Ive often wished that at some point my sad little blog would pick itself up, dust itself off and become one of those daily affairs people check in on over their morning coffee, alongside their fix of facebook, cracked.com and buzzfeed updates on what famous person did what to who and how or why. As those people who actually read my irregular postings can attest to, this blog is not that sort of blog. This is through no small fault of the blogs writer, a master procrastinator with a flair for attempting to do many things at once and failing to complete most of them until many months later, if at all.
So, without further ado, or pretending my blog is anything other than a place for me to post outtakes and make announcements, I’ll move on to todays order of business:
Sharing with you some pictures of a pregnant white horse I once met:
That picture above was posted on flickr in 2008, and appears in my book about horses, and it would not be entirely crazy to assume that was just one of those silly moments horses are sometimes caught having:
However, after reviewing all other photos of this particular animal, it seems apparent that this was just one of those silly horses nobody keeps hearing about:
To be fair, she had just woken up, and was most likely having one hell of a yawning fit, but it’s more fun to imagine this is just the happiest mare in the world.
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In my last post I dug up a bunch of pictures I took during my first semester of studying photography at Reykjavík Technical College (my reasons for going back to school were also mentioned in that post)
I actually left out two series I did:
When given the assignment of making a photo essay on something in either a negative or positive light, I decided to document the outskirts of my town, Hafnarfjörður. In the last 20 years or so, this area, once moss covered lava for the most part, has become the location for numerous industrial plants and warehouses, much to the displeasure of the town residents who have to look at the less-than-pleasing scenario, the location being particularly ironic in light of the fact that this is the very first thing travelers to Iceland see when entering the greater Reykjavík area from Keflavík International Airport. So I spent a few days wandering around the area with my recently purchased 70-300mm DO lens :
The DO stands for diffractive optics, I bought it due to its very appealing compact nature. While set to 70mm , it can actually fit into an average sized purse , while attached to the body of your 5D mark II, which is more than can be said for many other powerful zoom lenses on the market)
Here’s some of what came out of that project:
I also did an industrial series, for which I chose to visit the Ístex factory in Mosfellsbær, Iceland, where all the wool I use for my sweaters is manufactured.
I lurked around the premises for a couple of hours, getting some wary looks from employees and at least twice being asked if I was an industrial spy..wether jokingly or not, I’m not entirely sure.
I tried to document all different steps of the process, which was a little confusing , so much going on at once, with many different kinds of wool thread being produced as well as the Álafoss Lopi that I use most. Here’s a peek at that:
This coming semester I believe I’ll have a lot more creative freedom with my schoolwork, but nonetheless that first semester did me a world of good, as pretty much none of these subjects are something I would have photographed if left to my own devices.
Diversity is an important part of the learning process, after all
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I absolutely suck at blogging. Sorry about that, to anyone who used to follow my ramblings on here and maybe even enjoyed them a little bit.
I’m going to blame the fact that I went back to school in January, which left me with zero spare time whatsoever.
I signed up for a one-year course in Photography at Reykjavík Technical College, for the simple fact that in Iceland, you’re not actually allowed to call yourself a “photographer” unless you’ve taken this particular course of education.
Some of you may or may not know that I already have a B.A. degree in visual arts, so I was actually going back a step from university level to college level. Surprisingly, there was a lot more studying involved.
That really says a lot about Icelands Academy of the Arts..
Anyway, during that first semester I posted not one single photo I made at school on Flickr or my official facebook page, so I figured I’d put together a little show and tell of what I was “learning” this spring.
I have to admit I found it a bit weird having to adhere to teachers instructions on what to photograph and how, but I ended up learning a bunch of technical stuff, (studio lighting for instance) that will no doubt come in handy in my future artistic endeavors.
The first assignment was quite open to interpretation, basically “shoot a 36 frame roll of bw film, interpreting your the way to school” . For that I just walked around the streets that I drive to school, asking perfect strangers if I could take their portrait.
The only challenge being that I absolutely HATE asking people to take their picture, felt like a complete dork. So that was a refreshing exercise.. I’m lazy at scanning so these 4 examples are negatives photographed against a window and inverted, hence the rough look ( I rather like it actually)
Next up: A studio portrait processed in 4 different ways in PS:
(for that I used a practice shot of my classmate, nothing particularly brilliant going on here) Gave myself serious creative licence on that last one, I’d just gotten my wacom tablet and went nuts with the mixer brush in CS5..
