About three weeks ago I had the honor of documenting Rafael and Stefan's big day. The ceremony was held at Solna Kyrka and the reception at Kräftan Värdshus. It was such a beautiful wedding with great atmosphere including lots of laughs, love and the occasional tears of joy. Thank you so much for having me guys, I had soo much fun!!
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!
Last year was the first time we attended the Mosquito Beach Party event at Smedis. We had so much fun that this years National Day Celebration was auto-booked in beforehand.
Even more people had joined compared to last year and fittingly enough this was the only day of the week that the sun blessed us with it's heavenly presence.
We sure did have a blast and I managed to snap away a bunch of images.
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 back I had a family photo session booked with the lovely Sara, Raber and their super cute bundle of joy Alissa. They were really well prepared and already had ideas on what type of shots they wanted us to capture during the session...peeerfect!!
We had much fun with loads of laughs and shot for about an hour straight. Alissa a.k.a. "Kishmish" did a fantastic job of (almost) sitting still and looking in to the camera...also good job mommy for saving the day and managing to intervene whenever balance became an issue.
Below are some of my favourite images from the shoot. Later!
It's not everyday that you get invited to the CIO's residence for dinner. But then again, it's not every company that fosters such friendly and "open to the floor" mentality plus great social atmosphere as it is done at ÅF.
The theme of the dinner party was "Your Hobby" and everyone had dressed accordingly to their own interest. So of course I had to bring along my camera and also managed to snap some shots during the evening.
Lena, thank you so much for having us over at your lovely home. It was super!!
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 haven't posted anything gear related on the blog before, but I thought I would be interesting to share my current set-up.
As a prelude to this, I should add that I made the switch over to mirror-less from a Canon 6D fullframe body and a couple lenses sometime around last spring.
The main reason for this switch was to decrease the size and weight of my equipment. Also I wanted a body + lens combo which I could take with me anywhere.
I won't go in to details about the technical stuff, image quality, sensor size and such. There are endless great reviews out there. All I will say is that I really really love shooting with my X-Pro2 and haven't looked back ever since!!
Anyhow, recently the family got bigger. I decided to treat myself around X-mas with a new fish-eye. Since I enjoy shooting architecture from time to time I thought this lens could be a nice addition in my camera bag and hopefully enable me to capture interesting perspectives.
Below are a series of images I captured a couple weeks back around the newly built residential and commercial area Arenastaden in Solna, Stockholm. All the shots are processed from raw using Abobe Lightroom and Fujifilm Classic Chrome Film Simulation.
I thought that this was going to be easy. To put down what had inspired me, sparked my enthusiasm so immensely recently for creating and wanting...no, longing to continue putting a part of me out there in the discrete digital universe through the art of visual story telling.
I now realize that I have to give you some context, take a couple step back, so... Ever since I got hooked on the art of photography I've aspired to create images with that WOW factor. On the path towards that goal, my mission has been to learn as much as possible about all aspects of the game; gear, technique, preparation, visualization, composition, post processing etc.
I absorbed every little piece of information I could find, I read tutorials, reviews, blogs and early on found myself being pulled toward the slower genres of photography, i.e. landscape, seascape and cityscape. If I would name one photographer that inspired me most then it's without a doubt Elia Locardi. He's work and journey is a HUGE inspiration to me.
The thing is that for these type of images I wanted to create, I was confined to the times of day around either sunrise or sunset. But I embraced the laws of physics. I would barley shoot at other times of the day. What kind of self respecting photographer would want to make an image in the middle of the day? This was my default approach unless away on a vacation. Until not long ago when I started feeling that same pull as before but now towards Street Photography. The source of inspiration this time was Vancouver based Ian MacDonald. Around the same time I made the switch from my Canon fullframe DSLR system to the smaller and much more sexy mirror-less Fujifilm system. The result; a lighter and less conspicuous system including great IQ, manual control and awesome retro look. Now I had my camera with me at all times and was able to be out there shooting at any time of the day, it was soo liberating!
I don't remember how, but recently I happened to stumble upon a blog that has made me open my eyes to yet other forms of story telling. Patrick La Roque, who's imagery and the way he expresses himself makes me keep coming back to read yet another of his masterpieces. To be able to turn any mundane and ordinary moment into a visual fiesta and a compelling story, that is the direction I feel I want to be taking my story telling.
With that prequel, here's the first photo series in my approach to share my mundane and ordinary moments with you guys.
Breakfeast. Mother-in-law. Deep Conversation.
I'm a tad late on this here blogpost...just a taad. Yeah, I know. It's crazy how time flies when you're out there knocking down shots of Jose Cuervo. But hey, better late then never, right?!
Anyhow, just wanted to take this here opportunity and wish you all, my digital friend-o's, a merry Christmas and a happy new year!!
Here are some of my favourite moments of last years' shenanigans. Ho Ho Ho!!
This past Monday my wife & I met up with a bunch of friends to celebrate the Swedish National Day.
We packed our picnic baskets, put our shades on, got our groove on and set course towards the Mosquito Beach Party event at Smeduddsbadet.
The event had been advertised as a new kind of national day celebration including live music & dance performance. The organizers were hoping to attract even more people this year compared to the first event that was held in 2015. The Cosmopolitan Stockholmers were invited to celebrate the tradition of open-mindedness that Sweden is known for.
And boy let me tell you...it was a blast!!
Actually it might have been the most fun I've ever had on a Monday (Whaaaat?!?) Ok, Ok, I gotta admit that I've been looking forward to the past 7 Mondays and a fresh new episode of GOT rarely disappoints.
Anyhow, the saying goes, "Wherever there are friends, there is a party".
On this particular Monday we found ourselves stomping our feet, flapping our arms (ok I was mostly flapping...and stomping) and simply digging the great Latino inspired music surrounded by thousands of happy friends from all over the world that are proud to call Sweden their home.
As the days go by and the darkness lingers longer every day I try to find energy for that loss of B vitamin somewhere else. A walk during lunch time when those precious rays of light still shine upon ones face is an efficient way for instance. Another source of vigor for me in the constant darkness is looking through photos of those sweet summer days.
If even just for a moment putting yourself back into a scene where the gentle summer breeze caresses your skin while you without a care in the world keep sipping on that frozen strawberry margarita and enjoying the good company of friends and family.
This short journey down memory lane is some sort of conscious mirage that enables me to find that something extra when the wind howls outside and there ain’t nottin’ but rain according to the weather forecast.
The photos from our two day sailing trip in the Stockholm Archipelago are a good example of where I’d like to go back in my imaginary time machine.
Jenny & Tobbe invited us to tag along with them on their boat during a weekend in august. We loved every minute of that experience and it’s mostly thanks to the good company of our captain and co-pilot. Thank you so much guys, it was a real treat!!
The end of the school year is a time of joy & happiness since it usually marks the start off summer. High School graduations however are somehow bittersweet. For all those seniors that have been looking forward to this day, it also means the end of an era. At the same time it’s the beginning of something new, unknown, exciting yet sometimes scary.
You can see the same bittersweetness on the looks of all the parents. They’re happy at the same time sad. The little birds are finally ready to go out there in the world and fly solo.
Last week me and my wife Shams celebrated her sister Nadia’s High School graduation at Fyrisskolan, Uppsala. I could see in all those faces what I felt 16 years ago. So much happiness, hope & excitement for what’s ahead.
So I wish you all of luck flying out there reaching for your dreams Nadia!