tirsdag 31. mai 2016

Some norwegian history

Every time I'm around this area I'm in right now I usually find myself in thoughts.
I have been here many times, but this is the first time I will stay this close to this historical place for time long enough to have a good look at it. 
It's called "Avaldsnes" which is likely to be the very spot on where the first king of Norway (all of it, that is, as we had quite a few "kings" before this man as well) had his seat. You might have read about the guy at some point, good old Harald Haarfagre, who was the first man to gather all of Norway under one single king and kingdom. 
So his seat was right here at Avaldsnes, making this very spot a quite historic place in the history of my country. As I turn around in my chair at my office right now I see just what you see in the snap I have posted from the place. 

Oh yes, another pixelated one I'm afraid. You might start to think I'm converted or something, but fear not my friends. It's just the necessity of posting a snap of the old kings place taken from just outside my cabin door this afternoon. It was over here, just around this church, it all happened some time ago. I will certainly bring a couple of decent and real cameras over there some other day. I got film in a few of them as well, as it happens. You will have to wait some time for them snaps to appear, though. 

The guy was a cruel Viking, to be honest, and a lot of other Vikings had also been around before this man turned up. Born well into the era of the vikings (around year 850), and died well before the time it was all over he did (ca 931-932), so at least he would see the golden years of the time he was living in. 
There's some discussions about when this era started, but to say that the people from north started to get things going in the early part of the 700's would be quite right. The beginning of the real horror is a bit easier to frame, as we know it as the day a few of them decided it would be wise to attack the monastry on Lindisfarne. To most people this will be counted as the day the real era of the vikings started. This happened in 793, and was a terror attack as good (or rather bad, as it happens) as any other terror attack we know of. 
It will also be fair to say that before the vikings came along there was a number of attacks, also on christian munks and  their monastries. The king of Northumbria, king Aethelfirth, was a very cruel man and did a lot of killing of munks and christians back in the time. Masacres and the like, as we know. There was a lot of fighting around during these years, as the christians and the pagans were not exactly friendly to each other in any way. 

Anyway, the viking era did not last for long after all. They were slowly but patiently trained to become christians through the years, and around 1100 their time as fighters and pagans were done and dusted. Most people would say that it all ended with the battle at Stamford Bridge in 1066, but we know for sure that a few of them would still not give up their pagan lifestyle until they just had to.

What did the vikings have then, that made others so afraid of them?
Well, they obviously had their fast war ships which was like nothing else floating on water back in the days. Slim and fast, made to move quickly over a long distance. Neither did they have any fear at all either they were on board a ship on water or in some fight where blood was running in rivers around them. Being pagans they believed that if they only died with their sword in hand they would be going straight to Valhalla to be able to drink and feast all day and night until eternity. 
They were chased away, finally, and their era dissappeared as quick as it saw the day of light. Still they are remembered and talked about to this day, and will probably still be in the years to come. 

Anyway, it's a nice place Avaldsnes. Nice enough to be the seat of a viking king. I think it was more about the strategic placement of the spot than the niceness of it, though. It would be all about control, I would think, and the opportunity to stop ships to make them pay their tax to the king... 

mandag 30. mai 2016

On the other side of The Sea

We took off from Peterhead yesterday around midnight. In the thickest possible cotton-like fog I think I have ever seen. Even by Peterhead standards it was rather extreme, which should say a lot.
Lovely weather all day today though, and we passed the borderline between the UK and the norwegian sector around lunchtime. We still got a few hours to go, but will ease off on the use of power quite soon to adjust for going in to the harbour around Haugesund tomorrow morning around 07.00 in the morning.
I will then have a million things to look after, but I think I got some kind of control. At least as for yet. Things will change in that respect, I know.

At the northern tip of Harøya, Norway. Need to pass this place to get to my paradise, Ona. It's located way out at sea behind these boat houses. Snapped using a Mamiya RZ medium format camera with what I think was the 250mm lens attached. I think this was on Fomapan 100 film.

Anyway, as we are going to adjust the clock one hour forward some time during the night and at the same time start way too early tomorrow morning I should really throw myself to bed soon. 
I was working way too many hours yesterday. Finished around 01 am, so that's a few hours when starting the day around 07 in the morning. Well, it's not like that every day, luckily! 

søndag 29. mai 2016

A print for the wall, and what to opt for?

I have been thinking about it for a while. I am not a big fan of very big or huge prints, but then there's this wall that seem to cry out for one. I have been back and forth, thinking and re-thinking, but not reached a final answer on what to do yet. 
There are two ways. You either buy a roll of darkroom paper and do it all by yourself under the red light, or you can scan a negative or a smaller print nicely and send it away online to get a digitally printed thing back in the mail. 
The digital option is the cheapest way to do things if you're going to have only one print made. Maybe it's the safest way to do it as well, as you don't have to struggle with huge papers inside a cramped and limited space. You just send away a digital file, and get the result back in the mail a week or two later. 
Then, because you are some kind of snapper and darkroom printer yourself, you will start examine the thing down to the smallest pixle, I think. At least I would do, probably. 
I would do the same thing if I printed the thing myself as well, and I would also most likely use a lot of paper and still not be 100% satisfied with the result. That's the backdraw of doing it yourself, actually. You would use tremendous ammounts of paper and get nothing on the wall. Again that's just a qualified guess.
So you would examine the digital print closely, and hopefully find no flaws that was not intended. Worst thing that could happen would be that it looked nothing like the file you sent away from your computer, which might actually be the case as you got no control at all. Imagine sending a perfect B&W snap away for some huge print, and when you open the received packet all your delicate highlights were quite clearly pink-ish... or blue, or whatever?! How would that fit onto that nice white wall you have been saving for a project like this? Or on someone elses wall. Someone else than yourself, who actually payed money to buy a print of your negative and then got something totally different to what they thought they would get?

