The Christmas Walk – Luleå at its darkest

IMGP1366The drawing I published on Christmas Eve turned out to be prophetic; I had counted on company on my walk before hitting the Christmas buffet, but at eleven everyone was still sleeping, showering or making breakfast. Well, I was waiting for no one, I had a date with the sun! We see precious little of it this time of year, and you know you are hungry for light when you get excited and take photo after photo of things reflecting direct sunlight; like tree trunks or house fronts.

I was out for about two hours, and so was the sun. The temperature was about minus three, which was perfect for photographing, but I would have brought a sketchkit if I had known I´d be all by myself!

The elk on Köpmantorget (Trader´s square).
The elk on Köpmantorget (Trader´s square).
The Christmas Tree on Storgatan (Main Street).
The Christmas Tree on Storgatan (Main Street).
Through the woods on Gültzauudden (the promontory).
Through the woods on Gültzauudden (the promontory).
I´ve been trying to find out who made this, but no luck so far.
I´ve been trying to find out who made this, but no luck so far.
People were walking on the ice, but as you can see, it´s pretty wet towards land and I didn´t feel that it was entirely safe.
People were walking on the ice, but as you can see, it´s pretty wet towards land and I didn´t feel that it was entirely safe.
Neither did this couple, who decided to stay on the firm ground.
Neither did this couple, who decided to stay on the firm ground.

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A biker with the largest tyres I ever saw.
A biker with the largest tyres I ever saw.

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The old brewery.
The old brewery.
The sun!
The sun!
Someone left a fire burning.
Someone left a fire burning.

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A new, interesting-looking buildning. I hope it will be flats; we need them!
A new, interesting-looking buildning. I hope it will be flats; we need them!

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The old harbour office.
The old harbour office.

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The ice breakers.
The ice breakers.
After my walk, it was time to start Christmas proper - with some Disney!
After my walk, it was time to start Christmas proper – with some Disney!
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Aurora

IMGP1200No ink sketches today, but some very fuzzy photos instead. The husband came in the other day and said there was a huge aurora outside, it could even be seen from our livingroom window. I have never attempted to photograph the aurora before, but the camera happened to lie within arm´s reach, so I just set it in “night photography” mode and held it up with my wobbly arms. The aurora moves the entire time anyway, so even if I had a tripod, I don´t think I would manage a sharp image.

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No matter how long I live here and how many auroras I see, I never tire of them, or find them mundane. Nature really is fascinating! (And these photos were taken  by folks with steadier hands than I have.)

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Blood Moon

Not very conventient, having a celestial happening like this taking place while I´m studying for my first exam, but what can you do? Nor do I (still) have a proper lens with which to photograph it, but that is hardly getting in the way of me waking myself up at 4 in the morning and going out to attempt to capture it. Crazy. Met a neighbour walking his dog. “Too much light in town,” he said, and he is right, but again, what can you do? Also: clouds (I photographed the neighbourhood-at-night in between appearances), a bit of a wind on my rather light tripod, and at 5, the sun was advertising its arrival. I was out for two hours, and this is the result.

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Art in the Park

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My screen; I limited myself to seven frames this year and what a good idea that was!

I guess that it is inevitable: after sunshine comes rain (and the other way round, I´m hoping, for next year). We have been very lucky these last two years, and since the entire summer has been cold and wet, it was no surprise that most of yesterday´s exhibition was wet, wet, wet. My frames let water in, in spite of my attempts to cover them with plastic whenever the downpour intensified – terribly boring to have them covered at all as there were, in spite of it, quite a large number of visitors. The frames are now gutted and drying out in the guest bedroom.

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Foto0001There was a change of venue since last year. The plot that was used is now being built on, so the decision was made to move back to Gülzau-udden (a promontory or cape, not sure what would be the most appropriate translation) in town, which was a popular choice. It has less parking, but is within easy walking distance from the town centre. Also, there is a summer café in the old Town Hall, which adds variety to the hot dogs sold by the art society who arranges the exhibition.

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It looks like it has rained less today, but after downpour all day yesterday and all night, it must have been wetter to begin with. I don´t know how many turned up today but I heard a lot of people saying one day of rain was enough, as the prognosis was for even more rain on Sunday. It differs a lot what kind of art one has: the painters of oil and acrylic can be fairly relaxed, while watercolourists were very nervous. Some brought party tents, which was a stroke of genious; the tents are large and some lucky artists, like the lady who neighboured me last year, benefited by being back-to-back with a tent owner. I am definitely looking into some such solution for next year – it would be good as a sunshield, too, and lessen the reflections in the glass.

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Every year, there are more and more photographers. Two years ago, I was the only one showing exclusively photography, last year we were two and this year, there were plenty. However, I had no chance to chat with anyone, being too busy glancing up at the sky and talking to the visitors. Most popular were the blackbird, the toy in the tree, and the trout. Oh, and the retriever. Not surprising, perhaps, everyone loves dogs, and many brought theirs to the art show, too.

I am looking forward to next year, and hope to have some drawings by then to show. I did manage to make a quick sketch early at the exhibition, being interrupted just as it really started pouring down, and I´ll try to scan it and post it during the week.

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