One thing I’ve long since realized about myself is that I hate doing things the way other people do them. So, while it’s difficult to have one of the most popular tourist stops in Iceland to oneself, it IS possible to be the only one there awake. I realized this last year, when I arrived at Jökulsárlón around 3 in the morning, only to find it was cold, drizzly and somehow not nearly as spectacular as it usually is. (see previous blog post)
I decided to make another attempt now, and set out Tuesday evening (june 21) around 10 from Hafnarfjörður, arriving just after 4 in the morning at the lagoon. This time, I was rewarded with clear calm weather. Watching the sun come up over one of the most beautiful places in the northern hemisphere, with only the sound of birds and the occasional rumble of another glacier breaking apart disrupting the silence, was awesome , needless to say.
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Sometime last spring (spring 2008 that is), i decided, for some reason i no longer quite remember, to take some large branches i found in my parents yard and paint them white.. I figured they’d come in handy as props in some photos ; they did ultimately end up being the centerpiece in this photo here, taken in March 2009 :
Before reaching that conclusion , however, I lugged these “trees” around with me all last summer, propping them up in different locations (always at night), the farthest from my home being Jökulsárlón last August.
After driving all the way over there , timing my trip carefully so as to end up there in the middle of the night, i was somewhat devastated that it was raining when i arrived there at 3 in the morning. But, since my plan of having the place to myself had at least worked (the parking lot crowded with campers filled with sleeping tourists), i decided to wait out the rain, (sipping instant coffee with swissmiss and reading some stephen king novel by flashlight) Around 4:30 I donned rubber boots and lugged my trees down to the lagoon, carefully balancing them with large rocks in the freezing water. (seriously hoping nobody would wake up extra early and ask what on earth i was up to, probably would have appeared more than a little eccentric, which is of course the norm for me..) Anyway, after so much effort, i couldn’t help being a bit dissapointed at how unremarkable the lake itself was, with hardly any ice floating anywhere near the shore, which is unusual. You win some, you lose some, i guess. I’m heading out that way next week, heard its quite spectacular right now.
For all the physical effort put into this series, i was ultimately not all that happy with it. Put all the pictures aside and pretty much forgot about them. While browsing thru archives on one of my hard-drives today, I figured i might as well share them now. Enjoy.
view of Breiðdalur , on the way to Kleifarvatn
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Other peoples portraits aren’t really my “forte”… not that i don’t , occasionally, succeed in getting some decent portraits made.. Its just that i tend to get immensely stressed at the prospect of photographing people. I myself become extremely uncomfortable whenever someone points a camera in my direction (somewhat ironic considering my vast colletion of self-portraits.. but in turn it probably explains why most pictures of me ARE selfportraits). Anyway, i suppose i’m too sympathetic to the plight of those i point my camera at, and that somehow makes me uneasy about the fact that im putting people in this situation. Which is dumb, because in most cases i’ve actually been hired to do this…So they did ask for it. Anyway, i’m really selling myself as a portrait photog here, no doubt..
Anyway. While digging thru my archives the other day, i noticed quite a few portraits that i’ve taken, that i’ve never shared on flickr.. figured i’d gather a bunch of them together here, just for the hell of it . And also because after not updating this blog thing for 3 months, i figured i’d better make a BIG post :p
Daughter of a woman who graciously offered me a place to stay in barcelona last year..
Outtake from a drummer series i did in 2007..
Another outtake from the drummer series ..
miss reykjavík 2006. shot for a magazine..
Painter Hlaðgerður Íris, shot for a magazine..
sister of a girl i was hired to photograph, took some extra's of her while i was at it..
singer Kate Havnevik backstage
from a band photoshoot 2008..
confirmation photoshoot for the girl on the left, here with her sister..
politician, magazine shoot..
dubstep artists Mala and Sgt Pokes
Mala & Loefah in London..
icelandic band Dikta
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I’ve been told i need to update my blog. Of course i choose to do so when im in the middle of trying to get some writing work done on my scary-ass BA thesis, which is refusing to let itself be written without a fight.
