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ISSUE # 15 * JUNE 2014

www.northernlandscape.org

NORTHERN LANDSCAPE

HAVING COFFEE WITH GEORGIA MIZULEVA MONTHLY CHALLENGES NORTHERN WINDS: DEMOCRACY’S DILEMA

THIS IS (HI)STORY! CLOUDS IN THE SKY

PHOTOGRAPHY TUTORIAL #15 - CREPUSCULAR RAYS


COVER

Niagara Falls Makes Its Own Weather by Georgia Mizuleva Niagara Falls Makes Its Own Weather – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

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FROM THE EDITOR I don’t know if you do have any clue about it but... It’s getting harder and harder to write these intros, even though news doesn’t stop coming! What’s new now then? Well, I can tell you that we will have a contributor actually taking his place in the office! I cannot unveil many details yet, I will only let you know that it is a “he” and he is 25 years old. I can also tell you that he will not be making the next month’s issue because he will be starting his new job in August. All the rest, I will have to leave for him, otherwise how will he be able to present himself? So, as you can see, I am investing some serious resources into this project. I was not kidding when I said that I wanted to create something big and amazing. I cannot say yet I will achieve, but I can assure you that I will try my best! And don’t you even think that I will be doing this on my own: you, contributors, are as much important as I am in all this! Without your contributions in tutorials, articles, stories and of course, your amazing photography, we would simply not exist and above all, we would not have a goal: to promote and expose unknown artists!

Editor Chief João Figueiredo

Test readers Charles Kosina, Alyson Kosina

Graphic Artist João Figueiredo

Tutorial by João Figueiredo

Special contributor Nigel Bangert

Web site www.northernlandscape.org

E-mail contact info@northernlandscape.org

Featured artists in this issue Georgia Mizuleva Ludwig Wagner

Remember that this is what this project is all about... What more will come? A lot more is in the pipeline, but only time will unveil what will really happen... Your Editor Chief João Figueiredo

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INDEX 02 About the cover 03 From the editor & technical data 06 Northern winds - Democracy’s dilema 12 Theme Challenge May ~ Nature 22 NLM photo tutorial #15 - Crepuscular Rays 30 Featured Work Challenge ~ May 40 This is (Hi)story - Clouds in the sky 48 The BIG Challenge ~ May 56 Having coffee with Georgia Mizuleva + her Featured works 68 Northern Landscape: Some facts 73 Back cover artist 74 Back cover 4 • Northern Landscape Magazine


THIS AMAZING MAGAZINE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY

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Norden winds

Democracy’s dilema

The overview of the book “Democracy’s dilemma” by Robert C. Paehlke says that “The realities of global economic integration are far more complex than many of its supporters or detractors acknowledge.”. Two thoughts about this: Number one – as a globalisation supporter I hate to admit that this is true. Number two – the politicians who drive this globalisation model must come to their senses and admit once and for all the same. But we are not here to talk about the book. The book is just my starting point for a reflection. If you think that this is an article about right wing extremism theories, think again. If you want to know what this is, keep reading.

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S

weden, Europe, 25th May. Even though the majority of the people worldwide do not admit it, this was one of the year’s most important date for the whole world. In this day held most of the European Union countries elections for the EU parliament. Not only that but for the first time in history it was decided that the EU commission’s president would be chosen according to the results of the European Parliament elections. In simpler words, the European party who would win, would chose the new president of the European Commission. For those who are less informed of how important this is, let’s say that it is pretty much what happens in USA. The party that wins gets to have their candidate as a President. Many people will think and say that I have no ground to say that this event was important at all, even inside if the own EU. The truth is, EU is right now the world’s second biggest economy ($15.8 trillion) after a continuous period of 6 years in the world’s leading position. The other fact is that statistically speaking, about 60% of the decisions on an EU member state are taken in Brussels. Next in the list, I can state that 4 of the 7 members of the G7 are EU member states. I could continue with more facts, but to keep it simple I will end my case by stating that for the first time ever – please note the word “ever” – in the human kind history, there is peace in Europe (or most of it) for more then... well, there is peace! Go and check your history books and see how many European nations had war with other European nations and how often. All these facts combined (with many other that I will not mention just to keep it short) make that the elections in the past 25th May were one of the most important happenings in the world. Let’s go deeper into why these elections were the stage for one of the deepest democracy’s many dilemmas? Well, the problem with democracy is exactly what defines it: freedom. I’ll explain: Because democracy is a regime that promotes and (eventually) protects free thinking and freedom, that automatically means that there

