So time to add a new entry to the blog. It is soon New years after all and a good time to think about what have transpired this year and maybe dream and look forward to the next year and what that will hold.
I am writing this just a few days before NY and it should be cold here now, at least if i compare to a time i always seem to go back to when i compare. Namely my childhood. Not sure why i do that, but i really enjoyed the white winters we had back then here north of Stockholm. I guess something has changed and maybe it has to do with climate change or just that ”cycle” those ”shady” people keep referring to …
I remember we had snow up to our windows and that we could use our sleds and our skies every day, we even took the skies to school or sleds as well some days.
This winter we had like 7 or 8 of these beautiful wintery days, so every time i tried going out to try and capture some of its beauty. Being on parental leave still i usually take a small walk with my son when he is asleep, and sometimes that is enough to take a few photos and hope for the best.
As always nowadays i bring my Leica Q-P everywhere, so that is always the weapon of choice especially when it comes to capturing these spontaneous ”nature snapshots” that i think the Q-P is great at doing. I think it renders the colors beautifully, and its usually sharp and crisp.
Thinking back now to the year that has been and trying to summarize it and get a grasp of everything that has happened is not always easy.
When it comes to my personal life, getting a son has of course affected everything and changed it for the second time in that regard. My other child being my daughter that is 10 now, making it a long time since i changed diapers and took care of a small person needing me and demanding all of my time and love. But that also means my passion for photography has got some new fuel to its fire as documenting everything from a birth to his first year has been amazing in every way.
When my son came i owned my first Q and i used that to document his birth and the months afterwards. For me it was perfect. But during the year i also changed gear a lot and i went back to Fuji as i have written in other blog entries in the past. And i have captured some great memories with that system as well. The X-T3 was great for filming as well and for stills i loved using the 16mm, the 56mm and the 90mm. All magnificent Fuji lenses.
As i also stated in an earlier entry i think that path was necessary to walk down to finally decide to go back to the Q again as my day to day documenting camera body.
I thought that the speed of the X-T3 would be a great addition especially when you would have a small boy running around at full speed, and it was a great idea, but the reason i got the Q the first time was to simplify things and not having two overlapping systems( as i also shoot Nikon) and adding more stress with having to choose between several systems and lenses every time heading out to take pictures.
So while the Fuji was one of the better camera bodies i have owned when it came to the technical aspects, i really missed the simplicity and inspiration the Q gave me and during the year i sold all my Fuji gear and bought the Q-P. That actually cured the most of the GAS i had i the past and i am very happy i made that choice in the end.
So the year has been a year of change on many levels, and i know from experience that those times are usually when you also develop the most. So while that is hard to see when you are in the middle of it and in that phase, i think and hope that is something i can look back on and take pleasure in that it changed and made me ”better” in some ways. Both as a photographer and a human being somehow.
It certainly made me think about the importance and meaning of things, also as a photographer and human being.
And when it comes to photography especially the importance of creating memories for our kids and creating a legacy that can be left behind. And photographs of our family is something that we can point to and be proud of in ways we might not be able to with our ”work” as a photographer in the same way.
Speaking of work i don’t work as often as i wish as a photographer, and being employed at a school as my full-time job and being a father of two makes the time to be able to put in the extra work almost impossible sometimes. But it also makes me able to choose between different work and only do what i like and say no to what does not inspire me or for some other reason does not make me want that assignment.
I managed to squeeze a few weddings in and also got some pictures publicized which was nice.
Even so i think now when my thoughts go to the time ahead and after NY, i think my own resolution for next year will be to get things in print and try to make books from my photography. Too many images lies on our hard drives and never see the ink on print in our lifetime. And that is a shame and a waste in my opinion. We live our life on social media and seem be ”satisfied” with that and to upload our work there.
So that will be one ( maybe that is enough, since we have such a hard time keeping those promises anyhow) resolution i am really going to try and keep next year. For me and my legacy and my children.
So back to present time, X-mas just passed by in a flash. and i managed to get some photography done and test some lighting in my small apartment which was great. I also added a new lens that i owned in the past ( the 85mm f1,4G) which i sometimes have felt i missed and especially inside the the 105 i usually take 70% of my portraiture with feels to long.
So now before making this the longest blogpost in the history of blogs i will just wish you a Merry Xmas and post a few X-mas pictures to get that holiday spirit up a notch.
