High on Atmosphere

Even if I like the summer better, winter has its own untouchable greatness. The only thing about winter that I don’t like is all those clothes all over your body. And stone cold fingers. You can’t really relax when making photography in the winter.

Well, ok. Actually maybe not really winter yet. But the signs are here. Two early mornings with a white layer of frost on the grass and the roofs.

Super clear blue sky and crisp air. Let’s follow the Invisible Rabbit

Coffee, then some more, and a walk with the dogs. Then a surprise attacked me with a spontaneous trail-run. Struck by some kind of subconscious inspiration.

A great start to a great morning. Capture and keep that great feeling. High on atmosphere, the perfect drug.

Shower and then out again. Nothing advanced but a happy head, shooting anything that comes in mind. Just a short visit to Mölndal by foot with a silly smile.

All kind of things felt awesome today. Not very much people in the streets photography although. Because on Sundays there are not very much people in the streets anyway. So I didn’t bother to hunt those humanoid moments very much.

But apparently, I caught more people than I remember when went through my shots back home. This was a little strange.

The whole walk was a bit strange actually. In a pleasant way. I was definitely walking around in my parallel universe today. Okay, I know, I’m obsessed by spacetime. But I can’t help it. That’s what Smikes do.

 

I love days like these. So simple and full of infinitude.

 

 

 

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Street Photography is

Street photography is a curious genre derived from the candid and documentary style/genres and has adopted a whole lot of different styles and genres within itself through time. This makes the street photography genre very contradictory and confusing, and a myth.

The candid soul within the art of street photography is wild at heart and the untameable child of anarchy, making it a very unpredictable element, if you invite it. It can even take you far away from the streets and still breath street photography in its context.

Or not…

Don’t ask: What is street photography?!
Ask: What is street photography not!?

I’m in love with this genre. Probably just because of its wide open and creative heart of wilderness where any subject or object are welcome to participate. Fits my mind perfectly.

What happened to become a trilogy of words is now at its th3rd and last, and longest, step. Even if there is a connection they are readable in any order, or alone. Actually, I have been writing versions of same, same but different posts before. Life on a blog often tends to become a recurrent repetition in a different light. You will probably feel some deja-vu when reading this. Yes, I repeat a lot of my thoughts here, I know.

What I try to achieve is as usual – therapy for an infinite mind trying to understand what I try to think.

All shots in this post are made with an iPhone7.

In many ways, street photography has been kind of a project in my life with a camera. This was just something that suddenly popped up in my head one day and gave me the inspiration to explore.

When I started this adventure I sort of stepped back to basic and went kind of a cautious wannabe beginner trying to avoid failure and nail greatness. This also included my mindset when I was doing the post-processing. From being quite careless I went far too cautious.

In combination with a completely new environment shooting strangers in the streets, this was a mind-blowing experience. I was extremely stiff and lost and very often felt scared, bad and stuck in a mental block holding me back.

I have had my doubts many times if this was my thing. And I have felt very unsure of what I really want and like. But my curiosity was stronger and now I see the streets as one of my natural playgrounds. And my editing software is my playstation.

Within this more stabilized relationship, I slowly began to feel more determined and sure of what I wanted to achieve. Finding my way back to my more playful and careless creativity as I once upon a time used to make photos with my mobile. More fun and less serious. Never avoid failure and challenge everything you think is interesting and good enough. Fuck the rules!

I do a lot of wild and crazy snapshot photography when I’m out doing the streets or occasionally make random single shots from wherever whenever. Just because of the fun and excitement and unexpected and potential surprises. Create your moments.

But everything doesn’t have to be about snapshot intuition. It’s just a great key to unlock things. Being slowly spontaneous and experimental is just as good and fun and something I also practicing, a lot.

And I Can’t wait to tweak my “negatives” of reality back home. Even if I’m quite cautious in my editing experiments compared to how I used to play around with my photos once upon a time, I still like to tweak my shots quite a lot. But in general, I prefer some kind of balance not making it too obvious fancy excessive. Not lying too obvious. I want to stay in touch with some kind of trustworthy reality at the same time. But it happens that I tweak the light and darkness a little beyond from time to time.