is not only one concept of democracy. For instance, we all remember when in 2011 Anders Breivik committed a terrorist act that killed 77 people, most of them teenagers, injured 319 and blew up with the Norwegian government’s headquarters. The Norwegian democratic system made that not only Breivik got a sentence of 21 years in a jail with a wonderful view over a lake that many people around the world would call a “hotel” but as well he got right to an independent investigation process, defence lawyer and a trial which had to wait a while until the Norwegian state (one of the victims of Breiviks terrorist act) could find a lawyer who wanted to defend him. In many other countries with democracies, this would never happen! With such a concept, it is my personal understanding that we, defenders of democracy, are being betrayed by our own “baby”. Going back to Norway, if there are any of you who think that Breivik’s actions had severe consequences for the ideals he defended, make no mistake! The only consequences was that the right wing extremist party Framstegspartiet had an enormous growth on the Norwegian elections and is now a part of the Norwegian government! No legal (or illegal to my knowledge) actions were taken against right wing extremists in Norway. But Norway, that just for 70 years ago was a target for a Nazi invasion, is not the only case I have to talk about. Its neighbours Finland, Denmark and Sweden follow the same path. Sweden’s case is in my understanding a quite serious/intriguing one. “Supervalår” is the Swedish word for “Super election year”. This year there are elections for EU, municipalities, counties, parliament and government – everything you can possibly vote for in Sweden. Democracy’s definition in Sweden defines that all the parties, no matter what, are treated the exact same way. No restrictions. Sounds fair, right? What about the extremist parties? In Sweden there is a law and a praxis that allows political parties to visit schools to spread propaganda, talk about their

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ideology and why they think it is the best solution for governance – all of this in obligatory classes for students. So, what happens to Jew, immigrants, black or gay students when they are forced to listen to 120 minutes of a Nazi party lecture? What happens to the rest of the class students that do no fit in the above mentioned groups? What are we doing with our society in the name of democracy? Aren’t we taking democracy too far? The fact is, while the Swedish society and politicians are busy arguing that it is vital to keep the actual laws and system working like this with the argument that to introduce restrictions would be against democracy (because people must be free to chose what they want), we are allowing the exact same thing that we condemn and fight in many Arab countries - Al-Qaeda and theocracies do worldwide: to educate and train young kids in schools in being radical extremists. I don’t know about you but I get very confused about this. I am not the only one. There was a group of people who opposed to this in Sweden and the Skolverket (the Swedish independent authority who regulates the school system) was forced to make a public statement that forced every single school in the country to invite all the political parties and not keeping anyone out. Feeling even more confused? Well I sure am. For some days ago the world, but especially Europe celebrated the 70th anniversary of D day. The day that marked the turning point on WW2 in which the world fought against probably the most evil regime ever – Nazism. At least 10.000 men died that day to release Europe from repression, segregation and prejudice. Later on alongside with the URSS offensive on the eastern front, the Nazi regime was over. The D day led to that many countries got for the first a democratic regime, Germany among them. It also led to the start of the Cold War but it also led to the birth of the European Union which made possible the unthinkable: Cooperation, peace and encouragement of

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democracy between countries from both sides of the WW2 – and the fact is, just like I stated in the beginning of this article, for the first time in mankind’s history, there is long term peace in Europe. Not only peace but prosperity and freedom. Strangely enough, some people don’t seem to appreciate it or at the very least, some people have short memory. A friend of mine said to me once after the EU elections: “There can not be any more clear signal that a regime has failed with it’s education system then to see history repeating itself over and over again...”. Sadly, he couldn’t be more right about it! I haven’t told you about the EU elections results yet. With no more prattle, here they come:


