Category Archives: Photography

Look for the Light – Spring and Photography and Energy

Cecilia, Spring 2012

Early springtime is hitting Sweden as of now; it’s still a bit chilly but if you find the right spots, you can still take of your coat and sit for a while in the sunshine and enjoy the moment. This means that suddenly there’s actual daylight! Beautiful, sunny daylight! That means more hours per day of possible photography.

I really love to photograph people. I can not stress that enough. But I am always terrified of missing the moment, not being able enough, and loosing the shots. So, I’m in desperate need of practice, so that I start feel comfortable with it, you know, to get rid of the nerves.

So this weekend I had the fantastic opportunity to take a few shots of my friend Cecilia, an opportunity for which I am very grateful (Most people I know, while not very shy at all, do not want to have their picture taken).

Just being out in the sunshine was great, a big burst of energy, but also, it was a lot of fun just walking around finding new spot to shoot in, and I really got a lot of time to mess about with the settings on my SLR.

Below are two of my absolute favourite shots. I feel rather proud of them, and this is the reason: I have known Cecilia for ten years. She is a beautiful girl. And I feel that I have a caught a moment when she is feeling happy and beautiful herself. And that’s my favourite part of photographing people.

Cecilia, Spring 2012

Cecilia, Spring 2012

This post is cross posted at jenandtricks.com

Camera Out of Nothing

I’m taking a small photography course right now (Digital Photography and Image Theory), about photographic images in a world of digitalized media. The course is a combination of lectures and theory, but also of practical problem solving and assignments as the course progresses.

The theory is extremely interesting, putting the origin of photography and its development into a historical and social context. I find that the way I think about photography is evolving. But I must say that I enjoy the practical assignments even more!

The very first assignment was to create my own camera obscura using my own home. It’s been something I’ve wanted to try for a while, ever since me and Jed went to Scotland last year and visited the Camera Obscura museum in Edinburgh. We even bought a little pinhole camera kit to try out, but we never found the opportunity to use it.

Anyhow, my problem with this assignment is that usually the easiest way to do it is to black out your apartment, and then project light from the outside world into your camera obscura. What makes it easier is that you have a lot of nice, sharp daylight outside. I didn’t have the time to do this during daytime though, and since it now becomes pitch black quite early in the afternoon, there was no daylight to be seen when I came home from work. So I had to do the whole thing completely within the confines of my home.

Luckily I have a small storage room (well, nowadays it’s my tiny, wonderful, happy-place crafting studio, of course) with a doorway facing my bedroom. Commence blackout!

Jed helped out, of course, being just as interested in the result as I was. Also, he had to pose in the shot so that there was something more interesting in it than our messy bed and balcony window.  So, we used a ton of black bin liners and masking tape.

And then some more bin liners in the place where I cut the little hole for the light projection. A small frame was made onto which I taped a thin sheet of oven paper.

Sure enough an image appeared on the oven paper, but very blurry and not so bright. To make it better I needed to get rid of any light pollution, and make the hole smaller and more even. Loads of tin foil was used (I’m sorry, Mother Nature. It was in the name of Papa Science) on the outside of the black bin liners. Also, black cardstock was placed on top of the old hole to create a better one, but this time I made a tiny hole and made it much more even.

And suddenly I saw an upside-down image of my bedroom projected on the oven sheet. It felt sorta cool.

Results really approved. Awesome! So, with my camera on a tripod I could take this camera obscura portrait of Jed in our bedroom. How cool is that? I made a camera from bin liners, tinfoil and masking tape.

I know it’s been done a billion times, even by Aristotle. But this time I did it :)

Say ‘ello to my little friend

I completely forgot to blog about this, I was too busy trying it out and going on holidays and going to work and that sort of thing. But, here it is, my new friend:

 

I’ve been wanting to upgrade my old 400D for a while now, and had started saving up with the goal that if I found the 60D with the 18-135 lens for a certain prize I would get it. I thought that would maaaaybe happen sometime next year. So it was quite a surprise to me when, one beautiful sunny day in the middle of August, me and Jed went into a camera shop just to have a little bit of a dirty fumble with it, and I found out they had it on offer for the prize I’d set my limits to. I had no choice. It was faith? I deserved it? The shop was actually a time travelling machine that took us one year into the future to sell me a camera?

