lørdag 7. februar 2015


The world seems to change even more quickly. I don't know this, but maybe things seems to change even quicker as we grow older? Besides, I always seem to forget how everything was back then, in the childhood days when I grew up. A few things have etched itself into the memory, and will probably never disappear, but then again a lot of things has slipped my mind and will never come back. The more daily stuff, that does not seem important at the time, has it's own way to just evaporate from my memory, quickly. A coltsfoot in a road trench, a red nylon Liverpool shorts pulled way up underneath my arms, a gravel road full of bumps and holes, the childish heaven to ride your bike on fresh asphalt, the envy felt as you watched your buddy being able to ride his bike on the back wheel for as long as he wanted... Then it's all the old houses and buildings that is no longer there, roads that has been moved, the forever changing landscapes as new buildings pops up. All those bigger things that you think you remember, but still will struggle to explain if you were asked to do so.
Of all things, why did I ever listen to my old dads words about saving all that good Kodak Tri-X for the real good shots? I did not listen to him all that much on anything else, so why didn't I just use it to shoot all those great streetshots back then, when I grew up?

Today I realize that it's just a shame, and nothing else.

The streets I grew up on are the same today as back in the days. They were a lot longer back then, but they are still the same.
The Thomas-field was great for a game of football.  Today it's a tiny piece of bumpy backtrack, squeezed in between two heavy traffic roads. Naturally, that was exactly what it was back then as well. The traffic was not the same, but the grass was just as bad back in the days as it is today. Everything worked back then. No one plays football, or use this field for anything these days. It's just lying there... between these two roads for no obvious reason. Back then it was there for us to use, as we played football in zigg zagg to avoid the worst bumps.
I doubt that any Thomas owns this tiny piece of land anymore. It's probably taken into some plans for future public use of some kind. The old man called Thomas has probably passed away 30 years ago or so, as he was an old man even back then. His house was yellow, and it's still there. I don't have any idea if it's still yellow, even though I drive past every now and then. I guess I don't have the time to even check a simple thing like that.

We are all more busy these days, even though we always had an important football match to play at that time.

Two Suzuki 550's speeding down the gravel... way to fast on that 30mph road. Our main road.
A blue one in the lead, soon to be overtaken by the red one. Loads of dust, roaring engines, speed, action. Huge beasts those bikes! The speedometers went all the way to 200 kmh, or even beyond. The eyes in a boys skull almost popped out.

Everything was bigger and faster back then. Well... not my fathers old Opel Kadet. I think the speedometer on that one maybe went to 130 kmh, but he never managed to go over 90, no matter how busy he was. The cars, at least my fathers cars, were always slow as hell. A few of my friends fathers had VW Beetles. They were never able to overtake any slow or fast car either.

For christmas in 1974 I got a camera from my parents. A real camera. All the shots on this blog entry is taken from a few of the first films ever to run through that camera.
In addition to being a helicopter pilot, my father was also a kind of magician. He could take film from any camera, and develop it in a tank in the kitchen. When it was developed, he could also make fine prints from the same films under red light in the same kitchen at night time. I was invited to watch every now and then, and I remember pure magic taking place right there and then.
A bit later, when our new house was finished and we moved in, a dedicated darkroom was made. I kind of grew up in that darkroom, when I was not playing football on the Thomas field, or skiing, or doing anything else outdoors.

The camera was a Minolta Hi-matic G. An automatic viewfinder camera. I realy hauled quite a few meters of film through that camera back in those years, but time and (ab)use always went along nice with it. I still got it, and I still use it quite frequently. I have shot a lot of great photos on it during it's lifetime of 40 years this far. I can't help wonder how my iPhone will look and work in around 38 years from now...
I got a few old cameras. For instance an old Rolleiflex from 1957. That's ten years before I was born. That one also is as good as new, and simply is a fantastic camera. You can hardly hear the shutter as it ticks. Ticking like a Rolex... and I can't help thinking about a fine swiss watch every time I use that camera. Great mechanics, and a lovely and sharp lens. Sweet like candy.

I love my Leicas as well, and the fact that you can hardly hear the shutter. No noisy flapping mirrors are good when it comes to noise, when noise is not a good thing. Mirror cameras can sound like letting an elephant loose in a china shop at times, which is not a good idea in certain obvious situations. By the way, it seems to be a rule that mirrors on the other photographers cameras are a bit more noisy than my Nikons... It's a feeling I get when I am in a situation that I have to use it in a quiet place. Really strange I guess...