Lets see.. We also had to do 6 portraits of the same person using proper studio lighting technique. For that project I used my older son Bjarki, here are a couple I’m really pleased with:
For environmental portraits (meaning “people photographed in a way that reflects their profession or personality) , I photographed the mayor of my hometown Hafnarfjörður (who happens to be my boyfriends dad),
a horse tamer (who happens to be my boyfriends best friend) and an Icelandic fisherman (who happens to be my boyfriend):
Another project was to photograph our daily environment in some way. Here’s some of what came out of that:
Stuff around the house:
Stuff around the neighborhood (shot with my Holga)
I did some sports photography:
White on white / black on black
Lightpainting (my violin that I bought in 2011 and never have time to play) :
And a lot of black and white film stuff. I in fact purchased a ’78 Hasselblad off ebay in January, the following images were taken with that:
I’ll leave it at that for now, just felt like sharing so people would know I’m still alive and haven’t given up on photography
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I’ve been creating sweaters from Icelandic wool for a good three years now. After giving this some serious thought, I’ve decided to set myself a limit.
I’m now working on sweaters #78 and #79. Once I reach #100, I will no longer continue to offer them. I feel I’m already spending far too much time knitting instead of working on my photography and other projects, and that’s just not the direction I had in mind for myself.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy making them, the fact that each one is unique and custom-designed keeps things from becoming too boring, but the “painstakingly hand-made” factor is taking its toll, stealing far too much time from other potentially time-consuming projects I have lined up in my head clamoring for some attention.
So, in short. There are 18 sweaters left before I reach 100. As I mentioned already, each one has a unique design and color pattern based on the buyers wishes, and is made to fit custom measurements.
Each one comes with a label reading “handmade and designed by Rebekka Guðleifs” as proof of authenticity.
Current price is 80.000 ISK (icelandic krona) for a zipped hoodie or zipped w/ standup collar. Check online conversion charts for the amount in your countries currency. Shipping is 4.000 ISK.
Preferred method of payment is via Paypal, although direct bank transfer is also an option.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info , or to put in an order.
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(Note: This entire post was originally published August 2010, I’m reposting now as my blog has been hacked in a most annoying way, so that when I attempt to post links to some older articles onto Facebook, advertisements for viagra show up instead of excerpts and pics from my blog. If anyone knows how to fix this , let me know! )
The photos above and at the end of this post are from a quick selfportrait photoshoot in my kitchen yesterday. I’m 32 years old, and have two sons age 12 and 10. While I’m a relatively content, marginally successful woman today, such has not always been the case (<— understatement). I’m in a warm, sharing sortof mood today. Hopefully the following words of advice will prove helpful to someone in some way.
Everyone make excuses. For any number of things. Making excuses and convincing yourself you can’t do something is usually easier than making personal challenges and tackling them head-on. I’m terribly prone to procrastination myself, and know how annoyed I get with myself when I keep putting things off, for days, weeks, months even, until, in a manic fit, too irritated with myself to take it any more, I spring out of bed one morning and decide “all right missy, today you’re getting this shit done, all of it, no more excuses!” and do my best to tackle all those things I’d been putting off, usually only remembering half of them by then. Whatever. Point is, it’s not a productive way to live one’s life, seeing as you only get one, and have no guarantee whatsoever how many theoretical “tomorrows” we have waiting patiently for us down the road.
Philosophical preamble aside, let me get to the point of todays post.
One of the most common things people make excuses about, and put off until tomorrow, next week, or next year (new years resolutions, anyone?) is the matter of getting fit. And from this point on, I am referring to otherwise healthy people, who are not disabled in any way, and have no true reason for avoiding exercise, other than not feeling like it.
I, personally, will never understand why the majority of people on this planet take their bodies for granted. You get one, it remains with you for life, and when it fails, that’s it. You do not get a replacement. Despite this very obvious fact, many people spend more time and money working on their cars, or collecting things to decorate their homes with, than tending to their own bodies.
