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 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, Autumn is here. Just thought i would make a quick entry about that and upload a few pictures that i took exploring the wonderful colors we all associate with Autumn.
To be honest, overall Autumn is not my favorite season here in Sweden. But the few days where the sun shines through the bleak autumn sky, it can be magic. And every year it makes me go out to capture it, even if just a few shots to make me feel i have done it so i can cross it off my list of things to do.
This particular day i had the family elsewhere so it was a good opportunity to go out for almost the whole day to find some good places and also just relax. The weather was definitely just as i wanted it to capture the colors.
I decided to go to a place called Bogesund which is located about 10 kilometers from where i live. There is an old castle there and also a lot of forest and some sea nearby that we usually visit during the summer.
But one of the best things besides having good locations to shoot is a cafe called the ”Parkvilla”. One of the better places around these parts if you are looking for homebaked bread and pies.
That it is located like 100 meters from a fairytale castle and the garden to match does not hurt either in my opinion.
So i sped down the serpentine roads of Waxholm nearby the place of my destination and passed a place i also think is very cool. It is a Bog that looks very eerie at night and pretty spectacular during daytime.
You can sense people in the old days had to stay clear of this area due to getting stuck or drown there in the bog.
So i parked just beside it and shot some frames before continuing to the Cafe where i would begin my expedition.
At the cafe it was unfortunately not deserted!
But considering the weather and time of day that was not so strange. I ordered a home baked apple pie with vanilla sause and a huge home baked cinnamon bun and sat there marveling at the view and feeling the sun on my face while i drank that fresh coffee. So a little slice of paradise there before traveling further.
Then i got going and walked around the castle and castle gardens. I have been there several times in the past so i did not really find anything that i had not seen before, but i just felt like i wanted to view it now in autumn to snap a few pictures before going to other places nearby. The forest around the castle consist of a lot of oak trees and birch trees. Beautiful in the Autumn. So done with the castle and its grounds i traveled further into the forest down to the sea where i found the sun started slowly to go down, creating probably the most beautiful scenery i had seen this autumn with the swans traveling the sea and the sun shining on the beautiful birch trees nearby the little beach. The kind of day you thank the higher powers for being alive and be allowed to witness something like that before your life is over. Great stuff indeed.
After strolling the beach getting those shots i wanted i walked to the car and started to go into the forest nearby because i spotted a hill not too far away where it looked like the sun just about reached the top.
At the top i managed to find a strange place where some trees had died in the middle of the hill. It looked so sad. But at same time very natural. The beauty of the yellow colored birch trees around surrounding the dead old grey tree. Almost like they were paying homage to its life.
I tried to capture that but i am not sure i did it justice to be honest. But here is another shot that i thought looked interesting. After climbing down i wnt to the car again and started to head home. I actually stopped by the Bog because i wanted to go a little closer through the woods. That proved to be a bit difficult but i managed to get pretty close without going down into the bog and becoming a zombie they would stumble upon in centuries later.
It looked like a cemetery for dead birch trees near the Bog and i got a few frames there before hurrying back to the care parked beside the road.Then i went back towards my home and i had one final stop in mind that i had seen from the road. An alley that would look very nice near sunset and the time proved perfect if not too perfect because i knew i only had like 30 minutes before the sun would disappear ! So i parked nearby a church there, set the tripod and took a few shots just before the sun went down. After that i felt like i had enough and with not much light left i felt i had been a good a good time to call it quits.
As i went back though fate had something else in mind. Like a few kilometers from my home , the fog started to roll in from all over and i realized this would not only become somewhat of a hazard to the cars driving but also be a pretty cool thing to document somehow before the last bit of light left the sky.
I Sped towards the Church in my hometown and the fog was all over now making it difficult to see much. I set the tripod and took a few atmospheric photos of the church and surroundings before giving up finally. I got back to the car and went to pick up my family that were patiently waiting at the translation a few kilometers away…
So that was my blog from this years Autumn. Done and filed!
A little fun sidenote from the trip was that during my excursion through the woods near the bog, i managed to pick up a few ticks. in the end though i felt it was worth it…just hope it was not carrying anything i will regret later!
Thank you, Over and out, Martin.