What do you do when you are living where it’s cold and dark outside for months every year but you desperately don’t want to give up photography? Well, light is to a photographer what paint is to the artist, and therefore, one solution is to stay indoors in you own cozy apartment and create all the light that you need by getting some studio lighting!
After being really inspired when my colleague Tony brought his gear over to let me try it out, I decided to get my own equipment. Yesterday was the first time I unpacked everything and started to experiment while I was having time on my own as my girl had gone to work! It’s not that easy to get the hang of it, especially when you have to be both behind and in front of the camera, but I managed to come up with two self portraits as a start.
I was searching flickr for inspirational pictures from Stockholm when I found this amazing picture and decided to try to copy the idea! As I was not familiar with the HDR-technique this guy had been using, I had to do a little reading to understand how it works. HDR (High Dynamic Range) picturing is when you take multiple exposures of the same scene and put them together to extend the pictures dynamic range beyond the limitations of the camera. For these pictures I have put together three exposures, -1, 0 and +1, into one, using Photomatix Pro. Afterwards the pictures went through a final procedure in Photoshop CS5 to get the right finish.
Last Thursday I got the opportunity to try out some studio lighting in my appartment, thanks to my colleague Tony who brought his equipment over to me. The models for my very first studio shoot was Mattias, another guy from work, his brother Patrik and his girl Linda. Have to give you guys credit too and thank you for being patient with us and for not giving up on, although the session took a long time!
The lighting we used worked really well for the kind of photos we wanted this time, three 150w flashes with two soft boxes and one silver umbrella. For some pictures we used the third flash to lit the background to get it really white. I’m really pleased with the result considered this being my studio premiere. These pictures are supposed to be framed and be given to their families as Christmas gifts so I hope they will appreciate our work! ”Our” because Fredrik was also there to help with some ideas, be sure to check out his pictures too on his blog; www.danielsson-photo.se.
I feel it won’t be long until I buy my own studio gear and start to experiment even more, this was great fun and I could easily be doing this every week for the rest of our dark winter time 🙂
Here are the best pictures, I’m posting in both colour and black/white, please tell me wichever You like better!
So this will be the final post from our journey around South America..! Our last stop was Peru for hiking at the Inca trail, a 45km walk over 3 nights and 4 days, walking 8-11 hours walking a day! And of course it’s located on high altitude, from which you recieve altitude sickness which is not really what you need when the air is so thin already. However, the experience was far beyond my expectations! The stories about the Inca kingdom are truly amazing. This is something I really want to recommend you to do if you ever make it over to this side of the world, not forget to mention those of you who live there, you should really go!
Wherever you go along the Andean mountain range, who stretches all across the continent from North to South, you know it’s gonna be beautiful! Walking along this stunning trail is true joy. And as you walk, you try to imagine what life could have been like back at he 12th century, based on the stories the guides were telling about ”The four regions of the sun”. Amazing stories! We completed the 45 km trail as we reached Machu Picchu at dawn on the fourth day. Stunning view that is hard to recreate in a picture, but maybe some of the mystical feeling can go through the screen.
This Last picture shows another Inca site along the trail.
Finally I would like to thank all you lovely people we’ve had the pleasure to meet along our journey. I just wanna thank you all for being you, helping me grow as a person in so many ways. It really teaches you a lot when you go outside your ”comfort zone” as you do when you go travelling places you’ve never been meeting only new people wherever you go!
Before we arrived to the start of the Inca trail, we stopped by a tiny old fashioned village by bus and got a closer look of the colourful dresses these people were wearing and how they are made. What caught my camera-eye were the mothers carrying the little babies, so adorable I just had to get some shots of them.
For me I feel it was necessary to closely encounter poverty in different ways. This has made me realize how well of we are in the west, economically and how fortunate I am to be among the few people that happens to be born in the rich parts of the world, with the ability to travel all over the rest of the world if you just work hard. Few people in the world has luxorious opportunities like that!