/Over and out…
Hi again, it has been a couple of weeks since i started my ”new beginning” with the Q-P as my new photographic tool. Following my sons development and the fast approaching winter here in Sweden has been good. I lament the darkness that follows, but that is part of living in this cold corner of the world.
The weeks/months i had the Q-P has strengthened my belief regarding changing systems again. It has been so nice reacquainting myself with the Leica. Bringing it with me pretty much everywhere, photographing Julius and other things along the way. I have not tried it that much in my street photography walks, simply because i spend so much time with Julius these weeks that i have not been able to get away alone much.
But even just shooting pictures of him and his day to day life has been great, and on the walks i take with the stroller and him i try to shoot things i see on the way as well
In this day and age a real camera with levers and wheels and a tactile feel to it feels so very refreshing. And with all those forum threads and bloggs trying to show us that smartphones is the way to go and that DSLRs and real cameras are a dying breed, i am so happy to be able to own a camera that inspires me in a way the smartphone could never do.
Almost wishing for the snow to start falling, cant wait to see Julius experiencing that for the first time. Will post some pictures from those moments i the future for sure.
/Over and out..
Hello from Sweden a cold Autumn evening. Thought it would be a good time to continue from my last post about Fuji and my new addition in the Q-P. It has now been a few months and i have reacquainted myself with the Q and also got some new inspiration from the freshness of the Q-P model of the Q.
Now with some perspective on my move from Fuji i can safely say i made the right choice. It just feels right for me and and the phase i am in right now and my photography. I was very guilty of getting too much gear and constantly searching and updating things to get inspired or getting the most out of my photography.
I felt that the Q-P finally cured some of that searching….or yes GAS as we also like to call it!
I now shoot almost exclusively with the Q-P for my day to day photography.
With a 1 year old son to follow and document its the perfect camera for that and family photography in general in my opinion. It goes with me everywhere now and i really really cant emphasize enough how much i like using it.
This is also one of the reasons why i felt it suited me so well at this time in my life. I had too much gear and decisions to make every time i was suppose to go out to shoot. And that killed a lot of my inspiration for shooting in the first place. having to choose between two systems i liked and then the choices of which lenses etc too made it almost stressful at times because i always wondered if i choose right or if i would regret what i brought with me going on a trip etc.
Now i just grab the Q-P every time and i know it will be sufficient for almost everything or at least compensate for all those other choices.
Following my son around now makes me even more happy of that choice. The 28 mm and the 1,7 aperture and quick Af makes it perfect to photograph babies and kids.
Whats so cool is i actually used my last Q to shoot my sons birth and his first month, i was really fond of those pictures and some of those are now framed and on my walls, so getting the Q back again his last couple of months feels like a perfect way to continue telling and documenting his story.
He is now able to walk and everything goes so quickly. He just love to explore the world and everything in it. So curious about every little detail he comes across.
He has always been very fond of books but also about listening to music and trying to do the gestures and movements to those songs and make us do them together. He is very expressive and trying to take pictures to remember those fun moments is one of my favorite things to shoot with him.
So, this was just a quick post to continue my blog and some thoughts after the switch to the Q-P. I will try and add more pictures and thoughts about it later on and also add some other content about other gear i use a lot together with the Q-P and like in a few weeks.
Il finish with some recent pictures also with the Q-P that mirrors the weather and Autumn we are experiencing right now in Stockholm Sweden.
/Over and out..
Hello! So it has been a while since i have written anything in the blog, but i think it is time now. One reason being that the new year is here and also because a lot have happened in my life when it comes to photography.
Some new projects has been done and some new gear has been tested in different environments.
Last year was quite chaotic to sa the least on a personal level, even so i managed to do a lot of photography in my spare time, i find taking photos to be both therapeutic but also so much fun so i could not be without it no matter what life is like.
I made a big decision about some of my gear, and after thinking it through long while i finally took the plunge and sold my whole Fuji setup. The great X-T2, the X100F and my precious lenses. Why? Because i bought a Leica Q. It might seem like a weird choice since the Q has only a fixed lens, but my fuji gear was for me a great choice for traveling light but i also liked the retro look and simple controls on it. And i feel that the Leica Q does all that but gets down even more to basic with the 28mm lens and great ergonomics.
I had been pondering this purchase for almost a year even before i started buying some of my Fuji gear. But at that point found it a little bit too expensive( i still do to some degree!) and also a little bit too big since it was not pocketable anyhow and also i found the Leica look was a bit too tasty for thieves to resist stealing it if i wanted to travel with it or use it for street photography.
The year went by and i used my Fuji gear a lot and i loved using it. So again why did i decide to trade it for the Q in the end.
Well, besides the points i listed earlier i always had a regret of never been able to try a Leica out, and after looking at the Q earlier a Q was still high on my list of cameras id love to at least try at some point. Reading so much great things about it, and talking to a friend from Denmark that praised it saying it was THE camera for him and that if h could choose 1 camera that would be it. Also during the year i found myself having a hard time sometimes choosing between all the gear i had. Besides the Fuji gear i use Nikon and have 2 cameras i use in that system with some great lenses for them. So every time i went somewhere and wanted to bring a camera i felt it took too much time trying to choose what would fit the occasion best. Especially the random spontaneous trips i made into town or just with the family when we took a trip somewhere. It took a lot of fun out of the creative parts of photography in my case and i felt a camera like the Leica Q would be a great remedy for that. And i would still keep my Nikon gear with the heavier but capable DSLR bodies if i needed a more demanding camera body for payed work.
So i took the plunge and ordered the Q, the Titanium grey that i got good price for to be precise.
It arrived at some point in late autumn and i have to say its one of the most beautiful camera bodies i have ever used to be honest. Among other favorites like the Nikon DF and Fuji X-T2, its up there with the DF at least. It just appeals to the eye in a way not many other cameras do.
It really feels like you get something special just unpacking it! With the small Leica branded bags and the small ”drawers” that they put the accessories in.
I know its not considered manly to go on about that sort of thing, but the box it came in would put a LV bag to shame!
So enough ranting about the looks of the camera, also when it came to the feel of the camera body itself the quality and design and ergonomics is all i hoped for. It is just so simple to use and it really makes you want to pick it up all the time to play with it and take photos. It is a lot of fun to use. I won’t go into technical specifications or go into it in depths at this time since i might make a review later on at some point.
So i started using it over the next few weeks nearing X-mas and at first i was still in regret selling my Fuji gear to be honest. I missed the lenses and sometimes felt a bit limited when i brought only the Q to some of the trips. But i decided really spending time with it, learning it as much as i possibly could making using it second nature to me after a while.
It gave fruit and i started to see why it was held in such high regard by people using it.
And i felt what i also had hoped for when i was thinking about buying it earlier, that it helped me focus more on the photography itself rather than the gear and having to choose to much. It was forcing me to use the one lens stuck on it and made me much more creative. And faster. Its a great camera for street photography. Its fast, its simple, and the 28mm in my mind is also perfect. I know a lot of other people like the 35 field of view or the 50 a lot more. But i always felt a wider angle helped me tell my store better and also gave the pictures a lot more personal style and feel to them. I find the 35 a bit more boring and too narrow for many of the shots i want to make. Sure its not the best FOV for a portrait in the classical sens. But for portraits in the documentary setting its perfect. And it has great Bokeh when you use the 1,7 aperture .
I used it almost every time i went to town or just going to places in general. And i really love using this camera.I its the one i use now mainly if i am not doing something bigger.
I would say its the perfect camera to document your day to day life as well as your perfect street camera. It makes you have to go a little close to get the shot you want, which in my case is very good. because i have always had a little of a tough time when it comes to getting too close to people. Feeling i get in their personal space too much. But this really trains you in that regard. And the pictures get so much more interesting in my opinion.
So in the near future i will most likely make some sort of review for it and post more pictures. But so far i am very happy with my Q.
Happy new year and happy shooting.
So, Autumn is here. Less light and more rain, a fact that makes for a worse platform for photography in general.
Here in Sweden less light is an understatement as the hours you can actually shoot in daylight disappears quite quickly and gets worse by every day closer to winter.
I love this first part of the season though, there is still some sunny days and the leaves are just starting to fall off or get that beautiful golden color. Also the air changes and just being out on those days that are still nice are just a treat. Beautiful.
I just wanted to start that off somehow and get into it right away before the moment is lost.
So i took the Nikon df and only the 105 f1,4 with me to town and brought my daughter to get some portraits on her but also get some feeling of that Autumn is here. I also included some shots i took from last week when she also accompanied me into town and i had the same setup ( Df, 105mm ).
We were quite lucky to get beautiful light and decent weather all day up until the last but where it actually started to rain a bit near the evening.
I quite recently bought the Nikon 105mm and must say its becoming my most used lens for serious portraits.