I should probably stop thinking and start to act instead. 
There's this medic on board my ship who wants this snap I snapped some time last winter. It was a test frame just to check if that cannon-barrel-like 500 mm lens I got for my Mamiya RZ still worked. Snapped on some cheap-ish film, but looks quite nice in some way. A minimalistic B&W kind of graphic appearance that might fit nicely on her wall for all I know. 
I have been thinking about printing this frame myself as well, but have not been able to get there yet. Fact is I want the print a bit smaller than the medicine lady wants her to be, so I might go for the darkroom option for my own print. She will have to live with the digitally printed stuff, I think. 
I will make sure they make the thing onto some good and beautiful paper though, as I don't want her to get something done on some kind of "poster" paper or anything. I have seen enough of that. They are cheap, but the looks are even cheaper. Nope, we want this to look good as we want any snap to look good no matter which wall it's going to face.
Checking the online printer companies it seems it will cost a fair ammount of pounds shilling and pence as well. 
It's probably worth it though, as it's a masterpiece all the way as you can clearly see. 

So, it seems like this is the one she will be going for then. In this format, or something close to it. I think I will suggest a bit more height to it all, but then it's not my wall... This is 6x2 panorama format. Maybe 6x3 would add a bit more to the whole thing by getting a bit more dark blacks in the bottom, and some more paper white at the top? Well, I think I have to think about this for a few days... 

lørdag 28. mai 2016

A walk done and some portraits posted

A few snaps of people today. Kind of portraits, I guess.

A couple of teenage girls just after a qute hairy adventure in Valldal, not too far from our home. It's called "Juving", and is not for the faint hearted, to tell the truth. I know, because I felt I had to go with them... Quite fun though. At least when you think back on it. Temperature in that river is around 3 degrees, as it's pure melted water from ice and snow just upstream. This snap is from the final touch of the route you go. There's a stopper on that thing you hold yourself connected to, but you better let go of it before you hit the stopper!! You obviously don't want to let go to early either, because the drop to the water is quite long, as you might imagine.

It's been a long day. Very long, as I was up early and have been walking around policing the client as they are stripping down the aft deck and throwing more or less all their equipment from 13 years of operation over to the new ship. A million bits and pieces are going off, which means we have been really working the last couple of days to get everything sorted out in the best way for all parties. 

This is the son, who you might recognise from distance by now. This was snapped not too long ago with one of them fine Mamiya RZ cameras on good Fomapan 200 film and all. He's sitting on the ruins of the barn at the old farm where my wifes mother grew up. It's quite far away from most things up here. Back in the days it was very far away from most things. 

I am just back from a short walk around Peterhead town center. I mainly walked inside the harbour area, mind you, as it's a mighty long way to walk from where the ship is moored to get into the town itself. Nothing much to see though, but then I did not really go for a full check of what's in there. The usual stuff I guess, at least by the looks of things. 

Oh, well. It's the blogger himself as it happens. Can't remember exactly who snapped this one, but it might be my younger step daughter, the one closest on the first one up there on top of this page. It was definately done on a Mamiya RZ which at least close out the possibility of having done a selfie! It's probably done on some Fomapan film, or maybe even on Shanghai GP3 for what I know right here and now. Nuff said about this!

I brought the german black rangefinder, the Rolleiflex, and the Fujifilm pixelsnapper on todays walk. I might give you a few taken from a memorycard tomorrow, but I'm not too sure yet. I'm not feeling the temptation of making this blog into something else, so we will see. There will be film stuff some day too, but as you know that's going to take a while to sort out yet. 

Peterhead, some kind of harbour

I mean, who the heck would have got the bright idea back in the days of around 1593 to even fully think out the thought that hey! here's some sort of bay-like schwoong in the terrain, so come'un lets build a nice harbour out of this place where the North Sea is battering this old country in it's wildest ways. And so they did...! 
Then, some time in the late-ish 1800's someone would think that the wild North Sea maybe was playing a bit too wild in the streets of the town at times, and therefore thought that a nice little breakwater would fit the place quite nicely.

I just found this very nice snap of a very nice cat. Nice fur and everything. It's living over there, where my daughter and my grandson is living. I picked up my Diana F+ and snapped him/her with ease. Well, I just thought this might be a good space for it... so now back to Peterhead!

So they went around for good ideas of how to get the job done. All the carrying of stones and such, as you rightfully were thinking. The answer probably revealed itself more or less, as the Peterhead Convict Prison, Scotlands toughest prison if you like to listen to reputations from the street, was already at the location. 
So, they went to talk to the prisoners and made some kind of deal. I got no idea what the dealing was all about, or if there actually was any dealing done at all, but fact is they made them build the southern breakwater of Peterhead bay. A mastodont made out of stone. 2700 feet (around 900 meters) long, and quite massivly wide I would say. 
Then, as the southern piece were finished they naturally needed to get hold of a northern piece as well. I mean who would name something the southern-something and not having any northern counterpart? 
Starting in the early 1900's and finished some time in the 50's the northern wall was there, most likely for eternity by the look of things. Another 1500 feet of heavy stone. That's where we're moored right now, by the way. At the northern breakwater, some 26 meters or so from the North Sea. Actually the captain himself refers to it as being moored into the North Sea. 
It's a horrible harbour due to huge and lots of swell on bad days I have to say, but it's better than no harbour at all. Nothing much, but a tiny wee bit better still.
I also have to say that the inner harbour looks great, as it happens. There would be some rather obvious issues getting in there with any ship above a very limited size though. 

