travel

Travel – DDR Museum, Berlin

July 5, 2015
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As promised, I am dedicating a post to one of the museums I visited in Berlin, the DDR Museum. You might have seen all the nice photos I took there, but if you haven’t head on here, I’m sure you won’t regret it.

What is the DDR Museum, I hear you ask and what is so special about it? DDR stands for Deutsche Demokratische Republik in German or German Democratic Republic in English and it’s also referred to as East Germany.

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This former European state lasted from 1949 until 1990, resulting of the division of Germany after WW2 and was one of the nations in the Eastern Bloc. For that reason, life was much much different from that of West Germany. Anyone who was alive in 1990 and was old enough, might remember the day the Berlin Wall fell and millions of East Germans regained their freedom.

This museum is dedicated to explaining to anyone, in an interactive way and through original artifacts, what it was like to live in East Germany and it gives a pretty good idea. This is not supposed to be an exhaustive description of the museum, but rather a sample of the interesting things you can see there. On to the photos!

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art, London

Art – Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy #RASummer

July 3, 2015
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The Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy is an institution in the real sense of the word: it’s been going for the last 247 years and is the biggest show of its genre in the world. Basically any artist from anywhere in the world can submit their artwork and pray to be selected. This year it was curated by Michael Craig-Martin, a contemporary artist and lecturer, also known for fostering the Young British Artists.

I am not entirely sure of what the selection criteria was, as there was a large variety of types, styles, sizes, mediums and techniques on display. This is by no way a criticism, it is solely an observation to note that there was a lot of different artworks on display, which means that there was something for everyone, in equal measure. As they say, variety is the spice of life but sometimes it can be a bit too much and as such, visual fatigue can set in. I recommend taking breaks and having a few drinks in between, haha. You will find famous artist’s work such as Tracey Emin or Grayson Perry (whose fabulous tapestry I forgot to photograph, I blame it on being overwhelmed with so many things to see) side by side with other unknowns and this sort of democracy is quite appealing. It is also worth noting that most of the artwork on show is available for sale, except for a few pieces by artists that were especially invited to participate by the curator.

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As this was the first time that taking photos was allowed, the RA invited a group of bloggers to come along and do what bloggers do best: do silly poses around more interesting objects, walk around with their phones (or cameras) glued to their hands and tweet and instagram while doing all those activities, using the correct hashtag #RASummer. After a short introduction and explanation of the history of the event and a few other details about some of the works of art,we were give our special yellow “All Access” wristband and were set free to go roam the rooms and do our thing.

It must also be said that this was the Blogger Douchebag Crew’s (#BDBCrew) second outing, and with our powers combined we did silly poses around more interesting objects, had our phones permanently glued to our hands and did a lot of tweeting and instagramming and (you guessed it) using the correct hashtags. If you haven’t been paying attention to my blog (how dare you!), the #BDBCrew is me and Axel, who blogs over at Solaris100.

As always, I took a lot of photos and regurgitated them all in here. Enjoy.

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art, London

Art – “Sprayed” at the Gagosian Gallery

July 1, 2015
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One of the great things about living in London is the possibility of seeing amazing art. And even better, for free – just because you can’t afford to invest, you’re still allowed to go around and take a look at what’s going on in some galleries. And some of them, will be so nice, they’ll even let you take some photos – we did ask to take photos for our blogs so we were happy, yay!

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This was the first outing of the Blogger Douchebag Crew #BDBcrew, with the amazingly funny and colourful Axel from Solaris 100 and rest assured there will be more.

We met at King’s Cross and made our way to the Gagosian to have a look at what was going on there – an exhibition titled “Sprayed”. I had no expectations as I just tagged along and didn’t have a chance of looking into what was going on there.

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It was quite surprising. Not sure if in a good way, if I’m honest. You have plenty of works by famous artists such as Schnabel, Andy Warhol, Murakami, Koons, Haring or Basquiat, among others to look at, that’s for sure but most of the works on display didn’t really say much to me.

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art, Lifestyle, London

The best of June – in London and on the Interwebz!

June 30, 2015
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June has gone in a flash. Am I the only one thinking the same? I don’t know why I get this feeling, maybe because the weather has shown some signs of improvement, with some pleasant sunny days thrown in for good measure. Also the fact that I have been super busy with my trips to Berlin and Lisbon as well as family and friends visiting. Here’s a bit of a rundown of some of the exhibitions I have attended, recommend but couldn’t take photos at, along with some random pics I took around London!

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During these visits I was a bit of a tourist in my own city and went to Kensington Palace, where you can visit the Queen’s Chambers, the garden around it as well as two very interesting exhibitions: Fashion Rules and Victoria Revealed. Fashion rules shows a few gowns from Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana’s wardrobes and show why their style was so influential. Victoria Revealed shows us a collection of objects and artifacts that display a more human side of Queen Victoria. Both are worth visiting!

I also attended the Shoes – Pleasure & Pain exhibition at the V&A, which I thoroughly recommend, for obvious reasons. The shoes and boots on show are not only a dream (the majority of them) but also great testimonials of human history. Personal favourites were the David Lynch/ Christian Louboutin fetish ballet flats. Unfortunately photos were not allowed, so you’ll have to go and take a look yourself!

Another exhibition worth visiting until the 31st of August is Fashion on the Ration, at the Imperial War Museum. I took a couple of photos with my phone until I was asked to stop. they weren’t all that good, so I’m not sharing them and will admonish everyone who is in London until that time to go and see it for themselves. My friend Jasiminne from Posh Broke & Bored did a good write up on it, so you might as well go and read it there!

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These are my news of the month and as always, I’ve found some nifty morsels of interestingness all over the interwebz: crazy cat lady conventions, catvertising and how to tell if your co-worker is an asshole, among other equally amusing things. Have a look after the jump!

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Lifestyle

#lightscameracurrys – A photo workshop with #photocoachuk

June 29, 2015
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A couple of weeks ago I attended yet another great event organised by Joe Blogs, this time a photography workshop sponsored by Currys and Canon. The idea was for us to step out of our comfort zone and start shooting in manual.

I definitely needed something like this, as I feel that I have yet to explore all the possibilities of my Canon 600D and sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to read a manual or watch all the tutorials. I had used a point and shoot for year and years and only got a proper DSLR a couple of years ago. It was an old Canon Rebel XT I got second hand and even though it had its limitations (it’s around 10 years old), it was great to start practising. Now I have a much better and more modern camera that eliminates some of the issues the older one created, so it’s about time I learn how to make the most of it. Being a kinestetic learner (I know this because I took a test at work, you know, important stuff) I learn better by doing and a workshop was the perfect way to go about it – having the chance to experiment and ask questions as we go is great! Paul Hames was there to be our teacher and photo mentor and we all had a great time (and hopefully will start taking better photos). We had a few pointers and technical advice given and then were set free in the city, to go out and explore with our cameras.

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What were my main takeaways from this? There were a few more technical bits that I wrote down but I feel these are the main ideas anyone needs to remember to be a better photographer, regardless of skill level and equipment:

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