Owning a good camera back in the 70's did put you into a few situations where you could really let every strict order from any parent bounce off like it was never mentioned. You were the recorder, the reporter, and you had to do your duty. It could be that a few of the situations was constructed by someone, but that seems to have vanished from my mind as well. There was a lot of action to be reported and recorded, and everything was great until the films was developed. Developing film was not for kids to do, so my father did that job. Not every negative made it to become a print... Luckily he was never to tough on the censorship, and at least all the negatives survived to this day. I got a few prints to make soon... digging out my old Tri-X films from the mid. 70's.

Scanning of film... yes, I have to go through this. As soon as I find myself working with pictures on a computer, I seem to try find a million good reasons to get away from it. As soon as I move from something physical into the world of 0's and 1's. Endlessly binary rows... Well, I get sweaty and a headache suddenly creeps into my body in some mysterious way. I don't like it. In fact I hate it, but know it has to be done these days. A real silverprint is so much more than the scanned file from a negative, but still I do the scanning and the posting of the files from time to time. I do it here as well, and on Facebook... and on Flickr and all over the place.
It's reality though, that the majority of pictures is viewed on a screen these days.
I would love to have a big white wall where I could go nuts with loads of good silverprints instead, but that will probably not happen. I can still dream though.
I never edit my scans to any big extent. I might crop away the ragged borders some times, and I might adjust a little bit on the light if I feel like it, but I hardly ever remove dust and stuff like that. Only in special cases.

I will do some spotting on the final prints of these shots when I take them to the darkroom to make prints of a few of them. I even think a couple of them might end up on a wall somewhere in a small music studio owned by a man I know well...

Another bullshit blogger?!

OK, so I just have to try write my blog in the english language. I thought about it a few times over a while ago before I started my norwegian language blog, and thought I wanted to write in my own language. That was a big hit! Not even one reader for many months. OK, I have not been advertising the blog around, so that might be one of the explanations. Well, one reason for anyone to use time to write a blog would be to have one or two followers or readers, so I'll try again with a small adjustment in language. 

Being a teenage father I have heard a few stories about blog writers the last couple of years, and how they according to my teenage daughters, earn a lot of money by writing empty words about makeup and commercial stuff. Then, after some time, they start to write about how selfish the norwegian government behaves when it starts hunting for tax money from the same bloggers... Yes, just like they hunt for tax money from everyone else who earns money. Luckily I'm old enough now to know all about that shit, and also am I old enough to not give a damn about all the tax I pay. I just hope my money comes in handy at some point, for someone.

I am also both old enough, and hopefully wise enough, to realize that I never will earn anything on any text I write or any photography I take. I might sell one or two every now and then, but it will forever be a project on the negative side when it comes to money. So I fear nothing! And I couldn't care less either.I can, however, always hope that a few of the words and some of my photos might find their place somewhere they belong. 

The Big Blue... the ocean! In it's simple form a dull and boring landscape, but no matter how you look at it still in a constant state of change. One moment like a mirror, the next it's a mix of salt spray and roaring inferno. My office is set up the wrong way. I got my back towards the sea, facing a boring wall and a computer screen that has seen better days. Every time I turn around, I see something different. The light might have changed, a ship on the horizon, an oil rig, or maybe even whales or other cool stuff. The moment I wrote this article, my office was at a location some 120 nautical miles west of Shetland in the North Atlantic Ocean. Other times my office is elsewhere.White waves. Is the weather turning worse? Or maybe better? Weather equals wave-height out here. That's the only thing that really matters. Low waves means work can be done, high waves means no work and just waiting. Wave-height matters big time.

