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Top 10 things you didn’t know about Taliban

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on september 27, 2010

I don’t get out much these days, as I usually stay at home to take care of the kids.
Having finished a few paintings in the “War is Coming Home” series, something got me thinking about the lives of the Talibans or talibs if you will.

What are they like, and what’s the deal, you know – really… Some light research ensued and, tadaah!

So here goes – The top 10 list of things you probably didn’t know about Taliban:

10: The Taliban consists mainly of Mujahideen and as it were, former allies of the West.
9: Many Talibs actually do smoke, regardless of what Mullah Omar says,
8: The majority of the Taliban movement is made up of Pashtun tribemembers practicing the moral code “Pashtun Wali” which has hospitality as one of it’s cornerstones.
7: The Taliban established an Ombudsman in 2009.
6: While not in combat, the Taliban enjoy a good game of rock-throwing.
5: The Taliban numbered roughly 45.000 in 2001, 11.000 in 2008 and 36.000 in 2010.
4: Ahmad Shah Massoud (Leader of the opposing United Front/Northern Alliance) stated in 2001 that without help from Pakistan, the Taliban would not be able to sustain their military campaign for a year – Since 2001 Pakistan has received 11,5 bln. USD in military aid from the United States.
3: On october 4 2001, Pakistan refused an offer from the Taliban to have Osama Bin Laden handed over for trial on the grounds that Pakistan could not guarantee his safety.
2: Few Talibs have ever read the Koran, but rather learn it by heart verbally.
1: Since 2004 the Taliban has been known as the “Islamic Insurgency”.

I find myself just a tad better informed now, hope you do too.

The painting below “Forever after Silent” is the third in the series “War is Coming Home”. If you’re from anywhere around Copenhagen you might recognize the backdrop.


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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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Fairy tales

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on august 11, 2010

I went exploring in Kings Gardens the other day, and found a nice view of the castle Rosenborg built by King Christan IV in 1606-1607.
Today it houses the crown jewels and the nearby barracks of the royal life guard.

Go see for yourself!

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Waiting in line

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on august 7, 2010

Yesterday afternoon i was out strolling with the kids in the pram and happened to pass by the gardens of the danish university of agriculture. A cafe has been set up in an old derelict greenhouse. I decided to have a local pilsner in the shade while the kids slept. Of course they woke up before I was finished standing in line. Classic.

As i leaned to lift the cover from the pram my beer spilled unto my pants. I had managed to drink one sip. Again classic. Todays HDR is from another more successful day in the palm house of the botanical gardens. Enjoy!

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Accessible and shallow?

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 22, 2010

A friend of mine called and we agreed to go for a walk.
We met up a Forum metro station just after lunch and decided to take a stroll around the Copenhagen harbour. On such a sunny day Copenhagen is a beautiful city. We soon got around to discussing city planning – why some parts of the city become popular and why some just don’t.

“Ørestaden” is a newly built part of Copenhagen that used to be a desolate field on the island of Amager. That was before they built the Bridge of Øresund connecting Denmark and Sweden. At the time the idea behind Ørestaden was to create a huge area of urban dwellings for the growing population of the combined Copenhagen/Malmö region.
And so they built. Each new housing project more ambitious than the next. Each architect had his own idea of a magnificent building. Every square meter of allowed retailspace was jammed together in “Fields” – The largest shopping mall in Scandinavia. No cafes, no restaurants, no cosy little places to hang out. No-one thought about the urban area as a whole and what it takes to create what James Kunstler calls a place worth caring about.

Sadly Ørestaden now looks to become yet another ghetto. It’s simply not a place that anyone want’s to visit because it doesn’t speak to us. It’s bleak and inaccessible. From an architectural standpoint many of the buildings in Ørestaden are succesful. VM bjerget – “Mountain Dwellings” is an example of this, having won 4 international awards. Blame it on the recession, but apartments in VM -bjerget are now being offered for rent at reduced prices.

Art has many of the same characteristics as architecture, Not coincidentally the Danish School of Architecture is housed in the Royal Academy of Arts. So what makes some art more popular than other? Technical prowess, Depth, Originality, Visual aesthetics? Art may possess all these qualities yet still not hit home with the audience.

Whether we like it or not, the brand of the artist as well as the accessibility of his work is a deciding factor.
I feel comfortable owning a piece by an artist whose story and background I know, whose reputation is well known in general, whose art appeals to me and is easily accessible.
Does accessible mean that the art is shallow and has no depth? Ask David Hockney

The value of art has historically been closely linked to the story of the artist.
The new paradigm of art is really not new at all – The artist is responsible for maintaining and increasing the value of his art. Though storytelling, through promotion and any other means possible.

I am committed to this task, blogging is just one tool.
Enjoy todays Mirror Mirror (top).
Buy it here:

Mirror Mirror 3
Mirror Mirror 3
Signed original artwork: Acrylic paint and watercolor. A3 sized archival 285 gsm Hahnemühle Torchon paper.

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juni 11, 2010

Photographer Bent Rej opened his exhibition of Rolling Stones photos at Martin Asbæk Gallery yesterday. Bent shot his photos of the Stones back in 1965-66 when they weren’t yet renowned as one of the worlds greatest rockbands. A few years ago I received 6 limited edition prints from this series as a gift. They now […]

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My Space

maj 25, 2010

I moved into my new studio on April 1st. this year. It’s located in the Meat Packing district of Copenhagen. Some of the district is now inhabited by artists, and I have my studio in a shared space called “Slagtehus 40″ (Slaughterhouse 40) which opened only last summer. As a former slaughtery it’s a rough […]

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Escape the cubicle

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 […]

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Review: Matthew Stone and Asger Carlsen at the V1 gallery

april 19, 2010

Now is the time for all you fine art photography buffs to swing by the V1 Gallery in Copenhagens very own MEPA district – Kødbyen. V1 is hosting a joint exhibition of works by two up and coming artists that both have an eye for the human form. As the press material states, Matthew Stone […]

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Long hours

januar 29, 2010

These days, there’s really not that much interesting to watch on television… I shot this video the other day: wondering what the famed Danish arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen would have spent his time doing during his trips up north. Remember, this was before the time of the Jedi… Knud now spends his days looking at […]

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