40 down, 21 to go ..

October 6th, 2011 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

I’m sure those of you who’ve already contributed towards making the Weather project possible are getting somewhat anxious to know how things have been progressing since my last update several months ago.  Sorry for the prolonged silence, this summer was pretty hectic, with moving house and stuff,  and time has that habit of flying by without asking anyone’s permission..  So here it is, October already , and we’re only two-thirds of the way through with this project, which I’d optimistically hoped would be completed by september (haha!).

But the good news is , since work will most likely continue throughout the winter,  the pictures will end up even more diverse than if they’d all been taken over the course of 3-4 months, which will only make for an even more amazing book. And that the book will be amazing is something I’m growing more and more confident of.  (yay!)

So here’s the progress report so far:

April 18-25.  Approximately 20 locations covered, around the entire coast of Iceland. Approx. 3200 km travelled.
See travel photos here
May 18-20th :  Four more locations photographed around the Snæfellsnes area. Roughly 900 km travelled.

(it was this windy the entire time.  Very , uhm, invigorating, for lack of another description.. )

July 1-5:  Nine more weather stations visited,  in North-Western and North Iceland. Around 2600 km travelled.
See travel pictures here.

On the most recent journey, October 1-3, we covered only five more locations.  Approx. 1800 km travelled.  Had I not been sick as a dog the entire trip, we probably would have gotten a little more done, but it was either return home a day early or end up with pneumonia, and while I’m pretty dedicated, even I have my limits when it comes to my health.   The northern lights we were treated to our first night in Ásbyrgi more than made up for being sick.

We also managed to fit in one of the most out-of-place weather spots on this leg of the journey,  the Kárahnjúkar power plant, which is located in the highlands north of  Vatnajökull, Icelands largest glacier.

This power plant , with its huge dam flooding (and permanently obliterating) huge areas of untouched nature, home to a myriad of birds and other wildlife, sparked huge controversy when it was being built.  That was the first and only time I’ve participated in public protest (back in 2006 this was, i think), and was incredibly saddened and disappointed in the Icelandic government for going through with the flooding.   So needless to say, visiting this place was quite an experience.

As you can see by the distances covered so far,  keeping in mind the price of fuel these days,  and the fact that both my boyfriend and I have to put all other work aside while driving around working on this,   it’s proving to be one hell of an expensive project, even more so than I assumed at first.   We’ve kept cost down as much as possible by sleeping in a tent most nights (yes, even in April and October, in Iceland)  rather than paying for accomodation, but the fuel factor simply can’t be avoided.  Because of this I’ve been inviting people to support the endeavour with Paypal donations.    Those who contribute 15$ or more, will receive a  PDF copy of the book once its complete.  It will be available for purchase later of course, but not as a PDF, and not at this price, so if you find the project interesting, its not a bad deal.    Those who’re generous enough to donate 50$ or more,  get 5 small prints of any five images from my website, of their choice, plus the PDF of the book.  Everyone wins! Sweet!

To those who have already helped out , I can’t thank you enough for making this possible.  About half of the remaining 21 locations can only be reached by boat or helicopter, so the last third of this massive project will certainly not be easier or less expensive than what’s already complete,  so I’m extremely grateful for all continued support.

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Finally, a book to call my own.

July 30th, 2011 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

After at least two years of enthusiastically thinking about it every few months, I’ve finally put together a photo book.  The first of many more to come, if all goes according to plan.
The book is a collection of photos I’ve taken of Icelandic horses over the past 5 years,  and is available for purchase in the Blurb bookstore, either in soft or hardcover.  You can check it out right here.

I’d heard a lot of cool things about Blurb, and am a big fan of keeping things simple, so I decided to try it out for this first tentative venture into publishing.  I downloaded their free BookSmart software, and after some initial frustration at not figuring everything out at once, I soon found myself loving it.  Endless possibilities and freedom with layouts and stuff, couldn’t really be easier.  And since you only need to purchase one copy of each book you create in order for it to be published in the Blurb bookstore, there’s an incredibly low starting-out cost (as opposed to printing an edition of x-many books first and then hoping they’ll sell).

Again, the book can be found here, along with a preview look at 15 of its 40 pages.

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A word of thanks..

June 9th, 2011 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

In my last post,  I decided to go ahead and ask for help, to finance my latest project, the objective of which is to photograph myself in a specially designed dress at all the locations included in the weather forecast on the Icelandic National Radio.   You can read all about it here.
The response to this fundraiser went far beyond my expectations,  and I’m now just shy of 4000$.  As I mentioned in that post,  I was going to use Kickstarter to raise this money.
5000$ was the goal I had in mind, had I been able to use that platform (not available to me since I don’t have an American bank account)

To the 108 people who have thus far donated to this project,  I am absurdly grateful.  This project would simply be impossible without this support.  Thank you all.

Since I last wrote about this,  I’ve gone on two shorter trips, once alone (to photograph the lighthouse above) and one trip with my boyfriend to cover the weather stations on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.  So far we’ve now covered 26 locations of 62.  This will take a few months and a whole lot of driving before we’re done  ;)

If anyone would still like to contribute,  I’m still accepting donations.  As mentioned before,  15$ or more will entitle you to a PDF of the book once it’s finished.  50$ or more and you get five 12×17 cm prints of your choice from my website.  (Just send me a mailing address and links to your choices, alongside the donation)

Thanks again.

