Dining Out

Dining Out © Knut Skjærven

Dining Out © Knut Skjærven

Just to celebrate the revival of the mother of all blogs in the barebones family, here is a photo shot in 2012. Summer is already there and so it outdoor dining.

Why do I say this? Because this blog was originally called Barebones Communication and it brought all my interested in street photography with it. I have not really posted to it since 2010. Even so, it takes more visits than any other blog that I have.

Click the image to see where it takes you.  Could well be an outdoor dinner in Berlin this summer. With good company to go with it.

Good day to all.

© Knut Skjærven


Berlin Place2Be

Kurfürstendamm. © Knut Skjærven

Many thanks to Leica for asking me to participate in the series Berlin Place2Be as a promotion for the Leica D-Lux 5. I wrote a short article. I took some pictures.

This is actually one of the first shots I made with the D-Lux 5 after arriving in Berlin April 2, 2011. This couple was standing at the same spot for a looong time. I could walk around them, cross the street and come back and take more pictures. They could have been hit by a truck and still be standing there. Who knows, maybe they still are. Italians I presume.

You  can read the full article here.

In the article there is mentioned of a project Berlin Black And White. That blog is a spin off of this blog. Just wanted you to know

Good luck with your own photographic project. If you don’t have one, get one.

While Waiting for Godot.

Berlin Black and White. Screenshot.

While doing a bit of waiting for Godot, I have set up a new blog Berlin Black and While. Please visit.

Maybe you have noticed that I have quite a lot of photographs from Berlin on barebones communication already? Why is this so since Berlin is not even my home town?

The answer is simple. Of all the cities I have visited Berlin is definitely the best I have found for photography. (And, by the way, it is not that far away).

Berlin is large enough to still explore every time I go there. Both spaces and places are really good, but most of all are the frictions of history still very much alive there. You can see that in the architecture  and you can sense it when you move around in the city. You can see it in the people.

Say it briefly: Berlin is an extremely photogenic city. My cameras love it. Very much so.

This is why there now is a special photo blog on Berlin. Black and White it is.


Szarkowski Wrap Up.

Tuscany Teaser. Copyright.

Just a few words to wrap up the section on John Szarkowski.

Szarkowski is a former Director of Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Apart from being a celebrated manager at MOMA he also was a keen photographer and scholar. He has written two books on photography: The Photographer’s Eye and Looking at Pictures. I happen to own a copy of each.

You get to look at pictures. One at the time. You get to better understand the visual language of photography. You get to read Szarkowski’s eye opening comments to many of the pictures.

I can only say this: Both books are great reads. Their content goes beyond photography, and Szarkowski’s keen sense of images and text makes them pure joy. They are books about communication.

You may start here:

Szarkowski: Introduction.

Szarkowski: The Thing Itself

Szarkowski: Vantage Point.

Szarkowski: The Detail.

Szarkowski: Time.

Szarkowski: The Frame.

Good luck with Szarkowski.

Szarkowski: The Thing Itself.

The Thing Itself. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven.

“More convincingly than any other kind of picture, a photograph evokes the tangible presence of reality. Its most fundamental use and its broadest acceptance has been as a substitute for the subject itself – a simpler, more permanent, more clearly version of the plain fact.

Our faith in the truth of a photograph rests on our belief that the lens is impartial, and will draw the subject as it is, neither nobler nor meaner. This faith may be naive and illusory (for though the lens draws the subject, the photographer defines it), but is persists. The photographer’s vision convinces us to the degree that the photographer hides his hand.”

Library Thing.

This is a barebones pitstop post. For more pitstop posts, please go to pitstop puzzle.

Other posts on Szarkowski: IntroductionThe Thing Itself, The Detail, The Frame, Time, Vantage Point.

Visual Impressions

Visual Impressions. Copyright: Knut Skjærven

It dawned on me that in certain situations visual communication works much better than words. Believe it or not. (Pun intended). Even tactile communication may work like with this couple found at “Billy Wilder” at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, during the 20 anniversary celebration of the wallfall in November. He German, she Spanish. I was there doing an interview with an American, former soldier, who was stationed in Berlin when the wall fell in 1989.

I asked to take their picture, and it was ok. (I have about 50 shots). They were quite happy posing for Carl Zeiss. What caught my attention here was the combination of the fixed pictures on the wall, and the moving couple. And the overall scene. “Here is a shot” for the barebones Gestalt section, I thought, and I may link this post to that theme later.

You know Billy Wilder, don’t you?

I am opening up a new blog theme: barebones smalltalk. For no reason at all. This is the first post. You will find this, and future, similar posts tagged, “barebones smalltalk”.

Continue the good weekend :-).

Introducing The Barebones Mirror Test

Doing The Barebones Mirror Test. Shot in Berlin 2008. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven

Doing The Barebones Mirror Test. Shot in Berlin 2008. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven

You need to do the barebones mirror test.

What is the barebones mirror test? Simply this: If you hold up a mirror to your project, which in  this case is the barebones communication project, you should see the same structural picture that you see when you turn the barebones investigative light source to foreign, external objects. And you should describe, analyse and judge the mirror picture by the same criteria as you do with non mirror objects.

I could do a barebones analysis of my iMac as an external object since the iMac is what is in front of me every time I occupy myself with this blog. To a certain extent I already did.

I also could do a barebones analysis of the barebones communication project, which of course is a very different object from my iMac or any Mac.

However, in some respects they are pretty similar. They are both types of objects; they are both “things” that I perceive; the are both things in which I take an interest, they are both “close” to me. I could continue this list of similarities, but it will not necessary.

The mirror test is (hereby) invented to try to assure consistence between with what I/you are saying, and what I/you are doing. I tall task, I know, but maybe this is just the right time for a thorough barebones mirror test. Even in other areas than those related to this blog.

If you pass the mirror test, you can proudly say that your work will not fall apart on being self referring inconsistent. It may fall apart for a number of other reasons, but not this very important one of being inconsistent.

So how do you perform a barebones mirror test? First thing you do is get yourself a mirror. You might do the test even without a mirrow in your hand, but leave such lofty ambitions till you get proper training in doing the test. Go get a mirror.

This post is to be continued …