When the plane took off from Cusco, I thought to myself; many of these people probably live their whole life up here, but are still unable to enjoy the view of their country from high above in an airplane because they can’t afford to fly. I bet they would be just as amazed as I was though, looking down on the beautiful mountain range. And there was I, just someone who happened to be born in another corner of our world with so many more choices of how to live my life. But are we happier because of that? Are we more generous and true because of that? One year ago I maybe would have said yes to that. At the moment I have no doubts, we are not! This journey has taught me so much about me, about people, about sharing, about life!
Once again, a big thank you to all You beautiful souls out there in the world, making this a better place!
Peace & Love from Sweden ❤
When we arrived to San José it didn’t take more than a couple of minutes until the taxi driver told us to leave the capital city as soon as possible. Good start! But he was right, the town does not show any of the beauty Costa Rica has to offer. We weren’t planning to stay in the city anyway, as our goal here was to become better surfers and that is not gonna happen inlands. So where to go? Costa Rica offers a lot of good surf spots, but I think we found the best there is, Santa Teresa. Why? Well first of all it’s so consistent. There are surfable waves almost every day of the year. Sometimes too big for us (and for many others) when big swells are coming in and you are not even able to paddle out, but that’s rare. Second thing is you got plenty of space as the beach stretches for several kilometers and you don’t have to fight other surfers for the waves. With these great conditions I managed to catch a lot more waves than I did in Australia two years ago and now I can proudly say that I actually can surf! 😀
Playa Santa TeresaSanta Teresa is a tiny place and there is not a lot to do besides surfing. On top of that the sun sets before 6pm, so you better be up early to make the most of the day! At least I’ve had a lot of time to think, plan and just reflect on various stuff. That’s been really appriciated. One thing I won’t miss though are all the bugs and other animals that you just don’t want too close, like around and inside your house…
Let’s make a list of all the animals I encountered at the house:
– ants & flying ants
– big flying bugs
– even bigger flying bug
– humming birds
..there are probably more that I forgot about. And not to forget of course, the howling monkeys that woke you up in the mornings. Thanks guys 🙂
Some pictures of our house, aka the playground for all these cratures…
…my epic surfboard! 8’7″ Canadian quality 🙂
We also made a trip to the cloud forests of Monteverde for a couple of days, but then my camera collapsed so I ain’t got any pictures from there A beautiful forest to go trekking, and then we went on a Canopy tour, a set of about 15 ziplines, some going just above the trees and some 180 over the forest. The longest one is about 1km and you go Superman style, head first. Awsome!
The next and final update from this amazing journey will be from Perú and Machu Picchu.
Until then, pura vida!
I got good news and bad news. First..? The bad news. Ok!
Phrases that put your patience to a real test when you hear them over and over and over again:
– Hola amigo, where you from? Qué pays?
– Taxi? Taxi? TAXI??? …Tazzi?
– You like cigars? My friend, come here!
– You like to go (insert random activity)? I have a friend that…. bla bla bla
– Good price! Look!
I think I’ve used the words ”No gracias” more times the last two weeks than for all the previous three months of this trip!
Now the good news!
Our stay on Cuba also had bright days of course! Relaxing on beautiful Playa Ancón, snorkelling the reef outside of Playa la Boca, going on a boat tour trolling for BIG fish and more… that’s memorable, even if your ”friends” aka mental enemies are lurking just around the corner… 😉
Moments like those and people like Rosa, the woman hosting our homestay the first days in Havana, are memories to keep! Also, Cuba is a really greatful place to bring your camera. I’ve had a thing for a while that I wanted to get some portraits of black people, and Cuba was the place to find interesting characters for this purpose!
When you’re walking the streets of Havana, you sometimes feel like you want to glance at some newspaper to verify what date it is, cause it truly feels like you’ve made a time travel with all the old American cars from the 1950’s. It’s really cool, and makes nice pictures so thank you Cubans for keeping them running! First picture with the famous building Capitolo in the background, a gift from the U.S.