Just had to show you a small part of one of our two identical engine rooms. This is kind of what I'm looking at everyday at work. There's a diesel engine there to the right. It's german, just like the camera from where this snap origined. A noisy german it is, the one inside the picture. And we got four identical ones, making a terrible razzamatazz when they all play together cranked up at 11. And there's a captain in there as well, among all the other stuff. I don't know why he was there, but chance is he was down just to get away from all the stress upstairs...

I went around a small part of town for a quick look this afternoon, just to check if it looks safe enough to bring a nice old camera or two out on the streets some time tomorrow. I think I'm going to go for it. After all, what can possibly go wrong...?
It looked quite alright, at least by the look of things, so I will be absolutely fine. If there's anything at all to snap we have to wait to see, but at least there seemed to be a nice slipway in the inner harbour. That might give us a couple of masterpieces to look at later, for all I know. 

Looks like we will be sitting here at least over the weekend, so I will need a few things to occupy myself when not working. I had a plan to get up into the top of the mast tomorrow with one of the rangefinders. Since I got the electronic pixelator here somewhere I might bring that one as well. It's quite a view up there, you should imagine. 

See? From up there on top of that mast I get a nice view of most of the Orkney Mainland, if that was where we were sitting at the moment. As you know it's not, anymore, which means I will need to find other things to put inside a frame. I hope to do just that, some time tomorrow. 

torsdag 26. mai 2016

Light in the end of the tunnel?

It's a lot of back and forth these days, and people in this industry wondering about the possibility they might not have a job anymore when they return for home. 
I read today that the price of oil has rised a little bit, and every newspaper at least over in Norway felt the urge to call a few "experts" to find out if the crisis is coming to an end soon.
Well, I think it's fair to say that the replies they got had quite a span to them from careful optimistic to not optimistic at all. Just as you would expect if you ask a bunch of people who should know what they're talking about. 

Well... as you see it's a kind of a tunnel of trees. A few million snaps has already been taken of stuff similar to this, so I probably should stop doing them. Sometimes I just can't hold myself back, you see. I have no particular idea about which camera or lens or anything, but it looks kind of wide. Might be a 24mm, which means it's most likely one of the Nikon's. FM2, FE2, F3... whatever. 

This ship had it's final day at work on the west of Shetland workskope today. A 13 years, as I told you all about a few days ago, job is finished, and a new ship is taking over from here. It's a bit sad, and a bit as any other day. We got enough to do with the ship during the days and weeks to come, so I can't say my focus has been on the past during the day. 
Besides, one should look ahead to try find the light in the end of that tunnel instead of thinking to much around the past. That's my thoughts about it right here and now, anyway. Then I know there will be days when I miss certain aspects of the job, such as being tied up in Orkney around yuletide. We have had a lot of fun up there, as you might imagine. 

Same concept but different. This is in Lerwick, Shetland. The path you see is a quite steep hill in the middle of town. No driving up here, as you might already have figured out. Up there close to the end you got the same thing. Tunnel of trees, you see. I like this one a bit better than the norwegian version, I have to say. This is definately Nikon. F3P for "press version". When you go for a longer walk with that camera you will remember it for a few years...

I shall forever remember the christmas eve of 2013. We were moored in Kirkwall as usual during winter gales and such, and all the norwegians had the ship to ourselves as the weather had been bad for quite a while. The scottish lads had just gone home for the celebration and stuff. I will hasten to mention that christmas eve is the big day of celebration for us norwegians, and the atmosphere at the time were joyful and merry. 
The entire marine crew were sitting in the messroom after dinner relaxing, talking and having a good time we were. Suddenly the captain got a call on his radio from the security guy on the pier. The police wanted to have a word with the chief engineer on board. I remember the old captain we had back then started to yell at me and wanted to know all about what I had been up to lately, which was nothing at all even though I really tried to figure out if I might had managed to do something bad no matter what. Couldn't figure any out.
Well, I told him we should better go talk to the cops just to find out what I might would get accused for. 
When we came out in the hallway they were already inside the ship, two very polite police officers from Kirkwall Police station. The captain still red in his face from his outrage towards me tried to find words to greet them, but I had to do the talking as the old man had a not very fluent english when it came to the spoken word.
Well, to make an end of the story they wanted to know if I had lost a camera. You see someone had found something the officers repeatedly refered to as a "quite expensive camera" somewhere in town, and dropped it at the police station for them to figure things out. As the police officers obviously had read the news lately, The Orcadian newspaper as it happens, they had seen printed there a picture taken a few days earlier from on board our ship. The photographer of the snap was duly mentioned by both title and name, and the officers figured I must have owned a "quite expensive camera" to have managed to take that rather unsharp grainy snap of some very, very bad weather hitting us like a hammer a few nights earlier. 
So, I had to dissapoint them in some kind of way. I knew for sure I had my digital Nikon safely stored inside my cabin, and neither was I in short of any other camera equipment. They tried again, and would rather see me walking up all them stairs to fetch the thing for them to be absolutely sure they could tick me off their obviously too short list of people in the Orkney likely to own a "quite expensive camera" which even would take pictures during a severe gale. I told them I had taken a few photos just a couple of hours ago, and that they could be absolutely sure I would not show up on the station the next morning missing a camera anyway.
They then gave me a nice smile, shook both me and the captains hands and told us how sorry they were to interupt our celebration and all. But we also had to agree that the matters were very important to solve, sooner rather than later. 
On they went, into the black windy night to search further for doors to knock. 

