My words, thoughts and photos from a Swedish perspective

Photo

A skilled brick-layer’s work

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The time when sights like this were common is long gone, but the brick-layer’s skills can still be seen on this old workshop. Modern buildings never get any decorations and I think it’s a loss from an aesthetic point of view. There are a number of craftsmen out there keeping old traditions alive and they are definitely worth credit for what they do. They keep old traditions and knowledge alive and old buildings cannot only be restored, but correctly restored and that’s an important aspect that makes a difference.

PS. An overdecorated building is vulgar – not aesthetic!

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It’s electric

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Though I’m not particularly interested in electricity, I must admit that I find many of the parts and pieces that goes with it very interesting as subjects seen with my photographer eye.

 


Springtime

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The spring is my favourite season offering the same miracle every year when the nature wakes up again. I took a trip last week accompanied by my camera and I really enjoyed being in the nature and listen to the birds, looking at the nature and so on.

 


Me and the silence

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Spent last weekend in my house in Kopparberg. The weather was ok, so I took a trip in the surroundings accompanied by the camera. We had had snow during the night but we didn’t get too much snow so the roads in the forests were ok to drive on. I parked the car on different places and took walks in the surroundings.

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I don’t know what it’s called in English, but modern methods of felling trees means that a huge area is completely cleared. The sight is not pleasing to the eye, however they are bound to leave some remains left for certain birds and insects as compensation for the possibilities they rob nature of. These also provide interesting possibilities for photographers like me.

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These deserted spots are usually difficult to walk on, but the snow and the cold made it quite easy. Winter has its advantages too, that’s for sure. Just add a dash of drama to the caption and you’re done.

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I have always lived in cities and ought to be used to that kind of life, but I enjoy the silence. There was only me, my camera and the silence present and it didn’t bother me the least. A feeling of home or belonging? I don’t know.

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It wasn’t quiet at all times though. The sound of flowing water occasionally broke the silence and I find subjects like this irresistable.

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Maybe it’s the strange feeling of belonging or being part of something that attracts me. Biologists and geologists have academic explanations to the things we see and experience, but there is something special that cannot be explained, a certain feeling of taking part in something partly beyond our understanding. Could this be the explanation why I enjoy it so much?

 


Just another minimalistic one

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No winter in sight yet and, honestly, I don’t miss it either. What I do miss is the daylight and the sun. This is what the sky looked like earlier this week (ok, the image is slightly manipulated).


Six days, three different styles and expressions

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The last days in October gave me an opportunity to do three different sessions in three very different styles. The first session I did was with the Alternative/Gothic model Xilmordas. I had never done anything like this before, so it was all new to me and very exciting. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to try and also to make the pictures look a bit different to what many others do in this field.

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I didn’t want to make him look like some kind of cartoon with loads of make up and a scary face. Instead, I thought that this look is something he has chosen and I must respect that decision by doing my best to show the style and follow some of the foundations of portraiture. Looking at the result, it is very clear to me that there is much to be discovered within that style and getting out of the comfort zone and try new things out is good for my photographic development.

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Time for a night shift! I have seen many night shots and liked them and now I wanted to find out if I could do it and get my touch. Raphael agreed to meet me down town late in the evening and we strolled around for about two hours. It was a rather cold night, but we thought it was worth it.

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I had done some tests a couple of weeks before the actual shooting (without model) and found that it could work and after that I felt we could actually get a couple of pictures worth looking at.

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Home and get a couple of hours sleep before it was time for the next session, this time with Viktor, who happened to be at home, as model. We wanted to try some “moody” pictures, but also took the opportunity to talk about many things between the shots.

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We took a walk through the city to the Central Station afterwards. Last time we worked together was about seven months ago, so we had a lot to talk about. Three different sessions, three different styles and loads of photos to post process. I guess it’s good for the development.


About men

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Model: Tobias T

I won’t label myself as a feminist only to be branded as “correct” but I do believe in equality and equal rights. Some time ago I read a statement saying something like “There won’t be any true equality between men and women before we also bring mens’ problems up to discussion”. My reaction to this was first “What?” and the next second “Yes, that’s right”. There will be no real changes unless we understand what stops the progression and why. This may, in some cases, mean that we will have to seek other paths on the way forward, but it won’t matter in the long run.

It was a pure coincidence that I made me work mostly with male models. When I decided to begin photographing models, I had no portfolio to show and one is not likely to get any sessions without a portfolio to sort of showcase what one is capable of – claiming long experience is not enough. I had to accept facts and wrote that I didn’t mind working with beginners. The first model who contacted me happened to be a young man and I accepted to do a session with him faster than the speed of light.

It was at this stage, after a couple of weeks in the amateur model world, that I understood that male models weren’t precisely in demand. The site, or rather, community I had became a member of had some male models but only three of them shared the opportunities to get photographed and to be a little creative. The rest seemed to be invisible and this meant that I saw a load of opportunities to get pictures, experience and opportunities to show my work and it worked!

My intention was to switch over to female models, but a friend of mine wondered if that was a smart thing to do, because I had by then a kind of niche and would leaving that be good for me? He was probably right, so I stayed with mainly working with male models. I learned from a couple of them that very few photographers wanted to work with male models, mostly because they thought it was too difficult, they claimed they didn’t know how to photograph men and so on.

Not admitting that there has been times when my choice felt a bit embarrasing would be like telling you a lie, but I kept working with male models (and I don’t care what people may think, I’m not ashamed of it). I also looked for tutorials on YouTube and found many more or less scientific hints and tips about how to photograph female models. There weren’t many tutorials available on the subject “Male models” and the few I found suggested one pose – two at the most – assuring that it would always work. Maybe it will, but using one or two poses would mean that my work would look “same, same but different” – in other words more a matter of swapping models, possible use a different light setting now and then. How very creative… not!

In most cases I have been old enough to be the models’ father and I have learned a lot from them about what is going on in a young man’s head today. It is often a battle between the stereotype and the individual’s own personality. There is a kind of role model one should try to be like, but what if your personal qualities, interests, body or mind doesn’t comply with it? I believe many often are acting; they behave the way they think they should when others are near and can see and/or hear them, but can relax by being themselves when among family and, probably, a few carefully selected friends.

Probably needless to say that this solution causes trouble and problems and as I wanted to do more than just classic portraits and standard model pictures which I think lack expression, I decided to take advantage of what I have learned and experienced during these four years by working with more artistic images showing what men think, feel and are facing. It won’t be a complete guide to “What men in fact are like” – that would be impossible – but it can hopefully give those who look at the photos and understand them a hint of the problems men have, thereby making it possible to talk about them and come up with solutions about how to proceed. In the end, I don’t think it’s all about shoveling men away and replace them with women just for the sake of equality – I think it’s more about understanding why we still have “A man’s world” here and there. The more we understand, the easier will the progressive process flow.