If all the stuff i write on a daily basis- msn, emails, comments on facebook- could somehow be mashed together into a BA thesis, i would be ever so happy. I seem to have some sortof ailment which makes it almost painful for me to write anything i HAVE to write, even if its about something i’m interested in (i’m focusing on my selfportraits and the role of the internet for up and coming artists, which I actually find to be a very valid and necessary topic to discuss)
I think I think too much.
So anyway, I’m featured in Playboy Spain (as the picture above is intended to illustrate), been having some mixed feelings about that. After i agreed to answer the interview questions and send them some pictures, sometime in August, I had a severe anxiety attack, that now i’d completely fucked up, who’d ever take me seriously after a mention in Playboy? Now i’m rather tickled by the whole thing, seeing as i’m probably the first icelandic woman to be featured in any version of playboy without at least showing some nipples .. And there ARE all those men that read it for the articles, right?
However, that cover pisses me off more each time i look at it. Either Hef should get naked, to fit in, because the gals look really awkward in their utter nakedness, or they should just wear bikinis or something. I mean, if you’re naked, you’re not fooling anyone by putting your arm over your boobs.. and if you’re not going to show your boobs anyway, wear a fucking bikini to free your arms from that awkward “hiding-my-boobs” pose.
but hey, maybe that’s just me.
Next update, i’m going to write something awesome. I’ll try to do so sooner than April
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“What?” you may ask, regarding the odd title of this post..
“what the f***??” was what i asked no one in particular when i recieved the first of what ended up being 10 mails today from middle-school students in Oregon, all seeking answers to a question presented to them on some scavenger hunt they’re taking part in.
The question apparently starts out with a quote from an article published in the New York Times earlier this year. The quote is as follows: “Cartier-Bresson is no Guoleifsdóttir” The rest of the question has to do with where i post my photos, and how many megapixels my favorite camera has. (who made up this question in the first place is what i’d like to know..)
Now, before i go any further, let me state the following:
My last name is Guðleifsdóttir, not Guoleifsdóttir. Misspelling my last name, however, was only one of several things that pissed me off about that article, that quote being another one. The way I saw it, the point of the quote was not to make me appear to be a better photographer than legend Henri Cartier-Bresson, (that in itself would have been ridiculous anyway) . But rather, to point out that if Cartier-Bresson were just starting out today, and were to post his photos on Flickr, the average flickr user wouldn’t recognize their brilliance because they don’t adhere to the aesthetic values that we modern folks have become accustomed to, in light of the extra dazzle and special effects that digital photography and photoshop have enabled even the most amateur photographer to add to their photos. The average flickr user would not appreciate the precise framing and mood of the masters black and white photos.
The point of the comparison was, in short, to point out that even tho my photos have become hugely popular on Flickr, it doesn’t count because (according to the writer of the article) the average flickr user is an idiot that doesn’t have the necessary background in photo and art history to know a good photo when they see one.
For this condescending assumption, I begrudge the writer of the article. Even tho it may well be true that the average flickr viewer does not, in fact, have any background in studying art or making profound and enlightened statements on the validity of a photograph, I personally believe the average person should not in fact NEED such a background to appreciate artwork. I’m interested in reaching not just people who can sound really smart at a snooty NY gallery opening, but normal people, who feel something when looking at my photographs, and are in some way moved by what they see.
Art should be for everyone who enjoys looking at it, and you can quote me on that.
Now, having gotten that much-needed rant out of my system, I’m going to answer the kids’ question.
My favorite camera at the moment is a canon 5D, as its the best camera I’ve owned so far.
It has around 12 megapixels;)
I post some of my photos on flickr, but as of last month my more artistic work has been removed from there, and is only visible on my personal website, www.rebekkagudleifs.com .
Good luck with the rest of the scavenger hunt guys.
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