May 17th

An unusual post from me. It’s the national day of Norway. May 17th 1814 the country was liberated from almost 300 years under Danish ruling. Well, the fact was that Denmark was on the wrong side of the Napoleonic Wars—and lost Norway to Sweden in 1814. Sweden was on the winning side of the wars. Despite celebrating the establishment of the Norwegian constitution in May 17th 1814, the country still wasn’t free. Only in June 1905 did Norway get its true independence.

I am not really much of a patriot—rather an internationalist—but I feel fortunate and privileged to live in a country with a functional democracy, or at least as much as possible in any country, and not the least in country with free healthcare and education, and even with social care mostly being accepted from all political parties, albeit at various levels. Norway has a high degree of equality although the distribution of wealth has gone more in favor of the rich over the last 50 years—as in the world generally.


Happy Holidays


This will be my last post of this year. I want to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has followed my blog and showed it be either liking my posts or contributed to the many fulfilling discussions here. I also want to thank you for the support you have shown me and all the kind remarks throughout the year.

As some of us are about to celebrate the holiday which is about to begin—myself included—it’s time for me to wish you all peace and harmony whether you are going to celebrate or not. 2016 has once again been a year of much violence and unrest, but also of much inspiration and positive development. We can only hope that times eventually will change to the better for all humankind.

I will take a rest from blogging during the Christmas Holiday. But I will be back in the new year. Until then; I wish you all happy holidays and/or happy new year.

New Year New Chances

I kaktus i Chesler Park
First of all: A Happy New Year to all of you. I hope you have had a peaceful and relaxing season’s holiday. And I hope you have been able to reload you creative batteries and are ready for a new year with inspiring photography and new personal creative developments. As for myself I have had a couple of weeks completely off the grid. No phone calls, no emails, no blogging, no Facebook and no working. Of course I couldn’t stay away from photographing, but only in a very relaxing and totally unpretentious way – which is always the best way anyway.

Secondly I want to thank everybody who has submitted suggestions for my collection of best photo blogs. The page is now closed for further submissions, but a quick count shows that more than 400 suggestions were submitted. That is no less than extraordinary. It’s going be very exciting for me to go through each and every one of the photo blogs over the next couple of weeks. I will try to organize all them into various categories and then let you, my readers; decide which are the best blogs in each category. With so many blogs it will take some time before I have the presentation ready, though, but I am already working on it.

When I announced the competition I promised everyone who submitted suggestions I would send them a desktop wallpaper. Only a few sent their email for me to forward the picture, so instead I have made the picture accompanying this post available for everybody. It’s just for you to download. Clicking the image will take you to a high resolution 2560×1440 widescreen format.

Sprinkled with Awards

Once again a handful of nominations and awards have been sprinkled over me over the last couple of months. I can’t really believe that it just continues. It’s a great honour to have my blog acknowledged this way. It shows that you guys out there do read the posts and do enjoy them, which of course is what we all hope for and which makes the blogging so rewarding – excuse the pun. But even more so, being nominated gives the nominee – in this case me – the chance to bring attention to a whole bunch of other bloggers who make wonderful blogs and deserve the blog sphere’s attention. This is really what blogging is about for me. The interaction between blogger friends all over the world; to have discussions on your own blog, to read interesting post on so many other excellent blogs and to bring awareness to each other’s blogs across the sub-clicks that always emerges around each blogger. This way we can all get out of our own little blogger community and expand into the bigger sphere. So please if you don’t already know the nominees I am about to point to, do look them up, they really deserve your awareness. They are all very inspirational and good reads. As are the blogs that nominated me this round. Please look them, too.

So let me start from the beginning:
First out was bitsnbooks who nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award.
The rules for the Beautiful Blogger Award (and for most of the other awards with some variations) are:
First, acknowledge and thank the giver, link it back, and put the award on your page.
Next, list 7 things about yourself (see below).
Last, pass the award to 7 bloggers who inspire you

I nominate the following blogs for the Beautiful Blogger Award:
Happy Jax
Starla’s Chat
M.C. Olmo’s Blog
Cornwall – A Photographic Journey
Allen Capoferri
Postcards from Colorado

Then Lens and Pens by Sally nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. In addition Recovery Through My Lens nominated med for the same award (she was actually the last one to nominate me for anything, doing so just today). The rules for this award are the same as for the previous one. Since I already have been nominated for this award in the past, I will just put it up here as a thank you to the ones who nominated me. The fact that I don’t nominate new blogs according to the rules doesn’t mean I appreciate the nomination any less. It’s just a way for me to get through all the requirements of all the awards in this round.

