It is with a great feeling of happiness, a lighter heart and an ease of mind that I draft up this post. It's been a hell of a ride. Didn't think I'd see the meaning in of scribbling down my thoughts on this digital notebook any time soon again. Let alone being out there shooting again.
The last couple of months has probably been the most challenging of our lives. Between the wifey setting up her own shop, me starting over to pursue a new career and our beautiful baby boy Leo arriving 3 months early we've been occupied indeed. Or rather barely managed to stay above the surface.
Since Leo as any premature baby needed some help getting through his first time out in the world we've spend the last 8 weeks at two different hospitals. Last week we finally got to come home and take our first steps towards a more "normal" subsistence. More on this in a separate blogpost. I've got so many images to share from Leos first 2 months.
Considering that we've spent a lot time apart from our lovely apartment (God knows I missed the kitchen and cooking a nice meal most) I have been finding myself passing through new urban spaces. And considering that I've needed to vent all the anxiousness and heavy emotions the camera has been a good friend of mine.
Below are my favourite images in a three part mini-series from the last couple of months.
Hagastaden & New Karolinska University Hospital in Solna
Fotoskolan Stockholm, Folkuniversitetet in the city center
Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge &
Areas around Flemingsberg centrum
This late spring/early summer period has been a kind of layover period considering my Street Photography project. I've had other stuff that has needed my energy and attention. Nevertheless I had a few opportunities to go out and shoot. Here are my favourite images captured during the last month.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts including images from our family vacation to Biarritz and San Sebastián. Later!
It's about time for a recap of last month's endeavours. I've been continuing to shoot as often as possible and I just love "hitting the streets" with the camera in my hand. Those days when I for some reason can't bring it with me I feel "naked" in a sense, it's as if it's become an extension of me. Also the spring is FINALLY upon us here in Stockholm which means longer days and more photo opportunities...yeaaay!!
I'll do less talking this time and kick things of right away...
Stockholm at magic hour
A grayish afternoon in Arenastaden
A dance of shadow and light
My main focus for 2017 is definitely to improve as a Street Photographer. With the saying “practice makes perfect” in mind I’ve been taking every chance to hit the streets. Even if it’s just a 30 minute window here or even better a 2 hour opening there, I try to use that time to practice anticipating, visualizing and capturing those special candid moments.
The prerequisite for this to be possible is of course that I'm always carrying my camera with me. This was actually one of the main reasons for my Canon Full frame DSLR to Fuji X mirrorless switch last year and I haven't looked back ever since!! Also I keep notes of different parts of the city that I'd like to photograph for different projects. For instance, I've got a list of locations I'd like to shoot for my Cityscape Sunrise/Blue Hour Series and another list of cool buildings/offices/commercial spaces for my Architecture Series and so on...Since I have the memory equivalent to Dory in "Finding Nemo" this helps me decide very quickly where to go if I have some time off.
So how has this project been coming along you might be inclined to ask...Well I must say that I've got that special feeling, you know, kinda like butterflies in my stomach and the longing to get back to it whenever we're separated. I can't hide it anymore, I'm super in love with street photography!
Side note [Most of the images in this post are captured either inside and/or underground. The reason being that global warming hasn’t really set out here in Sweden so it’s still freaking cold outside!?!…]
Stylistically I've found myself gravitating towards the more minimalistic type of storytelling, trying to focus on a single subject framed in an interesting urban environment. All of the above experienced through the eyes of my everyday companion, my stylishly retro looking and sexy Fujifilm X-Pro2. It’s usually coupled with my lightweight and superfast XF35mmF2 lens which is a perfect street combo! If I’m in the mood for mixing it up then on goes the 18-55mm for those situations where versatility is a benefit. Any-whoo, I keep rambling on….on with the show, below are my favourite images captured during Jan and Feb 2017.
Ongoing project titled "Waiting Room".
These 3 images were shot at Ulriksdals Station which is where I hop on the commuter train to work.
A couple weeks ago I needed to do some work from the company offices in Gothenburg. Whilst there I also managed to squeeze in some quality time on the streets with my X-Pro2.
You know it makes sense that they call this city "Little London" because the default forecast is super-windy and freaking grey and rainy weather. However, I did make a point to out-brave the dull canvas that I had at my disposal, set my film simulation to ACROS and went to town.
Below is a 2 part sequence of what I got away with.
Hasta la próxima!
