Tag Archives: video

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This beautiful video by David Kong captures Italy, my part of Italy, so perfectly that I can hardly bear to watch it…it makes me ache for these parts so much.

Portrait of Macerata from David Kong on Vimeo.

My friends live near Macerata and when I spent two weeks with them in 2008 (gosh, how fast the years have passed!) I took the bus down to Macerata every day to take Italian lessons. Before and after the lessons I strolled the city, looked at the sights, shopped at the market and generally took this ancient, bustling little town in. Those two weeks were amazing and this video takes me right back there.
My Italian instructor was beautiful Elisabetta, who has since quit teaching and become a fashion blogger: http://thechicbeat.com/
That’s the down side of travelling isn’t it? It makes you fall in love with places and yearn for them years after. When I was seventeen I lived in Ireland for a year and it took me years not to feel homesick for it anymore after coming back.

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video: rodeo party

Looking forward to a charity event at our barn and realizing I’ve never even shared this video of our big rodeo party some weeks ago.


By the way, I get asked sometimes why I keep my videos so blurry and in case you were wondering:
a. I like how out of focus photos and videos can sometimes capture the feel of a situation much more intensely than in-focus shots. And my videos are essentially designed to capture athmosphere and feeling rather than every detail of a situation. For me big events and masses of people in reality often seem to go by in a blur, unsharp with little details sticking out unnaturally clear (must be the HSP in me I guess…my way of dealing with information overload) and my videos try to accentuate that.
b. I plain don’t feel comfortable filming people in detail and putting this stuff online without getting written consent from them first (something I do with all my photos incidentally).

Wishing you all a great weekend!

june days

I am SO hooked on making videos…I just can’t seem to stop.


We’ve had some lovely sunny days here which I’ve tried hard to enjoy. Between my pollen allergy and a LOT of work it hasn’t always been easy. Sneeze.
In addition to some really tough days at the office (which unfortunately will continue all month) I’ve been quite busy with my photography as well, which is great of course and I am enjoying myself immensely doing photoshoots. So far I’ve been blessed with the sweetest clients imaginable and I hope I’ll be able to share the results pretty soon!
At this point I just have to mention this speech I listened to the other day. Do yourselves a favor and sit down with a cup of tea or lemonade, depending on your weather, watch this and be inspired. Preferably after you’ve read this post to the end that is 🙂

I’m trying to soak up this time of year at the barn, when the wind is still fresh and the grass is lush and green, before the flies and the heat. Sneeze. I also gave in today and started taking pills against my allergy.
I then rode the pony bareback through the woods without a single sneeze. Heaven.
My balcony garden is coming along nicely as well. I got flowers in addition to edibles this year and they look lovely in their pots next to the herbs and mints. Which reminds me, I just bought a fourth type of mint. Ginger mint. How could I resist?

The kohlrabis are getting chubbier.

I took out the sukkulents to soak up some sun too, then had to take them inside again because they got burned and turned red! Now they’re back to green and doing great thankfully.

The sunniest corner is occupied by the tomatoes and peppers, along with a little mint and yet more flowers tucked in here and there.


I was given some soil to use from a friend and mixed it with storebought soil. I seems to have come from a garden, because these have been growing in between my plants:

Aren’t they cute? The seeds must have been dormant in the soil. Anyone know their name in english?
The wild strawberries are producing like crazy.

I love the unique taste of wild strawberries. The greatest weekend breakfast!

I also finally got some green things for our bare window sills inside. It’s amazing how a little bit of green can cheer a room up so much.

The cats love them too. Unfortunately this means they’re busy nibbling away at them. Good thing I took care only to buy plants that are non-toxic for cats and so far, the addition to their diet doesn’t seem to be doing any harm.
They do love our new rug as well…I’m predicting the plants are tougher than the rug and will last longer. Good thing too because the rug only cost me 3€ at the thrift store 🙂 Slowly but surely this new place of ours is getting cozy!

of baby things

Not me, no! While I’ll coo over a human baby like the next person it’s baby animals that really get me.
Burying my nose in fluffy baby fur is just as great as it gets for me. So getting to know this foal last weekend was the highlight of my week:

Her name is Lundi and there’s more photos of her over on my photo blog.
I did get some video shots in there (though she was so agile and curious that it was quite hard to keep her in the frame and focussed):