On the whole, every photo we make is a little lie.

Making photography of life from a slightly different and unexpected view is like practicing magic and the art of bending and expanding the ordinary. Just a touch of less is more, as simple as possible. Most likely you will find your own magic when and where you least expect it, hidden in the insignificant.

Nothing has to exclude the other in favor from doing both at the edge of the opposite at the same time. Common mainstream easy digestive and strange oddities side by side will expand your mind.

Love, Soul, and Curios Creativity to you all / Smike;)

The “trilogy” is

Street Photography is a Roadmovie

Street Photography is a Rollercoaster

Street Photography is (this one)

Dead or Alive

Solitude moments
Snaps of life
Peaks and valleys

I have always had a crush for the mystical dimensions of life. True or false is of no concern. What matters is the art of imagination. I like to dope the science with fiction.

Expanding life beyond our ordinary perception.

It doesn’t have to be that very different from the everyday ordinary to imagine life beyond WYSIWYG.

Dead or Alive
It’s your choice
Everything lives
Only nothing is dead

I love things. You find stories everywhere. Some only spoken inside yourself.

Just objects, dead stuff, life of the living dead. Dead or Alive? You choose. Imagination is magic.

Just a walk through the old parts of my city – Kvarnby, the ancient trace of once upon a time. So close but far away from where you can buy instant manufactured happiness in a plastic bag.

I love those empty silent streets. Wherever they are.

 

 

Yeah, I know, I’m odd, probably nuts. It makes life more interesting, so the choice is easy. Wine helps to understand…

Dogwalk

Sometimes, think… don’t wait for a special occasion to shoot something. Just shoot it. How stupid simple it ever may be. Actually, don’t think very much at all. Don’t care and see what happens. Just throw away the lens at something and click.

Don’t bother what camera you use. Use the one you have right here right now, which almost always is your smartphone. The soul of a photography is far more interesting, exciting and important than fabulous quality and fantastic views.

This is what I do, this is what I see a couple of times everyday – walking our dogs, and anytime in between. It’s so everyday common insignificant that I wanted to make some photos of it (ok, this particular moment occurred some weeks ago).

It’s easy to go blind and forget the beauty that actually live in those insignificant moments. Take care of them. They are more important than you may think in making life more interesting than you may think. Penetrate and go beyond what you take for granted.

This is my way to achieve more mindfulness in life. Even without making photos. But you need to remind yourself constantly about it to not forget it.

the Art of Seeing

Debriefing, free breathing the art of reflections, and the holy ghost…

There are physical reflections, and there are mental reflections.

When I make photography, I do it because I feel somewhat of an attraction to the scene I want to catch, at least trying to. Sometimes it’s a more subconscious response of instinct or a spontaneous idea, a vague intuitive feeling of something worth just shooting.

Back home when I post process my photos. I do it again.

But now my catch is concealed forever as it went. I can’t change the content in the scene. I can’t remake the action.

But what I can do is changing the mood. And this can change the scene radically in many different emotional directions. I’m seldom satisfied with just “cleaning up the photos” to technically look better.

Back home my emotional connections rarely are the same as when I made the shots. I see everything slightly differently, sometimes very different, sometimes I don’t find what I thought I saw, sometimes I discover things I didn’t saw. Time affects your mood and impressions.

I’m post processing my mind.

I like to cover my photos with a layer of my personal mood. I like to bend the appearance of the original reality. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

I like to blend the nature of both documenting the ordinary reality with the artistic freedom to strengthen the appearance in one or another direction.

I’m not a fan of creating photos with a consistent identity. Or, maybe I should say; I get bored very quickly in predictable squares.

My mind is a creative mess of discovery joy. And the right mood is very important in this process to keep my motivation happy. I have always been attracted to possible what if’s and can’t resist trying new ideas and different approaches.

For me, what I feel is far more important than what I see.

 

 

 

 

 

sometimes I wonder, Why!

Sometimes I wonder, Why!  ?

Then I think, Why!  ?

On my mind. Words moving around like foam on waves in the sea made of thoughts.

Thinking too much makes you feel too much. It’s easy to begin to disbelieve in yourself. The more you think about it, the less you see the point of anything at the end. Everything you touch dies.