The grey countries are not a part of the EU and the countries in white colour are the countries where extreme right wing parties had insignificant or no votates at all. In other words, from the 751 seats in the EU parliament, 119 are taken from the right wing extremists. Am I overreacting? Sure you can have that opinion, sure you can think that this is not that serious as it looks like. The problem is that once again, looking at our own history, Hitler came to power in a democratic system that allowed people that were against democracy to run on elections. The fact is that eventually he won the elections and destroyed almost the whole Europe. Even worse, by allowing parties that are openly against democracy and democratic values, we are shooting ourselves right into our own hearts because we are also paying for their development. Across the world political parties receive money from the state, money that goes out of our pockets via taxation. That money is used by parties to do all sorts of things, especially to strengthen their position and spread their propaganda. So this means that we are financing the rebirth and spread of the same ideology that created dictator-

ships worldwide, oppressed so many during centuries, caused so much suffering and above all, the same ideology that we condemn and fight in wars in other parts of the world! Not least, the same ideology that created the most violent and mortal conflict the mankind has ever seen: World War 2. The worse part is that most of us seem to not care, even if our kids are already being brainwashed at an early stage at school. Overreacting again? Here’s another “fun fact”: For the next five years, the world’s next biggest economy will be ruled by a parliament with 119 right wing extremists that represent parties who say things as “‘Ebola could sort out demographic explosion’ and by extension Europe’s ‘immigration problem’”, “So we can rid this land of filth”, “If they want to turn Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö into a Scandinavian Beirut, with clan wars, honour killings and gang rapes, let them do it. We can always put a barrier on the Øresund Bridge.”, “Islam is the Trojan Horse in Europe. If we do not stop Islamification now, Eurabia and Netherabia will just be a matter of time”, “Do you want more or less Moroccans in this city and this country?”, “Africa hasn’t produced great geniuses as anyone can see from a Mickey Mouse encyclopaedia”, or have members that called for the country’s Jewish inhabitants to sign a special register. “I think such a conflict makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary”. Still think I am overreacting? So, I think I finally built my case to ask the million dollar question: What the hell is wrong with us? More questions: We seen this movie in the 1920s and 1930s! What can possibly be wrong with us? What is happening?? What is going to be the outcome of this? How much more percentage will these parties conquer before we realise that democracy is not anarchy? When will we wake up and stop self inflict ourselves with the exact same evil that has seeded hatreds among people and nations under centuries??

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ILLUSTRATION AND ARTICLE FOM JOテグ FIGUEIREDO

WISH TO DEBATE SOMETHING?

MAKE YOUR SUGG

10 窶「 Northern Landscape Magazine


GESTION TO: INFO@NORTHERNLANDSCAPE.ORG

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Theme Challen May ~ Nature 12 • Northern Landscape Magazine


nge 17 ENTRIES 20 VOTES 1 WINNER 4 DAYS FOR VOTING

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GLEN GARRY AUTUMN BY ALISON SCOTLAND WITH 4 VOTES

Challenge 14 • Northern Landscape Magazine


Alison Scotland Hello there folks, First of all I’d better say that my name’s Ali (Alison)….. but just to confuse things I chose “Lynwood” as a username because it was the name of a house that I have a lot of happy childhood memories of. I thought I’d mention that because folks probably will be thinking that my name is Lyn…never thought about that when I plumped for that username lol! I’m in Central Scotland and always enjoy getting out and about with my camera whenever I get the chance. Thank you very much for stopping by to have a look at my photos, I’ve enjoyed taking each and every one of them :-)

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ALASKAN RANGE OVER REFLECTION LAKE BY GRAEME HYDE

MORAINE LAKE BY LYNN BOLT

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BANFF NATIONAL PARK BY RON FINKEL

SPIRIT ISLAND 4 BY CHARLES KOSINA

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BUNGLAS - HIGHEST SEA CLIFFS IN EUROPE? BY GEORGE ROW

GAMLE STRYNEFJELLSVEGEN - NORWAY BY ARIE KOENE

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THROUGH THE GLEN (5) BY KALARYDER

BALLINTOY, CO ANTRIM, NORTHERN IRELAND BY LUDWIG WAGNER

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MISTY DAY BY JULIE08

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NLM PHOTO T

CREPUSCULAR RAYS Here is a way of creating Crepuscular Rays which appear between cloud shadows when the sunlight is scattered by particles and droplets in the atmosphere. Tutorial by Nigel Bangert

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TUTORIAL #15

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N

igel Bangert will be teaching us today a way to create those rays of light coming from a cloudy sky, better known as Crepuscular rays. In this tutorial we will be using Adobe Photoshop. We will now pass the word to Nigel.

FIRST THINGS FIRST... Open the image you want to enhance in Photoshop. This should work in most versions of the programme as it is not too complicated.

