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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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Fog Of War

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on september 19, 2010

Some days have passed since my last post.
I have been busy taking care of the twins + working my “day job” in the the Danish Defence. I earn my living there briefing up soldiers on cultural awareness and how to communicate in a manner that creates friends rather than more enemies.

I did find some time for a new series of paintings based on a piece I did earlier this year.
That painting was of Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, featuring a burnt-out Humvee in front of the parading Royal Lifeguards.

The point of this series is to try to imagine what it would be like if the theatre of war was Denmark rather than some remote country like Afghanistan.
To many people in Denmark, the conflict in Afghanistan is costly, and hard to understand.
It’s remote, and whatever news-stories emerge on the evening news are hard to relate to.

What would happen if every news-story related to a location in Denmark?
The second painting in the series is posted below. It’s titled “Power Disruption” and features Christiansborg – home of the Danish parliament, with a burned-out bus in front. Enjoy!
Power Disruption, 60x80 cm, Acrylic Paint on Canvas, 2010, 6000 kr.

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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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Arrival of the first print

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 2, 2010

I had been waiting for days when finally on wednesday I could get my hands on the trial print of the new series based on the TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) painting that was originally shown at the Bottom Out exhibition last year.

TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday)

I am pleased with the result, the colors are rich and deep, the paper soft like velvet.
Holding the print I am filled with a sense of joy and pride. I’m guessing many authors and artists have felt the same way when holding the first copy of their work. Somehow it get’s more real when I see it in real life. – I made this.

The print series will be limited, all signed and numbered. Stay tuned in the coming days to get the details on availability and pricing.

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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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The palace

januar 25, 2010

Dear friends, I was out shooting some HDR series the other day. Helps a lot having a proper tripod like the fabulous ones made by Gitzo. This shot is of the Palace cinema multiplex in Copenhagen. Home of many great movie experiences..ahhh. Enjoy! From Photography by Carl Frederik Waage Beck If you enjoyed this post, […]

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A note on color

januar 15, 2010

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Iraqis sheltering in Brorsons church: Morality vs. democracy

maj 18, 2009

Last night as I had finished writing up my invitation for the reception in Brorsons church on may 28th, I flicked on the news and discovered that approximately 50 Iraqis have sought shelter in the church. The Iraqis have been denied asylum in Denmark, and are now fearing repatriation to Iraq. A similar case occurred […]

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