A sense of context.

I often find myself wondering. Questioning the meaning of what I do. I try to ignore the purpose of my doubts. Demons, watch me do it anyway.

Since I never seem to get any useful answers anyway from those doubts I keep on doing what I need to do what I want. Even if the meaning of it all is hidden at the end of the universe. Out of reach in my ordinary lifetime.

I don’t need, I want.

I need to sleep, but I would prefer to do it when I want. I need to wake up…

I need to cope with the rest of the world to serve my possibilities to do what I want. But I can’t control it. Everybody wants. So control yourself.

Live together, die alone.

I keep on shooting, post processing, share them. On Insta, Tumblr, my blog. Write loads and post my shit on this blog. Not many cares, some likes and then passing by and disappears into the unknown shrubbery of the past.

Instant pleasure of creativity. I want more, but don’t know why. I just do it. Because it’s satisfying to create. That’s all I need. As long as I want.

And then? Who knows. That’s inspiring enough – the unknown life of the past in the present. Creating a story and the history of your life. Documenting the creation of a memory.

Catching moments of life as it occurred in your mind. Sometimes changing during the post process. Discovering new things, traveling back in time with a slightly different mindset. Changing the scene. The past suddenly grows into new depths and heights. Crossbreeds now and then.

In every photo every made, you not only caught what you saw. You also made an image of your own mind and mood. In both directions.

And words. There are so many things inside your thoughts. Use them, play with them, decipher them. Even if they seem to make no sense, or mean anything of significant importance. Just do it. Open the hatch in your pond.

Forward in any direction. Where are we now

Photography is art. Words are art. We make art of life. Life is an artwork. Art is life.

Don’t do what you love. Love what you do. And don’t doubt about that.

 

Why is the wrong ?

 

Good Evening Mölndal

I should do it more often, but for some unknown reason, I haven’t. Shoot in the dark.

This is little big Mölndal in the late evening.

Prepare for a post loaded with shots.

I say big little city because Mölndal is actually a mid big city measured in Swedish measurement (almost 65.000 inhabitants). But compared to Gothenburg next door it’s small and makes Mölndal even smaller than it actually is. Because everybody prefers to go and be where you find most of your needs where the big things are and happen.

So the circumstances practically make Mölndal a suburb of Gothenburg.

And still, same as it ever was. Not very much happens here after dark. Some more life than during the cold and darker half of the year, but not very much. Things may change some when the new city center is finished.

The street life here mostly consists of people on their way passing through back home or to Gothenburg. So where the street life is, is where the trams and buses come and go. The further away you go (and that’s not far away) the less you see of human activity.

You’ll find some few others at the restaurants and some others at the store buying candy, soda, toothpaste, cigarettes and a banana. Some few more at the 24/seven gym. And if you peep through the windows of the Scandic hotel you may see some tourists.

Besides that, some few sporadic appearance of humans.

Not very entertaining. But soothing, in its own strange way. You won’t get stressed out of impressions anyway, rather the opposite. Especially if you do street photography. You are easily spotted as the strange man walking in circles with a camera.

I actually made most of my photography this evening doing the hip shot thing. Even if I really don’t like it very much I felt more comfortable doing it. I didn’t know what to expect (mostly from myself and what I wanted) and saw this visit mostly as a recon for future activity. Including re-learning and experiment with my camera settings.

Finding out things and what to expect.

I love to dwell in the dark. I used to love making photography in the dark. Back then it was more still life/street scape style with a tripod and long exposures.

Nowadays I don’t like tripods. I try to avoid needing one. I want to be light. Actually, I don’t even own a tripod, beside a little cheap bendable one primarily made for smartphones (but it’s usable with small cameras). I have it in my bag, but honestly, I don’t know why. I haven’t used it since I put it there.

When I was in my teens I was a night creature and usually made most of my photography at night. Back then I was b/w and analog, mostly. Carrying around a bunch of gear, and a tripod.

I think it’s time to revive more nightlight into my photography. Without a tripod. I want to evolve my street and candid passion into the darker times. Meaning shaky, blurry, out of focus flaws is not an issue, rather a potential moody touch. But of course, a razor sharp shot is always welcome.

