Last Week’s Instagram

Once a week—or every so often—I will display 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.

In the Time of Corona

I am sitting at my work desk. It’s the end of the week. A bizarre week, to say the least. Outside, traffic has ceased, almost completely. I see only one young lady crossing the street. And a car every once in a while. Otherwise an unusual silence, almost ominous. The society is in lockdown-mode. The buzzword is social distancing.

What maybe surprises me the most is the fact that I have been able to maintain almost full workload. I have produced stories for magazines and papers that still keep the press running – if not literally in these digital times.

However, I have hardly photographed people this week, and when it happens, it’s from a distance. I always preach to photographers; go close, but in the time of corona, it’s not feasible any more. Not surprisingly, I am photographing much less than I would usually do.

I certainly can’t do much street photography. Well, I can, but not with much activity or people close up. Maybe I will give myself an assignment to photograph emptiness and how the lockdown has so dramatically changed city life. Next week.

As much as I have been able to keep myself busy this week, it seems to change as of now. I haven’t gotten new assignments, so naturally as the projects I am presently working on get done, my workload will quickly diminish. I do not despair, though. I will survive. Instead I will start developing new personal projects that I have long wanted to do, but never found time to commence with.

Here in Norway we are in the second week of the lockdown with severe regulations imposed by the authorities. Most people are doing okay, but I feel a kind of despair emerging from the collective soul. We are all getting somewhat restless from all this isolation we are supposed to enforce. The despair gets more evident as people start to see that this is going to last for months, not just a couple of weeks.

Last weekend it was as if the safety valve blew. After a more than usual rainy winter, the sun finally showed some grace here in my hometown. Suddenly every single one who has been practising social distancing needed to get outside and enjoy the sun. On the mountains surround the city, there was almost a line of people hiking up and down. So much now that the health authorities found it necessary to impose new regulations for the use of the outdoor vicinities.

I unconditionally confess, I was among the culprits. And how good wasn’t it for soul and spirit! I could lift my eyes, see and accept what is to come. I am ready, now after getting in touch with mother nature and seeing her beauty is still untouched by the plague. In fact she is doing better than in a long time, with diminished pollution, diminished pressure by modern society and diminished exploitation.

Last Week’s Instagram

Once a week—or every so often—I will display 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.

Last Week’s Instagram

Once a week—or every so often—I will display 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.

Last Week’s Instagram

Once a week—or every so often—I will display 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.

Last Week’s Instagram

Once a week—or every so often—I will display 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.

Transitions

I have always been fascinated by cities and the pulsating energy that emerges on the streets of those cities. That, in turn, has lead to a fascination for street photography. Last year I turned that fascination into a new project that I have called Transitions.

It started during a workshop I attended in Rome last May, taught by the devoted and passionate Swedish photographer Martin Bogren. After the workshop, I displayed some of the images from Rome here on the blog. Since then I have photographed for the project in every city I have visited—or at least tried, not always succeeding. Like last year, I had an overlay between flights in Panama City for about 14 hours, which I had planned to use to photograph for the Transitions project. However, a delayed arrival put a spoke in the wheels for that plan.

Nevertheless, I have enjoyed photographing for the project wherever I have had a chance. Well, enjoyed as well as dreaded. Because when you go out on the street with a camera, you put yourself on the line. I don’t mean literally risking anything (that is, you can of course). What I purport to is the emotional risk; you own insecurity when facing strangers and wanting to photograph them, the discomfort of imposing yourself on others, or even just stealing a moment of their lives.

One of my ideas behind the project is to capture how we human beings are formed by the culture we live in. For instance, our appearance on the street is different in Calcutta than say in Panama or New York. It’s the way we clothe, but also expressed through attitude and temperament. Of course, in our modern, globalized world these differences fades, but still, on a general level, it’s mesmerizing to notice the kaleidoscope of different forms our appearance take from one place to another.

Generally, cities act as interfaces for human beings. They are places we congregate, but not the least places of transitions. We pass through cities to get from one place to another. While transiting, we continuously encounter other fellow human beings, randomly and only for brief moments. Most of them we will never meet again. Yet, we move through cities with acute awareness about how others will conceive of us. We put up a façade; make a display of what we want our fellow human beings to think of us. Thus, cities also become vehicles for a personal transition, from private to public person.

I just read something that stroked me personally. It was words by David Campany, writer, curator and artist, in a foreword written to the book Easy West that showcases less known images by the photographer Harry Gruyaert. Campany writes: “Observational photographers are often lone figures themselves, never quite sure of their aims, hoping something will happen. Through a kind of empathy, they will photograph people in similarly existential or marginal situations. But to be drawn to this in a town so explicitly dedicated to the pursuit of enjoyment is an act, conscious or not, of distance. Wariness, even.”

Here are some of the images I from my last shoot in Seattle. They were actually captured before Christmas, but only lately have I had time to edit and process them.

Last Week’s Instagram

Once a week—or every so often—I will display 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.

Last Week’s Instagram

Once a week—or every so often—I will display 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.

Last Week’s Instagram

Once a week—or every so often—I will display 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.