My words, thoughts and photos from a Swedish perspective

Oddities

Even though the daylight is on its way back, the time when the city is full of life still lies a couple of months ahead so I looked in my archive to see if I could find something interesting there. I found a picture of this young man that I believe has not been posted before, probably because it was taken a couple of days before the election in September last year and the posters in the background are full of political propagande from various parties. This is a photo blog, but the election is over and done with so why not post it today?

When out and about with the camera down town, I usually try to act and look like a tourist and at least on that particular day I obviously managed to play that part with a very convincing result because the lad thought I was a tourist and talked to me in English. My acting talents are very limited but I do like to take pictures of lines… Anyway, we had a chat about everything and nothing for about five minutes. It’s unusual these days but it was nice.

Not so far away from there I spotted these people of different ages climbing just about every surface they found here. I have never seen anything like that before. They were gone with a flash moments later.

I had some time to kill the day before yesterday so I went to a department store to see what photo books they had in store. Most of them were pretty basic or of little interest to me, but I found a Swedish book called Sheraton Years with photos of skateboarding between 1990 and 1999. I have never been interested in skateboarding, but the photos (taken by the Swedish photographer Jens Andersson) were interesting. Movement, direction and speed are among the things I like to capture now and then and his pictures were loaded with these together with portraits that often were a mix of portrait and snapshot styles. A rather extreme wide angle lens was often used and its effect was often used as part of the composition.

After a couple of days of study it is now clear to me that not only have I seen over a hundred unusual and unconventional photographs – it was also a glimpse of a secluded world and a way of life. No, I’m still not interested in skateboards but the image style was interesting and it inspired me. The rest is a matter of integrity. To be inspired is not the same as to copy a photographer’s technique. One has to try the things one likes and get them as part of one’s image style but in a way so it’s still your own unique picture style. It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it and when spring comes, I will go out and see what oddities I can capture. Some street artists perhaps, possibly people climbing concrete walls and maybe also a couple of shots of lads on skateboards.

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