Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shadows, etc.


Interesting shadows, Östermalm, Stockholm

More wandering around central Stockholm has resulted in the pics posted here. Again, nothing terribly interesting (where are all the people??), but it was a slightly more productive wander than previous days. I'm still waiting for the nice weather to go out so I can take some boring postcard-type shots that I can sell as stock later. For now, I'm free to pursue the kind of photography I love, but am finding it hard to be inspired in this environment...


Emerging, Kungsgatan, Stockholm


Lunchtime, Sergelstorg, Stockholm


T-Centralen, Stockholm's main subway terminal

In looking back at these, I find that many of these and many of my other photos are far too symetrical, and a bit too 'distant'. I've also really been thinking about something David Alan Harvey recently said on his blog, " really make photographs that have the "authorship" of which i so often speak, the photographer must look inside....for it is impossible to be an author if one does not have anything to say...." I'll admit that in most cases I'm often simply observing, and don't necessarily have anything to say about Stockholm or the other places/things I shoot, which is probably my biggest obstacle...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chess in the park

Taking photos here in Stockholm is literally and figuratively a world apart from taking photos in Southeast Asia. There's very little life on the streets, and the paranoia people emit when they see my camera is almost palpable. This is not to mention the cold weather and the fact that when I'm already familiar with a place I tend to have a difficult time seeing something new. Luckily there have been fleeting moments of sun and warm weather, and after the long, dark winter, people occasionally drop their guard and forget about the guy with the camera.

Such was the case yesterday in Kungsträdgården, a park in central Stockholm. The weather wasn't exactly warm (I overheard some Thai tourists complaining about how cold it was), but there were people out enjoying the sun, in particular a couple men playing street chess. I started out with this image:


The pic shows what was happening, but lacks dynamism. To make it a little more interesting, I moved to a different angle, closed in a bit, and tried to capture some of the movement of the game:


Not being entirely happy with this, I used the old trick of tilting the horizon:


and then cranked down the aperture to depict the movement:


which resulted in the best pic of the lot. I'll be the first to admit that this isn't much more than a mediocre image, but it is much more dynamic than the first, and I'm happy that I'm beginning to become more pragmatic about my photography. I also like the fact that I am slowly getting better at being able to pick out what I want to show, or what I don't want to show. Now if there was only more life here...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tourists or locals?

Saluhallen, Östermalm, Stockholm, Sweden.

Sometimes you never can tell.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Bible thumpers and dreadlocks

I happened to find myself on Khao San Road again last night, and although I was running to meet friends, had to stop and take a couple pics:

Christian missionaries

Hair care, Khao San-style

Face - Hand - Back - Foot


Last night was the opening for Surat Osathanugrah's exhibition Face - Hand - Back - Foot. Surat is a very wealthy and well-known Thai businessman, but he's also a talented photographer. Apparently he was more or less forced to take the family business, but always harboured ambitions to become a photographer. Now he's retired and has time to pursue his true passion.


The exhibition was held at Kathmandu, Bangkok's only 100% photography gallery, which is owned by Manit Sriwanichpoom, one of the country's most well-known artists. The gallery is located in a restored Chinese shophouse, and the downstairs showcases Manit's own work:


and the upper level is where the temporary exhibitions are held:


Incidentally, in about a year from now I'm actually going to have my own exhibition at Kathmandu, but more on that later...

Friday, April 6, 2007



Siam Paragon taken with the ultra-wide Nikon 10.5 f/2.8 DX.

I've always liked wide lenses, but with Nikon's less-than-full-frame digital factor of 1.5 means that most wide lenses are never quite wide enough. Until now. Stick this digital-only fisheye on the Nikon D200 and you've yourself got the equivalent of a 16mm on a full-frame camera. I bought this lens mainly so I could do some insane-wide landscapes of Stockholm, but suspect it will provide endless hours of fun far into the future. After I get back to Bangkok I hope to obtain the DxO Optics Pro software to straighten out all those crazy lines. One can do the same thing in Photoshop, but apparently this program is quite sharp and easy to use. Anybody have any other software recs?

Detailed info and lots of example pics taken with this lens can be found here.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


I've been wanting to do a photo blog for a while, and finally, here it is. Actually setting up the blog was a matter of a few moments; the hard part was thinking of a name. The one I finally decided on actually comes from a Pogues song that happened to come on while I happened to be sitting trying to think of a name... I've been obsessed with the "street" photography of masters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Elliott Erwitt, and thought the name reflected something of the nature of their work, as well as the essence of the images I hope to show here. These are going to be works in progress; the pics that I snap on the way to a job, or something I'm proud of that will probably never sell, but that I like nonetheless. My main inspiration for this concept has got to be David Alan Harvey. Despite being a Magnum photographer and filing a constant stream of stories with National Geographic, the guy still finds time to add to his own blog, At Home with David Alan Harvey.

At present she's looking pretty sorry--I'll get a custom banner and add some links hopefully sooner rather than later. For now I just wanted to get it up as soon as possible, as in a matter of hours I'm to leave for Stockholm, Sweden, then on to my home Oregon, and wanted a place to post images from both of these locations. For now I'll start in my third "hometown" of Bangkok. I Happened to be down on Khao San Road, Bangkok's famous backpacker district, the other night. I was just passing through, but quickly realized that this place warrants a full-scale photographic expedition, something I'll certainly do when I come back in May.


After people watching for a while we stopped in at Brick Bar, a place where, oddly enough for Khao San Road, I was virtually the only white guy. We had come to see Teddy Ska, a Thai band that had been recommended.


The band was really fun (what other band in Bangkok has a violin soloist and a horn section?), and really got the crowd going: