Just back from a new 24hr weekend excursion. This time we travelled about an hour southeast of Copenhagen along Köge Bay where we stayed at a new rural BnB farmhouse, The Norrmans, owned and run by two Swedes, Anna and Lars Norrman.
Calling their place a Bed & Breakfast turned out to be a bit of a misnomer as we were able to enjoy both a sumptuous picnic sandwich for lunch, tasty plant-based BBQ burgers for dinner and a generous tray full of breads, spreads and treats as well as french press coffee for breakfast in the Norrmans’ lush garden. I suppose the BnB epithet is more of a positioning statement, referring to their very reasonable room and dining rates.
While Lars is at the helm of all culinary experiences (including classic cocktails and other well-chosen adult beverages), his wife and partner Anna Norrman has used her professional talent as a a sought after interior designer to thoughtfully decorate all public spaces and each of the partially refurbished farm’s eight guest rooms.
As we arrived a bit early, I had an opportunity to check out a few of the other rooms where color schemes, furnishings and lighting instantly reminded me of a small Riad I was once hired to photograph deep in the ancient medina of Marrakech. Warm, earthy hues and textures, natural, woven materials and a few fun, quirky design details that added both character and coziness to the atmosphere and comfort.
What was once a small Danish farm made up of several adjacent buildings, has over the past six months been tastefully renovated, refurbished and retrofitted to accommodate the farm’s newborn functionality. A couple of the older structures are patiently waiting to be converted – some as guest rooms, others to be made useful for other activities.
I think the Norrman couple have struck a resonating chord with what some guests are looking for today; originality, personality and comfort all neatly and consciously bundled into one thoughtful experience in a relaxing setting.
Folks, this is about as far away from the mostly numbingly boring, big-chain hotel experience you can possibly get in Scandinavia. As soon as I got out of the car, I started to wind down and was soon reminded of what is was like to just kick back for a spell in a comfy lounge chair, chat with other guests and eat all meals outdoors in a vast, green landscape accompanied by the occasional gentle hoot from a nearby owl or moo from a distant cow.
Though Denmark consists of a slew of small and large islands and is perhaps mostly known for popular destinations like, Copenhagen, Legoland, Louisiana, Skagen and the country’s picturesque coastline, two super talented Swedes smitten with tangible enthusiasm now offer visitors world-class hospitality and culinary experiences – right in the middle of a humbling and luxuriantly green Danish farmland. Highly recommend a stay at The Norrmans. More images from this lovely place can be enjoyed if you click here.
From last night at Scaniaplatsen here in Västra Hamnen where dozens of summer clad Tango dancers swung each other around rhythmically accompanied by another gorgeous sunset. We been enjoying outstanding weather for few weeks now and the forecast for the beginning of June looks promising.
While wading hip deep through a tsunami of emails from companies desperately trying to amend their future judicial liabilities to accommodate new requirements covering storage of customers and clients personal information before GDPR goes live today, I’m actually in the final stages of editing four short videos for a client. And this morning, I actually have a gig for a commercial. Not as a director or DP, though. I’ve been hired as an “actor”. As far as I can remember, I haven’t been in front of the camera since my days as a stand-in and extra on the sets of popular televsion shows, Moonlighting, Cagney & Lacey and Hunter. Yes, I’m a little psyched!
Shot this calm sunny side of Västra Hamnen earlier this morning from the bank of a small manmade island called Saltimporten in Malmö harbor. I used this exact spot when I hired a drone pilot for the cover shoot of the book, Västra Hamnen 2014 and I’ve had an urge to return ever since buying my own a while back. It’s a bit tricky to get the right angle to capture the reflections of both the little lighthouse and buildings along the waterfront. The Mavic’s camera gimbal has been a bit finicky recently for some reason, so it takes some fiddeling before I found the sweetspot.
According to the photo’s EXIF data, it was shot at 1/800sec at f2,8 and ISO 106.
For a bit more than 20 years, Charlotte and I have made excursions during the spring to Österlen, the beautiful agricultural region on Sweden’s south-east coast. Spring is the ultimate time of year for visits to Österlen. Most places are open on weekends and the hordes of tourists from Stockholm are thankfully nowhere to be seen.
It’s bit more remote than say, Vejbystrand on the opposite side of the country – and considerably further when driving to and from Malmö. But the extra road time is worth it nonetheless. Especially this time of year when the canola fields are in bloom and the air is clear and skies are blue.
I got a few shots from the ground and even more from above with the drone. Will eventually edit together a few of those clips.