The photography, either a quick snapshot or a more thought through photo, as a way to tell a story and to express a feeling or a meaning is just fantastic. A great picture makes time stand still, for me. As for my own pictures... well, time seems to go remarkably quick when I look at most of them. I both love and hate my photos. Sometimes I really like one, but after a couple of weeks I end up hating the same shot. A few times the opposite happens, and these are the ones that seems to be the best one over time. Strange. A few works, most of them sucks! I will most likely post both pictures I love and hate. I will probably not tell which is which, but I will really like to hear comments on them, either they are good or bad. 
Strange thing a photo! As soon as the shutter has been operated, with a bit of luck a tiny bit of history has been captured. Hence, when I some day see the result, the finished photo, I am watching history. Never future, always history! What's the deal in this human wish, or even demand, to want to watch history all the time? A bit strange if you just look at it in that way, but that's just the way it is. I know, because I got pictures from way back in the 70's. Pictures work in a way that they seem to get better if you stick them away in a whole lot of years, and then dig them out. I should do that more often. Take my pictures, develop the films, and just hide them away for say 30 years before I do anything with them. That way maybe more of my pictures would look better to me?

The photography is one of the real big inventions the last few hundred years. Big and important. Cool thing is that inside any camera the same thing happens today that happened in the early days of photography. OK, the world has gone digital and the equipment has been refined a whole lot... but we still only got a lens with an aperture, and a shutter in some form that let the light through to hit something sensible to light. Today it's most often a digital sensor, a few years ago it was film. We capture light and shadow in a big or small box. Just as we did in the earlier days. We save it inside the box for a short or longer period of time, before we transform the information into... a piece of history. And life is worth living. Why are we still doing this? Why is this of any interest today, when everything that is considered important always seem to contain the words "live streaming", "broadband" and God knows what. Why does photography, an ancient technique, still have such an impact on our lives? At least for quite a few of us? We have never shot still photos at a larger scale than we do now. I read something about this a few days ago, and it was mentioned that we have shot more still photos the last five years than we did in all the years before that, combined, since the technique was invented. That's quite a few photos! Sad thing is that only a very, very few of those shots will be for anyone to see in a few years time. It's estimated that only one of thousand shots survive the first year of living. Strange thing for someone grown up in a time when you never even thought about loosing a negative?!

Bloody hell...! What about all these kids around that will grow up without having seen a printed photo of their granddad? Well... that's probably a story for a post on it's own!
Everyone seems to consider themselves as photographers these days. There is all this great equipment around, and there is a lot of knowledge on how to make a dull photo look great on a screen, but that does not automatically make someone a great photographer? Or does it? I think many more of us would benefit a lot if we took the effort to pull our finger out of our ass and found some ground to stick it into, instead. Everyone with an expensive camera seems to have their own photo page on Facebook these days. A few of them are great, some are good, but most of them simply looks crap to me. No, I am not a photographer and will never be, but I still post photos on my Facebook profile from time to time. Some are good, and some are just shit. I can easily live with that. I am just a hobby photographer, but I still probably post to much. I should find some ground to stick my finger into, when I get ashore, some day.

Right now, in the afternoon, the sea and the sky almost blend into one tone. The sky is totally without contrast, and is around one aperture value lighter than the ocean. You will find out if you should start playing around with a light meter to find the truth. I don't care, because I know the facts, and I usually see the light in exposure values... around one aperture value, EV, or one zone in late Ansel Adams zone system. Just where you should find the horizon, the sky is creeping down into the ocean making the two elements melt together in some kind of weird way. 

I am no photographer! The majority of us is not a photographer, no matter how much we want to be one. A few of us might call ourselves bloggers. I guess there is no such thing as a blogger education, is it? Just as little as most of us can call ourselves rocket scientists, we are not photographers. To many of us is going to use a lifetime trying to become one, but still not be able to reach any of the great old guys even to their knees. We take pictures! A lot of pictures to be honest. Probably to many. You don't have to be a Micke Berg, Ansel Adams, Ingrid Budge, Dorothea Lange or Henri Carier-Bresson to take pictures. Not even to take great pictures, and thank God for that! It happens that I get struck by luck, and find myself having taken a great photo. Later, when I look at it, I always seem to wonder what I did, and I ask myself how on earth did this happen. Often the answer has something to do with some kind of feeling, something I can't put my finger on, which of course just make everything even more confusing. The explanation is never anything physical like aperture or shutter time. Those are maths, and something I definitely can put my finger on, and something I know a few things about. No, most often it's all about feeling. I think I need to start feel more...Micke Berg probably feels all the time. At least it seems like he does, because of his pictures. 

Breton lived to be almost 100. I might still have half a lifetime to learn...