Pizza

Pisa (/ˈpiːzə/; Italian pronunciation: [ˈpiːsa; ˈpiːza]) is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, straddling the Arno (the river, not the Belgian artist, a homograph) just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city’s cathedral), the city of over 91,104 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces and various pizzeria’s. 

The white dinner in Pisa did include some pizza …

The city of Pisa did not lent its name to this protected traditional dish of Italy. That is a completly different story altogether. The history of pizza (the food not the city) begins in antiquity, when various ancient cultures produced flatbreads with toppings.

The precursor of pizza was probably the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans as panis focacius, to which toppings were then added. Modern pizza developed in Naples, when tomato was added to the focaccia in the late 18th century however the word pizza was first documented in AD 997 in Gaetana. 

So, while Pizza and Pisa may after all not be connected, for me they are homonyms that date back to my childhood, when pizza for sure came from that Italian city Pisa with its odd tower. A childhood short of Wikipedia to provide the answer at your fingertips.

On a completly different side note, I just discovered the Wikipedia app for iOS and love the map feature that is included. If you like me have not discovered the app and just used the search in your iPhone, give it a try. A new toolkit in my bag of location aware devices and apps, but that is a post for later. 

PS. Posting from the road and learning the tricks of the trade of only having an iPad. Not 100% happy with my image but posted nevertheless. Better one published, then ten stuck in draft. 

The Five Lands

The Cinque Terre (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtʃiŋkwe ˈtɛrre]; Ligurian: Çinque Tære, meaning “Five Lands”) is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia, and comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a clear No Fly zone. 

Exactly. No fly. No drones. 

You find photographers in all sizes and flavours. From the pure purists who will only shoot with a Leica and a prime over the brand fashionistas (Sony is a hot brand these days) to the extremes of rugged allround photographers who use their gear, and the geeks who actually talk shop, but may be less in taking pictures (how sharp can a lens be) or printing them for the fear of chromatic abberation (also known as purple rain). You find us in all kind of flavours. From strawberry to caffe latte and I am kind of in the middle. I like my gear, I am a loyal brand fashionista (more because I cannot change my glass that often, and I do hope Nikon will bring out a new mirrorless body in the full frame range in a few years, that let me reuse my glass I invested in over the years), and I believe in the mantra that the best camera around is the one at your fingertips. So as most of you know I travel with my good old Nikon D600, my ever evolving iPhone and my beloved Falcon II (actually it is a DJI Phantom IV, but gadgets need a name).

And here I was. In the middle of the five lands, screaming to get the drone out for the perfect shot, when traffic control decided otherwise. 

Time to get the hiking boots out and walk to the end of the jetty to get that almost perfect sunset shot. 

The end of the Jetty

And it was crowded there on the Jetty. 
So crowded I ended up with getting photobombed by the crew trying to get the attention of Woody while rescuing lens caps of total strangers and hang out with this and other photographers on the Jetty.

Photobombing is an art.
Fun it was.

B.

PS. The other members of the Crew where enjoying a local white wine at the top of the hill under The umbrella at the right while looking down on our climbing efforts to get that “perfect” shot

Walldorf

The first stop on our little summer road trip this year is a little romantic city just outside Walldorf.

A most beautiful university city I want to revisit next time I may have to travel to the center of the SAP universe in Walldorf. A most symbolic overnight stop (many more to come these two weeks) in an idyllic city as I have to refind my workflow. This is my first ever longer roadtrip I travel without a full fledge laptop. A roadtrip I will try to optimize my digital workflow from viewfinder to blogpost by using my iPad as my main digital workstation while on the road. 

The last few years my workflow has become to top heavy, and the fun of getting a quick post out had disappeared. This year I will try to change that flow, and what better city to start this in as Heidelberg. 

Home

January is pretty hectic.

I am just returning from a visit to Granada (15˚ C) and here I am already packing again to hit the road to Brussels. It was a short and sweet stop over at this little beautiful place called home. A little bit chilly with minus 4˚ in the sun, but nevertheless stunningly beautiful. Pale blue skies, white snow covering the lands, warm sunlight and ice turning the water into mysterious arctic blue patterns across the archipelago.

I did not had much time to get out and shoot plastic or new places, but I could not resist to take the hot air balloon for a little spin into memory lane.

Rindö in the middle of the Stockholm Archipelago
Home Sweet Home – clicking the image will give you a full view on the island of Rindö, Vaxholm

Photo 3 in my ongoing little promise is posted. A post in the Places category. A special place called home.

Now it is time to catch a plane.

Crossroads

Crossroads or crossroad or cross road may refer to quite a few creative works in literature, film and music. It may even refer to a long list of places around the world and beyond or it could just simply be an intersection. An intersection is the junction at-grade (special thanks to wikipedia) of two or more roads either meeting or crossing. An intersection may be a threesome (also called a T or Y junction), a foursome (often in the form of said crossroads), or have five or more arms and easily turn into a merry go round or roundabout.

Crossroads can easily be a found in the middle of the Alentejo.