Regardless really of the perspective, I think the yellow rapeseed fields offer a most hypnotic sight. And for the first time ever, I noticed that the flowers give off a really seductively intense fragrance. Almost too intense, for me.
This visit to Österlen, we spent the night at a cute, rural hotel called Karnelunds Krog & Rum in the tiny village of Ginslöv – not far from Brantevik and Skillinge, if you you’re familiar with that neck of the woods..
We enjoyed both excellent food, drink and the kind of personal service that we had heard they provide there. Österlen is often a bit of a hit and miss destination as far as service and food. Roughly 50% of the time we enjoy an awesome experience. The other half is filled with regret for picking the wrong place. Still, the region’s sheer beauty can’t be wronged.
Charlotte and I have over the years imagined ourselves owning and running a small hotel like Karnelunds one day. I doubt it will ever happen, but if it does, I’d like to have the same enthusiasm and positive engagement as our host, Janne did.
Turned out that Janne and I had actually worked at the same hotel in Göteborg, many, many years ago. Me in the bar and he in one of the hotel’s three restaurants. Our paths never crossed back then, at least as far as our memories would allow us to recall. But it was fun reminiscing about the wild n’ crazy 1980s and 90s working in the restaurant and hotel industry.
We ate super tasty, vegetarian, sour dough pizzas at Örum 119 before heading back home to Malmö with thankfully very light traffic most of the way.
I took this shot yesterday afternoon with the Leica Q in macro mode at f8 and 1/500sec near the Baltic Sea.
Longtime friend/creative collaborator and Swedish Sommelier 2017, Erik Schneider and I spent an hour yesterday afternoon in the beautifully bright yellow canola fields outside of Malmö. Shot on the Sony A7III with the 18mm and 85mm. Aerial shots courtesy of the Mavic.
This is from a casual chat I had with our neighborhood’s newest restauranteur, Eduardo Mondolfi of the Italian eatery, V.E.S.P.A. G.R.A.N.D.E.. I feel confident that Eduardo and his team will add both substantial culinary and atmospheric value to Västra Hamnen in a way that either of the previous owners of the restaurant were capable of
Aside from the drone footage somewhere in the midle of the segment, everything else in the intervju was shot on the new Sony A7III using just two prime lenses; a Zeiss 85mm (f1.8) and the Zeiss 18mm (f2.8) and recorded with a lavelier microphone wired to a Zoom H6. All edited in Final Cut Pro X.
Met these creepy dudes on the Seychelles last summer. Not sure if they’re tortoises or turtles. Seem to have missed that class (too) in Biology… I can, however, assure that those I met during our ten day stay were surprisingly curious and relatively harmless. As slow as they were, though, if you got too close to their snappy snout whilst feeding them with some leaves, you might risk losing a finger or two. Lots of pressure but no teeth required.
At some point as a child, I had a few baby turtles in a shoebox. I don’t remember how I got them or whatever happened to them. But I suspect they’d managed to tip the lid of the cardboard box under my bed and climb onto our carpet, venture into the dining room and there attract the attention and killer instinct of our otherwise sleepy house cat, Cesar.
Shot with at 24mm with a Canon 5Ds and the ultimate small zoom, 24-70 f2,8L.
After several gorgeous evenings without much wind, I feel comfortable proclaiming that were now ostensibly in the sunset season. At least here in Sweden, where the sun has been so rare for the past six months and like after most winters, we’d almost given up hope about ever seeing it again. Once again, everything is forgiven. Especially on evenings like tonight’s where those distinct Scandinavian hues show up as an incredible gradient covering the deepest to the lightest of blues.
Shot this with the Canon 5Ds and a Sigma 8-16mm with a 5 second exposure at fstop14 and ISO 100.
The filming process was fairly straightforward and it was a real pleasure working with the retreat’s staff and management. The story concept was to follow Myria, one of the resident yoga instructor’s and a former model from Hamburg, as she enjoyed a day and an evening at Bamboo Yoga Retreat.
As usual, an eclectic range of gear was involved in the shoot – most notably the new Sony A7III and Gopro Hero 6. I opted to not bring the drone to India after reading about hefty fines and even risk of incarceration. So, the initial drone footage was captured by a local fellow with a DJI Spark.
What isn’t immediately apparent in the video is how incredibly hot it was. The monsoon season had arrived a little early and during midday, the temperature nudged 35C. Which is fine if you’re snoozing underneath a parasol. Only late at night did it cool off a bit. I suppose it’s fortunate that the intense heat and humidity in Asia eludes me in between these gigs…