I had the pleasure of a few days in the mountains recently and – lucky me – the weather cooperated very nicely with my efforts to capture the grand landscape.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, except for a short while when dark clouds banded together and it looked like a storm was brewing. However, a few minutes later, the clouds passed and the day continued to be sunny.

Mountain landscape covered with snow under stormy clouds.

Mountain Snowscape under a Stormy Sky.

During the Streets of Paris workshop in September, an assignment was to shoot on the Pont des Arts. There were a number of musicians playing on the bridge, but the lone saxophone player caught my ear.

I stopped to listen to his music for a long time, struck by the fact that he seemed to be playing for himself, not the people around him.

Stephen plays the Saxophone on the Pont des Arts in Paris.

It finally dawned on me that I was supposed to be taking pictures, not listen to music (bad student!), so I did. ­čśë

Afterwards, I talked to Stephen, the musician, who turns out to be a really nice guy. He’s originally from Pittsburgh, PA and went to live and work in Paris. After a while, he could not stand his “normal” job anymore, so he is now a full-time musician. Wow, talk about living your dream!

At the time, he was practicing, which he prefers to do outside and in public, rather than in a stuffy rehearsal room. That I can relate to!

As the sun dropped from the sky, the sky turned into a spectacular background and I could not pass the opportunity by. I did miss dinner at a fantastic restaurant waiting for the colors to be just right, but I think the picture justifies the loss – barely. ­čÖé

Stephen plays the Saxophone in front of the sunset on the Pont des Arts in Paris.

Next time you are in Paris, check out Stephens schedule and listen to him play! And if you’re in Munich, Stephen, let me know.

The University of Technology M├╝nchen in Garching held an open house for the general public last Saturday. While it was cold and wet outside, inside there were fun and interesting presentations, lectures, and demonstrations all over the campus.

I was especially impressed (as were the kids) by the glasblowers of the Department of Chemistry. Up to that point, I had always associated glasblowing with arts and crafts (hello there, Venice!). The fact that condensers, flasks, and all the other equipment needed in a chemistry lab can be – and are – made at the university had completely escaped me. I definitely see this equipment with a different eye now.

Glasblower Fred Perk turns a glas tube in a bright flame.

Fred Perk during a glasblowing demonstration at the open house at the University of Technology M├╝nchen in Garching.

In the picture above you see Fred Perk, one of the glasblowers at the TUM, heating a glas tube in a gas flame. He had previously made the two figurines in the foreground.

In the picture I clearly see the joy that Fred exuded in spades during his work. What a gift to be not only talented, but happy at work!

While taking the picture, I envisioned it only in black and white. Later, at the computer, I noticed the wonderful colors.

Glasblower Fred Perk turns a glas tube in a bright flame.

urns a glas tube in a bright flame.” width=”480″ height=”360″ />Fred Perk during a glasblowing demonstration at the open house at the University of Technology M├╝nchen in Garching.

As a special treat I am showing both interpretations of the picture. ­čÖé

The Performance of Elijah (by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) in the Luitpoldhalle in Freising (Germany) was a delight for eyes and ears. After each piece I see now way to improve on a great performance and then the creative team blows me away with yet another superlative.

The stage was placed in front of the orchestra and only about 30 centimeters high. That way the audience almost sat on the stage. Smack in the middle instead of just along for the ride …

The orchestra was visible behind (and above) the stage through a translucent curtain. In this picture, taken during the preparations for the performance, you can get a good impression of the setup.

The stage for Elijah, as seen by the audience.

The orchestra, on the other hand, had a special view of the acting, which I found fascinating:

View from the orchestra on to the stage.

I huddled down in the middle, right in front of the stage – a perfect place for photography. What I did not expect was the auditory and emotional force of an Elijah belting out a solo at a distance of half a pace. That was an emotional roller coaster ride that I have never experienced before. It gave me a whole new, personal relationship with the oratorio.

The narrator before the second act.

All pictures are here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Yesterday afternoon was the premiere performance of Elijah (by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) in the Luitpoldhalle, in Freising (Germany).

The stage setting is fantastic and the performers blew me away. The impression was underlined by the fact the audience almost sits on stage.

Dancing ballerinas in white tulle glide on stage as angels.

Angels on Approach

 

Elijah stands above the priests of Baal and proclaims the death sentence.

Elijah sentences the priests of Ball to death

 

A boy looks into the distance and spies the first wisps of rain clouds while the people are desperate.

The Boy Sees a Rain Cloud

I’m really looking forward to experiencing the performance again today!

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