I must say that the police up there take their job quite seriously to actually do things the way they do. Or maybe they were just curious to see what was going on inside the ship on christmas eve. I never will find out, probably.
The captain fell asleep quite early that night...

onsdag 25. mai 2016

Another day in paradise

So, what have we seen today besides a pigeon lingering about inside the changing room downstairs, eating biscuits or whatever that tall guy was presenting...?
Nothing much, I'm afraid. We had a fire drill which was an easy job for me as we decided to do a trick this time. Me and the chief officer went for a twist on the whole thing just to see how the other part of the team would cope if both of us were taken away from the usual setup of the fire teams. So, I acted stupid enough to open the door to the engine room where the "fire" was, and I inhaled some bad smoke which I apparently should not have done. 
I needed some help after that, so the chief officer followed me up to the hospital where a decent team were standing by to help me. To make a quite long story a bit shorter I'm happy to say that the other lads found sollutions to the situation and made the very best out of things as the scene went along. 

Other than that? Well, telephone conference with the beach and a few mails and the usual stuff. Nothing exiting, you should know by now.

Don't know if I have posted this little one before? It's from the small lake sitting some 30 yards from our house. It's frozen in this picture, as it usually is from early November up until late April. More or less. Snapped one very early morning 5 years ago or something like that, using the Mamiya 6x7 format. It's a nice frame size, and maybe a tad easier to compose inside than the square ones. That's a personal thing anyway. Some like the 6x6, others prefere the 6x7 format. The square one will give you two more shots from one 120 roll though. And no, I don't know why I posted this one right now. I just stumbled upon it inside that hard drive, so I might be afraid I'm going to loose it or something.

I just heard we're going in some time tomorrow. To Peterhead, as it happens, to start demob some lumps of steel. That's going to take a few days I suppose, as there's a lot of equipment going off. I hope to make the best out of the situation getting on dry land to take a few snaps if the stars happen to be in the right position. We will know in a few days I suppose. Then, when we're done with the demob we will go over to Norway to do some other work. Attach a new helideck, to be precise. And a lot of other stuff as we will be tied up alongside anyway. 
How do you think the norwegians will cope if, let's say, a foreign pigeon from down south in England somewhere should decide to abandon the vessel while we're there? I dare not to think too much about it, as they are pretty crazy about stuff like that these days. Who would know what the bird may have picked up on it's way north towards Kirkwall in the first place? This could easily end in a bad way for our small friend downstairs. Personally I hope it will get some of it's old senses back by some kind of miracle, and take off while we're in Peterhead. But having known the creature for a few days now I can't say I see it happen...

Not a pigeon to see inside this frame, but you might spot a donky if you got your specs cleaned lately. Old snap from one of the first rolls done with one of the Mamiya RZ cameras. Medium format 6x7 again. Don't know which lens, but maybe it's the 110mm normal one. It sure looks like that.

Nothing much to talk about today, as you most rightfully noticed. I will be back though, and hopefully with some more serious business than this chit chat. 
So long then!

tirsdag 24. mai 2016

Navigational disaster documented snapwise

First of all I just have to say that I'm truly sorry for the very temporary use of the Fuji X-pro1 pixelator and killer of all well thought through snaps! 
It's the captains fault, as it usually is... Today it's more about the words, though, so any snaps would actually do the trick I would say.

We got this victim on board. The only thing is I'm not absolutely sure that the thing looks upon itself as being a victim of anything at all to tell you the truth. But you will have to read through the whole thing to actually make your own decission about that...

I'm personally very happy I'm not a pigeon with a broken GPS inside. You get kind of weird when that happen, as you are soon about to learn. People will act in very different ways towards you as well, and you might start to wonder what they actually mean by the way they suddenly decide to do their stuff. 

Let's say you're a bird. A pigeon in this case, with a broken GPS system on board. A breakdown of the navigational aids usually is no good, and especially when being of a breed that are meant to have these instruments all in good order. 
But even though you have some trouble to distinct north from south and such, you still happen to find this ship moored alongside a pier up north in well, lets say Kirkwall Orkney just to take a completely wild example from out of almost nowhere. 
You make your landing all in one piece and decide that the lads on deck there on board that ship seems to contain a touch of class by the way they have no problem sharing a bit of their hard earned food with you. You would most certainly still know that food is good for you even though your navigation system has broken down, which mean you should still have a fair chance to survive. 
What you probably don't know too much about, being a pigeon from somewhere, is that you will also be impressively well equiped with green rings around your legs. Information is printed on the rings, and human folks will have internet and other ways to, via channels I don't even want to start going through, find out exactly where you used to live and belong. 
So, the lads who now feeds you will learn where and who you used to belong to, and will contact your original feeder who then wants to know nothing about you anymore. Because you got a breakdown, you know... severe internal system failure. You see you got this very advanced GPS sytem on board, even though you don't know much about it yourself, and it's obviously FUBAR and hence you're of absoulutely no further value to your previous feeder anymore. You should be able to get home on your own. That's the one and only purpose to keep you, even though you did not know anything about that youself, until this fact struck you at this point in life.
"The Lads Who Feed You Now" will then send another polite e-mail to your legal owner, but no... it's way to expensive to put you into a cage to ship you from Orkney down south to the south coast of old England, where we know for a fact you actually used to belong back in the days before that short circuit incident you know.

Hey... who could possibly say "nope" to get back a perfectly good looking creature like this one? The old man must be totally nuts if you ask me. It got wings that works and everything...! The digestion systems also seems to be perfectly fine. OK, there might be a few things maybe not all up to standard, but you can't have it all - all the time. Can you?

