Spectacular Concert

Earlier this summer, I attended one of the most stunning concerts I have ever been present at. It was the British band Muse during their Simulation Theory World Tour. The concert was like a firework of music, lights and showmanship. As a matter of fact, I never seen a stage show anything close to this. Spectacular is the only word I can conceive of that even closely covers what happened up on the stage.

Besides the show, the music itself set everyone on fire from the first song. It was loud. It was intense. It was brilliant. It was catching. I guess the music of Muse is not necessarily for everyone. That said, for a long time I have been a big fan. The concert certainly didn’t change that.

Muse is one of the biggest bands in the world, presently. I watched them play in Lisbon. The Simulation Theory World Tour took place on a main stage, two stage wings and a long catwalk that the band members enjoyed venturing out on, in particular Matt Bellamy, the lead vocal and guitar player.

Behind the stage there was a large LED screen displaying captivating and explosive visuals. Towards the end of the show, a large inflatable puppet skeleton, similar to ones seen in the music video for “The Dark Side”, appeared towering over the stage. The show also featured 14 dancers performing in spectacular outfits and doing amazing acrobatics.

These are but a few of the photos from the concert.

Railing through the Streets of Lisbon

Lunsj på en av mange kafeer i SeattleAbout two weeks ago I visited Lisbon, Portugal. I was sent to this picturesque and westernmost capital of mainland Europe to do an assignment for a Norwegian magazine. But whenever I had some extra time I roamed the hilly and cobblestoned streets of the city situated at the mouth of the Tagus River.

In particular I found great pleasure in going astray in Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon. Here the old houses perch on the steep hills that shoot up and down from the medieval Castle of São Jorge that overlooks the whole city and down to the shores of Tagus.

This is also the area where the distinctive yellow trams of the capital rattles through narrow streets and sharp and abrupt runs. In particular the Remodelados, the trams of line 28, has become almost the identity of Lisbon. The small, four wheel vehicles date back to the early part of the twentieth century and are one of the tourist icons of modern Lisbon. The first tramway in Lisbon entered service on 17 November 1873, as a horsecar line. Today’s electrified tramways commenced operation in 1901.

For me the trams became a photographic quest. Wherever I came across them I tried to capture what I think is a very distinct face of the Portuguese capital. I tried to take advantage of the light at different times of the day (and night). I played with long exposure time. I had fun using both wide-angle as well as telephoto lenses. I rode the trams and I walked next to them. I waited for them around corners where the perspective or the composition would make for an interesting picture. I simply had fun chasing the old and small trams of Lisbon.

The pictures here are a handful of the many hundreds of tram photos gathered while wandering the streets of Lisbon. They were shot with my regular cameras, but processed with Instagram on my cell phone. Those of you who follow my blog know that I have become a fan of this app – as well as of many other apps for processing photos taken with cell phones. They don’t make Photoshop, Lightroom or other photo editing programs obsolete, but they do provide a fast way to gain some fun and often impressive results.