Isn’t she adorable? We were all thrilled with her 🙂

scotland – the story and the video

Here goes, the looong post about our week in Scotland! Make sure you’ve got a bit of reading time for this one…For those of you who want to skip the details and go straight to the video: you’ll find it at the end of this post or here on Vimeo.
We started out our week-long vacation by flying over to Edinburgh and picking up the car we rented. Instead of staying in the Edinburgh area we made straight north for the Highlands, to Inverness. The drive up was quite interesting…first of all my boyfriend had to get used to driving on the left side and then the weather was a tiny bit capricious. We had sun, clouds, rain, hail and snow all within the first three hours of being in the country.
In Inverness we stayed at Dunhallin House, a lovely guest house where we were made immediately very welcome. The only drawback was that the walk into the city centre was quite long (we should have known though) and despite what we had read we didn’t find Inverness city particularly charming. So we headed straight back to get the car and drove out to Culloden Battlefield to watch the last bit of sunshine of the day and have a solitary walk along the battle lines and gravestones in the moor. Quite a magical place with lots of heather in bloom and brightly colored mosses!

Just a note: these photos are bigger than the ones I usually upload here, so do click on them to view them bigger and better!

We started off our first full day with a real scottish breakfast. Well, the boyfriend did, while I had porridge for the first time in my life (yum!) and fruit and toast.

We needed the warm breakfast, too, because the weather continued to be unpredictable and most of all, pretty cold. We headed up to beautiful Nairn beach, but cut our stay short due to a heavy shower and decided to have a look at Cawdor Castle and Gardens next.

We didn’t buy the indoor pass, since by then the sun had reappeared but took a quick look around the walled garden and then proceeded through a hidden “secret garden” kind of door into the land behind the castle for a walk that would take us about 2.5 hours through beautiful woodland.



The first thing you notice in the Highlands is that the air is just so clean and fresh and good.
Quite tired after our walk we headed to the lovely Beauly Gallery for a warm lunch and, refreshed, then set out for the breathtaking scenery at Glen Affric. We took all three marked trails around Dog Falls and spent about three hours in the woodlands, never meeting a single person on our walks.


We got back late and literally fell into bed by that point.
The next morning we bid farewell to the Inverness area and Dunhallin House, though we would dearly have liked to stay a bit longer, and spent the day driving on the shores of Loch Ness. We took the smaller, South road (B852) which held some of the most breathtaking scenery of our whole stay in store for us. Thanks to it being a wet and dreary day we had the area (and the single track road) to ourselves for the day and visited Dores beach (photo below), the Change House and Boleskine graveyard.


The Falls of Foyers proved to be spectacular and despite the rain we walked a small trail in the surrounding woodland.



The real highlight of the day was not a tourist attraction at all…it was this small clearing right behind some trees lining the road that I saw driving by. I told my boyfriend to stop the car and walked back to it. I’ve never seen a more magical place. It was very boggy, the ground completely saturated with water and you had to watch your step very carefully. The wet grounds had made mosses take over the whole area and it was eerily quiet except for the trickling of water. If there ever was a place to make you start believing in fairies and elves it’s this one…I still get goose bumps even writing about it!

The photo really doesn’t do it justice! Mind you, we did find an iPhone on a tree stump there that someone must have forgotten…so the real world is never far off.
Since we still had time, we headed back up the Loch about half way on the north road and visited Urquhart Castle. Quite overrun by tourists even on that quiet day, but still well worth a visit!

Our next place to stay was Distant Hills Guesthouse in Spean Bridge and once again, it was even better than we had hoped! Beautiful rooms with the option of choosing a DVD to watch (which we did every single night we stayed there, since our day tours usually left us too wiped out to go out for dinner) and very good breakfast and packed lunches. The owners Peter and Lesley are both lovely and eager to provide help and tipps and road maps for a memorable stay.
Since it continued to be cloudy and rainy the next day, we set out for a longer drive up to Eilean Donan Castle and the coast around Plockton (as suggested by Peter) and found the weather there much better and the scenery again incredible. We ate lunch in the sunshine by the sea and visited a farm afterwards.



Bluebells everywhere, sheep with their lambs slowing down our progress on the road and Highland cattle grazing in the middle of a tiny village. What a day!