Then other and stranger things starts to happen. You will get thrown overboard by the new feeders, onto the pier where you have absoulutely no intention to stay. I mean, the same good lads that feeds you with one hand will try to get rid of you with the other. Not one time only, but several. 
Well, luckily you got wings to get on board back on deck again. so the fix to that issue is easy enough. Strange thing is that the throwing overboard stops as soon as the ship leaves for sea. Then it's back to the good old feeding again, and life is just how it's supposed to be.
Being a pigeon you can also just look away from the fact that other birds usually will die within a few days if left on the deck of a ship. You are just too clever to let that happen to you. 
So you stay alive, even though the Lads who now feeds you have splitted into two different fractions. One of the teams will not feed you, while the other one will. 
The team that will not feed you are writing these Stop Cards to make the food stop coming your way because of some health and safety issues, while the other team luckily carry on as before no matter how many cards coming into the head dept. of the ship. It's like winning the lottery, in some kind of weird way. Not only are you still getting food, but you manage to draw a whole lot of attention as well. You become a star to some, and a pain in the butt to others. People getting paid serious kinds of money are discussing things related to your welfare around a big table, every day. You are mentioned in the minutes of meeting and everything. Thousands of GBP has already been used on discussions around your person, instead of the same bunch using a hundred or so to get you back to that old grumpy man down south.

According to the captain there might be more than a simple navigational reason why it refuses to fly away... He seems to be of the impression that it might struggling with a minor weight problem as well, and that it seems getting worse for some odd reason. Well, I know nothing about that, at all...

Then you come back in, to e.g. Kirkwall, Orkney and the same thing starts all over. Thrown overboard, flying back on, more food, more cards, more attention, more throwing overboard. Luckily you are either very patient about the whole thing, or you have some other connections broken as well in addition to your GPS system. 
And out to sea you go, one more time for another two weeks trip. And a new set of faces has come onboard, and then there's all these photo shoots. This time with both new and old cameras. Because you like to stay close to the lads on deck, but not too close. Just barely outside the reach of a hand. That's exactly close enough. And now there's rumors saying that you're even on somebodys blog as well! The Times really are A'changing from that old rotten saggy shed down south, to a life in luxury and fame up north. 

And inside all these meetings going on, still none has even dared mentioning the quick sollution, and none ever will. Because it's a big and very well known company hiring the big ship you found, and they would never ever do the quick thing. Policies, you know. 
Man, it's a nice life to be a pigeon on board a ship up west of Shetland these days! 
The lads? Oh, they're inside at the moment... eating their chicken.

mandag 23. mai 2016

Flat out on a flat sea

Busy day at work today, but nothing I could not manage I have to hastely put in. Just loads of mails and telephone calls and stuff, as we do at times, even on board a big old ship.
There's maintenance and yardstay days coming up, which means the engine dept. will have quite a busy time when all that starts in a few days from now. I just hope I will be able to do a couple of other things as well, as I got both a blog to write and a few cameras around that needs to get some exercise if possible. I hope to take it ashore for a stroll or three, but that's yet to see if it will be possible.

More from the walk around the premises of that old Devold Wool factory down by the sea not far from home. Nice weather it was as well this day, as you may notice. I obviously found it worth looking quite long for that orange filter I usually got laying somewhere inside a pocket of my smallish bag inside of which I usually keep a couple of old german cameras. 

I brought the old Rolleiflex down to the engine control room this morning. The 2'nd engineer was not able to even recognize what was up and what was down... until he spotted the big letters on the front, that is. I mean, even the most ignorant people can obviously read these days :))
Then again, he had never seen anything like it. And who could possibly blame him for that, after all. I just keep on telling the guys in my crew that they are a lucky bunch of lads being able to at least hold all these lovely mechanical cameras in their hands for a few moments every now and then. Who else in this trade get the chance of doing that? Just saying...!

There you go, Devold Merino Wool in mirrored letters and everything. It was probably just snapped to document the not too common rays of sun shining down on us on this day. Building No.7 in the background, as you might see. No.10 is the old coal storage. They must have used some coal back in the days, as a quite large building was built for this purpose. Nothing like today by no means. Snapped with the black german thing from the 90's some time.

Myriades of old Nikons, Leicas, Rolleflex TLR and various Voigtländers, Kodak's, a bunch of heavy Mamiyas and what else have we all. No wonder them young boys put on a strange face from time to time. I will never dream of asking if it is because of the rotten cameras or their steadily growing impression that there must be something totally wrong with the old chief - mentally, like...

søndag 22. mai 2016

At sea, working

Then we're here again. At the Foinhaven oilfields for something they keep on telling us is for the last time. I don't know why they carry on saying that, because this ship will probably find it's own way up here if anything should go wrong at some point. More like a pidgeon being let loose somewhere far away from home. 
We do nothing much, actually, but are keeping the guys at the ROV subsea controls busy, and that's worth something I would say. 

Today has been all about catching up on what's been happening on board for the two months I've been staying at home not thinking about the ship too much. You should try that, being away for a couple of months from work and see how easy it is to just jump or bump into it like nothing has happened while you were away. Not the easiest thing for sure. Then again, it's not exactly undoable so I will get there some day. I'm sure.

From one of the recent tours of snapping of me and my son. We were a bit around more or less everywhere, but nothing fancy. This is at the old wool factory, Devold, in Langevågen close to where I live. It's basically a nice area to stroll around on a day like this. A bit of snow, I see, but that should be more or less gone by now...

I loaded a camera today. With 120 film, as this lovely box only take that size. You see I suddenly found that I had brought my old Rolleiflex TLR for this trip. I know I was thinking about doing so, but then I changed my mind, took it out of the bag and put it elsewhere. Maybe my wife found it and put it back in for what I know. Anyway, it's here and I will make it play one of these days. 
You see I got this message from the captain before I left home saying something like; "Better bring a decent camera this time, of electronic gender from where we can easily pick snaps out of without playing with chemicals and darkened rooms and stuff...". Ah!? So you appear to be knowing what a decent camera is nowadays, do you? 
OK then, I did not want to start something, so I brought the smallish Fujifilm X-pro1 thing I got laying around the house. I even managed to track down the battery charger for it. Believe it or not! And a few old Nikon lenses which was a lot easier to find.

