Category: Travel Photography

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Hiking with the Mamiya 7ii

A friend and I recently took a 7 day, 165 kilometer walk in Northern Sweden. Starting at Ritsem and walking along the Padjelantaleden then moving off to Nordkalottleden and finishing in Kvikkjokk. This isnt going to be a post about the hike itself, but rather about my choice to bring the Mamiya 7ii +43mm lens and a ton of film. The film I used for this trip was varied but mainly Fuji Velvia 100 and Portra 160, 400. All film processed myself at home.

As some of you might know from previous post I have been an avid analog photographer (hobby) forever. I never went total digital as I always preferred the look of analog. On this particular trip I wanted to bring my analog camera as it had been years since I actually went hiking with an analog camera. Though, because I am a lightweight backpacking nerd, its hard to justify 2 kilos of extra gear that can only take still photos. While my total backpacking gear weight with food for the entire trip came in at 11kg, with the camera that pushed everything to just shy of 14kg.

It really was an internal debate for weeks whether or not I would bring the camera and what camera for that matter. In fact, just before boarding the train to northern sweden, I was still changing out my different pre-packed cameras and camera cubes in my backpack. My biggest issue was mainly with volume. While 14kg would not kill me, and I knew after a few days of eating the food weight in my backpack, my kit would be under 10 kg in no time. It was the volume of my pack that bothered me. I normally dont need more than a 40 liter backpack, however, with the mamiya and a packing cube I would need a 70 liter pack. This sucked.

However, while debating whether to bring my Ricoh GR21, Nikon F5, Canon f-1 or Mamiya 7ii, I ended on the only choice that would make any sense: the Mamiya 7ii. WIth its built in meter, super sharp lenses and lightweight, it was a no brainer. Though, I do regret not bringing my 150mm lens for the Mamiya, as 43mm is arguably to wide for most landscape applications. (for the kind of photos I take). This choice was mainly due to weight, one lens was enough.

To protect my camera I kept it in a Wandrd camera cube, in a plastic ziploc bag, the bag filled with these gel packs that keep moisture out. This seemed to work really well as I didnt have fog or moisture in my camera at all despite several days of hard rain. I did have a tripod, which I used both for video and for photography, my tripod weighed about 400grams and gives about 150cm of height.

In the end I think the extra weight and effort was worth it. Though I think had I brough my 150mm lens I would have gotten a lot more quality shots – as it was, I think its hard to capture the “vastness” of an area with such a wide lens that I brought. Wide lenses have a tendency to “squish” and area into a small frame, so even large alpine like mountains, look like little hills. Live and learn.

Anyway, here are a few more shots from the Mamiya 7ii + 43mm lens (I didnt bring viewfinder for 43mm lens as I find its not really necessary). Scanned with Silverfast and no additional editing

Landscape photographyPhotographyTravel PhotographyZambia

Life in Zambia

Some of you may not know, but since about mid February the family and I moved down to Zambia to adopt a beautiful little boy named Richard. Life here is certainly different, and having two son’s instead of one is also a big change. We live in Lusaka on the southern part of town in an area called Chalala. It’s a nice, quiet area of town that is rather close to the orphanage where Richard was living.

This hasn’t been a trip of wondering safaris and adventure. For the first month we only had permission to come by and visit Richard. So, everyday for a month we drove back and forth to visit Richard. Now, after two months we have full custody of Richard and he seems to really like being with us. We are now finally starting to be able to explore, unfortunately I am a bit out of action at the moment with a broken rib after falling hard on a slippery floor.

However we have made a few outings, with the most spectacular being Livingstone and Victoria falls. Livingstone is the town that hosts Victoria falls on the Zambian side of the border.

On the first day of being in Livingstone it was raining heavily – so instead of heading to Victoria falls we decided to do Musi-oa-Tunya national park for the day. It was an incredible journey where all the animals were out enjoying the rain. Giraffes, Elephants, Water buffalos and monkeys among many more.
There is an elephant there… I realise that my photography sinks a few notches when my family is with me. Perfectly natural I suppose.
Victoria falls from a distance.. Caught on the Canon 6d mark ii with 16-35 2.8 lens.. To say that the falls are impressive is an understatement.
This time a little closer – If you look closely we are drenched – it is not raining, this is from the mist of the falls. The bridge has a river of mist flowing and the entire hillside is like walking through a drowning shower on full blast.
Richard showing off how wet he is from the Victoria falls mist.
Alexander yells out at me “daddy look, take some pictures I’m going to pose…”
Looks perfectly safe.. ….. Zambia!
The minimum wage in Zambia is about 100 usd a month. While this won’t get you more than barely a candy bar in Sweden, in Zambia it’s enough to eat three meals a day on, have a home and cell phone. It’s not luxury, but it’s not death by starvation.
Walking down the street in livingstone
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My return to the USA – culture shock and family reunion

Spent this last Christmas and new year with my brother and his family in Ozark, Alabama – together with our parents.. This is the first time we have all come together an had Christmas together, and the first time in 20 or so years since my parents, my brother and myself have spent Christmas together. Anyway, I had a great time, and as always I have mixed emotions about my homeland: I love the fact that parking is free in a lot of places, public toilets are generally everywhere and not to mention a lot of great places to eat and shop. I am however heart broken about many things, signs of a fallen nation just waiting to crumble, a populace that willingly accepts it’s dumbing down by a broken news media and a willful ignorance to find out the truth. George Orwell once coined the term “double think” – Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct. This couldn’t be more true when talking about politics with people.

