Here’s the retro branded SAS plane I mentioned in the post below (shot on an iPhone through a terminal window). I don’t remember what type of aircraft I flew in back in 1967 when I, as a four year old, journeyed from Los Angeles International Airport, via Seattle, London and Copenhagen to Torslanda Flyplats, but it could of been a DC-8.
While the sun leaves the Chamonix valley in a shivering, cold shade at around 5:30pm this time of year, the day’s last light still illuminates the peaks for at least another hour.
Charlotte and I walked around the village for a few hours after returning from a magnificent day on the slopes today, discussing what we really like about Chamonix and compared our notes from last year’s trip to the considerably smaller village of Zermatt below the Matterhorn.
Though an unfair comparison when measuring sheer volume and size, both destinations still obviously have plenty of commonalities. Where Zermatt caters to a more exclusive group of patrons willing to spend more time getting there and budgeting a bit more for accommodations, dining and just about everything else connected to a Swiss ski resort, Chamonix is much more accessible (an hour and change from Geneva), socially relaxed and dare I say, charter-esque.
Don’t get me wrong, Chamonix is a picturesque village in a surreally beautiful alpine environment. A destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited both resorts twice in the last five years and hope to return some day. After checking off a few other ski resorts from my list…
Another glorious day on the slopes with mostly fabulous weather. After checking out the pists in Flégère for a few hours, we headed over to Le Brevent and ate a hearty (vegetarian/vegan) lunch at one of Chamonix’s most popular hillside bistros, the rustic Bergerie de Planpraz. It was a bit too cold to sit outside when we arrived, but after lunch, the sun had heated up the outdoor patio (above) rather nicely. With the Mont Blanc massive as a dramatic backdrop, I’d be hard pressed to come up with a more scenic setting.
From today’s excursion to the very top of Aiguille du Midi and the glass bottom terrace at 3,842m aptly dubbed, “Step Into The Void”.
With views of some of the tallest peaks in Switzerland, Italy and France – including Mont Blanc (above left) from one single place, this has to be the ultimate alp spotting venue.
Despite sunny weather, the air at this altitude was thin and cold (-18C/-0,4F) which made it a little challenging to film and shoot stills. At one point, I thought my left index finger had gotten frost bitten. After returning to Chamonix, we spent the rest of the day exploring the many excellent pists at Grands Montets.
The weather today provided a mix bag with patches of sunshine, a light snowfall and a generous amount of fog or mist. Not that stopped us from skiing and thoroughly enjoying about a half dozen pists.
Back in the alps again. And this year, we chose to produce a story about the classic French ski destination Chamonix. It’s been five years since my last visit to Chamonix.
As the driver pulled up to the hotel shortly after lunch, the clouds hovering above parted and let the valley bathe in bright sunshine. After renting ski gear, I spent most of the afternoon shooting stills and getting some footage around the village.
Tomorrow we hit the slopes of Le Brévent with cameras, a small ski friendly stabilizer and a small drone.
Shot this with model and yogi, Tora Rosenkjaer a couple of weeks ago in Skanska’s Studio building here in Malmö. It was project aimed to help Altitude Meetings visualize how excellently their Black Box is for filming and still shoots.
Most of the footage was shot on a Canon DSLR using Canon’s brilliant 35mm f1.4L glass which was wide open pushed to ISO 640. The smoke, spotlight rays and most movements were achieved in post (FCPX).
Speaking of Bangkok and old and new norms, here’s a short video I created for Thailand Living a few years ago. Shot handheld on an iPhone 5 in the Thai capital’s bustling Chinatown.
Though a life-long proponent of peaceful solutions and a firm believer in diplomacy, reluctantly, I still have to be rational about that weapons, in one shape or another, will always be a part of human history.
The photo above is from the political unrest in Bangkok, Thailand in 2009. I was there on a press trip and instead of traveling to the far north in accordance with our busy itinerary, the government agency responsible for our safety determined it was unsafe to leave the capital. We were told that the risk for military action to bridle the increasingly violent demonstrators was imminent. And so, they checked us back in at the Intercontinental, a most comfortable detention center, I might add.