That should leave me here with a couple of german rangefinders, one boxy TLR and the pixelator. You see the captain wanted me to do the snapping part of the next post in our quarterly magazine. It's called "Saltvannsposten" and will be distributed to more or less all souls still working for this company. Should make me pictures published to a couple of hundred persons I would say. A fraction of the readers of any dull facebook post, in other words. 
The plan now is to bring two cameras whenever I take the walk around the ship to snap the things I decide to snap. At some point the old box will become useful. That's my thought about it all anyway. 
I do already have something made up in my mind, as we got this new crane driver on board. He is quite a sight, if I might use words like that about a man. Well... it's the appearance of the figure himself which is the interresting part of it, mind you. I hope to be able to show you what I mean, some day.

Uh... it's getting late. I'll better be off to bed soon as I have not been feeling top notch for the last few days. Getting sick while being at work is no good at all, so I'll better try my best to avoid that. 
See ya all soon!

fredag 20. mai 2016

Everything comes to an end

The Subsea Viking alongside Hatston Pier in Kirkwall, Orkney. Seems to be the last time we will be bothering this peaceful corner of the world. I hope to be back some day!

Every era has it's beginning, and end. 
This time it's my ship, the Subsea Viking, having to go elsewhere for work. We have been occupied around the fields west of Shetland since back in 2003, which means we have been struggling up there for the best part of 13 years. That's close to 5000 days as you should know, without one single incident leading to any employee on board the ship having to be off work due to accidents and stuff like that. We are quite proud about that fact, as it happens, as we are miles ahead of the next ship on the list.
But no matter how many times they have told us this is the best thing ever, important for the contract and all the bla bla, the fact is they have put us off the contract anyway for some reason. A different ship is coming in to take over in just a few days. 

The plan now is to go out there for the last time to do a few minor jobs, then go to Peterhead in about a week or so to demob the equipment from this project. 
The good thing is that we will mob up for a new project as soon everything of the old stuff is on shore. New client, new stuff on board. A new start, sort of. At least that's what we hope.

I just came on board this morning, and we are now preparing for startup and leaving Kirkwall. That also for the last time, as our new contract will be based out of Peterhead or Aberdeen if you are a believer of rumors. 
I actually hate to say I'm leaving Kirkwall for the last time, to be honest. It has become kind of my second home, even though I have not been here that much if you're counting days and weeks. Still, I know the place well, and I have friends here. It's a lovely place with a bunch of lovely people living here. I will miss that, a lot!

You will be updated!

My good friend and reporter in the local newspaper "The Orcadian", Mr. Craig Taylor. Here at work during the new years Ba-game 2016. I snapped him up on a frame of film inside the Nikon FM2, I think. Or maybe it was the german thing...? Nice snap, huh...?

torsdag 19. mai 2016

Bonus day!

That's what I like to call them, the days you actually should have been off for work but still have to stay at home one extra day because the ship is still at sea. New tickets are now received for tomorrow, Friday. 

I snapped this one a while ago. Me and the daughter was on a short road trip and found this small but weird place to get ourselves some food. I had my very big Nikon F3P and luckily put it into some good old use. Nikkor 85mm lens. The big one with the heavy glass inside, you know.

So, what did I fill this day with then you may think?! Since everything else was ready for me to leave, as you should know. 
Well, I was in the darkroom as it happens. Printing prints on delicate paper, as I do, waisting nothing much for a change. 

I got this telephone call a few days ago, on Monday evening I think, with a question if I would like to do some snaps of their younger son as he is getting his confirmation soon. Since the next day was the 17th of May, which is a very big day over here in Norway, he would be dressed up in the same clothes as he will use on his own big day in about a week from now. 
So, I agreed to do the stuff and found a nice place outside to do the snaps. I had to track down my digital Nikon which has been sitting in my sons apartment for a year of so, and did a serious number of exposures of the young man. As you do when snapping electronically.
I have not even bothered having a very short look at them other than the usual staring at the back of the camera during the shooting session. They looked like crap, I have to admit. Over exposed crap, to be absolutely honest. I pressed a few buttons every now and then just to give an impression of knowing what I was doing, but I don't think they got any better still. I will need to have a closer look, but will bring the memory card to work. Hopefully I can get a few quiet evenings to see if something is worth saving of the huge bunch of electronic files.

I'm soon going over the sea to see these guys, and a bunch more. Here they have seated themselves in the small pub on Sumburgh Airport, Shetland on their way home a year ago or something like that. 

Luckily I also brought a Rolleiflex TLR from 1957, and a Mamiya RZ67 medium format. Real cameras, as you know by now. I snapped out the end of two films. 9 exposures on the Mamiya, and 1 single frame with the Rolleiflex. The plan was to wait until I got home from work in four weeks before I had the rolls developed, but as soon as I heard the crew change was delayed I went home from the cottage for a few hours yesterday evening to throw them into some chemicals mixed with water. The negatives looked good, so I decided to go for it and get something printed today. 
I am currently crossing fingers, hoping the boys mother like the handprinted B&W stuff to such a degree that there will not be any further questions about the digital files... 
Strange feeling it was, doing that portrait job with a digital camera. I did not recognize it, could not make the thing function the way I wanted... everything seemed to be struggling against me, until I picked up the film wasters to do what I'm used to do. Simple equipment for simple souls... that's probably the essence of the learning from yesterday, it seems. 

And the prints? They look like a million dollars, so I put my last few norwegian kroner on the bet that the mother will be going for the B&W's. 
If not, I will certainly not be asked to do some simple snaps another time... that's for sure!