Just renders beautifully. Also being f1,4 you do not need much light to shoot and the 105mm focal length makes for some very creative shots in my opinion.
I will continue and post more on the blogg during Autumn for sure, so will be back with some more colorful images using different gear in the near future.
/Over and out..
So it has been a while since i wrote anything for my blogg,
so i thought this would be a good time since i did something i do not normally do when it comes to photography a few days ago.
I had read in a newspaper a year ago, about this deserted ”Ghost town” not too long from where i live. And i decided i would make it a trip during my vacation.
So this week i had some time over and packed my chosen gear in a small bag that would fit on my back since i was going there with bicycle. I choose my Fuji X-T2 for the job and i snuck in two lenses, the 16mm 1,4 and the 56mm 1,2. I thought both of them would serve most of my needs since the 16 would be the main lens taking most pictures i needed and the 56 as the backup if i needed to shoot any details or animals in the forest around the Town.
So off i went on my bike. The ride there was around 25 minutes, i had only the street named in the article as a starting point and knew i probably had some scouting to do before i found the buildings in the forest. In one picture in the paper i had seen that a house had been closer to a newer building in the background. So that made it a little easier since i started out from the street with those newer houses around.
The weather was great, it was a sunny day and my spirits were quite high setting out. Only thing i had my doubts about was if the weather really suited the mood i thought i wanted to create in the pictures.
This was as much a fun side project as anything serious so in my mind that was not anything to worry about when it came down to it. Whatever i got it would be a great experience and a good way of testing my equipment out which is always a good thing. Anything that inspires you to take your camera out is a good thing in my opinion.
I wandered around in the forest nearby the street i set out from and ended up going back and forth between the smaller paths in the forest, finding nothing.
I soon after found a couple of bikes that were left by the street and the edge of the forest. I followed the path from those bikes and soon found the kids with their mother. They were out picking blueberries and probably thought me an odd figure coming out from the same path as them and with my camera ready to shoot.
It was goo intuition following them though as i right after saw the roof of a structure in the woods just north of the kids and their mother. The first structure and ease around it was kind of a disappointment. A small partly destroyed yellow cabin with some old things randomly thrown around the cabin on the ground around it.
A foundation nearby told me that another building had been close to the cabin but was torched and not much was left to take any kind of pictures of.
I did not give up though but on intuition again started out from the cabin in another direction. That proved to be a success as i quite fast found yet another small but more intact cabin in yellow. An eerie feeling started creeping up inside me exploring the vicinity of that cabin. I started to see some more personal items like old shoes, stroller that was rusty and some other pieces of clothing.
I started to get images of the people living there, why they had left their things and the house and who they were. Questions that lead to more questions i did not have any answers to.
I also started to recall why i was there and got the X-T2 out and the 16mm lens. It was perfect for this kind of photography in my opinion. Small and light but still a very capable tool for pictures from outside but also for pictures inside the small and dark moody rooms in the cabins.
I shot a few frames then ended up going further along the forest paths deeper into the forest. I suddenly felt happy it was a bright sunny day, partly because i felt uneasy being there now in the first place but also because of how the pictures would have turned out. Some of the pictures inside the cabins would have been too dark and might not even have been possible without an external flash which i never brought one.
I found a few more houses strewn along the path. Different colors shapes and conditions . They became more intact though and had more interesting things to shoot so i was excited for that.
I found that the path was now also taken over totally by something living ( which was comforting in a weird way) even though the animals now living there were not the favorite of mine. Ants, bigger and and army of them. They seem to follow the path all the way now towards the small hill i ascended to get a better view of the area. I passed a small read house on that hill with a little mailbox outside. It must have been quite charming in its prime , but now it looked as somewhat of a mockery at the top of the hill, posing there with nothing but trash strewn around the building.
I had a look inside and passed it going towards the next hill that was even further up and a bit steeper.
The ants also followed that same path and i could never stop for long as the ants started crawling over my shoes at first sign of me stopping there to catch my breath and try to get a good look at the forest around me.
I found an old torn fence leading to a new area up on top of the hill. I went under and started walking into a new part of the forest up there where i had a good look to see if i could spot any more houses or anything else that was worth my interest.
I saw some trees nearby that really suited the rest of this scenery and that also gave me the ”creeps”. They were contorted and felt like some old vile spirit had taken control over them and now tried to guard the forest and the area around them from trespassers as myself.