A while back, I wrote about how bewildered I was with all the norm shifts I notice each time I visit the United States. That I often feel that the country I grew up has changed more drastically than those living there seem to grasp. Obviously, some changes are evolutionary and stem from cultural, financial, scientific and technological development in society. But some of the new behaviors and opinions represent truly dramatic shifts. Yet they have permeated the collective consciousness so subtly, almost sneakily across years or decades, that few seem to take notice. Instead, many unabashedly subscribe to these new norms so wholeheartedly, that everything preceding them instantly becomes unrecognizable and even weird. That’s happening right here in Sweden with cash being displaced by Swish and other phone payements and the popular credit card swipe. Today I rarely see any cash, let alone pay with it.
One of the most current and dramatic norm shifts in the US is how increasingly normal it has become for Americans to not only buy weapons, but to also openly carry handguns (like in Texas, where it’s perfectly legal). How has this norm shift come about? Is it “smart” and persistent marketing from gun manufacturers? The National Rifle Association’s tireless campaigning to seduce their members into thinking that only when a Glock G19, S & W 38 Special or an Uzi is in the hands of all red-blooded Americans from age 9, can we secure the country’s long-term existens? Or, is it perhaps the media that through sensationalistic/exploitive reporting has managed to hypnotize folks into thinking that they really do need an AK-47 under their bed and an advanced alarm and CCTV system installed in their homes to feel safe and sleep well at night?
While the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms, the right to buy military grade rifles and other weapons clearly designed for shooting en masse, was surely not what the founding fathers had in mind back in 1791.
I can’t wrap my head around how so many folks in the US feel so strongly about their right to own military grade firearms at home yet don’t make the connection to the country’s increasing mass killings. Have these shootings become the new norm and with them the tolerance to buy and own such powerful weaponry?
In my opinion, it’s still too easy to a) sell these types of weapons to consumers and b) to let anyone with a valid driver’s license walk into a hardware store, a gun and ammo shop, or, even a Walmart, and literelly within minutes, leave with a weapon so powerful, they could use it to kill dozens if not hundreds of people in a matter of minutes.
And this boggles my mind even more: if you’re at one of the many, many gun shows spread across the US in the course of a year, a background check isn’t even required!
To add insult to injury, here’s a few of the questions someone looking to leave the gun store with an assault rifle under his or her arm needs to answer:
• Have you ever been convicted of a felony?• Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?
• Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any other depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?
• Are you a fugitive from justice?
• Have you ever been committed to a mental institution?
How can questions like these possibly be intended to smoke out and prevent consumers with nefarious intentions from buying a seriously potent firearm?
I’m both sad and bewildered. As a father and a human being, I feel so much empathy for the many parents and families that have lost loved ones in the recent Florida school shooting. How many more massacres before the NRA, Congress and interest groups sponsor a bill that to begin with removes military grade weapons from consumer store shelves?
Here’s a list of all members of the US Congress that took campaign money from the gun and weapons lobby and then tweeted that their prayers were with the victims and their famililes in Florida. Appauling.
There is no fair way to translate the Swedish expression, “Mumsfilibabba”. At least I can’t find one that does it justice. Mumsfilibabba is used as a playful way to verbally pronounce when something tastes extraordinarily great. Usually confectionery.
When Nina, a fellow freelancer and long-time friend of the family, decided to commercially pursue one of her many passions, developing and marketing homemade, naturally flavored caramel, both Charlotte and I applauded her entrepreneurship and decided to support the project. The photo above, shot with the “Q” on our dining room table with LED lights from Rotolight, is just one of the many available flavors.
As you, tender reader, might of guessed, after the shoot, I tossed back a few of these tasty temptations. And yes, they taste absolutely wonderful.
I’m not much for sweets these days, but as a child, I endulged in all kinds of sugary candies, including, but not limited to the ubiquitous Tootsie Roll. Especially during the fall and leading up to Halloween where Tootsie Rolls were among the most popular treats neighbors would offer us kids when being “trick or treated”. And while Tootsie Rolls are a peculiar hybrid of taffy and caramel, Nina’s Mumsfilibabba are made from a secret recipe with ingredients that result in unapologetically bonafide caramels. She’s already soft-launched Mumsfilibabba, so check it out here.