The last frame of some roll of film. It used to be stuck inside that incredible noisy Canon AF35 or whatever the name printed on that thing was. I had it delivered to my post box together with the Diana F+ quite a while ago. Payed next to nothing for the two combined. I duly snapped my work bench, as you might see? Or the bench with a lot of stuff on top of it, as it actually is. Probably no room left to do anything at all around there anymore. 

tirsdag 17. mai 2016

A tiny girl and some huge, heavy walls in Oxford

It happens to me all the time. You want to take a snap of something, and into the frame walks this person from out of the blue somewhere. This time I thought it was kind of OK, though. She looked very good from all angles, and also managed to give some sort of scale to the big picture. A bit unlike most of the other snaps where people seem to come from out of the blue and into the frame. And they must have used a lot of stone to build them walls over there, in Oxford. 

See, I have been around this area as well, walking the streets of old Oxford just to get a very tiny look at how things seems to be around that part of the world. Stone upon stone, as any other old town, I would say. The stones are plentyful though, and put together in nice patterns by someone knowing what they were doing, back in the days.
The first university was built here in 1320. Or, so they say, anyway. There was education at high levels going on a few hundred years before that as well, but let's just keep things simple and say that the first university was built around 1320.
I mean 1320! 
At that time over here in Norway we were still knocking each other in the head with stone tools, and the first university were still 500 years away from seeing anything close to daylight. 
No wonder I felt a bit like stepping on old and historic ground as I moved around inside this area. 

And when I finally get here, and want to make a decent snap of one of them old and fantastic buildings... this car was put there right in front just for the heck of it. That's what I think, anyway. I spoiled a frame and never looked back!

The first time we wanted to go to Oxford, four or five years ago, we missed the whole opportunity big time like. I went off the M-something where some road sign told me the Oxford direction was, and before anyone knew what really had happened we were rolling on the same motorway once again. Heading for London, or wherever. I still blame the reader of the map sitting in the passenger seat. The reader of the map still seem to blame the driver... 
Anyway, we decided to give it another try this year just to get some first hand knowledge if the town was just a fiction or not. 
Very much real it was, I must admit. 

torsdag 12. mai 2016

Another week, another course to attend

So, as you might understand I have been a bit busy lately. I suddenly had to attend a three days safety repetition course, so there has been a real hole in my blog posts as you might have discovered. I was scheduled to do the course later this summer, but suddenly got the chance to do it right now instead. So, instead of ruining a good part of one week of the middle of summer, I jumped on this one. 
I will soon be back on some kind of a track though, as we managed to persuade the teacher to take two long days instead of three shorter ones. That means I don't have to go there tomorrow. More importantly it also means I now got all courses needed to apply for the new type of certificate I will need to still have a job after new year. Might sound a bit definitive, and it is... in fact. Rules are rules, and any norwegian engineer holding the old type of certificate will not be able to get hold of the new and shiny thing we actually need to still work as engineers after the 31'st of december this year. Might sound like a long time ahead, but bear in mind that they will need a few months to go through all the applications that is coming their way these days. I can only hope my application will be high enough in the pile to make it through the system in due time to have the thing in hand before said date. 

We went over here a few weeks ago, my son and I. Went to see that old derelict house and all, and I don't expect it to still have some kind of a roof and all four walls standing like this a year from now. It still might manage to stand upright, but I doubt it. This is a good blend of film having gone through some serious software on my phone, by the way. I ask you to not take too much notice of that fact. It's just that I like to play around with things inside an app from time to time. It's nothing that's going to last, mind you...!

And, I'm soon to leave for work. Only one weekend to go now, and I will be off some time late next week. 

The same house seen from the other side. Same camera, same lens. Most likely that old german M6 camera, and definitely Elmarit 21mm lens with an orange filter. 

So, last course done for this time with some boring classroom stuff and some fun outdoor exercises in the water just finished. 
First aid stuff, where we repeat how to stitch people together, putting needles carrying all kinds of medicine and stuff inside the veins of the patient, putting on bandages and taping them together and all that sorts of nice things to know when you're out there at sea. 
Then we learn about fires and how to lead fire teams. Or, actually it's more or less all about how to make life easier by use of simple things to turn the odds a bit more into your advantage should you be in the position of being in the middle of nowhere having a huge fire on board. A chief engineers worst nightmare, to put everything down to just a few simple words. 
Then it's the usual water stuff. As we are surrounded by water in my daily work it's simply a fact that if everything else fail we will need to abandon the mother ship and get our feet wet out there in the north atlantic ocean, or wherever we are in the moment of any given disaster. OK, it's a place nobody wants to be, but we still need to be prepared to go there should that famous shit hit the fan. It's just a part of everyday life when we are at work. So that means I have been into the sea today, in a survival suit way out there... The good thing is that it was a nice day for it as the sun was shining and everything. I still got wet though, but was never very cold or anything. 
And, I finally got the chance to try something I have wanted to try for a long time. It was not a part of this actual course, but we managed to persuade the instructor to test the free-fall lifeboat they got on most rigs and some ships these days. OK, our fall was not quite as high as the one I linked to, as that one shows the quite recent world record set by Harding in Norway, but you could still feel your lunch moving upwards for a few seconds there before all the fun was over. 
And then there was the usual stuff. Laying like ducks in the water using all kinds of techniques to be able to stay alive out there if all other resque equipment for some reason should fail. 
Things nice to have learned and tried in real life, as you probably understand. 

A more or less typical norwegian beach as we know them over here. Some sand at times, but also big stones scattered around the place just to make it different from elsewhere in the world. German M3, Summicron 50mm or 35mm. I think this was Kodak Tri-X drenched in Kodak HC-110 developer.

And no, I did not bring any of the german rangefinders or any other cameras... I might go there some time to see if I might catch anything interesting when other people are doing the course. Maybe.

