The summer after graduating from Tulane in 1990, I left the country for my first tour of Europe. Traveling with a few of my good buddies from school – Alan, Danny, Marc, & Steve, and we mapped out a whirlwind 7 week back-packing adventure through all the countries in Europe. Keep in mind there were no cellphones or internet, they were not invented yet. Just something to keep in mind while you read along. I had written in a journal almost every night and took many snapshots along the way.
I was 21 at the time, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed (literally, see above photo) and soaked up every second of the journey. I loved writing, and was a very adjective-heavy expressionist wordsmith at the time.
I want to note here that the trip will always be clear in my memory – and as one of the most vivid trips I’ve taken at that time in my life – I wanted some of the images to reflect that wonder. So with that in mind, I am honored to be able to reference (and link back to) many of Trey Ratcliff and Klaus Herrman’s HDR photographs to illuminate my journal. They create stunning visual magic with HDR imagery.
By adding my snapshots from 1990 alongside their masterpieces, you’ll be able to sense the contrast of then/now and especially how far technology has pushed the boundaries of what you can do with photography.
Packing for the journey (this was probably the longest my hair was in my entire life – can anyone say Kajagoogoo?):
After a long flight from Miami to JFK to Copenhagen, this is my first entry from my hand-written journal. I plan to recreate the trip in a multimedia format here on my blog since this is the best medium to bring all the memories together to share. I’m doing this first for myself, so I can relive that incredible 7 weeks again and again, 2nd it’s for my kids so I can share bedtime adventure stories with them about the world over yonder. However, if you have found yourself on this page and have read this far, I hope you enjoy the journey…
June 2nd, 1990 Copenhagen, Denmark
It’s 9:30pm in Copenhagen and it’s still very light outside. Last night we met some cool Copenhagan guys. They were unusually friendly. We were drinking beer at their place in the city till about 11p and it was still light outside! The beer is room temperature, they don’t really refrigerate beer in the Northern Europe countries I’m told. Today was the coolest yet, even though this is only our 2nd day. Here’s the flavor of what Copenhagen looks like.
We went to the Fredrickberg Castle in the Hilleryod. It was the first spectacular architectural wonder of the trip. Magnificent artifacts from the 1500’s. Denmark Royalty. The gardens were also incredible. What a way to kick-off the trip. What I noticed immediately about this trip is the fresh northern European air. It has a cool, damp scents and the smell of lush greenery. Here in Denmark, it has a very old-world, Lord of the Rings kind of feeling. Fog is pervasive in the morning and there are a number of parks and woods.
Another thing I noticed about this area of the world is the attention to detail in interior design – especially lighting. The use of materials and color, have a very modern-art approach. There are dozens of interior design and lighting stores throughout Copenhagen.
Photo by René Eriksen