Still in preparation for the summers hike to Iceland we did a week of Randonée in Haute Corse. I knew there were steep mountains here, but I did not expect it to be that alpine! In seven days we walked and climbed in total 75 kms and gained 5 250 m in altitude. Those vertical meters really did good to our legs. Corsica also offers a great variety of hikes by the seaside, in dense woods and in the mountains. During the week we reached the peaks Capu d'Ortu 1 294 m, A Muvrella 2 184 m and Monte Astu 1 535 m.
When the old villagers says "if you go there they will need to get you back with a helicopter" - don't go there
When the French map says difficult path, it is practically non existing and impossible to pass
When hiking early in the season, north faced slopes above 1 700 meters are still covered with lots of snow
A business trip to picturesque Brussels could not be without also exploring the streets with my camera. In many parts of the town beautiful street art and graffiti can be found and some areas are great for capturing interestig street photography scenes and characters. I visited the train station Brussels Kapelekerk several times and captured a few memorable moments in this album
We like te UCPA concept, skiing with a French mountain guide in challenging areas and in a group that fits your level. We spent a week in Italian Aosta valley with an off-piste group skiing in Gressoney, Alagna and Courmayeur. Conditions were varying from mild with snowfall to cold and bright sun. Our guide Loïc Zaccaro did a great job to find secluded off piste areas, steep couloirs and skiable pine woods. Altogether it was another great UCPA adventure.
To complete our adventure to conquer the Nordic summits we will make a try at Iceland's highest peak Hvannadalshnjúkur 2 109 m this summer. The climb starts at sea level so we better be prepared. Last weekend we took a nearby hike at "Blå leden", Bogesund Vaxholm. No heigths, but a quick stride through a wet winter landscape. Rewarding finnish at restaurant Hamnkrogen in Vaxholm.
I love the mountains as much as I love the sea. In January we went to ski with the French organisation UCPA in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. The concept is great: Simple lodging, all inclusive: all meals, ski-pass, equipment and best of all: you get to ski with a French mountain guide for four days. This year we decided to join an off-piste group with ten skiers from France and Sweden in a mix of ages. Lots of fun and challenging skiing. In a new album I show some of the Landscapes shot during the week together with a few photos from earlier visits to the top of Europe.
It is early in the new year, and spring is still far away, but on a cloudy winter day green colours can still be magnificent in nature. A planned walk on nearby Bogesund became much shorter, and only covered the area Montebello, due to all the green moss photo subjects that caught my eye.
Nordic skating is fantastic under the right conditions. Fresh ice, flat and shiny as a mirror, a low winter sun and little or no wind. Temperatures have not been low enough, this winter, for the sea in the Stockholm area to freeze, but the lakes typically have 5-15 cms of ice and last weekend the thin cover of snow had just melted and frozen again. We had some magic moments at Vallentunasjön and Garnsviken:
Photographing could be a challenge, in good conditions the light is harsh, exposure in backlighting needs to be estimated and if you want to catch your fellow skaters from the front you need to skate ahead quite a bit, prefocus and plan the composition. Many shots are taken on the go with poles in one hand and the camera in the other.
I had the opportunity to spend three days in New York City and mainly focusing on photography. Beforehand I had checked out some great locations for street photography in the city https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zqN0POJ0gwLw.krTZOqcv0m5U and during the three days I made a lot of walking to visit many of them. I had thought it would be easy to find subjects and shoot street in this bustling metropole, but on the contrary, streets were jammed by Christmas shoppers and made it hard to get clean backgrounds and to my Swedish eyes so much was new it was hard to find and pick the odd subjects. Also fears imagined as a street photographer, that I have partly overcome in Stockholm, were back in full strength. Still there were some lucky shots that I can share in this album
In December 2014 protests against US police brutality were back in the streets, also in New York. During my photo walks I ran across several manifestations and performances, showing lots of engagement, anger but luckily all I saw were peaceful. I have documented three events from Union Square and Times square here.
Being in New York it is also hard not to be struck by the magnificent cityscapes and night views. Some photos of the city to be found here.