Bakgården til Peddler Brewing Company

Once a week I will show one of my photos captured and/or processed with Instagram over the last week. It’s a way for me to show photography that usually is quite different from my regular work. The pictures are displayed without any comments, hoping they will stand on their own. But I still very much appreciate any comments you may have.

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An Olympic Weekend

Solen går ned i Stillhavet

Den frodige, tempererte regnskog ved Hoh

Klippekysten ved Ruby Beach

Den frodige, tempererte regnskog ved Hoh

Solen går ned i Stillhavet

Getting away from everyday’s routines is always a boost. I was able to spend the weekend along the Pacific coast of the Olympic peninsular, Washington state, USA. While the weather only a few miles inland was sunny, bright and summer-like, we had wet fog, chilly temperatures and even some rain out there on the coast. But it didn’t matter. We enjoy just being outside and feeling close to the elements, hiking, paddling and, yes, of course, photographing. And after all, when we are visiting a rain forest – albeit a temperate rain forest way up north – what could we expect? In addition, when every evening, we were blessed with some spectacular sunsets; who needs sun during daytime…

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Last Week of Picture Critique

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I am almost adjourned with the photos submitted to my Picture Critique page, only two or three remains of what have been presented this far. As I wrote last week, it’s been a fun experience and a privilege to be allowed to view and present my opinion about the many photos. I would like to stress that what I write is of course exactly that; only my opinion. If you disagree, nothing is better than that, particularly if you put it down as a comment for further discussion. My point about doing this is to create awareness about the process and encourage intention in the creation of images. If you disagree and are able to put it down in words, you have already come a long way in this awareness. In addition we can all learn from each other and the different ways we see things. As Helen pointed in one of the comments, it’s not always easy to have full awareness of the subject, background, any movements present and the camera’s settings. But becoming aware of what you want is the first step towards getting it. The rest comes with practise and being attentive during the actually shooting process. One more thing: This is not a competition. Don’t hold yourself back with a picture you would like to have feedback on, just because you think it’s not good enough. If you know it’s a good photograph you probably don’t need my opinion, but the more you feel uncertain about its qualities, the more you can maybe learn from someone else’s feedback. So put it on. I have decided to let the Picture Critique be open for one more week. By the end of next weekend I will close down the page – until next time of course. So if you have any photo you could want somebody else’s opinion about, then now is the time. Only one more week! Go to my Picture Critique page and submit a link to the photo.

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This Week’s Instagram

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Once a week I will show one of my photos captured and/or processed with Instagram over the last week. It’s a way for me to show photography that usually is quite different from my regular work. The pictures are displayed without any comments, hoping they will stand on their own. But I still very much appreciate any comments you may have.

Posted in Personal Work, Photography | Tagged | 45 Comments

Tunnel Vision


When we engage in the creative process – if we are lucky or have experienced how to do it – we enter a state of mindful connection with the subject we are photographing or with the situation in which we submerge ourselves into with the intention to photograph. It’s like a breaking point when it happens. Suddenly everything seems to come forward, things happen almost naturally and very brightly. And your own awareness reached a level that almost surprises yourself. You become a participant more than a spectator.

When this happened for me first time, I was studying in New York, and I went down to cover the Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown. Suddenly I lost myself in the event. I became one with whatever happened on the street, and my camera became an extension of my senses. In a way it was as if the camera became my seventh sense. My reactions were canalized through the camera – both ways. I literally got so engaged that I lost track of everything but the celebration in the streets – even myself. I was no longer in control of myself, but was lead around by the eventful activities happening all over Chinatown.

The result – photographically speaking – was different than anything else I had done up till then. Despite the fact that I was completely unconscious during the photographic process; the pictures were fully loaded with my soul and at the same time showing the event with a detachment that made them interesting for others, too.

In his The Widening Stream, the photographer, teacher and writer David Ulrich says: «In spite of our conditions to the contrary, we must try to give our full attention in the process. We strive to be present, to stay in touch with the relationship between our inner energies, those arising from our bodies, mind, and feelings, and the work itself. As we begin, it feels flat and lifeless. Something is missing. As we continue and try to bring a quality of attention to both ourselves and the activity at hand, something begins to open, a fluidity emerges, and a deepening connection to the process begins to take place. We enter the flow».

That’s exactly how it felt back then in Chinatown. I started out photographing without any focus, I didn’t get involved and I felt I wasn’t able to make anything with my photographs. I was rather thinking about my own photography – and rather badly so – instead of putting my attention to what was happening around me. I was about to give up. But I still kept shooting. And then suddenly something changed. I entered the flow as it’s often called or got the groove as a jazz musician would say. I got involved. Instead of focusing on myself, I started to focus outward. I actually started to focus in the moment. It was all now in this very moment. I got a sense of timelessness, a sense of vital energy and a sense of freedom. Everything – life, myself, the event, the universe – felt important.

Again according to Ulrich: «Like the moment in athletics when endorphins are released, entering the stream of creativity vitalizes us with a sharp inner clarity and buoyant feeling for ourselves and our activity. We feel a spacious inner joy, a vibrant inner stream, which as it begins to flow, attract more of the same much like a river slowly widens its course. Yet, to avoid dispersal of these energies, we must contain them, nurture them, and focus them. Again, as in athletics, the great pay-off of entering the zone, the flow, can only take place through energies that are connected in a desired direction».

For me that afternoon in Chinatown was a leaf turner. It changed my way of photographing, brought my soul into the creative process for the first time. And I learned that I could enter the zone, the flow or get the groove when I was photographing – even when I started out feeling disconnected. Still today my intention is the same whenever I go out shooting. Find that breaking point and loose myself. Back then what happened to me felt like being absorbed by a tunnel and spit out three or four hours later, completely wasted, but intensely happy. And that’s always how I have pictured that part of the process. Entering the tunnel. The pictures from the Chinese New Year celebration probably don’t hold up today, but personally I have a special relationship to them. They showed me how to connect with my creative well in the moment of photographing.

Posted in Creativity, Photographic Reflections, Photography | Tagged , | 50 Comments

So Many Great Photos!

Et forelsket par nyter den vakre solnedgangen ved Playa Anchon

I have finally been able to get through most of the photos which have been entrusted me to evaluate. For various personal reasons it took much longer than I really wanted to. Still, there are few images left for me to give feedback on, but I expect to do the last ones over the next day or two. Nevertheless, for those of you who still haven’t used my offer to get what I hope to be some constructive critique on your photos, the deal is still open. So far it’s been a real pleasure to go through the submitted images. I have seen anything from landscapes to street photos, from straightforward to quite complicated images, from cold to warm, from black and white to saturated colour photos. I have felt very privileged to be allowed to look through and give my honest feedback to so many of your photos. It’s been a bit of a rough time for me lately, but looking through your photos gave me joy and warmth. It was like dipping my soul in warm, tropical water, like a beautiful sunset after days of rain and cold. As I already wrote, you still have the chance to get feedback on your photos. Just go to my Picture Critique page and submit a link to one of your photos that you want critiqued. It doesn’t matter if you are professional or just a happy shooter, if you would like to have some feedback, don’t hesitate. I don’t know for how long I will keep the page open, but at least a couple of weeks more. However, if you have a photo, don’t wait till it’s too late!

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This Week’s Instagram

Munchow_1698-050_E4

Once a week I will show one of my photos captured and/or processed with Instagram over the last week. It’s a way for me to show photography that usually is quite different from my regular work. The pictures are displayed without any comments, hoping they will stand on their own. But I still very much appreciate any comments you may have.

Posted in Personal Work, Photography | Tagged , | 63 Comments