And I had my phone in pocket this evening just as I returned home from a long day at the training field. The wife had a good fire going over there at the cottage, and I decided to use it for something nice. So I found some food to put on top, and it was very good as well. And yes, it's digital... and yes, shame on me!! 

lørdag 7. mai 2016

From the grounds around that old factory

Just a couple of quick snaps from one of the recent trips outside together with my son, Glenn. We were over to the old wool factory in Langevågen, just on the other side of the mountain just behind the cottage. Not a very long drive by any standard. 15-20 minutes or so, and you are there. At least from here, where I am right now. 

There's a lot of buildings belonging to the old factory. Some of them are now turned into shops, outlets and other things I'm not the greatest fan of. Anyway, it's nice to see them old buildings getting into some good use. Other buildings seems to be in a rather bad state, to say the least. I hope someone  with a lot of money will put some of their cash into the place and get some work done on a few more of the buildings. 
My son told me he would buy one of the buildings, if he win the NOK 250 millions in the lottery one of these days. Turn it into a darkroom and a photo studio he would. Chances that it will happen is fairly low, I would say :)

Lovely structure on this wall and the old fashion glass with reinforcement in the form of steel wires inside. This is one of the buildings that will have to be knocked down at some point, I would guess. Snapped using a german rangefinder, M3 style with no light meter or any other fancy gadgets. Summicron lens 

A well camouflaged pole standing among them trees beside this ruin of a building. Probably another part of the same factory as above, since it's located quite close to the main buildings. I might go back to take some more photos another day, but I also still got a few on a roll still inside the M6. I might get that one done some day to see what's lurking around on that roll of film. Nothing very interesting I suppose, but who knows...

onsdag 4. mai 2016

In the Aftermath

I finally got the chance of having a day of breathing quite well again, as I was going through some kind of a personal nightmare during the weekend. You might heard of the helicopter crash over here in Norway on Friday? Well, it was one of them totally surrealistic ones. Mechanical breakdown in a way you thought existed only inside nightmares and very bad movies. Probably a blown gearbox, but we will not know that for sure for quite a while yet as the people working on those issues will need some time to find out. 
I don't know if you have seen the pictures in the news wherever you live, so I give you one single link just to give you an idea. It was filmed, as it happens. Not the actual crash itself, but a few seconds later as the rotor of the helicopter was flying through the air with no helicopter attached. I mean how often has this happened, that the entire main rotor of a helicopter has been blown away from the rest of the thing like this, and filmed? Good thing is that the people putting the puzzle together to find out what happened will have evidence they never would dream of, just because a young man knew where to find the record button on his mobile phone quite quickly. 

The names of the last victims were finally released Monday. As this was an offshore transport helicopter there was a fair chance I knew someone on board that thing, but I could not be sure until all names were officially determined. Just to add to the entire horror I also know a number of pilots and technicians working for this helicopter company, as many of my fathers former colleagues from his life as a helicopter pilot inside a different division of the same company had their daily work in CHC. There was this pilot, 57 years old from Bergen... which I suspected very much I knew too well. 
OK, names out Monday evening, and it turned out he was not flying this helicopter at the time it decided to totally self destruct.

I have spoken to one of the victims a few times, as he used to be a service man for a company we use a lot on board the ship for checking bearings and changing special parts from time to time. Another one of the victims was from the same small island on where my company got it's head office, and a lot of my colleagues will most likely know her very well. 
The area the helicopter fell down is just in the neighborhood of where my last ship (the Viking Energy) was based, and a lot of my friends from back then was living and had grown up in this area. Two of the casualties was living within only a few kilometers from where they went down.

There's a lot of my colleagues and people I know who have lost close and more distant friends in this accident for sure, as this country is not that big after all. The offshore working environment is not that big either, so we will always know someone who knows someone. 

May they Rest In Peace, all the 13 souls who went down last Friday, on their way home from the North Sea. 

From the north western coastline of the small island called "Vigra" where I found this thing placed, pointing towards the big blue North Sea about a week ago. The weather was nice and we were having a nice walk on this beach of stones and sand. I brought a german rangefinder, or two. This is from the M3 one, with the Elmarit 21mm lens and orange filter attached. It's making the thing vignetting a lot, that filter as you see. 

mandag 2. mai 2016

We went for a walk

My daughter and I, a couple of weeks ago. Went for this walk as I had this film sitting inside that old Kodak Colorsnap 35 camera I got from Craig in Orkney about a year ago, or maybe even a bit longer. It seems to be in some kind of working condition, even though some of the snaps seem to have been exposed a bit oddly which was probably my own fault. The film was not exactly the best of things to put inside this camera either, as it was pretty low on ISO value. I think I might go for a 400 or something the next time I load the thing up. 

Here she is, out walking carrying the Diana F+ in her hands. 

From the entrance to "Aksla Stadion", an old arena on top of the Aksla mountain. This place has seen it's best days years ago, and is slowly falling apart and into a state beyond any chance of repair. It used to be a great place though, back in the days when I grew up. I went up there one afternoon lately, just to have a look at how things are these days. I brought my old Colorsnap thing from Kodak, and snapped a BWsnap of the place instead. 

And then we had snow, again, as you know if you follow this spot. Just for a few days, but still there's nothing much fun about it when all you want to have is spring and nice temperatures. Don't ask me what those two lines going through this frame is all about. I got no idea at all. The same thing seems to have fastened on three or four of the frames from this camera every now and then through the film. This one was taken at the doorstep at the cottage not too many days ago. It's nothing like this today, mind you, as the temperature is a lot higher this morning. 

The first day this spring with good temperatures (for this area, anyway) today. 14 deg. C right now, which is very good compared to 3-4 deg. the last weeks and months. 
I'm on my way out to make some good use of the nice weather. It's not sunny, but that's no problem as long as it's not raining and the temperature is good. 
Have a great day, all of you!