I Think So has nominated me for the Inspiring Blog Award. Again the rules are the same as above.

I nominate the following blogs for the Inspiring Blog:
Marina Kanavaki
Tracie Louise Photography
Lens and Pens by Sally
Truel’s Blog

Strassenfotojournal has nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Lens and Pens by Sally also nominated me for this one (so two by her – amazing! In addition I have had her blog on my list for awards, so as you may have noticed I gave one back to her…). In addition Cruise Stories nominated me for the One Lovely Blog. The rules fall largely with the ones above, except the nominee is supposed to nominate 15 other bloggers – or 8. The numbers varied from one blog to another and to make it possible for me to get through the whole list, I will limit myself to 8.

Here are my nominated blogs for the One Lovely Blog Award:
M. Sargent Photography
Pictures with Words
A Photographer’s Blog ~ Darren Stone
Alicia Scott Photographer
Six Glasses of Water

Ingset’s Blog nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. The rules are the same as for the One Lovely Blog Award. Again since this is a award I have been nominated for in the past, I will only say thank you so much Ingset.

Finally travelingenglishteacher nominated me for the Sunshine Award. The rules for this award is a little different that the previous ones. The nominee is supposed to answer 10 questions about his- or herself and then nominate 10 other blogs. Again, thank you very much travelingenglishteacher, but as with some other awards I will not pass it on to new blogs for the same reasons as before.

Let me fulfil the other requirement and list 7 things about myself:
• I have attended an open brain surgery. Great fun!
• Besides being a photojournalist and having a degree in biology I have also taken a course in craniosacral therapy.
• I like rotten fish – what we in Norwegian call rakørret (and forgive me if I have told this one before. I can’t remember)
• I like detective novels
• I like carrying heavy backpacks – according to my love one
• I like to play with silly cats
• I like ice-cream, and my favourite brand has always been Häagen-Dasz. Except I recently found out that the company has been cheating me for three years now. In 2009 they decreased their pint of ice-cream from regular 16 ounces to 14. So I have stopped buying Häagen-Dasz.

A final few words: I would sincerely thank all the bloggers who have nominated me for various awards. I feel honoured and it is indeed a great inspiration to keep going. Thank you bitsnbooks, Lens and Pens by Sally, Recovery Through My Lens, I Think So, Strassenfotojournal, Cruise Stories, Ingset’s Blog and travelingenglishteacher.

Glitter and Finery

Over the last month or so I have been awarded numeral times by many of my blogger-friends. It’s quite an inspiration to feel so appreciated. At the same time the tokens of appreciation arouse a feeling of both humbleness and thankfulness. Because I think it’s a combination of interaction and sharing that makes our blogs become what they are. No blog exists in a vacuum (except maybe right when you start up and before people notice the blog’s existence), but is spurred forward by the whole blog community. We comment each other and we inspire each other and we help each other so that each of us is able to bring out the best of ourselves and the visions or ideas we bring into the blogging sphere. So these awards I have been nominated for are just as much a result of all your work and support.

Now to the individual awards: photographybyjoylene has nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Thank you very much. She has an excellent blog herself, so please look it up.

The award has some guidelines to be followed.
1. Include the logo in a post on your blog.
2. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
3. Nominate 10-12 marvelous bloggers.
4. Let your nominees knows about their award by linking them to the Sunshine Award in their comments sections.
5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you!

The answers to the 10 questions are:
Favorite Colour: I don’t really have a favourite colour. It’s more colour combinations. Like blue and yellow at the moment.
Favorite Animal: Bear
Favorite Number: √-1
Favorite Drink: Laphroaig, Habana Club and milk
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook. I don’t have a Twitter account.
Your Passion: Family and friends, photography, travel, music, literature, training, sunshine.
Giving or Receiving Gifts: Both.
Favorite Day: Today
Favorite Flower: Tulip
Favorite Pattern: Don’t have

And my nominees are:
marijato skovic
Zen and Genki
The Voice From The North
Slightly Me
the lazy photographer
katie’s camera blog
Empire of Lights
Fine art photography by Kala

Niasunset has nominated me with a beautiful award. I am deeply honoured by this special award. Thank you Nia. I have presented her blog before, but if you aren’t reading already, do look it up. To the award – and as Nia says on her blog: The Angelika Award is for those who have touched my humble life, like a book, like a teacher, like a master. To read more about the background of the award, please have a look at Angelika Award.