STEP BY STEP

1-

Create a new layer

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2-

Turn off the layer that is the original picture in the layers menu.


3-

Set foreground colour as black and background as white. Next, use the paint bucket tool to fill in the layer with black.

4-

From the filter menu select: Render > Difference Clouds.

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5-

Select Zoom and Best. Then, from the filter menu select: Blur > Radial Blur.

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6-

Move amount slider to 90 and move the blur centre to where you want the rays to emanate from in your image. In this photo it is at the top right of centre.

The layer should now look like this:

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In the layer menu re-select the main photo and change the mode to either Overlay or Soft Light depending on the effect you want. You can also adjust the opacity and fill sliders to adjust the effect on the image.

TUTORIAL BY NIGEL BANGERT

WANT TO SEND US YOUR TUTORIAL? 28 • Northern Landscape Magazine


SEND IT TO

INFO@NORTHERNLANDSCAPE.ORG Northern Landscape Magazine • 29


FINAL RESULT

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Feature Work Challen May 32 • Northern Landscape Magazine


ed

nge

24 ENTRIES 33 VOTES 1 WINNER 4 DAYS FOR VOTING

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SUILVEN REFLECTIONS AT DUSK BY DEREKBEATTIE

Challenge winner 34 • Northern Landscape Magazine


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derekbeattie I first developed an interest in photograpy many years ago when I purchased my first SLR, a Zenit E, how I wish I had those pictures today ! The Southwest of Scotland is my home now, with it’s many interesting features and an abundance of rivers, lochs and waterfalls, combined with a marvellous coastline, many of my pictures feature these and as I spend a fair amount of time fishing also, water is well represented ! My favourite location in Scotland is the Northwest Highlands, where I try to manage at least a couple of weeks every year and photographs from this area are well represented in my portfolio. Derek Beattie 2011 Keep up to date with all of my photograph on my Facebook page at. http://www.facebook.com/DerekBeattiePhotography More of my photography can be viewed on Flickr Also on my website Derek Beattie Images

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1001 NIGHTS BY IRINA CHUCKOWREE

NIGHT LIGHTS #12 BY AKAURORA

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THE DARK HEDGES, NORTHERN IRELAND BY LUDWIG WAGNER

ST FINAN’S BAY, IRELAND BY TONY STEINBERG

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STILLNESS BY TABOWLEY

EVENING CLOUDS AT THE BALTIC SEA BY JCHANDERS

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LOCH ASSYNT (4) BY KALARYDER HALF CORONET BY KERNUAK

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RIVER DART AT TOTNES (2) BY LEZVEE

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This is (h

Have you ever thought about the c sky as an interesting subject? Thin 42 • Northern Landscape Magazine


hi)story!

clouds in the nk again!

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C

onsider the sky and the influence it has over our lives. We look towards it for inspiration, raise our eyes to it in frustration. It affects our moods; cloudy and grey makes us feel depressed and perhaps wanting to stay at home, sunny and bright, we head for the seaside or the country to bask in it’s glory.

off fee: http://cloudappreciationsociety.org Clouds have their own names, Stratus, Cumulus, Altostratus, Cirrus, to mention a few. A meteorologist named his daughter Cirrus, after the beautiful wispy ice clouds that are seen at high altitude. These clouds get their name from the Latin for a lock of hair.

In the world of photography and art it has a huge influence, it can be used to create a mood, cast light or depict the time of day.

The mighty Cumulonimbus is called the King of Clouds. It brings bad weather and is said it can contain the power of ten Hiroshima-sized bombs. Occurring mainly in the tropics, it can extend from it’s low base at around 2,000 feet to the summit at around 60,000 feet, considerably taller than Mount Everest. In 1959 Lieutenant-Colonel William Rankin had the dubious honour of being the only person to parachute through a Cumulonimbus and survive, after his jet aircraft, on a routine flight, lost power and he had to bail out straight into the mighty cloud.

Clouds form a very big part of this art, painters such as Constable were big on clouds, he said clouds are ‘the keynote… the chief organ of sentiment’. Photographer Ansel Adams would keep returning to the same places to wait for the right light and sky for his images, no mean feat considering he used large format cameras mounted on a tripod. There is even a Cloud Appreciation Society, who consider a cloudless sky a bad thing. They say their presence adds interest, a source of inspiration and imagination. “Looking up will never be the same again.” Here is a link to their site, where you can enjoy the benefits of membership with a one

Stratus clouds are the only ones that will come and join us at ground level. They are the blanket cloud that is featureless and stifling. It affects our moods the most, sometimes producing a damp drizzle of rain or snow, no one is ever pleased to see them.