I’m starting to worry this post will be the longest I’ve ever written, but I’ve still got three days left to tell about!
The next day we went up to Glenfinnan to see the Monument and of course the viaduct, a.k.a. the “Harry Potter Bridge” (let me tell you, the monument is much prettier than the bridge) and after that we explored the beaches at Morar, the “Silver Sands of Morar” on foot.


Quite a bit sunburned we headed back down the coast to our next stop, Ariundle Oakwoods, a nature reserve. I’m running out of superlatives here, but Ariundle was another highlight and an absolute Must-See in the Fort William Area.
Another magical forest, but stretching on and on, quite an eerie place to be walking in on a late afternoon.

And we saw a pine marten! A live, cute, wild one, hunting for food in a hollow tree!

And as if to prove it could still get better, we saw seals playing in Loch Sunart on our way back. You can’t see them in the photo, but they were taking a break on an island in the loch, as well as swimming and fighting and bellowing.

After the long day it was time for our favourite dinner in Scotland, yummy and salty fish&chips.

We took leave of the Fort William area and Distant Hills the next day to drive back down to Edinburgh via the Glencoe area and the Trossachs.
The weather by then had turned warm and sunny and driving through Glen Coe left us awestruck.


At last, we made it back to Edinburgh and after getting lost about five times, managed to locate our hotel. After the friendly and cozy guest houses we had stayed in we were a bit underwhelmed by our hotel and the very pricey restaurant attached but we only had one day left anyway. We filled our day in Edinburgh to the brim by visiting Edinburgh Castle early the next morning (nice, but too expensive), walking along the Royal Mile and visiting the Georgian House (lovely!).


Our Edinburgh highlight was visiting The Real Mary Kings Close, expensive and touristy yes, but also so interesting, spooky and funny (ask for the tour guide Robert!). See some more info here.
Whew, if you’ve made it this far, congratulations! As you can imagine we came home filled to the brim with places and stories and impressions. Quite overwhelmed really! We loved our 7-days-see-as-much-as-you-possibly-can-tour of Scotland and I hope you enjoyed this account of it and maybe took away some tipps for visiting the country yourself.
And NOW for the video, which I’ve spent hours and hours cutting in the last few days. You can watch it here or view a bigger version over at Vimeo (which I’d recommend). Enjoy 🙂

video

A first approach, a quick cut of one perfect day at our beautiful barn.
Please be kind…I know it’s too choppy and shaky and short and all sorts of things, but it literally took me days to make it.


I learned loads making this and I’m hooked…even though video is so much more complicated than photography. I think I still prefer the (almost) instant gratification a lovely picture offers but I’ll keep on playing with video in the future!

first strawberries

The first local strawberries of the year, bought at today’s farmer’s market.

I had a craving for chocolate covered strawberries, so we made chocolate fondue and enjoyed every bite.


I’ve been busy potting and transplanting plants on my balcony, where finally there is some growth. My own strawberries will be carrying fruit soon:

These are conventional strawberries but just today my mom gave me some wild strawberry plants from her garden. I love the special taste of wild strawberries and it will be interesting to see how well they do in a container compaired to the ordinary ones.
There’s also mint, which I love…I cannot wait to have fresh mint tea and alongside my trusty and aromatic italian mint I bought some chocolate and orange mint this year. I’m also trying out some new (to me) plants like Anise Hyssop and Monarda this year.

In addition to the peppers and tomatoes, who are being hardened off this weekend, I’m growning some regional veggies like kohlrabi and broccoli this year.

Aside from having homegrown food to eat, getting my hands dirty planting and growing things in the fresh wind is just the kind of work that keeps me healthy and happy, when too much computer work has made me antsy.
Not that I don’t like my computer work…I’m happy with my photo editing and blogreading and such, as long as I can balance it with physical work.
And to change the topic completely onto something computer related: Now that I own a camera that can do video and after being involved in some video projects at work and with friends, I’m completely excited to try making and editing videos. I’ve spent a couple of hours trying out the function as well as editing the video in Photoshop (yes, you can actually edit video files in Photoshop!) and researching cutting software. Turns out there’s no freeware out there which works with the kind of files my camera produces (bummer!) so I’ll probably need to buy software for cutting. I’ll keep y’all updated…expect some cat and pony videos as my first tries 🙂