My nominated angels are:
island traveler
Elenacaravela’s Blog
Fabulous 50’s
Silkpurseproductions’s Blog
Being Arindam
Wondering Rose

From mylunchanddinner I have been nominated with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you very much. She has a interesting blog about various themes, but most of all about food, I think it’s right to say. Also An Evil Nymph’s Blog nominated me for this award. She is a very young blogger with a lot on her heart. Check it up! According to the rules of the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, the nominee needs to unveil seven interesting things about him- or herself and pass the award on to seven fellow bloggers.

Seven things about myself:
It’s been at least five years since last time I danced. I need to do something about that…
My favourite reading at the moment is The Magus by John Fowles.
I am not sure which team is my favourite to win the UEFA Championship, Chelsea or Bayern München.
I love sunshine (but I like the rain as a contrast to be able to appreciate the sun even more).
My life is split between living in Bergen (one of the rainiest cities in Norway) and Seattle (one of the rainiest cities in the States).
I think politics are very important, but I have lost trust in most politicians.
For me greed is one of the worst and most unacceptable personal qualities.

My nominees for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award are:
Mein Bild des Tages
Martina Egli
Totally Like me…
In Other Words and Pictures
Zeebra Designs & Destinations

Autumn Sunshine nominated me for the Commenter Award. Thank you! This award is a little different than others. We are to nominate the first six people that comment the most on our blog and then choose another one, the seventh, as to our liking (it could be someone that commented the last, a new blogger, or someone whom we really enjoy their comments). We also have to say why we have chosen him/her.

To find your top 6, go to your Dashboard, then to Site Stats (on the bottom, right corner). If you do not see this, click on the Screen Options in the top, right corner, and be sure that “Comments” is checked. If you are good about responding to every comment, then you will be the first one in the list. It is the next six commenters on the list that you will nominate and pass this award to. The seventh, as I said, could be anyone. For me it was the seventh on my commentator list, one that has been among the top on and off..

My top commentators are (and some of them have been awarded already here today):
island traveler
Wondering Rose
Zeebra Designs & Destinations
Three Well Being
Elenacaravela’s Blog
Being Arindam

In addition to these awards, I have been nominated to a few other awards. Since I have already been nominated for these, I will bypass the rules and tasks that goes along with the awards, but I will still to thank the bloggers who nominated me, and direct the rest of you to their blogs. High Needs nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, and so did The Dainty Damsel. Finally An Evil Nymph’s Blog has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award in addition to the aforementioned Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

The last award is a very special one. It’s for all you who has been patient enough to read this far. BASED ON A TRUE STORY/Currie Rose made me aware of this one when she posted it on her blog. It’s called the The Wobbly Fish Award. This award is for all of you who are having a wobbly, who are feeling wobbly, who like wobbly things, or who simply fancy a wobbly award on your blog. You are also very much entitled to this award if you are a Piscean person – their symbol being the fish. Jude from The Writer in the Woods created this award.

Rules are simple:
1. Don’t send it on to other bloggers – because they can all award it to themselves.
2. Send a kind wobbly fish thought to someone you know who could do with it.
3. Smile whenever you look at your wobbly fish!
4. Download the image if you would like the award for your blog.

Flowers to a Blogger Companion

A couple of weeks ago the very creative and inspiring blogger Nia honoured me with a Genuine Blogger Award. For those of you who don’t know Nia and her blog Photographyofnia, I can only warmly recommend visiting it. It’s a cornucopia of creativity and personal reflections through her strong vision and stimulating words. She always has a kind word for her fellow bloggers and hands out flowers and encouragement both left and right. She is simply an amazing blogger. A colourful and warm human being with a blog full of wisdom and beautiful creations of arts of various natures. I thought she deserved to have a bouquet of flowers herself. Thus today’s picture following this post dedicated to her.

As an important part of any blog awards I want to pass on the Genuine Blogger Award to Linda Hensley Illustration & Design. This is a beautiful and very stylish blog made by an artist who works with multiple expressions. Linda’s posts are always thoughtful and exhilarating to read. If you haven’t visited her blog yet, I recommend to do so, too.