CLOUDS

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DERELICT BARN If none of these clouds have whetted your appetite, how about The Morning Glory. This cloud only appears in remote Australia in the Gulf Savannah region of northern Queensland. Glider pilots sit and wait like surfers looking for the big wave, from

The Cumulonimbus with Crepuscular Rays

September to October. The morning Glory can stretch 600 miles –as long as Britain – it moves at speeds of up to 35 mph. The pilots sit in the tiny settlement of Burketown, where the cloud starts to form, waiting to ride it.

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One of the most spectacular enhancements of the sky is the Rainbow. For a rainbow to form so we can see it the angle of the sun must be between 40 and 42 degrees to the droplets of water in the sky. Red light is seen at about 42 degrees but because of it’s shorter wavelength blue light’s angle of deviation from the original sun rays is about

40 degrees. A rainbow when it forms is actually a circle, observers from the ground only see half of it but from the air it can be seen complete. In a double rainbow a second arc forms outside the main one with it’s colours reversed.

DOUBLE RAINBOW ON HARLOW COMMON

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STEPHEN GREY RETIRES


This second rainbow is caused by light reflecting twice inside water droplets. It is difficult to photograph the complete rainbow in one frame, it requires an angle of view of 84 degrees for a 35mm camera. A

lens of 19 mm or less would be needed. First on the previous page: A double rainbow photographed using a wide angle 10-20 zoom lens.

SPITFIRE AND HURRICANE

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MERSEA ISLAND BOAT

PHOTOGRAPHY AND TEXT BY NIGEL BANGERT

WANT TO SEND US A STORY ABOUT YOUR 48 • Northern Landscape Magazine

LOCAL


MAIL US TO: Northern Landscape Magazine • 49 INFO@NORTHERNLANDSCAPE.ORG STORIES?


THE BIG CHAL

24 ENTRIES 49 VOTES 1 WINNER

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6 DAYS FOR VOTING


LLENGE ~ MAY

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NIAGARA FALLS MAKES ITS OWN WEATHER

WINTER SUNSET LUDWIG WAGNER 10 VOTES

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GEORGIA MIZULEVA

13 VOTES


The BIG top ten

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OLD BRIDGE

HANDSINFOCUS

NESS, ISLE OF LEWIS - WHITE HORSES

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4 VOTES

KEVIN SKINNER

4 VOTES


ROWING BOATS AT TOLLESBURY

BARREN ROCKS (HDR)

NIGEL BANGERT

ZUMI

4 VOTES

3 VOTES

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TALKEETNA RANGE

GRAEME HYDE

GARELL GLEN,KILSYTH,SCOTLAND

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JIM WILSON

3 VOTES

3 VOTES


ICEFIELDS PARKWAY

IN A RUT

CHARLES KOSINA

JOHN THURGOOD

3 VOTES

2 VOTES

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GEORGIA MIZULEVA

T

Featured artist

o be a woman and to win our BIG Challenge is a privilege that not many in our group have experienced. Fortunately for Georgia, she managed this month to be a part of the strict club! Not only she did it, but as well she won the BIG Challenge after a tie breaker against a heavy weight of our community that has already won the BIG Challenge and got the back cover plenty of times. The people has spoken and we shall do it’s will! I guess that there is no doubts about Georgia’s photographic skills! So, we got ourselves some imaginary plane tickets to Canada and went to have some coffee with Georgia Mizuleva, a very endearing photographer from our community. Let’s see how it went:

# When did you start photographing?

I don’t actually remember when I took my first photograph. My parents taught me to shoot when I was a little girl. In my childhood we traveled a lot and took a lot of pictures of interesting places. I discovered by chance that looking through a camera allowed me to distill a scene, to find the mood and essence of a place, and capture it. Digital photography gave me the freedom to experiment, the power to know immediately whether I’ve captured what I want and keep at it until I do. I’d like to hug the person who invented digital photography and allowed me to have so much fun.

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INTERVIEW

Having coffee with Georgia Mizuleva + her Featured works Northern Landscape Magazine • 59


COLD, GRAY AND TRANSPARENT

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# What can you tell us about yourself?

