musings and things

ramblings of a photographer

It all started with a mouse

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” – Walt Disney

On the 19th of December, 2015, I let my inner child free. I went to Hong Kong, Disneyland. My very good friend Jasmine and I finally decided to set aside a Saturday to venture to Sunny Bay and hop on the Disney train to “leave today and enter the land of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.”

From the minute I woke up, till twinkling lights painted darkness and man-made snowflakes fell from the sky and decorated my coat and hat,  I experienced a child-like excitement I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

Jasmine and I spent our day as giddy girls frolicking from one ride to another, getting high on sugary treats , going on our favourite rides twice, dancing and singing along to the classic Disney melodies and by the end of the day we released tiny tears of nostalgic joy, while watching the fireworks light up the night sky. It was a magical day which was not only thanks to Disney but to the company and of course our mutual ability to just be big kids.

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Disneyland: where even fairies have to wait in line.

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Mini-Mickey

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Spacemen

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Where princess’ dwell

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

It’s a small world after all

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Parking lot

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Celebrities

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Mother and son

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Entering new worlds

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Suspense

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Control

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Smile and wave

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Nap time

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

On duty

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Is this thing on?

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Where next?

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Cotton candy

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Even Mini needs a break

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Beauty

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Rest

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Ears

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

The snowman

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Fantasy

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Happy face

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Trying it on for size

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Picture spot

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Moo cow

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Dusk over Disney

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Magic

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Spinning selfie

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

The girls

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

It’s been a long day

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Happy

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Darkness falls across the land

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Carousel

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

The parade

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Crowds

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Jasmine

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

Presenting: The Little Mermaid

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

9 p.m.

Photographs of Disney Land, December, Hong Kong 2015

‘Adults are only kids grown up, anyway’ – Walt Disney

Eternal Spark

Eternal Spark

by Gero Miceli

Darkness is gone
from the night
and light returns
in the early morning
after Winter
Spring begins.

Everything dies
to be reborn.

Children generate children
and if life passes as
a gust of wind
man in remembrance
remains
eternal spark.

FAIDDA ETERNA

Passa lu scuru
di la nuttata e
torna lu lustru
a prima matina,
doppu lu Mmernu
accumencia Primavera.

Ogni cosa mori
pi rinasciri.

Figli figlianu figli
e siddu la vita passa
comu ‘n sciusciuni di ventu,

l’omu nni lu ricordu
resta,
faidda eterna.

The following images were taken on medium format film and are all of a very short but incredibly sweet few days I spent in Bra, Italy chasing the hypnotising Italian light and bathing in the warmth of old and new friends at my close friend Rosie’s beautiful wedding. 

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Vaterland

For this post, I’ve decided to do something a little different. Rather than accompanying my photos with my own text, I’ve decided to include my father’s response to my pictures. Originally I had asked him to have a look at them and recommend any German authors, poets, texts they made him think of..instead, I got a self-written poem from my father himself. I have never read a poem by my father and quite frankly, never even knew he wrote them so his response came as somewhat of a surprise. A pleasant one.

I have scattered his text between the photos so you can read them as you scroll down.

I will however add that the following images are from a time spent in my so called “home country”, Germany, back in mid-2013. They were all taken during a transitory period in my life in Berlin and Leipzig.

Metaphoric Response of a Denglishman

Juergen Keil

You asked me for some text

Company for Your pictures

Here are my mixtures

Dunno what´s next


Germany_2013_WIP-2

Germany_2013_WIP-11

Tree

and Embassy

subordinate

Eisenmann´s stones

and the Muslim scarf

Germany_2013_WIP-1 Germany_2013_WIP-19

Aliens and Thrones

On Pariser Platz

Recycle hammer and sichle

Wind from Downunder

Germany_2013_WIP-13 Germany_2013_WIP-20 Germany_2013_WIP-18 Germany_2013_WIP-26 Germany_2013_WIP-4 Germany_2013_WIP-10 Germany_2013_WIP-21

