Preikestolen, Kjeragbolten and Trolltunga

I shot these photos on our trip to Preikestolen, Kjeragbolten and Trolltunga this summer. I took too many photos to upload them all to WordPress, so if you want to see the rest of the photos you’ll have to visit my Flickr gallery – nearly 300 photos of wild, Norwegian nature, I promise you that the gallery is well worth a visit:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskBnsky8

Preikestolen

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We started in Oslo, rented a car and drove to the West coast of Norway.
The first day of hiking, we visited Preikestolen (English: Preacher’s Pulpit or Pulpit Rock), one of the most visited natural tourist attractions in Norway (The two most visited is Oslo Opera House and Vigelandsparken in Oslo). “Preikestolen is a steep cliff which rises 604 metres (1,982 ft) above the Lysefjorden. Atop the cliff, there is an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 ft × 82 ft)” – Wikipedia.

The hike to Preikestolen is an easy one. It has some small parts of uneven terrain and the beginning of the hike is moderately steep, but there are stairs built in the mountain, so anyone can do this hike. Even fat, untrained people can do it.

Kjeragbolten

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The second day we walked to Kjeragbolten. “Kjeragbolten is a boulder located on the mountain Kjerag in Forsand municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The rock itself is a 5-cubic-metre (180 cu ft) glacial deposit wedged in the mountain’s crevasse. It is a popular tourist destination and is accessible without any climbing equipment. However, it is suspended above a 984-metre (3,228 ft) deep abyss.” – Wikipedia

The hike to Kjeragbolten is much more interesting than the ones to Preikestolen and Trolltunga. It has some technical parts and, according to visitnorway.com, it’s a demanding trail: “The hike starts at Øygardstøl south of the Lysefjord by the Lysevegen road above Lysebotn. This demanding trail traverses several ridges, and climbs 570 metres. To avoid wear and tear and accidents, please use the marked trail.” – visitnorway.com

Trolltunga

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On the third day we hiked to Trolltunga (the Troll’s tongue). It’s an easy hike, without any technical parts, but it’s a long hike.
Here’s what they have to say about it on visitnorway.com:

“Trolltunga is one of the most spectacular scenic cliffs in Norway. Trolltunga is situated about 1100 meters above sea level, hovering 700 metres above lake Ringedalsvatnet. The view is breathtaking. The hike starts in Skjeggedal and goes through the high mountains, takes 10-12 hours (23 km in total to Trolltunga and return) and the ascent is about 900 meters. It is a long and hard hike. The hike is usually possible to do from mid-June, depending on when the snow melts in the mountains. Normally one can hike to Trolltunga until mid-September. Consider carefully whether you are in good enough shape and have the right equipment before setting out. There is no mobile phone coverage along the route.”

My Italian friend and I did the hike in 6 hours, but the others that we were traveling with, completed it in around 9-10 hours.

If you’re going on any of these hikes: Bring food, water (you can refill the water bottle on the way) proper hiking boots and warm clothes. The weather can change quickly, so it’s a good idea to bring warm clothes in a backpack and to be prepared for possible rain.
Also: leave your walking sticks at home – it’s just stupid and you should rely on your own balance. There’s absolutely no reason to use walking sticks!
(This post is my entry for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge – check out WordPress for more).

Visit my Flickr gallery:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskBnsky8

The Changing Seasons: July 2016

My changing seasons post this month is a scheduled post.

I don’t have many photos from this month (yet) and the ones that I do have is basically just different takes on the same scene. I went nuts on the post-processing, but it was fun and I don’t regret it! Hehe. Hopefully, after the summer, I’ll have plenty of landscape photos and lots of portraits to share with you.

I also had time to create something artistic for the V2 (version 2) part of the challenge this month.

nude model monkey skull

This is a double exposure (post-process) of a nude model that I shot in a studio and a monkey skull I captured at a scientific museum (Yes, I’m a geek that sometimes do “boring stuff” like visiting museums).

What’s this «Changing Seasons» blogging challenge?

«The Changing Seasons 2016» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month. Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2016. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed. These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

Links to participants:

Also make sure to out my spreadshirt shop:

kvinner-spreadshirt-1123203

Norwegian shop (NOK):
https://shop.spreadshirt.no/1123203/

English (EURO):

http://shop.spreadshirt.no/100035802

TheChangingSeasons_6367

Absinthe 1020598

Enjoying a glass of Absinthe in Prague.

Enjoying a glass of Absinthe in Prague.

Some Absinthe info from Wikipedia:

Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45–74% ABV) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (“grand wormwood”), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” (the green fairy). Although it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a liqueur, absinthe is not traditionally bottled with added sugar; it is therefore classified as a spirit. Absinthe is traditionally bottled at a high level of alcohol by volume, but it is normally diluted with water prior to being consumed.

Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It rose to great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Owing in part to its association with bohemian culture, the consumption of absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Aleister Crowley, Erik Satie, Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Byron and Alfred Jarry were all known absinthe drinkers.

Absinthe has often been portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen. The chemical compound thujone, although present in the spirit in only trace amounts, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria-Hungary. Although absinthe was vilified, it has not been demonstrated to be any more dangerous than ordinary spirits. Recent studies have shown that absinthe’s psychoactive properties (apart from that of the alcohol) have been exaggerated.

Etymology
The French word absinthe can refer either to the alcoholic beverage or, less commonly, to the actual wormwood plant, with grande absinthe being Artemisia absinthium, and petite absinthe being Artemisia pontica. The Latin name artemisia comes from Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt. Absinthe is derived from the Latin absinthium, which in turn comes from the ancient Greek ἀψίνθιον apsínthion, “wormwood”. The use of Artemisia absinthium in a drink is attested in Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura (I 936–950), where Lucretius indicates that a drink containing wormwood is given as medicine to children in a cup with honey on the brim to make it drinkable.