I have to add that shortly after the Genuine Blogger Award by Nia, she honoured me with an ABC Award too. Then last week first A Frank Angel nominated me for three awards and then An Evil Nymph’s Blog did the same. I am honoured to be mentioned. And more so I want you to check them out as well; they have some great blogs with interesting views of life and blogging.

More Rain

I am almost a little embarrassed to announce that a handful of awards have rained down upon me lately. Don’t take me wrong; I am very honoured, but it puts a focus on me that I am not quite comfortable with. Or maybe it’s more that I am more concerned about my work and what I try to express than me as a person. At the same time I recognise that the awards are given for exactly that reason. So I guess I don’t really know what I am trying to say. Anyway, I am really honoured and truly delighted to be given such acknowledgement. Despite what I just tried to say, it means a lot to me to feel my blog friends and fellow bloggers appreciate what my blog is about. Enough sentiments, though, let’s get down to business.

First I was award the Hug Award by This Man’s Journey/Island Traveler and shortly after by Arindam. It’s a beautiful award, according to the guidelines it’s for people who, without giving up or compromising their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, are able to nurture hope and respect the dignity of all people. There are actually quite a few guidelines that goes along with the award, please have a look here: Hope Unites Globally – HUG Award Guidelines. According to the guidelines upon receiving the award, I need to nominate at least one other person. Although I can nominate as many as I want to that reflects the essence of the award. First of all I will give hug back to Island Traveler and Arindam, thanks my friends. Here is my list of nominees (there are actually quite a few others I would have liked to add – but the award can only be given once):
The Hook
Three Well Being

Next award: Elenacaravela awarded me with the Kreative Blogger Award. Thank you so much my artist friend. Coming from you it means something extra. Besides thanking Elenacaravela, I must select 6 blogs to pass on the award, and reveal 10 things about me that you may not already know. First 10 things about myself: Short tempered, love to eat rotten fish (what we in Norwegian call gravlaks or rakørret – I am not descending from the Vikings for nothing), I love sushi for that matter, too, I don’t trust powers to be, can’t understand why people need guns in a civil society, get angry when I discover ignorance – but can unfortunately be ignorant myself in between, I really don’t like social conversations – prefer to say something when I actually have something to say among people I care for, I am stubborn – very, by sarcasm I survive a crazy world; and finally I need a glass of milk a day to keep going. My nominees for the Kreative Blogger Award are:
Photographical moments
Silk Purse Productions
Simply Charming
Abu Zar/Visual Journey
Tricia Booker Photography

The last award was given by Figments & Imaginations. I would like to thank her sincerely for the ABC Blogger Award. According to the guidelines the award can be passed on to as many nominees as I wish to, and in addition I need to use the alphabet to describe myself, or give a little information about who I am. First my nominees for this award:
Cocomino/Life in Kawagoe
J.A. Robinson/The Daily Graff
Upon Atlas
Lesley Carter/Bucket List Publications

To comply with the alphabet requirement; instead of listing much about me, I would rather make a list of movies I can recommend. It still says something about me, just as much as any arbitrary list of features I can figure out about myself, anyway. As to the movies, they don’t necessarily represent my best-of-list, but it’s all movies I can truly recommend:

Angel-A, Blade Runner, Cinema Paradiso, Despicable Me, Elling, Fight Club, Good Night, and Good Luck, Hotel Splendide, Inception, Jarhead, Kitchen Stories, Labyrinth, Mystery Train, No Country for Old Men, Once Upon a Time in America, Platoon, Quinceañera, Redacted, Shaun of the Dead, Time Bandits, Unthinkable, V for Vendetta, Waking Ned Devine, X-Men, Y Tu Mamá También, Zombieland.

15 Great Blogs

Collecting awards may seem like a way to put oneself in the limelight. Though it is a big boost and inspiration to be acknowledged for the effort one put into blogging – and it certainly feels fulfilling to have verified that people actually read and appreciate what you do, for me the biggest deal about blogger awards is to spread the awareness about other great bloggers that exist out there. It’s really what the awards are about, to me at least. It’s an opportunity to tell the blog sphere about all – or some at least – of the blogs that you yourself have found to be excellent and inspiring. Thus it’s a delight for me to now be able to do exactly that.