I love technical bad but good photos…

Life is just same, same but different when the sun falls down. I like the difference. Very strange that I have made so few night shots. Actually very strange indeed. Probably caused by comfort and laziness of restarting the engine.

But probably mostly because my awareness of the dangerous effect late evenings into the night have on me – My need for sleep die hard minutes to midnight when I’m in a creative mode. Late nights are a creative mania trigger.

I don’t know where this sudden awakening of night photography comes from. I just feel a need for it and want more. Probably some kind of subconscious reaction knowing that the time of daylight is getting shorter and intuitively preparing for new influences.

Shaking old photographic memories alive.

It’s kind of learning to cope with the changes of time to find the advantages that fit best for the moment.

 

 

 

When it rains in Kungsbacka

Is it possible to meditate while walking around in a mall? You will get an idea about how it went in my next post.

I said “see ya” to my wife and daughter who went inside the big mall, while I headed to the small but nice little city center of Kungsbacka in the rain.

With my ridiculous beloved pink and white dotted umbrella.

 

This was kind of dead space. Seems that the habitats of this town don’t like rain very much. Ok, I actually like calmer and laid back places in general, but this was little too much of it.

Bad choice of day apparently. Those few I saw was either inside one of the very many cafes and restaurants or at the food store. I just wonder where they came from or where they went when done.

The citizens of Kungsbacka must love to get out to eat and drink. For such a small town you find a surprising amount of restaurants in every corner, side by side. I wonder if they use their kitchens.

So you probably have to eat to meet people here. At least when it rains.

The rain was moody anyway. And I actually got some nice observations during my short and simple walk about. Most of those insignificant everyday things and moments I see around me but most people never think that much about.

Fortunately, I happen to love those almost invisible insignificant moments in life. And I love making candid photographs of it. Some, many… would probably say boring about my point of view. Well. Life isn’t a Hollywood movie.

And when they find out it isn’t. They consume.

 

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This is a part of part one and two of an ordinary day

Hit the tag Kungsbacka and you’ll find the others

Last supper

… before my time out of control is forced back into control. This was it, the grand vacation of the year. Four weeks spent in freedom with When, Where, How, Who, What and Why, almost by myself.

Very simple, nothing big, but very nice in general. Nothing will ever be any better than you make it. So you better make it.

I’ve seen more of my nearby surroundings during this time than I have done for years together. Thanks to my camera, my cycle, my shoes, and of course some bus and tramp rides.

A tip worth trying if you feel stuck in life – buy a camera and start document life through the lens. Whatever, just shoot it.

This probably maybe last world tour trip of my vacation went on to quite a long ride in scrambled directions. At least 40km by wheels and another 10 by foot. But I apparently I enjoyed the travel more than making photos of it.

That’s a good sign. I have become a little bit too addicted to making photos from time to time, and some more in between. I even dream about photography at nights. I don’t think that’s a good sign.

But it felt scary when I got back home and started to wonder after some hours if I shouldn’t get out for a little ride again, just a short one. I didn’t.

Somehow I need to begin focusing on life without the need of making photography every minute. Otherwise, I will put me in risk of creating myself an imaginary jail. Stuck in a place that only makes you suffer. You can never run away from now without getting bruises in your heart and mind.
You need to take good care of now. Now is where you live.

When thinking about it. Freedom is nothing… and as soon as you need or want something, you are no longer free. And as nothing is an impossible condition for life, you will never be free. Until you become nothing.

Freedom is nothing but an imaginary condition. So let us create your freedom. What other condition is better. Yeah! Now I’m flipping out here.

Now I kinda lost my thread…

So let’s talk about the weather. That always works when there’s nothing else to talk about. It has been mostly really good actually (dead end).

For this special last supper final, I got into my rough post processing mood. I have been quite neat to my photos lately, mostly. And I really like trying to replicate that analog film touch. As good as I can and want it to look like. Probably because I’m grown up with cameras in the analog era. Some kind of nostalgic issue.

I love the digital evolution. Definitely, but. As I have said before. Digital photos tend to feel a little bit too technical perfect sometimes. That disturbs my sense of life. Flaws make photos feel more perfect, emotionally. And that means more to me.