From up there i suddenly saw something that piqued my interest.
It was a arg building down in a valley not too far down but in another direction than the rest of the houses i had seen. Was this part of the Ghost Town?
Only one way to find out. I started going downhill towards the larger structure. It was a red building with a few smaller buildings on the same property. I came closer and closer and could now see the yard around the structure clearly. It was eerily quiet. Here it was also much harder finding a clear path down to the buildings themselves as it was largely overgrown with weeds and smaller trees and high grass.
I tried going up on a few stones to get a better look inside the windows. It was indeed deserted houses, but much more intact and not as easy to see what was inside them. If something….or someone was still here these would be the houses they would be in. And i would have a harder time getting from here to civilisation if something happened.
Needless to say i was not too keen on jumping into that yard without having a better look from afar .
I was just about to leave and find abetter path when i disturbed something huge in the trees inside the garden. My heart raced and i had a hard time not just running in panic from the place.
I tried to stay calm though and stay still to see if i could get a look on what it was that had moved. I saw some kind of big animal, maybe a deer or an elk. I was hoping for the former as the bigger Elks are not something to mess about with.
Especially not if they had kids with them…
I went back the way i came, went all the way down the hill and past the other houses and tried to find a path from the other side that would lead me closer to the bigger red house i almost had got closer to.
I did. It was a bigger path and looked like something humans had made and it lead me to a gate that marked the outside of the house i had seen from the other side..
I stopped just outside, looking into the house and the yard, i saw the grass was trampled byt either something big or several larger animals…or humans. That uneasiness came back and i had a hard time deciding if it was really worth going inside the yard and the house..
I decided to go closer, first of all to see if that big animal was still here. I appeared it had got scared of me as well and left for now. That was a relief!
So i dared into the yard…got closer to the house. I saw a stump from a tree and slowly climbed up upon it.
” BAAAAAAAMM!” Something crashed inside the house with a large noise. My heart almost stopped, something was in there, and appeared moving now that i was close. i got chills and my heart was beating wildly now. I started down from the stump and moved fast backwards towards the gates to the yard.
I went outside, half running and half walking and then started running towards the bigger road outside in an as ”controlled” manner as i could without completely loosing face if i met someone from the houses that i now closed in on. I started to calm myself down and realized nothing followed me or was going to be able to catch up anyhow and started walking again.
I passed the neighborhoods i went past earlier and realized i was near my bike again. A feeling of calm and excitement came over me at the same time, and i was happy i went out today after all. Eager to get home and see what my camera held in store for me and for the excitement this day had given me. Sometimes venturing out can really be great, you never know what you will find or what opportunities you get to take some great photos. This si nothing i normally shoot or do, But it gave me an opportunity to tell a story with some of the pictures i got. Here are some of them, so enjoy. Both the photos but also the laugh at my expense, maybe after getting an image of me running in panic from that ”deserted” house. or was it deserted? Guess you will have to go there by yourselves to really know what was in there….;)
Over and out..
So, what was the fascination with the X100 series and a fixed lens i asked myself when i first saw the camera back when it was introduced. I would feel so limited i thought.
That was before i had the X-T1 and the X-T2. I had used the Fuji X20 and really liked the look of that camera but it still had the problem of ”watery” green areas and always felt it lacked too much to be a reliable travel camera for me.
I have used my Nikon gear for such a long time now and love the quality and the reliability of the system for most of my work, but sometimes using it feel more like work and a chore when you lugg that heavy camera and the heavy lenses around town or up hills in the countryside. Also it screams ”steal me” wherever you take it, always makes you be on your guard when you walk around the city.
When i got the X-T1 though and took it with me to Paris it felt perfect. The first camera i could bring with me without breaking my back and that gave me somewhat of a similar quality to my Nikon gear.
Then i started to buy more lenses and get a pretty decent backup for my Nikon system that i felt i could actually use in case of my Nikon gear failing me in the future. Also it was a lot of fun shooting with Fuji and gave me a lot of motivation again which was equally important.
At the same time the lenses grew bigger again and when the X-T2 came a long i got that and its grip and suddenly the Fuji was not as spontaneous to bring a long as it once was and not as small or light as i considered it fro the beginning. It was still an awesome camera and something i love shooting with but not the little fun companion that you just enjoy taking wherever you go any longer.
So i felt i missed something and a feeling i had when i shot with my film cameras.