It’s a mystery. It was mad luck. And I really needed to cheer myself up. Anyways, now it’s MINE (and I will love it and hug it and call it George), and I don’t regret it for a minute. Also, my dear old 400D got relocated to friendly home, which feels oddly comforting. I can’t describe this in a way that doesn’t sound smutty, but it’s hard not to develop some sort of intimate relationship with something you have both your hands on that often. I guess that’s why some people love their car or their penis so much nooo can’t write that, way to dirty.

 Over and out, peeps!

Funny Little Cat Person

Sixxten is all settled in an enjoying his (our) new home. He has clearly stated that it is his domain. Not in the club? Tough! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but he has a cat phobia. For real. Dogs are sort of okay, as long as they don’t mess about. Other cats? Noes. Not welcome. There are no other cats in Sixxten Land but Sixxten.

Of course, it’s not really likely that another cat would sneak in through the main entrance, push the button for the lift, go up a couple of floors, ring our door bell and let itself in. Sixxten does not understand this. I have tried to explain it to him. Honestly. But the boy doesn’t believe me.

And he does not believe that the cat in the floor length mirror is actually himself. During daytime he’s mostly confused by this mirror and a bit weary. At night… he hisses and growls at it. Very. Loudly.

It’s not very restful to get woken up by an angry cat every night. Silly little cat person.

 

Collected (Photo Sunday Challenge)

In the midst of all the moving trauma (Boxes everywhere! Too few boxes! Bank loans!) I took the time to do a quick photo challenge for this weeks theme for the Swedish Flickr group Fotosöndag (Photo Sunday). This week the theme was “Samlad”, which could be translated as “Collected”. It took me a couple of days to come up with an idea. All I could think about was that all my earthly belongings were collected in a storage unit down the free way. And I wasn’t very inspired by the thought of photographing an entire mountain of brown boxes. But then I started thinking about how people collect things they think are beautiful, like different specimens of colourful butterflies and such, and I wanted to recreate that somehow.

This was the end result, that I posted on Flickr:

 

Collected: Best Friend
Click to enlarge picture

 

 

This is what you need to take this picture:

  • Best friend who doesn’t mind to try and help with your rather fuzzy and crazy visions
  • Also best friend is very crafty and can make pretty antennae from pretty paper

  • Understanding boyfriend who doesn’t mind getting kicked out of his work space because it happens to have a glass door

  • Leafy overgrown flower bed outside your door where you can steal some greens
  • Frilly white kiddy umbrella from the toy store to tape on your floor lamp in futile attempt to create some sort of diffused lighting
  • Also, every type of movable light source you can find in your entire home

 

It really wasn’t an easy shoot for a happy amateur like me. The rain was pouring outside, there was little natural light, getting any sort of focus through the glass was hard, and so on. But we had a lot of fun, and that’s the best thing about all this! I have so many funny shots of Sara, she makes the best facial expressions! Here is a another shot I really like:

 

 

 

Other themes for Photo Sunday:

Hope (Photo Sunday)

I finally had a chance to take some photographs this week, other than during our vacation I don’t feel like I’ve had time to pick up my camera for months now. The Swedish Flickr group Fotosöndag (Photo Sunday) had set a new great new theme for this week, “Hopp”, which can be translated to either “Hope” or “Jump”. I got a rather clear vision on what shot I wanted, but I’m utter crap at describing to others what it is I want to accomplish. Luckily, my friend Sara is very patient and went through her whole wardrobe and did tests jumps for me while I searched for the right aesthetics in colour and fabric. And then she went on jumping when I took a bunch of shots. On the warmest day we’ve had in Stockholm so far this year. Where would we be without friends?

So this is the final shot, after some editing. I wanted it to have a similar vibe to my Horror shot from February, a sort of follow up if you will. My life is certainly filled with more hope than horror these days!

 

Click for bigger picture

 

This is my third entry for Photo Sunday since February, so, I have a slow pace to say the least! I guess it all comes down to time in the end. Hey, have we had time as a theme yet? Oh, probably… Anyway, here are links to the previous two themes I did:

Also I would like to share a couple of other shots from that day I really loved.