Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Day 114: Things to be said and seen

Lots to say and see. Let's go.

Today I got up around 8, did all the usual morning stuff, and went downstairs for some food before school. There I run into my host father, who says,

"When you are out today, take a good look at the sun. Today is the last day you will see it."

Now...I knew this day would come. I mean, it's in the title of my project (newer readers, learn here). And the sun has been disappearing incredibly fast - when I went out for photos yesterday, the sun came over the horizon a little after 11am and was gone by 1pm. But upon hearing this, I actually freaked out a little (Mentally. Outwardly I maintain a constant facade of calm. Usually.)

I don't think you can realize what it's like to have the sun gone until you feel it happening. My internal timing is already all wacky because I usually associate light with my daily activities. That hasn't been true for weeks now, but its a hard habit to break. And hearing, very suddenly, that today was the last day to see the sun...well, its like suddenly finding out your best friend is moving to another country. Within the next 24 hours. Certainly invites a sort of sense of hopeless desperation. For me, it means a lot of things - the loss of good light for photography being a big one, as well as realizing that I am possibly already going a little crazy out here and this isn't going to help. Imagine being told something you've never in your life gone 24 hours without, you won't be able to have for the next four months. Makes you realize what you take for granted.

Admittedly, what with my Christmas plans, I will actually be seeing the sun sometime next month while taking a break in Canada. But then it's off to Norway, my northernmost destination in Svalbard, and the guarentee of a very dark, cold winter.


Speaking of holiday plans, which I am extremely looking forward to at the moment, I'll be in Canada for Christmas and Scotland for New Years before moving to Norway the first week of January. If you're the sort of person who has something to mail to me, email me and I'll give you the Canadian address. It will probably be one of the very few remotely reliable ways for me to get mail for the year.

What else...I guess I don't totally fit into this family:

(I hope everyone's figured this out by now, but if you click on the image you'll get a bigger version).

The forbidding darkness:

Yesterday's sunrise:

I'd like to say a little something about my camera. My camera is wonderful and I love it and my lens (for the curious, I use a Nikon D2oo with a Nikkor 18-220mm VR lens). However I view the entire system as something like a brilliant but disgruntled college freshman, who knows he's very smart but still needs someone to tell him exactly what to do. (I'm accepting suggestions for camera names, if you have any ideas. Keep in mind my eccentric tastes and that the leading option currently is "Jonathen", pronounced with a Spanish "J": Huanathen.) I realize I throw quite a bit of abuse at it, especially with the temperature conditions, but my confidence in the stuff I produce occilates drastically.

And of course I'm making everything up as I go. I have zero training in photography, so being totally self-taught means I actually technically am not very good at all at utilizing what my camera has to offer. When I see other photographer's work and think how...not-so-good mine looks next to it - well, I console myself with optimistically labeling my style as "honest".

Today would be a low-point in the photography confidence, if you can't tell.

But we continue all the same!


These sorts of things catch my eye:

How nice:

The town church:

The iceburger. Iceburglar. Icebugle. Iceborg.

An epic series of sled dogs (by the way, around here they don't call them huskies, they say they are "Greenlandic dogs". Which is really the best thing to call them, since they are a mix of huskie, arctic wolf, and who knows what else):

The edge of the bay:

My house is the green one:

Construction in full winter gear:

And one of my rare black-and-whites:


Anonymous said...

Hey Laurel,

I stumbled upon your blog via another blog. I just read your post about not seeing the sun for four months. Geeperz Creeperz. Donno what I would do in your situation. Anyway, good luck up there and hang tight!

Unknown said...

I just discovered your page. It is fascinating and the photos look beautiful and inspiring. I am myself, very inspired by photography and the north (I lived a little in Iceland and am moving back there soon) and I will, for sure, not miss the updates of your blog.

Anonymous said...

I love the name Aviaja. It's one of my favorites, and reminds me specifically of a young lady when I was in Greenland, but I love the name for its own worth. I'd name a daughter of mine Aviaja.

Ladyred said...

Was just passing through but had to stay for a few. You have a great sense of composition in some of your photos for not having any training in photography, so you have a great eye for it. I look forward to reading more future and past posts. I myself decided to go back to school at my ripe old age to study photography and well hopefully start a new career. I am going to Australia next month for my class and cannot wait to document my trip. Have a good holiday, I guess you all won't be eating turkey.?