Tree traces on bluewhite

Harbour of light

and green Zweisamkeit

Germany_2013_WIP-30

 
Germany_2013_WIP-25
Germany_2013_WIP-14

Geometric front

and the Animal

There are the Humans

Clad in C and A

Germany_2013_WIP-16 Germany_2013_WIP-6

Shadow and blunder

Dog from Behind

Sucks the sacks

Never mind

Germany_2013_WIP-7

Elegance rotten Boucher

Was the Boss

In the Vanishing Yellow

Nine and nineteen prevail

Germany_2013_WIP-9 Germany_2013_WIP-17 Germany_2013_WIP-24

Rebuilding Spray

Parliament tired

No Energy

Blows up

Birthday balloons

Germany_2013_WIP-8 Germany_2013_WIP-5

Birds of Vision

Fahrt mit mir

Durchs Labyrinth

der Äste im Wasser

Crows

Werben Sie hier

In your cocoons

Ohne Fleiß

Me and my former Self

Germany_2013_WIP-27

For there you have been and there you will long to return

Has it really been 5 months since my last post? Where time goes these days is beyond me. I don’t know if it is the city I live in, my lifestyle, my age or just the general fast paced nature of today’s everyday. Whatever it may be, life is passing by all too quickly and I find myself saying “I don’t have time” or “I’m so busy lately”, a little too often for my liking.

With this in mind, as well as the growing desire to finally dig through and (eventually) organise my catalogs of photographic files, I’ve decided to start. Now, often when you attempt to tackle what seems like a mountain, you don’t really know where to start and you just end up clicking on a few files, reminiscing in the moment and then deciding you’re tired and going to bed. This almost happened tonight but instead of clicking away and giving in to my heavy eyelids, my mouse immediately gravitated towards images I took in Mongolia, a brief trip I made last August.

Perhaps it’s the urge for adventure that has been scratching at my skin, perhaps it’s something more that got me to uncover these photographs.. whatever it was, I’m finally letting them breathe a little. This brings me back to time. There is a therapy in going back through images taken in a past moment. Time has a magical way of revealing things to you, you never would have seen before.

When I look back at these photographs I took, I don’t just see Mongolia, I see childhood. I see wonder. I see generations and a certain lightness.  I see myself and my thinking reflected in these images, which I suppose might seem obvious since I took them in reaction to instinct, but their meaning changes the moment you, yourself realise why you took them..and this realisation, as with many things in life, takes time.

“For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-1 Mongolia_2014_01 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-6 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-15 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-4 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-8 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-2 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-14 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-5 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-9 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-10 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-13 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-11 Mongolia_Aug_Rollei_2014-16

When souls come out to play

When souls come out to play

and till the light of day

 dance it all away

and cast their faces into the nights decay

while daytime dwellers succumb to the powder of dreams

 making masks from memories

formed with each instant.

Time benders

Music makers

Character shakers

Flamboyant fakers

Heartbreakers

Givers and takers

Self searchers

Tear jerkers

Word worshipers

Shape shifters

Liquid lovers

And disco diamond dancers

Free to jump shadows

and lock lips with life

as hungry eyes float by

feasting on the ecstasy of beating hearts

pounding

under the cloak of night’s spell

under the veil of tales untold

under the knowing of not knowing.

Until time trickles reality

into glazed eyes

with the dawning of day

and creatures fumble frantically

for those faces they cast away.

SIP_2014_ghost-1 SIP_2014-2 SIP_2014-11 SIP_2014-4 SIP_2014-6 Sad_stef_Dec_2014-1 SIP_2014-9 SIP_2014-8 SIP_2014-3 SIP_2014-10 SIP_2014-5 SIP_2014-15 SIP_2014_sumbrero-1

most photographs taken in Hong Kong during Secret Island Party October 2014. ©juliakeil

The roadside sellers

I believe in first impressions. Whenever I visit a new country for the first time, I like to appreciate the things I notice first because very often it’s those feelings and those observations which fade the fastest. When you first set foot on new land, your virgin eyes graze your new surroundings hungrily and you sit at the edge of your seat, anticipating every next frame.