It has been almost a year since I updated the blog and this seems to be a recurring theme looking at this old post from 2012, where I also discovered it was a year ago.

I am for sure not a great poster of words.

Here is a little note to myself. Let’s try to feature at least one image here every month moving forward and see this post as a crossroad to sharing more work with you straight from my personal portfolio

Crossroads
Shooting crossroads in the Alentejo, Portugal (clicking the image should take you straight to my portfolio site)

Paris

Paris (UK: /ˈpærɪs/ parr-iss; US: /ˈpɛərɪs/ pair-iss; French: [paʁi]) is the capital of France. The City of Paris has an area of 105 square kilometres (41 square miles for those not familiar with the by now widely spread metric system) and has a population of 2M people within its city limits. The Paris Region covers 12K square kilometres (4.5K square miles), and has a population over 12 million people. Roughly the same size as Belgium (that other city just north of Paris) or a good two million more as the total headcount of Sweden (the larger Stockholm Region by comparison is half the size of Paris, and has a sixth of the population, a good two million including yours truly). 

Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name (and not after Paris Hilton as some may believe). By the 12th century, Paris was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre, and the home of the University of Paris, one of the first in Europe. In the 18th century, it was the centre stage for the French Revolution, and became an important centre of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, a position it still retains today.

Paris is the home of the most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre, as well as some other big names like the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée National d’Art Moderne. The most notable architectural landmarks of Paris include Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre (1914) to name just a few.

Paris is not only the city of light and a romantic destination for many tourists around the globe, it is also the place where I first met my soulmate some good twenty years ago. A city full of memories of old and new friends alike.

So, when I woke up on Saturday and got greeted with a FB safety check that some of my friends in Paris checked in safely, it became instantly clear that disaster had struck in the centre of a city that is dear to me. Not a natural disaster inflicted by the whimsical moods of Mother Nature, but one inflicted by mankind.

A terror attack just one day after the terrible bombing  in Beirut.

Sad, meaningless, just a total waste of energy.

Is humanity in the twenty first century not grown beyond those barbaric acts our human history is known for ? Did we not grew up and learned from the past ?

The Celts, the Aztecs, The Dark Ages, Nazi Germany, Stalin, … they all had their dark spot to say the least, but humanity ploughed forward, and one could only have dreamed we were seriously moving to a flat world,  a world where humanity works together to solve the challenges of the 21st century and generations to come.

A world where we have to take global decisions together on our climate in just a few weeks, in that same city of light. Agree on how we can save our planet before we do unrecoverable damage that puts an end to humanity, full stop. Not just the left or the right, the north or the south, the east or the west. The full planet, all of us. Game over for species Homo Sapiens.

But it is not just us who can harm our little habitat here (although we do have a very good track record of being destructive), there is a long list out there of what can and will go wrong in the future and we have enough challenges to conquer and give our species a change of survival (if you wonder why Zurple and Quignee are keeping a close eye on Elon Musk and his Space X program, check out this awesomely inspiring blog).

Enough challenges ahead of us from a simple accidental asteroid to artificial super intelligence. We should not be shooting and blowing up people on a Friday evening (on no evening for that matter).

I am sad, and angry, and feel kind of helpless. Helpless we are not moving as humanity in the right direction of the bigger picture (which goes way beyond us as a species) and are still stuck in meaningless terror and violence.

Grumpy
Sad, Angry, Resolved.

I am sad, but at the same time resolved.

I cannot build a rocket to Mars or code a conscience into A.I. but I can speak up for our species in my work, in my photography.

Make sure I share the message of hope and inspiration.
Of building an intergalactic species that is known for its science and arts, just like the city of light. A species that believes in toys and imagination, in creativity and equality.

I hope my great grand children will look back and still find some inspiration in our generation.

I for sure will leave them my photography and hope it will inspire their children to look back at the past and smile on these whimsical great grandparents that took their toys to places to inspire creativity.

Paris, Beirut, Planet Earth, I Luv Ye.

B.

Seattle

Seattle (/siˈætəl/ see-at-əl) is a coastal seaport city on the wbest coast of the U.S. in the state of Washington. With an estimated 652,405 residents as of 2013, downtown Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of North America and the fastest-growing major city in the United States (did we mention the Seattle metropolitan area has approximate 3.6 million inhabitants including some of the world most famous geeks and AFOLs alike).

The city is situated on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, about 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the 8th largest port in the United States and 9th largest in North America in terms of container handling and the very first city to hold the very first fine art LEGO photography exhibition in the Bryan Ohno Gallery.

A city with a Space Needle, a Ferris Wheel and new Friends.

Seattle

A month has gone by since we were in Seattle for the grand opening of the In LEGO, We Connect exhibition (the very first one) and only now could we take a break, pause the rollercoaster and share some cityscapes for you to enjoy this fine Sunday together with the chocolate*.

Happy Easter !

Boris

(*) Easter Egg Chocolate can seriously damage your health. Only use in sufficient qualities and indulge in the cacao.