I have and will probably never be consistent in my style. Sometimes I’m into low contrast, sometimes hard, sometimes slightly faded and desaturated, sometimes the opposite, sometimes B/W and so on. I change, that’s it. I refuse to nail my style to create some kind of personal identity.

Well, that’s my style and identity. So I think I have nailed it, shit!

See you soon again. But probably not so often as it has been last month. Love you all, whoever you are.

Somewhere else – the hip factor

Today I give you two posts. Just a mishap – the former post got stuck and forgotten in draft mode. But that’s just good because of they kind of stick together.

Feels good to be back from the dead. Almost there, just some more breaths then I hope to be alive again.

Another brutal 24-hour migraine marathon done. And another 24 drowsy hours to recover. I can still hear the ghosts mourning in the depths of my head.

Yesterday was better until I got caught. Solar energy and thousands of people, mostly tourists I think. Yes, I’m in the crowded people mood again. Sort of. Still get tired all too quickly in crowds and easily slowly lose my concentration. I’m actually not surprised why I finally got my headache. I refused the warning and forced myself to be there.

But I started calmly behind the stage, watching the world from a more distant view. Wondering, What today?

It mostly became a lot of “hip shots”, again. Well actually “gut shots” – my neck strap isn’t that long. So it hangs in about gut height. And that’s good. They say shooting from your gut is good, trust your gut feeling. I guess I may not understand what they mean. What’s so good about that, I don’t understand…

I’m joking, hope you understood that 😉

One reason is that I have lost some of my former self-esteem. I’m back in that slightly uncomfortable mood again. In street photography, particularly at close range, it’s of utter importance to be consistent and keep on challenging yourself if you want to preserve and evolve your skills.

It’s actually not that bad, but not that good either. I have been a bit careless with my street photography achievements when it comes to the feeling of facing people in the streets.

At the same time, besides this little loss, I think that shooting from the hip, or from any angle in blindness, is a good skill to know. And I need to practice some more because I really suck at it. You never know when there will come a moment when it fits better. So this is a skill worth knowing how to handle.

Other nice things about hip shot shooting are that you definitely never hesitate and will catch many interesting candid snapshot moments.

But I better put this hip mode on the shelf for a while. At least not doing it so often as I have done lately. It’s not good for me.

Bad self-esteem is not a good reason to do hip photography. It can actually strengthen that uncomfortable feeling instead. If you never try to break free and challenge yourself you may get stuck in that stealthy hip mode. But I won’t say it’s wrong either. If you like it, I say go with it.

There are moments when one way is better than the other. In time you will find out when which suits best. But I would say mainly facing the world openly is the best way in the long term if you want to evolve both yourself and your photography.

The big problem, for me, is when I do too much stealth photography too often, I apparently become lazy in my mindset and approach. And I have done it too much, too often lately. First it was fun, then it felt nice and comfortable not bother being spotted, then I got zombified.

Today I woke up during this hip mode with a feeling of not being there. I didn’t feel any passion, more like an insensible shadow with a gadget that says click. It kind of erased the connection between me the camera and the world. I could as well put an action camera on me and just walk on, then pick some moments back home.

I usually never say “taking photos”, I prefer “making photos”. For me, it’s a big difference. I don’t take photos, I make photos. But this actually felt like taking photos, randomly collecting pictures in the streets.

I got some nice shots anyhow anyway. But I need more of the passion of being here and now as a photographer when I make my photos.

It’s for sure a nice way to hide your intentions, or when circumstances make it a better choice. But be aware, only in small doses. It’s definitely not a good way to evolve your photography skills, at least not the heart and soul of photography.

Learn how to use it, not abuse it.

I think a more proper and creative way of exploring your intentions is to learn to react more spontaneous, intuitive and faster. And learn how to aim and shoot without looking when you want to catch the scene from a different angle – without the need of sneaking. Or just use your body if you want to get low.

My Fuji X100T has a fixed LCD screen so I’m not spoiled with this tilting feature many cameras usually have.

Tomorrow… today. This is not an instant blog of the day. I’m too slow. Today I will hit the streets again and try to find myself a better suited mindset and approach. And try to not get any migraine.