The European Song Contest is an extremely well-packaged spectacle where questionaable talents get to “strut their stuff” for millions of beguiled viewers across Europe and elsewhere.
It’s like a talent show on steroids with one elaborate number after the other until finally, one of the least amateurish songs gets voted the winner.
On May 9th 2013, as part of the celebration of Malmö hosting the event, a beautiful and elaborate light show was projected directly on Turning Torso’s facade.
As I don’t listen to ESC music as a genre (unless it’s one of the few really good tunes from the 1970s), I instead enjoyed the entire evening walking around and documenting our neighborhood’s amazing skyscraper being beamed with colorful patterns.
Originally, I had some pretty ambitious plans for this year’s Halloween. But for a variety of reasons, they didn’t materialize. Ce la vie. I did buy a pumpkin.
Somewhat fitting is therefore this photo from the old abandoned mining settlement, Bodie – likely the most popular ghost town in the United States. I was particularly fascinated by this classroom and the cracked globe. The patina is beautiful. Nature has reclaimed a lot of the town, but it’s still well worth a visit. Especially if you, like me, nerd out on weathered wood, rusty steel and more or less anything not made of plastic.
Bodie’s located in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, not far from Lake Tahoe. I was there with fellow photographer David P about 6 years ago on a whirlwind road trip that went from L.A. through Death Valley, Mono Lake, Bodie, Yosemite, San Francisco and then back to L.A. along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. If I remember correctly, the trip took about 72 hours and at one critical point, we were going to be heavily fined for speeding – if the Highway Patrol officer that stopped us hadn’t received a dispatch call that demanded he promptly scadoodle – and let us off the hook.
Here’s the (Leica’s) view from my hotel tonight. It’s an attic room and possibly the most asymmetric I’ve ever stayed in. The room has really tiny windows making it feel just a little claustrophobic. But the great view is a reasonable trade-off.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about Göteborg. I feel at home here but I’m dubious about ever moving back. Folks are spontaneously friendly than anywhere else in the country. And I’d argue that the country’s most positive mindset will be found right here. In all, I lived in Göteborg for about 15 years, so I am somewhat of an insider and probably still know my way around here better than I do in Malmö. Yet the city has always felt stagnate somehow. And it hasn’t gotten any better since we moved.
Sure, there are plenty of new stores, cafés, restaurants and hotels, a few minor infrastructural changes and a couple of neighborhoods that have gone through gentrification (Gårda, for one). But that’s pretty much it.
Göteborg is suffering from an unhealthy level of complacency. And to make matters worse, nobody cares.
I suppose my perspective is slanted, since Malmö has seen so much positive change since we moved there twenty years ago. To a degree, even the notoriously pessimistic mindset of Malmöites has changed for the better and there’s clearly a more positive vibe in Malmö today. Which in part probably has to do with the city’s younger generation being more open-minded and extemporaneously outgoing – as well as an influx of companies and folks from other Swedish cities and countries relocating to Malmö.
There’s a tangible pioneering spirit in Malmö that’s really wonderful.
Not sure if I would ever consider moving back to Göteborg. If given the opportunity to live as close to the ocean as we do in Malmö, then maybe. Got to live by the sea, ya know.
I’m in Göteborg for a quickie. Took the fast but surprisingly rickety train up and after arriving – and instead of checking into the hotel – I instead walked briskly in the nippy but sunny Sunday afternoon weather to the city’s only photography museum, Hasselblad Center at the very top end of Gothenburg’s famous promenade, “Avenyn”. If for no other reason than to reaffirm the medium’s importance and perhaps to try to quench my seemingly insatiable thirst for inspiration. The shot above was taken with my iPhone, arguably a more precise photographic reproduction tool and certainly a more versatile camera.
Tomorrow morning, I’m visiting a potential supplier to check out their facilities, how they work and if what they have to offer will add value to my workflow and ultimately how my art is presented to clients.
I’ve never been so mindful as right now when it comes to what I eat. It’s actually quite interesting to discern and analyze what you put in your body.
About two years ago, I stopped eating beef, pork, poultry and anything on land that walked, flew, slithered or crawled. The transition wasn’t difficult at all and only occasionally – mostly when travelling abroad – do I miss sinking my teeth into a juicy beef burger, sucking on smoked baby back ribs, chewing on bbq pulled pork or stuffing my mouth with half a dozen salty strips of honey crisp bacon. None of the above can be bought at any restaurant I know of in Sweden. Well, at least not in Malmö. So, I’m not often tempted here.
Shot during the week here in Västra Hamnen mostly on an iPhone 7+ and a few times using a iPhone 6s with DJI’s Osmo Mobile gimbal stabilizer.
Yesterday, I had a short fashion shoot for Pello Bello with my favorite model Tora in one of my favorite places here in Västra Hamnen, the small park with alleys of trees adjacent to Ribersborg Beach.
Now, what made the gig so unique and therefore noteworthy (blog worthy) is that I shot it entirely with the Leica Q. Man, the vibrancy coming out of that camera is astonishing. Very little color correction needed. Only a very few of the motion frames demanded a tad of High Pass sharpening. Most images were shot at 1/30s, f/2.8 and ISO 100.
Just as we finished yesterday’s shoot, it started pouring again. Like the summer, the autumn of 2017 will likely be remembered for its immense precipitation and downright dreary weather. In fact, the whole year seems to have been rainy with only a negligible amount of consecutive days with warm temperatures and sunshine. Which clearly feels like we’ve got some really bad karma going on here in southern Scandinavia… Or, at the very least we’re being meteorologically punished by whoever’s in charge. Especially when you consider how many months we have ahead of us with the usual DDR-esque winter weather.
On a lighter, more positive note, my morning Yoga routine and thrice weekly yoga class is certainly keeping me in shape. And recently, I’ve begun a journey into the world of Qi Gong. After so many years of running, working out in the gym and all kinds of group exercise classes, it feels really good to have found a new, less complicated way to create balance between body and mind. Un-complicating life is a mantra definitely worth pursuing.
With at least a half dozen or so towering conference and business hotels having been established over the last few years, nobody can have missed Malmö’s ongoing hotel boom. But the latest addition to the city is something completely different. MJ’S opened last April and is not only the city’s only real boutique hotel. It’s also one of Skåne’s absolutely coolest hotspots. I stayed there last night and ate a most sumpteous meal as part of a recurring gig for my wife Charlotte’s popular Swedish hotel site, Hotell Addict. All shots taken handheld with the increasingly versatile Leica Q at an amazing 1/30s and ISO 1600. Minimal post work – just a few notches of noise reduction in LR/CC. I’m blown away by this camera.
Yesterday at our local sports center, Kockum Fritid, my latest art project was unveiled: five unique pieces printed on acrylic with motifs inspired by physical activities: Hockey/Skating, Squash/Badminton, Gym/Weightlifting, Group Classes and Swimming. The project was commissioned by Kockum Fritid and each piece was created from 30-50 single photographs from several sessions spread over a few years. View the collection here.