After a couple of days in Havana we headed for the sout coast for some lazy days at a place called Playa Girón. A tip to all of you concidering visiting Cuba, simply don’t include Playa Girón in your plans 😉 Here I’ve tried to make three pictures from the same place at the same time to look different from eachother.
Continuing further east took us to Trinidad, a really charming old fashioned little town.
We spent a morning on a 36 foot boat trolling for big fish, and in my opinion we managed to get a BIG fish hooked! Fred got pretty tired in his arms after pulling up this 5,5 kg barracuda (:
This morning we arrived in Costa Rica and the plan is to find a house someplace nice near the beach to stay for a longer time to work on the surfing skills. I imagine the pictures from here to be dominated by palm trees, beaches, surfers and stuff like that. Time will tell if my vision will come true or if other objects appear more interesting…
Peace & Love to all of you from the Carribbean paradise!
Today starts a new chapter of this amazing journey (:
Today is kind of a sad day because we have to leave Buenos Aires and all the lovely people we’ve been fortunate to meet Rocío, Agustine and Alejo, you will always be remembered! I’m really going to miss all of your warmth, your caring, loving and all the laughs we’ve had..! You are the reason we extended our stay here in the first place but yet we wish for nothing than more time with you! (:
One thing that makes me happy is to see these peoples spirit when they talk about visiting Europe! It awakens something inside of myself and fills me with energy just by listening to others and their dreams of exploring the world, just as we are doing at the moment on their home ground. I really hope, and I do believe that you are determined enough not to let go of these plans and make it reality soon, because it would be a true pleasure to get together again and go for new adventures… (:
As you can see, my summary of the city of Buenos Aires is not what you usually tell when leaving a big city like this, but this time really is different. I could tell you about the usual ”touristy” stuff, but for me that is not what I’m going to remember from this stay anyway, so I’ll just let you view my pictures from around the city and make up your own stories about them (: I don’t know how inspiring most of them are for others this time, but for me they contain a lot of soul and that is what I would like to remember!
A panorama picture of the famous Obelisco downtown. Clickable for full size view.
The typical taxidriver pose with the arm hanging out (:
Old guy with the coolest stick ever invented!
Ran into some really cool graffiti, also in the Palermo area.
Pepeyn! If you are reading, this piece of art reminded me of you in some way (:
We also visited the famous La Boca area with the characteristic colourful houses. The area surrounding the few streets that are for tourists are concidered less safe, so to get here you either have to go by bus or taxi. Walking is said to be like asking to get robbed…
Few things are more Argentinian than tango…
…ok, Maradona, son of La Boca, maybe is worth mentioning…
…and also typical, the LOVELY grilled meat called asado! Parrillas are the places you go to eat it. The last thing to fit in this ensemble would be a Maté cup, but I forgot to take a picture of mine. Right now it’s going through the 24 hr opening ceremony. Maybe it deserves it’s own blog post 😉
The no.1 beer!
Last weekend I went to visit one of our new friends who lives in La Plata, a smaller city just outside of Buenos Aires. As a contrast to the hectic environment in the city core, it’s so relaxing to spend a whole day in a quiet, peaceful park without all the noises from cars, sirens and other stuff. For me, the quietness have become something I appreciate more and more every day, maybe I’m getting old haha (:
As the sun was about to set, I wanted to capture the feeling of this day within some pictures of this girl while she was mastering the slackline! All from the same spot but yet a little different.
…So who is she then, this balancing girl, who so far is only showing her feet? Her name is Rocío, a girl with the unique combination of being just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside! Bringing a smile to her face for this picture wasn’t too hard, even though at first she tried to have the ”Que piola”-look 😀
This is the last update from Argentina. Tonight we’re flying to Cuba and Havana, wich I believe will be quite different from where we’ve been so far. And finally, to all new friends we’ve made here I just wanna say: no te amo, pero…