to go home soon. We came here by car, so you can come with us and we could drop you at Gdansk Glowny." (So the fishermen, about whom I was disappointed in the beginning, gave me a happy ending)
Of course i accepted this very kind offer, thanked them many times and had a good chat with them. When we were close to the wall, their boyfriends were approaching us, who were also very kind, open-minded and warm hearted. We talked a lot about my stay in Poland, beautiful places in the Trojmiasto and some other stuff.  In addition, they turned on the heating in the car, so that my clothes could dry faster. We drove right in the direction of the sunset, so we could witness a fantastic scenery of a setting sun over the city of Gdansk.
This ending compensated all ups and downs from the time before. I'm still very grateful for those kind people. This coincidence approved my decision for Poland again, because people are helpful, selfless, kind and open-minded. In addition, I could see my changed personality: Before I came to Poland, I wouldn't have dreamed of asking people for help, because I was too shy (believe it or not); nor could nature touch and fascinate me like here. Poland really changed me, opened myself and my heart.

Yes, it's true: The journey is more important than the destination!

PS: If you're wondering, why there are no fishermen on the wall: I spent a lot of work in photoshop to remove them. ;-)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

railway station.

This week I just want to leave you alone with my new photographs from the last shooting with one of my friends, Kasia. She asked me "what should I do?! I'm not a model" - "Just be yourself!" She followed this advice and the results are those pictures. She looks so natural, doesn't she? That's why I prefer working with "normal" persons instead of models, because they don't do strange poses. They are always themselves. :)

Saturday, March 08, 2014

goodbye winter.

As I promised, I come up with a summary of my picture taken over the last three months in Poland, except the first picture, from my lovely home. Over the last weeks, all the ice and snow have melt very quickly, polish spring begins. Probably this means to have temperatures around 8°C over the day and about 0°C in the night. So it's still cold, but the landscapes' appearance is quite boring right now, compared to the cold months before. But honestly, I really miss winter with all of its appearances formed by snow, ice, wind, frozen sea, ice floes. This winter in Poland was the most beautiful and exciting winter I ever had in my life, since I got the privilege to be the eye witness of transforming landscapes, caused by temperatures around -15°C. Most of the pictures were taken in this period. I went out with 6 layers on my body, 2 layers on my legs, 3 layers on my feed, big scarves and winter boots. In addition, the experience of empty beaches was amazing. When I arrived at Gdynia Babie Doły, I was so overwhelmed by nature that I just screamed out loud, like Bear Grylls; it was just an emotional overload! I didn't have to care about it, because I've been the only soul far and wide.  All in all last winter was overwhelming and inspiring, hopefully you can share my opinion by exploring the pictures below.

This post is dedicated to Kerti Pahk my favorite blogger in the whole world wide web.

Friday, February 21, 2014

when the time stands still.

Hello my dear followers,

it's been a long while since my last post. But I really started to live here in Poland, to meet my friends, to discover the region and to read books about photography. So I still took a lot of pictures, but between artificial and social life, I couldn't manage to write a post on my blog. Sorry for everybody who missed it. Over the next week, I will try to post some more pictures, especially landscape photographs which I took during the coldest winter in Poland by -15°C and less.
But for now I proudly present you just one picture and thereby my first photo manipulation.

when the time stands still.

It took me 3 hours to take the right pictures in the right light and to find a fitting composition in good angles. After that I spent 4 hours in Photoshop to bring everything together. I am so happy that I finished it and that my research and practice in Photoshop over the last weeks allowed me to realise this project for 100%.

if you are interested in the concept of this photo manipulation, you can find a small collage of the most important raw pictures below. When I took these shots today, the weather was unusually warm. As a consequence, there were lots of "unbidden guests" and witnesses who were starring and laughing at me. So I had to change the location several times to reduce the amount of strangers surrounding me. That was quite annoying. But regarding the result, it was totally worth it, wasn't it? :)