Art is my first love. It feeds my soul and makes the world a better, more beautiful, more interesting place. I have intense curiosity, desire to explore and expand my knowledge. Love to travel, to see new places, cultures, people, plants and animals. Travel to me is intense living – a rich palette of experiences, sights, sounds, smells and activities, packed in a few days or weeks. My camera helps me see more and share the experience with people that weren’t there.

ICY, SNOWY LAKE SHORE MORNING Northern Landscape Magazine • 61


# How does photography fit in your life? And where do you want to get with it? Photography is my creative outlet. A good photograph is a powerful way to communicate a message, to share a feeling, to tell a story. The camera makes me slow down, look closer, lift my head, circle back, cross to the other side… I am immensely grateful when I capture an image that conveys not just the subject but what I felt inside, and possibly makes people think about the world around us in new ways. I want to get better, to keep learning and challenging myself, to master the art of photography and be able to get “the shot” more often than I do today.

QUIET RAIN AND FOREST FAIRIES

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LONG SHADOWS IN THE SNOW

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# What photographic gear do you have?

My photographic gear is mostly Sony. At present I shoot with Sony Alpha SLT-A77 camera and Sony, Tamron & Sigma lenses. The lens that is always with me these days is a Sony SAL16105 16-105mm – sharp, light and versatile.

# How does it feel to win our BIG CHALLENGE and have such a feature on our monthly magazine? I am very proud and a bit overwhelmed by winning the BIG CHALLENGE and becoming a part of such an exclusive club.

THIN FOG AND SUNSHINE

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SUNSHINE ON THE ICE - LAKE ONTARIO, TORONTO, CANADA

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A LONG LINE OF CANADA GEESE AT SUNRISE

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# Tell us about the winning shot!

Niagara Falls is spellbinding. As the seasons change, the light, the colour of the water, the colours in the parks around the falls change. Every time I see it, it feels new and different. I live pretty close and go there often. This was a calm winter day and the mist rising above the water formed beautiful clouds.

# Describe to us how would your perfect photo be! The one that captures what’s in my eyes and my heart.

# What fascinates you the most and what do you hate the most about the Northern countries?

Nature fascinates me the most in northern countries. The climate is rather harsh and winters are way too long with short days and freezing weather. And then spring arrives. It arrives quickly, the world turns from bleak to green in just a few days, the flowers bloom, the birds return and the beautiful light shines for many hours every day. Observing and capturing that swift change is quite rewarding. Northern countries are also blessed with a lot of water – lakes, rivers and oceans, sometimes serene, sometimes angry – a neverending display of colour, light and sound that is fascinating to photograph.

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WANT TO BE FEATURED?

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NIAGARA FALLS MAKES ITS OWN WEATHER BY GEORGIA MIZULEVA

THE WINNER OF OUR BIG CHALLENGE ~ MAY

DON’T LOSE OUR NEXT BIG CHALLENGE! Northern Landscape Magazine • 69


Northern La Some facts

Jewish Oblast: The other

I

like to walk through unknown ground. Everything is really exciting and new. Some people just can’t handle it, I love it. This month we are doing exactly that: exploring new ground. When we talk about Jews and/or a Jewish state, what do you immediately associate with? If you answered Israel, congratulations, you are a completely normal person. If you did not, do not worry, you are still normal. My point was that Israel has been taking so much place on our culture (for all the known reasons) that it has shadowed other Jewish states. Today we are going to bring some facts about the only Autonomous Oblast in the whole Russia. First off, what is an Oblast?

To better understand this concept, we will have to take a quick look at the Russian history and internal organization. As many of you might imagine, Russia is a state – not a nation as many claim, though inside of Russia there is a Russian nation. Tricky, right? – made of many nations and other states. Obviously, probably due to Human nature, mentality and power rules, inside of country with many different peoples there usually are some standing above others in the power and economic hierarchy. This is where Russia comes in. Russia must be some of the very few countries in the world who does not have only one standard administrative region, like the provinces in

In white: Russia. In red: The Jewish Autonomous Oblast which is part of Russia. 70 • Northern Landscape Magazine


andscape -

r Jewish state Canada or the Län (counties) in Sweden but many different. So, an Oblast is one of the many types of administrative regions that Russia has to organize itself internally. But, Autonomous Oblast there is only one and that is the one specially made for Jews. Said like this, it sounds really awful. Did Moscow take all the Jews and put them into some kind of Indian Reserve? Short answer: Yes! Let’s see what Wikipedia says on a more detailed answer: “The northern bank of the Amur, including the territory of today’s Jewish Autonomous Oblast, became incorporated into the Russian Empire pursuant to the treaties of Aigun and Peking of 1858-1860 (..) During the civil war, the territory of the future Jewish Autonomous Oblast was the scene of terrible battles. The economy declined, though it was recovering in 1926 and 1927. (…) On March 28, 1928, the Presidium of the General Executive Committee of the USSR passed the decree “On the attaching for Komzet of free territory near the Amur River in the Far East for settlement of the working Jews.” The decree meant “a possibility of establishment of a Jewish administrative territorial unit on the territory of the called region”. The Organization for Jewish Colonisation in the Soviet Union, a Jewish Communist organization in North America, successfully encouraged the immigration of some US residents, such as the family of George

Koval, which arrived in 1932. (…) According to Joseph Stalin’s national policy, each of the national groups that formed the Soviet Union would receive a territory in which to pursue cultural autonomy in a socialist framework. (…) The Soviets envisaged setting up a new “Soviet Zion”, where a proletarian Jewish culture could be developed. Yiddish, rather than Hebrew, would be the national language, and literature and the arts would replace religion as the primary expression of culture. Stalin’s theory on the National Question regarded a group as a nation only if it had a territory, and since there was no Jewish territory, per se, the Jews were not a nation and did not have national rights. Jewish Communists argued that the way to solve this ideological dilemma was by creating a Jewish territory, hence the ideological motivation for the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Politically, it was also considered desirable to create a Soviet Jewish homeland as an ideological alternative to Zionism and the theory put forward by Socialist Zionists such as Ber Borochov that the Jewish Question could be resolved by creating a Jewish territory in Palestine. By the 1930s, a massive propaganda campaign developed to induce more Jewish settlers to move there. The campaign partly incorporated the standard Soviet propaganda tools of the era and included posters and Yiddish-language novels describing a socialist utopia there.

Northern Landscape Magazine • 71


Jewish Autonomous Oblast

Other methods bordered on the bizarre. In one instance, leaflets promoting Birobidzhan were dropped from an airplane over a Jewish neighborhood in Belarus. In another instance, a government-produced Yiddish film called Seekers of Happiness told the story of a Jewish family that fled the Great Depression in the United States to make a new life for itself in Birobidzhan.”. Despite all this, Jews have been leaving the territory Moscow has specially reserved for them. According to the Russian authorities, right now Jews are fewer than two percent of the local population. I could not find any facts about why, but I can think of some reasons why...

72 • Northern Landscape Magazine

Jewish Autonomous Oblast and it’s neighbours

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Northern Landscape Magazine • 73


74 • Northern Landscape Magazine


Back cover artist

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Here’s the man who put up a good fight against our BIG Challenge winner: Ludwig Wagner! Ludwig is an old friend of this community. Previously a winner of the BIG Challenge, this time he get the back cover. As said before, he didn’t lose the challenge without a fight. He forced Georgia to a tie breaker challenge after he got tied in the first place with 5 votes. Not strange at all, his shot is a stun! He has also previously won the back cover of the magazine, so he is not a stranger at all to these routines. I guess I can say that Ludwig is a pro Northern Landscaper! Let’s see what does he tell about himself in his profile: “Ludwig’s multi-faceted life experience is reflected in his art. He produces work inspired by people, objects and places – past, present and imaginary. He was born in South Africa where he studied Art at the University of Pretoria. Ludwig worked for a few years as a teacher and then in the film industry, one of the passions of his life. He now lives in London and runs a creative agency focused on design and advertising. “www.zuluspice.com””

Northern Landscape Magazine • 75


NORTHERN LANDSCAPE ISSUE # 15 * JUNE 2014

www.northernlandscape.org

EXPOSED A very low tide on Brighton beach reveales the usually unseen wooden pili n g s . Ta k e n a f t e r t h e s u n s e t . E n g l a n d , E a s t S u s s e x , B r i g h t o n .

NORTHERN LANDSCAPE MAGAZINE - ISSUE #15 JUNE 2014


Northern Landscape Magazine - June 2014