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..
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…
Just a quick post about traveling and gear, as a follow up to my last post about reviews and gear.
It is summer here in Sweden, and a few new trips are scheduled this semester . I will obviously bring a camera to these trips, but one of the constant dilemmas are what to bring and how much you should carry with you to maximize your photographic experience and get those money shots with you back home.
The last 2 trips i skipped all my heavy gear after a trip i made to Rome a year back. It was a great trip, but i had backspins and shoulder pains a while after because of bringing too much stuff. Also before that i only had my D700 and brought that with lenses for all my trips.
It was after that i got my X-T1 and lenses and bringing that to Paris for 2 trips was just a joy. So light in comparison! And still got great pictures and had fun shooting with it.
Now i also have the pleasure of choosing between that and my Nikon DF also. So now the X-T1 have a serious competitor for me since it is also lighter than the D810 i will most likely leave back home for the more serious assignments.
So, what do i bring for my Berlin trip this Summer? Any suggestions?
I have sort of made up my mind about what house i will bring actually, and it will most likely be my DF, and i am still contemplating what lenses i will bring. They will have to fit my new Lowpro Flipside sport 10L bag. So about 3 lenses. No zooms. So will be 1 wide lens, one normal, and also some sort of tele.
it is a nice dilemma to have though. Summer, photography , choosing what to bring for my trip. Life is good right now 🙂
Do not burn yourself!
/Over and out..
So, this will be my first review on my new website. And im going to dedicate that to my ”old friend” the Nikon D700.
First off, i am going to say that i am not a proffesional reviewer or the kind of photographer that is pixel peeping or get stuck too much in the technical domain of photography. My reviews will come from the heart and from my personal experiences and thoughts of the equippment i have used over the years as a photographer.
The D700 was my first ”real” step into the new world of digital photography. I had used compacts as the Lx3 and similar cameras but never really experienced a proper replacement for my analoge Nikon F100 that i loved shooting with.
I did shoot with a Eos D30 at one point and even if that was a pretty good camera the image quality and handling comes nowhere near what the D700 stands for in my opinion.
When i first saw the images that the D700 produced i for the first time started to realize that i could leave my old film gear behind and start a new chapter in my image making.
I loved the character to the images and files. And i also loved the robust solid feeling of the D700. I started building my gearpark around it and still to this day shoot with it as my main body. I have not found a decent replacement for the D700 yet, and as a matter of fact i have not really needed one for the type of photography i do to this day.
Rarely have i found that it lacks anything. Although i can agree with that a higher amount of megapixels would not harm it in anyway. I have done a few assignments were i felt cropping the images or enlarging them in the end abit more would have been a nice possibility. But 99% of the time i have been satisfied with everything it delivers.
I use CLS( creative lighting system) together with the inbuild flash a lot so that for me was a big plus as well when buying it.
And the ability to use the camera as the commander that way gives you so much creative ability.
Besides the D700 i use a Nikon DF and a Fuji X-T1 as backups. But for all my professional work i use the D700 as my main everytime. It is just so reliable.
Thus far none of the camera bodies on the market intrests me or make me want to trade the D700 for it. The AF is just too good, and its lowlight capabilities together with its ergonomics and handling makes it the best body out there still even though its an old camera by todays standards and the lacking in megapixels.
So, for me it will always be the camera that made me go digital and have a special place in the history of my photographic journey…