Testing..

January 15, 2020

I’ve never been particularly interested in photo gear, the newest models and their technology. I have never owned a lot of equipment, and I’m not sentimental about objects, generally speaking. And yet, one does, I suppose, develop a sort of relationship with a camera. Having two of them, and feeling differently about them, makes that all the more evident. The Nikon the mature, steady and trustworthy companion, the Fuji the obstinate youngster that delights and disappoints at will. I’ve been happy with the outcome of both, that counts for something. Now that they are gone, I was all too inclined to run to my retailer, buy exactly the same set of cameras, put them in the same bag, mount the same tripod on it, and nothing ever really happened. But times have changed, that’s what happened. 

Pictures taken at Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, with a try-before-you-buy mirrorless Nikon Z6 camera.

Photographer without a camera

January 6, 2020
Not hard to understand what it feels like to lose personal belongings. To have them ripped away from you. To look into a black void, a crumbled window, the empty back seat of a car. The nauseous, sinking feeling, the hole in your stomach. But, as with everything dear that you lose - things, people - you start distancing yourself from them, out of sheer self preservation.

They are not your cameras, it's not your bag that carried them around for the last couple of years, not your tripod that supported them when needed.

You will start eating again, and not wake up every morning looking in that black hole and the crumbled window. And you are coming to terms with this one poorly taken decision, if it’s that much. And eventually, you start replacing what you lost. If you can afford it. 

Harder to understand, perhaps, at least for myself, is what it means to lose something for good, that you never had in the first place. The photo’s on the memory card. I know they were good, some of them, and there will never be proof to the contrary, so these pictures will always be the best I've ever taken. And forgotten, eventually.

A small church of grey brick behind birches, just north of Stockholm, with a faint sunlight on its facade. A house partly covered in plastic for renovation, on a barren hill with some patches of snow in a bloody lovely light. A school's playground in the woods. An icy meadow with a mountain slope in the background that has a strange gap in it. Boats covered for winter in a small harbour. A reddish sea of dead ferns, like waves. Wetlands in the last of daylight. 

It pains me to remember them, to never see them come to life. And I wonder, how will I remember this time, this place, these landscapes, if not by them. I miss these images, if only to replace the black void, the crumbled window and the empty back seat of the car.

Cropping

December 15, 2019
Cropping still feels like a sort of rescue mission - which is certainly true of these two pictures from 2015 that I dug up from the hard drive. Probably because I rarely conceive a picture as anyting other than 6x4 or 4x6, using the frame of the viewfinder as an important tool to compose a picture. Cropping it afterwards feels like correcting a mistake. At the same time, it’s one of the most satisfying editing operations.



The architect’s home

December 08, 2019

An archive in situ, shot for an article about the acquisition process. 

Parallel

December 08, 2019

I found a different take on this on the hard drive. It’s one of my earliest interiors, one that I’ve always had a weak spot for. It belongs to that undefined, hypothetical collection of photographs, mostly from the early days, that I feel have pointed me in a certain direction. The kind of picture that I’ve taken many times since then, but differently. Or not so differently. One that I know better than most, regardless its age. I have familiarized myself with every aspect of it, the lines, the stains on the walls, the colour of the woodwork, the reflection on the ceiling and the light breeze touching the curtains.

And now it’s here again, with the lights turned on and some patches of sunlight stroking the walls and carpet. An odd feeling, it’s like seeing it coming to life. And now I’m imagining how a collection of b-sides, outtakes, the ones that didn’t make it to the platforms, dismissed in favour of its siblings sitting next to it in a folder on the computer, and ultimately, forgotten, how these photographs would form a sort of parallel universe. Shifting my whole perspective and memory a couple degrees, a couple of hours or, more likely, seconds.

Hotel in Valdivia, Chile, 2012.