Anyway, let me cut to the chase. Fitness should not be a fad, a hobby or a vague idea at the back of ones head. It should be a way of life. Furthermore, it should not be expensive, complicated, daunting or unattainable, and doesn’t have to be.
I suffered from severe depression from age 12-16. (I won’t go into details) Then I decided to start running. Just a spur of the moment decision that changed my life. It helped, a lot. I got into weight-lifting at age 18, and that helped even more. I started reading fitness and bodybuilding magazines, realizing I could control the shape I was in. This is the most important realization i’ve come across: How i looked and felt was all up to me, not a preordained fate I had to accept. And that’s probably something a lot of people don’t realize, or don’t want to think about because it means you have to get up and do something about it.
If you’re still reading, that probably means you’re one of those people who’ve always wanted to do something to change this, but aren’t sure where to start. To make things easier, i’m going to simply point you in a few good directions, because i can’t possibly write down all i’ve learned in the 14 years since I decided to make fitness a #1 priority in my life.
(Chinups are awesome. I have a bar at home. If you can't do even one, start by hanging. Then use a chair and try hanging with your arms at 90°. Then try lifting yourself. Be patient. Can't recommend them enough for upper-body strenght and toning. I can now do 10-12 from a dead hang.)
Because I constantly seek out new approaches to keep from being bored, I’m always curious about “trends” that pop up and can usually tell after reading the first few lines of a sales-pitch if something is legit, or a bunch of nonsense designed to rob you of your money and time. One of the things I decided to check out in depth was Mike Geary and his “Truth about Six-pack abs” program, (forcing myself first to look past the cheesy title and incredibly corny looking website). Long story short, I bought his ebook, and give it my stamp of approval, even if it does play a little too much on the necessity of having ripped abs in order to appeal to the opposite sex. ( I’m not in any partnership with this man, I just benefited from his stuff, and am therefore mentioning it to others). The book is crammed with necessary and simple information about nutrition and workouts, much of it stuff I already knew, and free of any mention of shortcuts or miracle cures which I know for a fact do not exist.
Now, after buying this ebook, I’ve gotten regular emails with extra tidbits of information, tips and recipes, which is a nice bonus. In one of his newsletters he mentioned another training program that had his stamp of approval, and I decided to check that out. I ended up purchasing the Tactfit Commando program as well, which is largely based on bodyweight exercise alone, which is attractive to me since I want to work out at home sometimes to save time, and love learning new moves that just somehow never occurred to me.
You’ll notice i mentioned “buying” both of the afore mentioned programs. They were both a lot cheaper than gym memberships and ended up being worthwhile. Still, i know a lot of people won’t buy them. Which brings me to the best fitness-related gem i’ve stumbled across in recent years:
For the second time on this blog i’m going to mention, and recommend Bodyrock.tv. This website was daunting at first. Zuzana (the madly fit and curvaceous woman you’ll see as soon as you click on the link) annoyed the hell out of me with her boobs and her much-too-ripped abs, but i forced myself to watch one video and instantly my preconceptions vanished. I’d also heard that she used to be a porn actress or something, but honestly could not care less. This girl knows what she’s doing, and generously shares, for free, a near endless stream of varying workouts that can be done at home with a minumum of equipment. These workouts kick ass. They really, really do. After a lazy summer of only working out 3-4 times a week max, I decided to get back into gear a couple weeks ago, and have been employing tips I’ve gathered from all three of these sources and focusing them into brutally intense, 20-30 minute workouts in the comfort of my living room. ( Some of the exercises I can’t do (not yet at least) and some I avoid because I damaged my lower-back weightlifting 6 years back and have to be careful not to trigger an attack which can cause me to limp around like an old woman for a few days until it gets better. My point being, don’t let it stop you if you think it looks to hard from the get-go. Just start at your own level and work from there)
Bottom line: You don’t have to spend a fortune on new workout clothes, a gym membership, or face the scary prospect of going into a gym and feeling inadequate (another common excuse I’m sure a lot of people make, which I understand very well). As i mentioned above, I have a chin-up bar installed at home, and own a set of 10kg adjustable dumbells and exercise ball as well. All good stuff to have for variety, but to start you only need yourself.
Anyway, I hope this helps at least some people, since i went to the trouble of sitting here for an hour writing this all down
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