Here’s what my view looked like late this afternoon from the 53rd floor of the Turning Torso. Though I’ve seen it from this vantage point for more than a decade, I’m still mesmerized by how high up in the sky this amazing building reaches.
I’ve had an affinity for long exposure night images for many years. Several years ago, I took a series of New Year’s images from the roof of the aforementioned skyscraper. Some of which you can view here.
There is no logic or rational reason in the universe to buy into most of our contemporary culture’s offerings. And being so infinitely busy with my own more or less remarkable creative endevors, I rarely take the time to discover even that which might actually be worthy of my focused attention.
But there are exceptions….
Likely because I was partially raised in Los Angeles, arguably the most culturally superficial place in the known universe, I still get extremely excited for each new instalment in the Star Wars franchise.
And so, tonight, Charlotte, Elle and I will be seeing The Last Jedi at a theatre in Malmö, Sweden. A place far, far away from my very first introduction to the operatic saga by George Lucas at Groman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard a long time ago in 1977.
Here’s my interactive travel map for 2017. The year isn’t quite over yet, and I’ve got a couple of trips (one really short and one long-ass) before 2018 is upon us.
I’ve been traveling professionally for about 15 years now and was often on the road way before that. My first transatlantic flight was 1967 (LA to Gotehnburg) and I’ve so far been to 53 countries and 289 cities and seen many wonderfully interesting places and met some truly remarkable people all over our planet. I’ve also eaten more airplane food than I wish to remember…
I can’t think of anything I could buy or do that would give me as much long-lasting satisfaction as traveling does. Some call it rootlessness, but I prefer to look at it as a combo of plain ol’ curiosity and an ineptitude for dealing with boredom. For a comprehensive map with all the countries and cities I’ve visited for the last 20 years or so, click here.
Each year, Santa gathers his helpers and together, they work day and night to prepare for Christmas. Here’s a short behind the scenes video of the workshop 2017.
Once a week, often on Tuesdays for no particular reason at all, the Raboff’s side-step the usual cuisine and splurge like there’s no tomorrow.
See, a couple of months ago, we discovered a package of smoke vegan hot dogs at our local grocery store and life on Tuesdays hasn’t been the same ever since. I know, technically, hot dogs have to be made of some kind of meat. But as most smoked foods taste decent regardless really of what they’re made from or of, I knew these dogs were going to be pretty tasty. At least when compared with ordinary vegan sausuges – which taste slightly better than wet wool socks (as if I actually know how wet wool socks taste like…), the smoked dogs are absolutely delicious.
The sausages we eat are organic as is the potatoes, mustard, ketchup and dry roasted onions. My recipe for delicious mashed potatoes? A squeezed clove of garlic, a few generous pinches of salt flakes, teaspoon of finely ground black peppar, a dash of nutmeg and a cup or so of almond milk and finally, a few tablespoons of organic olive oil.
After closing my studio this summer, I thought I’d miss shooting in an environment where I could control light, background and other variables of my choosing. Didn’t happen.
On the contrary, I’ve felt liberated by the freedom from less gear and challenged by relying on my imagination and creative/technical savvy to deliver whatever vision I or my client have had.
Yesterday, however, I rented a relatively large studio near Kastrup International Airport and shot model Diviana for a photo project I’ve been thinking about producing for a while: a series of facial expressions.
Not sure how many different expressions we managed to capture yesterday and it actually proved to be quite demanding to convey the at times small, almost granular nuances that define adjectives like, angry/irritated, embarrassed/shameful, seductive/interested and tired/bored.
The project’s genesis stems from my fascination with body language and how much of what we say – and how we look when we say what we say – is determined by the culture we are captive of.
The above video is a collection of some of the many facial gestures Diviana exhibited during yesterday’s “expression session”.
I’ve always felt compassionate about all living creatures. Even those that are displeasurable to look at, that pose some kind of threat or that don’t seem to contribute anything meaningful to our habitat. Which they probably do, but I’m ignorant about exactly what.
Though I as late as last night enjoyed a hearty sushi/sashimi meal before going to a movie, I feel an increasing urge to take the plunge and delve into a fully plant based diet.
These silhouettes are part of a series of studio shots I took of the extremely elastic model and yoga enthusiast Tora about a year ago.
I was intrigued by the beauty of yoga and had started brooding with the idea that practising yoga and Qi Gong together regularly might actually prove to provide me with physical flexibility (and energize my mind) without overstraining my body in the process. The ultimate equilibrium.
I’m nowhere where I want to be, hope to be, someday. And needless to say my poses aren’t nearly as refined and visually appealing as Tora’s. But I’m now at a point where only a few of the basic poses are still really hard to achieve.
So it’s unequivocally clear to me that I’m heading in the right direction.
Like most mega metropolis, Bangkok packs a huge punch. Many first-time visitors become so daunted and overwhelmed by the cacophony of jarring sounds, blazing heat, intense traffic and the millions of people that live, work and play here, they vow to never return.
Over the years, I’ve come to learn how to parse the good from the bad areas and where to avoid going altogether. I’ve also grasped how to appreciate the plethora of interesting, non-tourist focused neighborhoods in Bangkok, like Rattanakosin, Aria, Bangrak and Chinatown.
The narrow side streets and alleyways of Chinatown, where I spent some time yesterday capturing street life, textures, patterns and compositions of old automotive parts, is definitely one of my favorite hoods.
Chinatown, and particularly Soi Nana (not to be confused with the infamously seedy Soi Nana in the Sukhumvit district) has of recent years been one of the capital’s most popular spots to hang out at. Several of the street’s old shophouses (previously mostly used as warehouses) are being cleaned up and recast as cocktail bars, gallery-cafés and boutique hostels. According to a few owners we spoke with last night, Soi Nana’s guests are primarily younger expats, the trendsetting HiSo crowd (Bangkok’s affluent high society troupe) and a few middle-aged travel junkies, like Charlotte and myself.
Easiest way to get here is via subway (MRT) to Bangkok’s Central Train Station – Hua Lamphong Station. From there it’s only a few minutes walk to Soi Nana.
Admittedly, there are a few assignments now and again when I become cognizant that working as a photographer is as fun as some folks seem to think it is all the time.
Not that I don’t still appreciate how much freedom I have compared to many other occupations – even when I have to deal with repetitive tasks that are often physically tough on the limbs and leave my eyes tired and dry.
The video above is as good an example as any. It’ll eventually be distributed online as part of larger marketing push for a relatively new hotel in Bangkok. It was shot on an iPhone 6s, 7+ and a GoPro 4 (silver).