Monday, June 28, 2010

Los Angeles

Left London today for Los Angeles. I am flying for the first time in years on Virgin. The last time I did go on Virgin was when I flew on them to Tokyo, I think in 2005. I did have a load of things to do on my one day back in the UK

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The world Cup

I am back in the UK for one day only and it happens to coincide with a big world cup game. Germany v England. The game was bloody awful. England were useless. I don't care what anyone says. It was horrible to watch. The final result was, Germany 4 England 1. I am not going to even mention the fact that we had a perfectly good goal disallowed. I am not interested in football anymore. Well until the premier league starts again later in August. It is bloody hot here in the UK, I think around 30 degrees or around 90 in old money.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Back to London

Caught an evening flight from Munich to London Heathrow. Nice flight and had a chat with a very nice man who was next to me. Although the flight was delayed by about 40 mins, it was pleasant.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hitler's Eagles Nest

I drove back down to Berchtesgarden on the Austrian border. I bought a ticket at the documentation office and then caught one of the special coaches up the mountain. That is the only way to get there.
The Eagles Nest Entrance
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Once you get most of the way up, you have to walk through some giant metal gates and walk a few hundred yards (Meters) through a tunnel to a small room where Adolf Hitler's elevator is.

I then entered the lift with a lot of other people and then the doors shut and then the lift operator took us and the lift up to The Eagles Nest or Kehlstien as it is also known.
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

There was a very strange smell once I entered the house at after leaving the elevator. The view was stunning, but the fact that Hitler and other nasty Nazi's had used this place as a kind of playground was really odd.
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Inside The Eagles Nest were many areas where Hitler had spent time relaxing etc. One room called the Octagon room had a fireplace against the wall. This was given to Hitler as a gift by the Italian dictator, Mussolini.
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

One of the rooms that ran off the side of the Octagon room, was Eva Braun's room. This had very old lights on the wall. The lights were there in the photos in the guide books. Here is a shot of them today. Again it is weird to think that they had all occupied this building and I was wandering around and standing on the same actual spot that one of the most evil people in the history of the world had stood.
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford.

After leaving the Eagles Nest I headed down the elevator, then caught one of the special coaches down the rest of the mountain to the car park. Then I got my car and headed off back to Munich. Just as I got on the road out of Berchesgarden, I saw this church. The sky looked rather nice and blue so I stopped and took a quick shot.
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Munich and Football

I sat with my brother and Randy in a very nice German bar and had a bite to eat and watched the Germany v Ghana world cup match. The food was great and we left at half tim. We thought it was best that this Englishman and one mixed (US/English) and one fully American should get out while the going was good. So, we got bck to our hotel and the game was on there in the main bar. It was crowded with German supporters. We kept our voices down and sat and watched it with them. They were blowing their Voovoozelas or whatever they are called and all seemed rather happy when Germany scored a goal which sent them through to the knock out rounds, against, yes, England. That will be next Sunday. Hopefully I will be back in London for that. I leave for LA the following morning. So, I hope we deal with that game and win it.

I had a nice shot of Michael Ballack in Sport Bild Magazine in Germany today. Its a big shot and one that I took at Munich airport when we arrived a few days ago.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dachau Concentration Camp

We had a few hours off this afternoon, so we had a chance to visit the first original Nazi Death camp, Dachau. It is about 4km from our hotel. It was all rather sureal for me. I obviously took loads of photos. We were lucky enough to actually hear a guide giving a tour so, we just joined into that group. We first saw the remains of the the railway line and platform where thousands of people would have fallen out of the trains and then been moved about 100 meters (yards) to the main entrance gate.
The remains of the platform and Track
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

On the gate were the words (another famous Nazi lie )' Arbeit Macht Frei' meaning work makes you free. Yeah right!!
Main Gate Dachau
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Once inside, we were guided around and we saw one of the remaining horrible barracks where the inmates were kept. It was horrible. Whilst we were walking around it was raining and horrible. I cant imagine how horrific it must have been for all of the poor people who were there in the freezing winters, with no heating and then in the hot summers in cramped horrible conditions, what a nightmare.
The Gas Chamber & Crematorium
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Inside this building was a gas chamber and the ovens.. I heard that the Nazi's often didn't wait to actually murder people in their normal ways, but, put them alive straight into the ovens.
The Gas Chamber Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

After the gas chamber was the room where dead bodies were staked up prior to being burnt in the ovens.
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford.

The thousands of bodies were then transported from this room into the room next door where the ovens burnt on a 24 hour basis. By the way, good old IBM, yes, IBM helped the Nazi's work on all parts of their administration in relation to the death camps. The had a hole punch system that counted inmates in to the camps and then counted the dead ones as well. So, anyone thinking of buying anything IBM, think again and perhaps buy and Apple instead.
The Ovens
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Outside all around the grounds were the watch towers. We were told that if anyone stepped on the grass near the edge of the camp at all, even one foot. The would be shot dead at once. Nice people those Nazi's.
One of the Watchtower's Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

This was and is a very stark reminder of what happened only a few years ago. What the Nazi's did here and at many other death camps was truly revolting.. This is a very gloomy place that everyone should see.
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Michael Ballack - Munich

I caught the early flight from London to Munich today. On the flight was the Germany International footballer Michael Ballack ( Mr Happy) anyway, he was injured and didnt make it to the world cup. When we got of the plane, I asked him if I could take a photograph. He reluctantly said yes, so, when I took a photo he didnt want to be photographed on his own.

Michael Ballack
Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

My brother Simon was with me and stood next to him, holding one of the UK's daily papers, The Daily Mail. Ballack noticed the big headline on the back page of the paper. It read:- The Headline that you thought you'd never read" GERMANY MISS A PENALTY.. Mr Ballack was not pleased with that headline and stormed off (on his crutches) without saying anything at all, he just gave me a really angry stare.. I was terrified, not!! Anyway, he was very rude and clearly annoyed by the paper's headline. Such a shame he missed the world cup through injury!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Simon Lynge Photo Shoot

I met up with Simon Lynge today at the station near my home. He is the first Eskimo (Inuit) to have an album released in the UK. It came out on Monday on LoMax records. It's called " The Future" After fantastic reviews in the Times and many other papers in the UK the BBC got hold of him. They had him in as a guest on their flagship BBC1 Breakfast show on Monday morning. Then he was approached by Sky News and others radio stations for interviews. Anyway, we set off and started taking some shots as soon as he arrived.
Simon Lynge Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Then after a while we headed off for a spot of lunch at the Peppermill a favourite of a of us locals. At lunch where we were joined by my wife and friends, Jill Visser and then by the one and only Mick Flinn (New Seekers etc). We then got back to taking photos.
Simon Lynge Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

I had a few locations in mind and then we headed to a more studio based domestic shoot, which is where we shot Simon with the Hofner Guitar. He had no idea that Hofner were now back in the game and making such great guitars. I think he was rather impressed with it.
Simon Lynge Copyright 2010 Danny Clifford

Simon's album is fantastic. His music is somewhere between Jack Johnson and Paul Simon, yet he is stunningly original. He grew up in Greenland and now lives in a quite coastal town just above Seattle, USA. I must say that he is one of the nicest people I have photographed as well as one of the most talented.