Over the last two months I have been nominated four times for the Versatile Blogger Award. I been busy travelling and working and haven’t had time to fulfil the requirements that comes along with the award. But here it is. First of all I would like to thank the four bloggers who nominated me for the award. Thank you so much Uponatlas, The Daily Graf, Whenquiet’s Blog and finally Linda Hersley. I am deeply honoured by being chosen. And by the way, they are all great blogs to look up, too. After all they did get a Versatile Blogger Award themselves and thus could nominate me.

As part of the fulfilment of the requirements that comes along with Versatile Blogger Award here is a list of 15 wonderful and, yes, versatile blogs. Please look them up; they are worthy of spending some time with. Some of the blogs I hereby nominate have already at least once been nominated, but for me the list wouldn’t be complete without them – and I don’t think they need to fulfil any requirements again, if time or opportunity doesn’t make it possible.

15 great blogs in random order:
August McLaughlin’s Blog
IsobelandCat’s Blog
GMB Akash – A Photojournalist’s Blog
This Man’s Journey
Elenacaravela’s Blog
Joshi Daniel Photography
Visual Journey
Draw and Shoot
Twelve Months of Creativity
Nina Lex
Fabulous 50’s
Annika Ruohonen Photography
Georgette Sullins’s Blog
Bente Haarstad Photography

In addition to these great blogs, I once before nominated 16 blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award. If you haven’t look them up yet, please do so at my post: Versatile Blogger Award.

To fulfil the last requirement of my nomination, I need to share seven items about myself that you don’t already know:
I don’t have patience for slow drivers
I love sugar, but try to step back from evilness
I have a secret dream of once doing an ultra marathon
I wish I sometimes weren’t so lazy
By age I am too old to be young, but in my mind I still feel like a boy
I really like Laphroaig (you don’t know what it is? Shame on you)
I think long postings can be pain in the but (simply because too often I don’t have the time to read them) – so how come I always end up writing one myself?

Finally here are the rules that go along with the Versatile Blogger Award:
Make a post with a list of 15 nominated blog
Inform the nominees that they are nominated
Share seven items about yourself that readers don’t already know
Thank the blogger who gave you this award.

Christmas Presents

Just before Christmas I was nominated to for two awards. First I got nominated for The Rudolph Award by Being Arindam, then just after I got nominated for The Candle Lighter Award by Kate Kresse. I want to thank both of you most earnestly and modestly. I often say that we should write, photograph or be creative not to please others, but do it from the bottom of our hearts. And I mean that most sincerely. At the same time it is indeed very nice to have your work be recognised by others, to get support and constructive feedback from people around you, letting you know that you are not creating in a vacuum. So again thank you very much Being Arindam and Kate Kresse.

A little about the awards: The Rudolph Award is to spread some holiday cheer by giving back to the givers. There are so many bloggers, who give so much. Whether it’s to your families, friends, community, your fellow bloggers, and/or to your craft – art, writing, photography, etc. So it’s just a way to thank those people.

Rules For The Rudolph Award:
Step ONE
Recognize two bloggers who:
1. Always give encouragement to others, by being a guiding light in the blogosphere.
2. Give tirelessly to their blogs and posts by sacrificing their time and talent; throwing out their deepest emotions, whether in words, art, photography, or another form.
3. Lend a hand to help fellow bloggers make their blogs even better.

Step TWO
In a post – it can be a short or long one – simply link at least two bloggers who you feel meet that criteria and why.

Copy and paste the image URL of the flashing “Rudolph Award” into the Image Widget of your blog.

So as part of The Rudolph Award I want to pass it on to the following two bloggers (among many others) who I feel fulfil the intention of the award. The both deserve it very much:


Now The Candle Light Award is actually created by Kate Kresse. She has created it to encourage any post or blog that she thinks brings light to the world. As she says herself: «If you are looking for inspiration, hope, optimism, good advice, faith filled assurances, and even humor, these are good blogs to follow». There are no specific rules associated with the award. If any you think someone else is a Candle Lighter, you can surely give them the award anytime you want and as often as you want. But Kate Kresse would love it if you could send her the links for the blogs you do find worthy of the award, because she would love to see their blogs, too!. Their is no limit to how many blogs you award The Candle Lighter Award to and no limit to how many times someone can receive it.

So go out there and inspirer and encourage those many bloggers who deserve some attention!