In addition to choosing clothes, accessories and personal care stuff the vast majority of my packing time before a longer trip is dedicated to choosing what photography gear to bring along. Despite trying hard to minimize I still end up packing about 30% more than I end up using. That means if I pack 15kg of camera equipment 5 kilograms of it never actually gets used. Which is both a waste of space and a pain to schlep around.
One of the more crucial items I don’t comprise with is my invaluable stash of chopped oven-baked organic ginger. For about four years now ginger has been my prefereed snuff tobacco ersatz. This morning I made a huge batch for the forthcoming trip and dialed in an absolutely perfect oven temperature to get the little nuggets about 90% dry.
The smell during the drying process can be a bit pungent and the family certainly doesn’t waste any time complaining to me about it. Especially when I managed not to dial in the right temperature and end up charring a full tray of cut ginger. Still I’m pretty sure they’re okay with the occasional smell since the health benefits of my current root-munching habit easily out-way my old nicotine addiction – despite their nasal discomfort. Pros and Cons.
Whilst in Stockholm, I’m thinking ahead. Not too far into the future. I had dinner with a buddy last night who’s going to be doing that…
No, my focus isn’t further down the road than September or October. As a freelancer, at least at my humble level, you’re never more successful than a few hours after your latest delivery. Which makes coming up with new projects that have commercial viability, a key ingredient to my survival.
Visited the capital’s and arguably Scandinavia’s premier photography mausoleum, Fotografiska, together with a couple of friends yesterday afternoon. Horses with celebs and a considerable collection of Irving Penn’s work is on display. Can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever have anything worthy of being shown there. Not that it really matters. I feel that I get a fair share of recognition through other venues and channels.
After Friday evening’s amazing summer weather with pit stops at Lydmar, East and Strandvägen 1, it’s mostly cloudy now. Hopefully Skåne will provide a couple of days of sunshine before it’s time to head south.
On my way to Stockholm for the weekend. To capture a few frames of the capital’s gorgeous architecture and textures. And to see a few old friends. Taking the train. Nothing beats a train ride through Sweden’s lush summer landscape.
Contrasts. I live for them. Thought about contrasts during this morning’s super-early, jet lag induced jog around Malmö, Just a few days ago, I was running between the piers. The morning’s weather was spectacular with a temperature not too different from what I had been getting used to in Venice Beach. I didn’t see a single homeless person this morning, though. Then again it was early.
I tried hard to eat well while in California. It certainly ain’t easy. There’s just so much good tasting food to be enjoyed everywhere. On two occasions, I had one of these bagel platters they serve at Cow’s End. A breakfast with that kind of massive calorie intake meant I could skip lunch without feeling any loss of energy. Have yet to find a place that makes bagels in Sweden.
Ten days in Los Angeles – primarily Venice Beach – is food for the soul. For mine, anyway. I’ve met family, spent time with a few old friends and made some new, interesting acquaintances. Most importantly, there’s been adequate time for well-needed introspection. On life in general and more specifically on what I should focus on creatively henceforth. What will propel and satisfy me into the next phase? Where will the next challenges come from?
Change is good. Challenges are better.
It’s soon time for new endeavors. Geographically and artistically. This is precisely what I’ve been contemplating/pondering whilst surfing, running or shooting under the California sun.
Through an unforeseen but nonetheless fortunate chain of events, I met a couple of inspiring fellows during morning coffee at Cow’s End; Larry, a photographer and visual artist and Roy, a short story film director and writer. I met both just after my arrival to L.A., which in itself made the trip worthwhile. Creatively speaking, that is.
Roy and I had actually met during last year’s visit. This time, he introduced me to Larry who had also just recently finished a book project about Vietnam and could fully relate to the creative void I’ve been experiencing following the publication of the book about Malmö Opera.
During a few walks along Venice Pier, Larry and I spoke at great length about this conundrum and other related topics and Larry gave me (perhaps inadvertently) the intellectual push I needed to pursue a relatively new path I’d been feeling somewhat anxious about.
The photo above is the Airbus 380 I flew with from LAX to Frankfurt. The ride over continental USA and then across the north Atlantic was extremely bumpy and sleep was sporadic at best.
Frankfurt is one of the most confusing airports I’ve ever had the displeasure of visiting. The often unclear and therefore misleading signage and lack of manned information stations almost caused me to miss my connecting flight to Copenhagen.
Okay, so I was tired after the turbulent eleven hour flight. But never before have I had to pass through three different passport control stations during an hour long stopover!
Surprisingly, the security and checkin process at LAX was, if not exactly pleasant, than at least painlessly smooth.
The Tom Bradley Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport is hopefully going to be used as a benchmark when airports like JFK and Newark one day decide to modernize.
It’s going to be interesting to see how long this trip’s jet lag lasts…so far, it’s pretty much topsy turvy.