From the category archives:



by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on august 25, 2010

I have been a fan of Trey Ratcliffs for some time now. Trey is one of the pioneers of HDR photography, and he has been instrumental in making this sort of photography popular and known by the masses.

For a while HDR has been regarded as a sort of artificial or unrealistic school of photography.
It was frowned upon by the photography establishment and until now not seen as a legitimate form in its own right. Many such photographers thought that the extreme dynamic range possible with HDR made the photographs “unrealistic” and not true to reality.

Until HDR emerged, everyone was used to the fact that a taking a photo meant committing to a certain exposure. Anyone who has tried photographing outside from whithin a building knows that the final photo either shows a proper lighting of the interior OR the exterior. That is, either the interior darker details are visible and the outside is a white blur OR the outside bright details, clouds etc are visible and the interior details of the room are a dark blur.

Traditional photography means you have to chose. But in real life we don’t have to chose. The eyes adjust to the proper sensitivity according to where we focus. The combined experience is that we can see BOTH the details in the clouds outside AND the darker details of the interior room. HDR works the same way – you get the best of both worlds, and a photo that is closer to the experience that you actually had when you were there.

Trey is a nice guy with a mission to promote HDR photography. He runs a blog at that has tens of thousands of visitors every day, but decided to help other HDR photographers spread their work and generate traffic to their sites. So he created which works as a traffic generation engine. It’s a community by invitation where members can upload and share their work.

I have posted numerous HDR photos to, and as a result thousands of people have now seen my photos of the fairy tale castles and landscapes that are so common in Scandinavia it’s almost hard to spot them. Here’s an example of what I mean: the lake pavillion in central Copenhagen. Visible from a unique angle this winter because of the prolonged frost that made walking on the lakes possible.


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Depth of Field

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 28, 2010

Pillory project day 3

Pillory project day 3

I’m using Rembrandt soft pastels for the new Pillory project. I like the dusty feel when I smear the color unto the canvas. Not like the greasy feel of traditional oil pastels.
Soft pastels create a dry look, almost silky, making it hard to resist touching the canvas.

I can blend the colors very easily by rubbing my fingers.
When I need a glossy area of color I use acrylic paint or an Edding permanent marker.
Coupled with delicate white lines, this creates a perfect shiny effect on the blurry background of soft pastel.

The result is a shallow depth of field – like shooting portraits with a 1,2f aperture: A super sharp and crisp face on a blurry background.

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Escape the cubicle

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on april 29, 2010

“No more cubicles” from Artworks by Carl Frederik Waage Beck

When it comes to worklife, I figure there are 2 kinds of people:

Type 1. Those that work the punch-in/punch-out job, and prefer it this way.
Type 2. Those that work the punch-in/punch-out job, and want to leave and be their own boss but feel they can’t.

Who feels more pain? Probably type 2. Pain comes from wanting what you cannot have.

There could be a trillion reasons why you might feel quitting just isn’t an option. Some common reasons are:

a. The mortgage due next week.
b. No time for moonlighting on my escape.
c. Fear of the unknown.

These are absolutely valid reasons, don’t get me wrong.

a. The mortgage is due, and if you’re like most people are, it has been due ever since you landed your first job. And as your paycheck increased over time, so did your mortgage. Net result – higher turnover in your household economy, but about the same level of free funds.
The constraint is the same as it has always been.
If you’re looking to change this, what you need is some more wiggle room in order to gain momentum for your escape. That means reducing your mortgage.

b. No time for moonlighting? Well, that’s why it’s called moonlighting – put in the hours if you’re serious about escape. Reducing time constraints is another option, but this may not be possible for you in your current job. Maybe the solution would be to switch to an interrim punch-in/punch-out job that is less demanding on your time. Going from 80 hours/week to 40 hours/week makes a big difference in your time schedule, but most likely won’t cut your paycheck in half.

c. But what’s on the other side? That’s for you to decide, but you probably have an idea, otherwise you wouldn’t feel this longing. Help yourself visualize the other side by describing what you’re aiming for. Most important – What is that you want to give to the world? What is it that you can do, that will make someone elses life better/easier etc?
What will your time schedule look like? What will your work environment be like? – a desk in a shared office space or working on the fly at the local cafĂ©?
The more detailed, the less frightening.

Plan your escape and you will find the resolve to execute it.

best regards, Carl

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Working under constraint

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on marts 31, 2010

“Working under constraint” from Sketches By Carl Frederik Waage Beck

So your boss gives you an assignment –
1. “I need something, on my desk, whenever you feel like it”
2. “I need a presentation, on my desk, whenever you feel like it”
3. “I need a 5 slide presentation, on my desk, whenever you feel like it”
4 ” I need a 5 slide text-free presentation selling our product, on my desk, whenever you feel like it”
5. “I need a 5 slide text-free presentation selling our product, on my desk, in 1 hour”

Which assignment is more likely to ignite your creative spark?
Which is more likely to make you get it done anytime soon?
Which is more likely to focus your attention on the assignment?

Freedom is great, it’s the very reason why I don’t do 9-5 very well.
Too much freedom though, can kill the creative spark, make you apathetic, and make you less likely to focus your attention.

Cure? – Create rules, constraints and time limits on your work. and stick to them – well at least try to.
Afterall you’re the Boss, no?

This little watercolour above sums it up nicely.
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Winter settling on Forum

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on januar 7, 2010

I decided today that I was going to get started on my HDR journey, and I have now spent a great deal of time on Trey Ratcliffs excellent blog “Stuck in Customs”

Trey makes some amazing HDR photography and I really encourage you to check it out. Temples, Fireworks, Sunrises – it all looks great!

Anyhow, since the COP15 riots in front of Forum things have cooled down here considerably.

So the weather was stacking up for some time in front of the screen. With the help of this cute little piece of software Photomatix it is possible to stack together 3 differently esposed photos into one.

And Voila, you have the detailed contrast of the dark areas without the bleeding whites in the highlights.

Remember, this is an early effort into HDR, but comments and suggestions for improvements are welcome.


From Photography by Carl Frederik Waage Beck

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How to draw a 2-bit naked lady

december 1, 2009

Dear friends, I spent some time the other afternoon experimenting with some 2 bit sketching. Enjoy this lovely naked lady as she emerges in front of your eyes. Best regards, Carl From Sketches By Carl Frederik Waage Beck If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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A year after Lehman: How to nail the job

oktober 8, 2009

Unemployment among new Danish graduates has tripled since last year. And now I know people that are feeling the job-market effects of last falls decision to let Lehman Brothers fail. The jobmarket is impossible with hundreds of applicants for each advertised job. Another strategy is to apply for those open positions that aren’t advertised. Unsolicited […]

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Freedom of speech: How to fight with paint

juni 22, 2009

“The 12th imam?” From Artworks by Carl Frederik Waage Beck Dear friends, these days something is happening in Iran which hopefully will improve the ability of thousands to speak their mind and express themselves however they see fit. I am not trying to promote a certain political view here, but when artists, writers and people […]

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How to help 282 Iraqis while enjoying art and drinks

maj 22, 2009

Hi all, I am happy to be able to tell you that the church council on monday decided to cooperate and let the 50 Iraqis stay in Brorsons Church. This will not influence the reception in celebration of the “Frelservalg / saviour 2009″ exhibition being held on thursday 28th from 5 pm-8 pm. I hope […]

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How to mount your canvas on a frame and save 25 bucks

marts 19, 2009

So you’re not rich, and don’t want to spend all your money having a professional mounting your canvas on a wooden frame. Professionals usually charge 5-6 dollars per meter of wood used for the frame, so it quickly adds up. Doing it yourself is easy, and can save you a lot of money. In the […]

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