There is another term that unfortunately is lost on me now, but the idea is that it takes an incredible amount of intelligence to realize you don’t understand something. Often, the least understanding individuals are the ones that will argue loudest for the ideas or concepts they don’t understand – and not realize they don’t understand.  I find this prevalent beyond belief, not only doublethink and the willful ignorance associated with that, but also the complete lack of understanding for general ideas – which often leads to pointless discussion on subjects that I may have studied for years and have a general understanding of, and find myself in the middle of discussion with people who obviously have no clue. Simple facts that are easy to prove or disapprove are simply ignored, often ideas of conspiracy are preferred over simple explanations; in the world of modern USA 2+2 does not equal 4. 2+2 is equal to whatever and whomever decides to argue the loudest.

Ideas that once could be expressed and a discussion could take place existed in a not too distant past, today I can be called a nazi and a snowflake in the same discussion with no thought or mental process from the accuser being apparent. Names and terms have become a kind of acceptable replacement for rational thought and discussion. I think these terms are crutches for the conversational cripple and it says more about the accuser than the accused.

In discussions people will simply refer me to look up the “facts” on Alternet, PragerU or Breitbart, Alex jones, or whatever Trump decides to vomit up as his latest wisdom. (disclaimer: I’m not generally for or against Trump. If he does something good I acknowledge it, if he does something shitty, I say it.) I was left with the feeling that there is no going back, when simple conventions and truths that society are built on are simply ignored, it creates an unnatural conflict, an unwillingness to change and learn. The radicalism that I have simply seen online was put on display in so many ways. I don’t just mean left wing radicalism, but also right wing. It’s all there, it’s not only online, it’s right there, just beneath the surface in everyday situations with real people.

Simply put, I believe it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better – and there is no guarantee that it will get better. 

With that said, in general I love the people, the workers the survivors: because if nothing else can be said about the USA, one thing is certain, Americans are survivors. Life is not easy in the USA, the reality of working two full time jobs and still not make ends meet, is very real, and you see it everywhere. I sat down with my family to eat at Wendys, my son started playing with another kid who I thought was sitting with his family, then his “family” left him there, alone. Well, turns out his mother was working, at Wendys. These are the people the media likes to call “welfare queens”. Working their asses off, surviving, hustling and just trying to get by.

 

Video filmed on DJI Spark drone and Olympus OMD EM5 II

In any case, I have put together a few pictures and so far one video here from my trip to Ozark, Alabama and a couple days along the Florida coast in Panama city and Pensicola.

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Along the Laugavegur trail – Iceland pictures part 2

Here is part two of my pictures along the Laugavegur trail – gallery of Iceland. All pictures where taken with the Sony RX 100 I, edited in lightroom. If you steal my pictures atleast leave a link to my site and let me know where they will be seen. Thanks!

The first part of this series you can find here

For information about the trail – how to get there, map and general good to new info click here

For information with regards to my gear that I brought along the trail click here

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daily picTravel Photography

Daily pic: The man in the waterfall

It’s been a while since I did a daily pic, and I thought I would do one now. I have a lot of pictures that don’t really fit within a series, so I find the daily pic format to work the best for these.

This picture I took in Skogar in southern Iceland just after the Laugavegur trail. I was taking a picture of the waterfall when I noticed this chap looking very determined with his monster camera and tripod and the women taking a picture with her smartphone. I like the effect of the picture.

Taken with the Sony RX100 with minimal editing in Lightroom. Read More

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The Laugavegur Trail – Iceland in pictures

Here are some pictures from the Laugavegur trail in Southern Iceland. I walked this trail in late June through early July. All pictures are taken by be on a Sony RX 100 and edited in Lightroom to bring out the colors a bit more. If you steal my pictures atleast leave a link to my site and let me know where they will be seen. Thanks!

For information about the trail – how to get there, map and general good to new info click here

For information with regards to my gear that I brought along the trail click here

This is the first of several sets that I will release.  Read More

Landscape photographyTravel Photography

Gallery: Southern kingstrail part 2 2015

I started writing a trip report about this trail here, and you can see part one of the gallery here. I wanted to make just a simple post with the pictures together in a gallery. I will also be adding video over on my youtube channel as well. This is part two of the 2 part series

This series starts from Fulufjället (fulu nationalpark) where Swedens largest waterfall, Njupeskär is, as well as one of the worlds oldest living specimens. An old Norwegian spruce tree which is estimated to be around 9500 years old.  Read More