Something about just having a point and shoot and the joy of just being able to bring it everywhere you go and not having to think about post production or tweaking it for hours afterwards or having to switch lenses all the time.
So getting the X100F felt like coming full circle again. Never imagined it could be so much fun again!
Its easy to take with you, the film simulations are a lot of fun and the quality of the pictures even the Jpegs are fantastic. Add the easiness of ”Zapping” the Jpegs over to your phone through the Fuji app and you have a very cool travel camera that you can use for just fun documenting your time traveling or any social occasion.
This is not a review by any means and i wont go into any specifications or details but just trying to express the joy i feel using this camera and how much i like using it thus far.
Having that fixed lens now actually feels liberating and adds to the fun.
Look forward to sharing more pictures and thoughts on the Fuji X100F in the near future. I suspect it will be my most used camera the months to come 🙂
So i got the question about helping out for my wife´s friends wedding, and bride to be party. I rarely do weddings and when i do it i often find i like to help out on a smaller scale and then surprise them with some great pictures they were not expecting afterwards, instead of being the one booked photographer for that wedding. So this one was my present for them since we had a connection to them.
Also, that makes me able to do it totally the way i want, and that creative freedom is what makes it fun for me.
I began with the first task which was the bride to be party. So i joined the gang at a hotell in Stockholm to get some pictures inside the hotell but also go with the gang around town to get some fun casual pictures of the group that they could share after the wedding. I brought a light kit due to the distance i had to walk from where i had my car parked. My D4 and the 70-200 and a few primes.
I got 2 speed lights and a diffuser and a reflector for some extra kick light.
The environment at the Hotell was very nice to shoot in. I feared the place would be crowded, but it turned out to be almost empty except for the staff, so i could be relaxed trying to pick my spots for the group shots and the singles with Nok ( the bride).
To fit the group in a good place where the light would be sufficient proved the most difficult task, but I’m happy i brought the 70-200 as i could actually stand across from one of the balconies and shoot from the opposite side. The lighting actually reached them from all across from the windows behind me, and with some post processing it turned out quite nice with the beautiful bigger double door as a backdrop to the group.
After that i wanted to get a bit creative and played some with the depth of field to isolate Nok from the other group members.
Then i shot some singles of some of the people from the group and some couples shots as well for those being close friends etc.
I found a great mirror to use as a ”voyeur” shot of Nok sitting alone in the bar that i liked.
After that we went outside and just casually walked around town and had lots of fun posing them against different backdrops all around the harbor and streets in Stockholm. The weather was great, and the setting sun gave beautiful light.
I wish all shoots were that relaxed and fun!
Noks friends were happy to get some single shots they could share with friends on Facebook and send to friends afterwards.
A few weeks later it was time for the actually wedding night and party. I was not able to attend the ceremony as they kept that private, but i joined their lovely party that evening together with my own family. So i took my DF together with a few primes to take some pictures from the evening , lots of candids but also posed pictures with the guests together. I saw quite quickly that i was not the only photographer there . I counted 3 other hired guns to help the wedding couple. That did not bother me as i did this as a favor and also if they had one extra angle and my personal style adding to what they got from those other photographer, that only meant they had some more great memories from their special night.
It was a beautiful evening, and the food was great as i love Thaifood i was happy to take a break at times enjoying the greta food they had cooked. There were also some great performances from people that wanted to celebrate the couple, and i had some great laughs and some tears when the speeches were done.
It kept going into the night, and i had brought a speed light for that occasion too, so i got some fun pictures from the dance that evening but also from the fun and games. I guess i wish most wedding shoots were like this too! So relaxed and no pressure.
I know after this i already have some standing offers from other friends, so hopefully they will turn out just as fun and relaxed.
I know it has been a while since i updated the blog. But life has been busy. I have been shooting a lot though and testing new lenses as well as making some new projects.
This entry will be a quick one about a day out on an island some distance away from where we live here in Sweden.
A friend of mine that works with Lifestyle typ activities for people of all ages gave me a recommendation about this day that would be perfect to bring the kids to. A day full of activities and an opportunity to test them out in a great environment, this island called ”Värmdö”
As far as equipment goes i brought my D810 together with my 70-200 Vr2 lens and my 24 1,4 G lens to get the wide angled covered as well.
It turned out the 70-200 covered most of what i wanted to shoot but i was happy i brought the 24 as well to get those environmental shots with the kids where they were trying things but i still wanted some more of the background as well.
