Thursday, December 09, 2010

Katowice Railway Station

Some of you might wonder why I keep going back to Katowice Railway Station.
Well. below's an explanation - by someone else:

The Plastic Fork of Katowice

"Brute from Katowice
They call me Brute from Katowice. At first sight I seem to be rough and unpleasant, but I have a soul of a poet. My days are numbered – I’m waiting for execution of death sentence. Unfortunately people didn’t appreciate me. I’m a railway station…

I was born in Katowice, Poland on the 4th of December, 1971. Then I was considered to be the most progressive railway station in the country. Unfortunately many people keep reminding me of the fact that it was the time of PRL (Polish People's Republic) and try to put stereotypical opinions into others head, for example such a drivel like I am a socialist building! That’s not true! I am a work of a late modernism, an example of Brutalism. I add immodestly that I am regarded as a masterpiece and rarity of architecture. There is no other like me in Poland and I have only a few brothers all over the world, but they weren’t built with such a flourish. I had a few fathers - Three Tigers – the famous Warsaw architects Waclaw Klyszewski, Jerzy Mokrzynski and Eugeniusz Wierzbicki, and I also owe a lot of genius engineer Waclaw Zalewski. Secretly my father is Felix Candela, who invented the mushroom alias umbrella structure. Among my forefathers is also the largest of the great - Le Corbusier, who gave the ground for Brutalism. This is after him I have a rough skin – texture of a bare concrete. For a while I'm gone. Nothing lasts forever; even a stone can turn to fluff. But maybe you mention me sometimes..."

So this is why I keep going back. If you want to go too, I must warn you it's too late. They are improving the place beyond repair, but with a much higher Return on Investment.

I have my own photos, but here are hers first.

You can find my photos here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Abstractions book

A new 46-page paperback by photographer Koos Fernhout!

Want to see more photos?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Silesia City Center Washroom

A picture of a toilet space?
In Poland?
Sounds improbable, yet in this case we have an exception, I think.
The way the mirrors were set up facing each other asked for a photo like this, so I took it.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Another visit to my beloved Nord of France (2)

After quite a bit of editing, here are 69 of the photos I took on the first of May in the North of France, around Henin-Beaumont.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Another visit to my beloved Nord of France

Here's a small selection of photos I took yesterday in the region around Hénin-Beaumont, a provincial town in Le Nord of France. In fact I covered a small circle around a pointy slagheap that dominates the surroudings, and forms a landmark along the highway between Lille and Paris.

The High Speed train races closely past it too, at a speed of 300 km/h. So closely and so fast, most passengers won't even notice it.

This is the fourth time I have visited this part of the region, and the slagheap has been hard to approach. Yet there are holes in the fences, but they've been discovered by the poorest of the poor as well. The people have created their bidonvilles, mostly consisting of rickety caravans around the artificial mountain, and somehow I feel they are territorial about it. I might pick up the courage some day to try and make contact. Not this time yet though.

I had the opportunity of watching two teenage girls throwing bottles to pieces against the rocks. They seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I have an ongoing fascination with level railway crossings. They seem to be energy points in the world around us.

The children in this picture illustrate the intensity of this level crossing. I don't think I've ever seen such serious determination in the faces of two five-year-olds. Heeding their parents' warning to cross the rails as quickly as possible, they came running across as fast as their little feet could carry them, loose shoe lace and all. It was a scene of great beauty to me.

The light was gorgeous, so I had a field day. I spent all Sunday editing the photos - there are 200 of them. So I can easily promise there is more to come.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Exhibition Time!

10 of my photos will be on exhibition at an art gallery in Hulst, NL, near the Belgian border.
Here they are in a very short slideshow.
I am quite excited, because this is the first time ever that I put something on display, except electronically.
I made the background music myself, using Garage Band.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Exhibition Time!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Canal de Roubaix / Espierres

A lot of photos from 3 visits I made to a canal between Belgium and France, the Canal de Roubaix / Espierres
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Roubaix / Espierres

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cemetery - or cmentarz as they call it

A cemetery I came across in Bedzin, Poland. It was briefly after All Saints / All Souls, which the Polish people celebrate elaborately, hence the many flowers. What strikes me here is the juxtaposition of industry and this burial ground.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Cemetery, Bedzin, Poland

Friday, January 15, 2010


Last night I took VallyP's camera while walking the dog along the river. The reason was we had a bit of doubt about the quality of the little thing, a Nikon P80. The verdict: a few adjustments to the settings and it is a really good camera, especially given its size.

After hitting the Play button, don't forget to click on the full screen link!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Along the river

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Day In Opole, Poland

My most frequent contact on is Andreas von Königsdorff, as he calls himself. He's from Opole, the capital of the Silesia region in Poland.
He is especially interested in languages and history, and has frequently added comments to my photos reflecting this.

My interest in Opole was piqued, as was my curiosity to get to know the man in real life.
Andreas agreed to a meet-up in his home town the next time I was in Poland, and he would gladly be my guide around the town.

Thus on November 7, 2009, I took the train from Katowice and after a near 2-hour journey met him. A very pleasant and entertaining man indeed, he showed me places of interest, not only his but also based on the things he knew about me. We had a wonderful time. Halfway the tour we enjoyed a traditional Polish pierogi dish at a very pleasant restaurant.

Thanks a million, Andreas. You've been a wonderful host, and I'll be glad to return the favour when you come to see my home town.

Below is a slideshow of pictures I took in Opole.
Enjoy, and don't forget to click on the 'full screen' link!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: A Day in Opole, Poland

Friday, January 01, 2010

On the beach near Dunkirk, and in Bergues, the fortification

We've made it a tradition: around newyear we go to the beach. This time we went to the north of France, near Dunkirk, and while we were at it, visited Bergues, an extremely pretty historic fortification.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: To the beach and more

Back at home, I looked up Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, a film set in the Nord-Pas de Calais, and exactly in the place Bergues we visited yesterday. It's a hilarious and touching story, and for us it was a feast of recognition.
The most successful French film ever! Online it's without subtitles, but there is a dvd version with subtitles available.