Absinthe’s popularity grew steadily through the 1840s, when absinthe was given to French troops as a malaria preventive. When the troops returned home, they brought their taste for absinthe home with them. The custom of drinking absinthe gradually became so popular in bars, bistros, cafés, and cabarets that, by the 1860s, the hour of 5 p.m. was called l’heure verte (“the green hour”). Absinthe was favoured by all social classes, from the wealthy bourgeoisie, to poor artists and ordinary working-class people. By the 1880s, mass production had caused the price of absinthe to drop sharply. By 1910, the French were drinking 36 million litres of absinthe per year, as compared to their annual consumption of almost 5 billion litres of wine.

The drink was banned in France in 1914.

Absinthe has been consumed in the Czech countries (then part of Austria-Hungary) since at least 1888, notably by Czech artists, some of whom had an affinity for Paris, frequenting Prague’s famous Café Slavia. Its wider appeal in Bohemia itself is uncertain, though it was sold in and around Prague.

In 1905, it was reported that Jean Lanfray, a Swiss farmer, murdered his family and attempted to take his own life after drinking absinthe. The fact that Lanfray was an alcoholic who had consumed considerable quantities of wine and brandy prior to drinking two glasses of absinthe was overlooked or ignored, therefore placing the blame for the murders solely on absinthe.

In May 2011, the French Absinthe Ban of 1915 was repealed following petitions by the Fédération Française des Spiritueux, who represent French distillers.

A water carafe is the most basic and original way to add water. As with other items, many have been found with brand names on them. The carafe is held above the glass and water is delicately added in a thin stream.

Fountains appeared in bars and bistros in the late 1800s as absinthe gained greater popularity. Most often it was a large glass globe on a tall metal stand that held between two and six spigots. It allowed a small party of drinkers to accurately prepare their absinthe all at once with a slow, thin stream of cold water but did not require the steady hand required by a carafe.

You can read more about the interesting history of Absinthe on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absinthe. This is my entry for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

Now you can follow me on my public and official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cguzmanofficial/

The Changing Seasons: April 2016

“The Changing Seasons” is a little bit late this month. I messed up the dates, got busy writing on a long post and suddenly the 20th of April had passed already… Oops!

I had to hurry up and get this post ready this morning and here is the gallery for April:

I’ve been playing a lot of guitar this month. Both alone and with other people. There was a jam-session with some couchsurfers earlier this month (you can check it out in one of my previous posts) and I’ve been jamming with an ukulele playing friend of mine. That’s why this guitar is my V2 photo this month.

One of my guitars.

One of my guitars.

What’s this «Changing Seasons» blogging challenge?

«The Changing Seasons 2016» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month. Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2016. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed. These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

Links to participants: 

Also make sure to out my spreadshirt shop:

kvinner-spreadshirt-1123203

Norwegian shop (NOK):
https://shop.spreadshirt.no/1123203/

English (EURO):

http://shop.spreadshirt.no/100035802

Working with a model & a dog

Had a couple of photos on print today: they were in a pet-related advertising paper that was published with the national, Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.

Last Sunday I met up with model Thea and her dog Kilo for a photo shoot downtown. Here’s the main photo:

Thea & Kilo

Thea & Kilo. Kilo is a mix between American Bulldog, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Sighthound.

To flash or not to flash?
I haven’t worked with dogs as models before, so this was the first time for me. Before leaving home I was afraid that a flash might scare the young dog – he’s only one year old – so I didn’t bring one. I could have needed a flash in the semi-poor lighting conditions downtown. I did bring a reflector though, but the artificial light wasn’t really strong enough to be reflected. Lesson learned? bring a flash next time.

Besides, Thea, the model and dog owner, assured me that Kilo wouldn’t be scared of the flash. Because of his young age Kilo was easily distracted and a flash would have helped to freeze the moment, eliminating blur.
I definitely learned a lot from this shoot.

Thea & Kilo

Thea & Kilo

Thanks Thea & Kilo!

Flowers on a Table

Flower photography is way out of my comfort zone: I’m getting old, but still not old enough to be into flower photography. For Paula’s Thursday challenge this week however, I’m willing to make an exception.

Flowers on a table, with a touch of flare in there.

Flowers on a table, with a touch of flare in there.

https://bopaula.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/thursdays-special-flare/

Got this congratulation from WordPress the other day.

I got this congratulation from WordPress the other day. I guess this means that I’ve opened up another secret level of blogging. 

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 08

Time for another post in my series «The Changing Seasons». All the photos in this gallery were shot in July.

July has been a fantastic month! Three weeks of vacation and plenty of things to do: I’ve had a lot of Couchsurfers staying with me, from different places such as: Israel, Poland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Russia. Whenever I have Couchsurfers visiting, I try my best to show them the city and to socialize. This has also been a great opportunity to take plenty of photos: photographically speaking, July has been an extremely productive month – considering the number of photos taken (creatively speaking, perhaps not so much since most of the photos are just quick snaps). I’ve also taken my son on trips to both Dovre and to the North of the country (more posts will come from Sandhornøya shortly, I’ve already posted two). If you want to see mountain photos from Dovre, you should check out my Musk Ox Safari posts. (You’ll find links to all these posts in the end of this one).

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You have probably forgotten about this, but throwing stones in the water is a lot of fun.

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