1 - IN TRANSIT
2 - THE STREETS
I was originally set on sharing photos from Florence & Elba combined in the same post.
But as I was working on it last night I realized that it would be a huge article with loads of photos.
That's why I changed my mind and decided to do it as two separate stories. So, this post is the second part of our summer vacation series which consists of:
- Italy Part I - Cinque Terre & Portofino
- Italy Part II - Florence
- Italy Part III - Elba
- Lofoten, Norway
- San Sebastian
Whenever we're out travelling our preferred means of transportation is definitely by train.
It's such an enjoyable way of getting around. We usually just relax and enjoy the view, catch up on some reading and/or get some shut eye.
We had one day that we'd planned to visit Florence and we were of course not going there by any other means of transportation. A train ride from La Spezia Centrale to Pisa and another from Pisa to Firenze Santa Maria Novella took us about 2:20h with the regional train company Trenitalia.
We'd finally arrived to Florence!! This is the capital of the Tuscany region, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the city of lilies. You can imagine what high expectations we hade for this place.
At the end of the day, after an entire day on foot exploring, sightseeing, eating pasta and having to many scoops of gelato - I think we'd walked for about 7-8 hours - both my wife and I felt the same way. We were delighted but at the same time sad. Sad because we had to catch the last train back towards Pisa but delighted that Florence had categorically lived up to our expectations!!
Next time we're gonna be staying for a whole lot longer, Firenze ci vediamo presto!
On the bus ride from Biarritz to our next destination both my wife and I were so amazed by this place that we felt anything else would fade in comparison. Biarritz had definitely raised the bar.
However, our next destination San Sebastián did not disappoint at all!
It is said that it’s impossible to lay eyes on San Sebastián and not fall madly in love. This is indeed true, especially if you are as serious an eater as we are.
San Sebastián is cool, charming and well-mannered by day, graceful and flirtatious by night.
It’s a city that loves to indulge and has a food culture that’s unmatched anywhere else in Spain. There’s a reason why Donostia as it’s called in Basque frequently tops lists of the world's best places to eat.
In this region of Spain, the chefs have created their own cheeky version of tapas. They call it pintxos and this cheerful little morsel of Basque cuisine has been refined to an art form. The perfect pintxo should have exquisite taste, texture and appearance and it should be savoured in two elegant bites.
But just as good as the food, is the summer fun in the sun. For its setting, form and attitude, Playa de la Concha is the equal of any city beach in Europe. Then there’s Playa de la Zurriola, with its surfers and sultry beach-goers.
As the sun sets after yet another gentle summer’s day, you’ll find yourself jostling next to locals and tourists alike outside of bar Nestor.
Whilst enjoying the starter; a simple yet marvelous plate of Pimientos Verdes, you can’t wait to taste that first bite of the chuletón that’s prepared to perfection. You take a sip of that heavenly Ribera del Duero and realize that, yes, you too are in love with San Sebastián.
Istanbul has been on our places-to-visit-list for a while now. It gradually climbed higher up on that list since I got more and more hooked on photography. You always see such beautiful views shared from this city. So as you can imagine I was very enthused about this trip.
I gotta say that Istanbul, which is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural and historical heart, did definitely not disappoint!
The biggest draw remains its historic center, and it’s no wonder that it’s partially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Everywhere you go, especially in the Old Town, there are reminders of great empires & people long gone. If open for it, you can even feel the passage of time and presence of great history inviting you for a glimpse into the old days. Back to the city known as Byzantium founded by the ancient Greeks.
In case you’re interested in the short history version; Istanbul has served as the capital of four empires: the Roman Empire (330–395), the Byzantine Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922).
After having strolled around this part for most of the first two days, eventually the CRAZY tourists taking selfies EVERYWHRE annoyed the heck out of us. So we decided to explore other parts.
We crossed the Golden Horn through the Galata Brige and up to the Galata tower which is a medieval Genoese citadel. Not far from here we found ourselves in the cultural and entertainment hub of the Beyoğlu district. This part of town with its quaint design shops, cozy cafés and cute art galleries was very much our cup of tea. Here we mostly hung out during the last two days.
In short; Istanbul is a melting pot of different cultures, home to the friendliest locals I’ve ever met on a trip, with the highest rate of kebap-erías you can ever imagine and with crazy amount of tourists, shops, boutiques & bazars selling all kinds of products. Last but not least it provides wonderful scenes for any travel photographer. So I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful city!
Here are my favorite photos from the trip.