Not long ago I went on such a journey to a country I’ve been intrigued by for some time. In late July, I got a taste of Mongolia, where my brother now resides and throughout that journey I was at times, quite literally, on the edge of my car seat with excitement. The whole trip, which only lasted a few days, left quite an impression on me. One which I hope to share more of in future posts.

For now, I just want to share one of the facets of Mongolia, more specifically, of Ulan Bator and the area surrounding it, which I noticed first off.

‘The roadside sellers’

Flashes of silhouettes that pass by like blinkers
Faces that form too quickly to figure
Out in the middle of nowhere
Those specks decorate the rocky roads that carry them.
Squinting eyes can’t decipher them until they magnify and appear
By your side, framed in the outline of your windowpane.
Each figure dangles plastic filled with an uncertain entity or a questionable cup in hand.
They stand.
They perch.
They sell.
Statues that sell.
And faces; dark faces with furrowed brows protecting them from the unforgiving sun
pass by
and by.

 

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The call

Scan-140310-0039

I’ve been missing people. Missing people that are overseas and even some which are in close proximity to me but have somehow felt far. There was one week in particular where things just didn’t flow and I felt somewhat disconnected from everything. It was during this week and on a day that I felt especially low, that I received a call from an old friend in London. Her call came after a few urgent messages pushing me to speak to her and was received on the hectic streets of Hong Kong. It was the first time I had heard her voice in over a year. We had hardly exchanged a recognizable sentence when I realized I already felt closer to her. As the words began to flow, the suddenness of hers took me completely by surprise and immediately triggered an emotional reaction as a walked down the street with her voice in my ears. She told me how much our friendship means to her and how she values me as a person and doesn’t want to lose me as a friend. She said these few words and then had to go. That was all. The phone call lasted maybe 10 minutes but it was all I needed at that moment.

Her words both warmed and tore at me heart. I wished to see her again. I wish it were easier and I wish teleportation existed already.

Yes, I miss my friends all over the world but I sure am lucky to even have such friends. I guess that’s a down side to hopping all over the globe your whole life, your friends end up being spread everywhere like melted butter on toast. If you’re not careful, it may just spill over the edge and disappear. I guess you can apply that to any friendship. I know I’ll never be one of those people who have all their friends in one place. And even though I may dream about it from time to time, I realize that perhaps it’s actually better this way.

Each person comes with their own context, their own associations, own stories, environments, their own worlds. Sometimes two worlds touch and entwine, leaving their impressions on one another and it is then that a friendship is formed. Having them all in one place would not only be selfish but would rid them of their uniqueness. This way I know I have people that care for me, that love me and think of me, just as I think of them, all over the globe. The thing that sometimes slips my mind, is remembering that.

Sometimes, you forget. You think you are alone, even though you’re far from it and sometimes, if you’re lucky, at those specific moments, the universe sends you a sign. A life sign filled with good intention and purity. Filled with love. It tells you, remember, you are not alone in this pile of a planet. This call, on that day, was one of those signs.

It was brief, it was pure, it was so much more than just a phone call. It was so simple and completely priceless. It cracked at my soul and let it pour onto the concrete, exposing my vulnerability to passing eyes. But I really didn’t care. I was happy and I basked in the warm embrace of this welcomed gesture.

This whole experience made me think. We really don’t tell each other that we love and appreciate one another enough. At least I think the majority of people don’t. And I wonder, why? Is it a fear of vulnerability? Is it egotism? Is it us just assuming that people know? Sometimes it’s hard to focus on anything else except what is straight in front of you. The world swings so much at you daily that it gets hard to expand your thoughts and your focus. But when you do, it’s worth it.

I guess what I’m trying to say with this post, and please forgive me if I’ve come across as cheesy here, is that I am truly thankful to have the friends and family that I do. Even if I don’t always show it, even if you don’t hear from me for a while, I am thinking of you.

So perhaps next time, rather then just wondering about a friend, a family member or a lover on the other side of the globe or even right in front of me, rather than letting the daily grind blind my eyes to what and who is truly important, I’ll pick up my phone, find that person and simply press call. Perhaps you should too.

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