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Weather Experience

May 4th, 2011 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

I have a little favor to ask..

I’ve never before resorted to asking for donations to support my work. However, I’m faced with a bit of a dilemma. I’ve recently undertaken a vast new project, which I can’t realistically fund out of my own pocket. I was all set to use Kickstarter, until I found out I can’t use Amazon Payments because I live in Iceland and only have an Icelandic bank account.   Rather than give up on the funding idea, and since I do happen to have a Paypal account, I’ve decided to outline the project here, and invite anyone who enjoys my work and finds this idea worthwhile, to contribute a little to help it along.

Before I continue, here’s a sneak peek at some images from the project so far:

Allow me to explain:

There’s a saying in Iceland: “If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes”. There are probably few places in the world as unpredictable in this regard. This is probably why Icelanders talk about the weather so much.
For as long as I can remember, the weather report on Icelandic National Radio has been an unchanging , somewhat comforting background noise, heard but never really listened to. Certain place names have become familiar from hearing them repeated over and over again, but until recently I never really gave much thought as to where these places are, exactly. Some are well known, but the majority are obscure, out-of-the-way spots few people have much reason to visit or think about.

Now let me back up a little bit:

Late last summer, when photographing a field of long grass blowing in a strong wind, I was struck with the idea to create a costume that would behave in a similar way, i.e. a dress covered with strips of cloth to catch the wind.  I created three different versions of this outfit in white, and made some cool photos in the process.  (see this post for pictures) But I wanted to take this further, to create a series tied together in some coherent way. (seriously, there are only so many random selfportraits one can take wearing a dress outdoors in Iceland before it begins to feel a little redundant)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided that I’d photograph myself in a new, black “wind gown”, in the vicinity of all the weather stations scattered around the country.

I soon realized that this undertaking would be a lot more work than I first imagined. I had no idea there were so many weather stations, (over 200 in all) or that some of them are located in places only reachable by boat. So, I figured I’d limit the spots to the ones actually mentioned on the radio forecast, which narrowed the field down to “only” 62. And still a few only reachable by boat. A challenge, for sure, but I seem to thrive on those.

Once the photographing process is complete, the resulting photos will be made into a book, along with little stories from the creation process, behind-the-scenes photos, and a map detailing where each image was taken.

Rather than attempt to do this all by myself (which is how I’ve stubbornly worked in the past) I gladly accepted my boyfriends offer to join me in a collaborative effort. In April we set out in a Land Rover, accompanied by one happy dog:


to tackle the first leg of this project, running into a few minor inconveniences along the way… like almost sinking the truck near Vík before noon the first day..

(we needed a bit of assistance getting out of that one..)

and spending an hour driving almost all the way along a mountain road called Dynjandisheiði, (which we heard was open)  only to be forced to turn around and go back, when the tracks we’d been following, and with them any visible road, disappeared completely..

3200 km and one week later, we’d only managed to cover 22 spots. (Reduced to 21 when I realized that one of the farms we visited, making an hour detour to get there, was the wrong one with the same name).

All in all, the results are very promising so far, and we’re both extremely excited to continue. On this first trip, we spent roughly 900$ on gas and acommodation (as cheap as we could find, we spent 3 nights out of 6 in a tent in sub-zero temps).  Realistically, we’ll need at least three more trips to cover all 62 locations, and for a few spots we’ll need to hire a boat. We’re also both putting other work on hold while driving around working on this. So any donations, from 1$ and up, will make a difference.

To make this more worthwhile, anyone who donates 15$ or more will recieve a PDF version of the finished book.  As soon as I’ve received the donation,  I’ll put your name and email down on the “cool people who get an e-book for helping me out” list.
Furthermore, donations of 50$ will be rewarded with a PDF of the book, plus five 12×17 cm (5×7″) prints of any 5 images featured on my website (from all categories except “people”)
Obviously, you’ll have to trust me on this, but I assure you I have nothing to gain by not keeping my word. I would however have a lot to lose, since then people would just start telling everyone that I’m a liar and not to be trusted, which just isn’t productive to ones career in any way ;)

Thanks in advance to anyone that decides to help out.

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window pain

March 24th, 2011 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

I have a terrible habit of starting something, becoming really excited about it for a short period of time, and then completely forgetting about it.  On a road trip around northern Iceland  in July 2008, driving past one abandoned farm after another, I became briefly obsessed with making these “window portraits”,  the plan being to continue with it later.  Came across these recently , having not looked at them in over two years, and feel a definite urge to pick up where I left off…

The indoor shots are all taken in a farm that used to belong to two aunts of mine, sisters that never married and lived alone until they were around 80 yrs old, if I remember correctly, before moving to a rest home.   I found a way in through a door in the basement that was ajar, and was struck by the sense of .. well , abandonment.
I remember visiting them there in 1986 with my family. (I was 8 years old) They gave us freshly baked doughnuts and were always so sweet, and I couldn’t understand how they managed to go up and down this crazy narrow and steep staircase without falling.  Another memory from when I was only three or four, of playing in the field outside, running after one of their cows and falling over. Very strange and a  sad walking through the empty rooms, curtains still hanging, an empty shell left to slowly succumb to the elements..

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