The weather turned out to be pretty bad, with the temperature dropping as well as light rain, but nothing i would be scared to bring the D810 with those lenses out into.
After a long ride with car and a few stretches with boat to get to the last island, we were finally there.
The place was buzzing with energetic people wanting to try every activity out in the area.
I met my friend shortly and he pointed us to the more ”important” activities to try out before more people arrived or the weather would turn for the worse.
So without further ado here are some pictures to illustrate what we did that day.
The kids really loved the setup at the place, where they mostly never had to wait in line but just run around like they wanted, trying things out.
The people arranging the whole day( a school with courses dealing with Activities and Lifestyle and health) also had a little kitchen set up with a BBQ making Hotdogs and Hamburgers .
The hot coffee and grilled apples with vanilla cause tasted extra good after some shooting i the cold weather and it was a well deserved rest for all of us.
This month i wanted to do something for my hero and lifetime idol( yes I’m old, but i am trying to keep young so i have idols! ) David Bowie.
My first Vinyl was Ziggy Stardust, so incorporating the ”Flash” from those years and those characters seemed like something i would want in a tribute photo.
My wife also wanted a few new pictures for her websites so we played with a few ideas and locations before and what equipment to use.
I wanted 2 indoors locations and one outdoor location and decided on shooting the first pictures in our bedroom where we have a big window to let some background light inside.
I wanted all shots to look classic in style and the first one was going to have a blowup background and use one or two light modifiers from the front to light the face up so as not to get just a darker siluette of my wife.
This was one of the shots i was most pleased with, but my wife kept the ones where you could see more of her.
In the beginning i shot with my DF using the Noct to get a really shallow depth of field. Those shots became really light and beautiful and the blur started almost after her temples. The only light modifier i used in the ”airy” light shots here are a Rapidbox Octa from Westcott with a speed light and the natural light from the back, and in some shots i used a reflector from my right to get some extra catchlights in her eyes.
Since i do not have a proper studio i usually use the bedroom or my hallway which are the bigger rooms and space to put up the light stands and backgrounds if needed.
Also it tends to get very messy and chaotic with our kids running around at the same time, and sometimes we get them in for a quick picture as well since we got all that equipment set up which is a pain to take down again, so might as well be effective and take some pictures of them while it is up.
Here is a quick picture of my daughter who liked playing with one of my wife hats:
After that it was time for the Tribute picture which i wanted against a dark background. I also incorporated a Hat i liked for the shot.
It was quite hard to create a dark atmosphere in the room though as a lot of spill light was coming in through the windows, i tried shutting it out using the curtains and use the bigger background to block it while shooting.
After i had done the shoot and looked through the pictures i actually took the actual Ziggy flash and worked it into the picture( yes i cheated!) to get the feel i wanted, i realized we would not have time to take the makeup off to continue with the rest of the shoot, so that worked out better for us.
For this shot i also added another flash from the back as a hair light and gelled it with a darker blur gel which in the end added another level to the picture in my opinion and a little more drama.
All in all i was very happy with the pictures from the bedroom.
After that it was time to go outside. I had chosen a location not far from our house in a forest where i had shot my wife earlier a few times. It is a little secluded so you get the privacy you would like when shooting and putting up your gear.
It turned out to be a pretty difficult shoot outdoors though due to the cold damp weather and the race against the sun going down!
Also i wanted to try out a few new triggers from Phottix i had bought since the SU-800 was difficult to use outside as a transmitter due to the infrared getting blocked easier there.
As it turned out the Odin trigger was a little bit too big to fit under the flash when it was mounted against the Rapid octa softbox…Now there is the problem you run into when you have not tried your new stuff out in beforehand. It is always a treat finding it out the hard way during a shoot with a cold wife and the patience running out fast..
I improvised and got the trigger working and used my Noct and my 70-200 VR 2 for these pictures since it was so dark.
Really, shooting in the dark like we did was not something i would recommend. I had to crank the ISO way up but with the cameras nowadays it is still possible to get decent results.
I wanted something a little more creative in these shots so i decided to play a bit with some gels and the white balance to create some different effects.
This is how it turned out…
The softbox was gelled with a full cut of orange so the contrast became quite big with the white balance put to fluorescent . I kind of liked the effect i got.
So this was my Tribute shot for David Bowie. Now i am looking forward to spring to be honest, but i might do another shoot or two before the winter is out here in Sweden.
/Over and out…