Get that whip out!

 

Next postcard is from my friend Paula that I wrote about here. She is now supposedly in London, but it’s hard to tell. You never know how long she stays in one place before moving on.

The text on the card says:

 

What a beautiful contradiction!
The innocence in her look – such a naive beauty – and the whip in her hand…

A metaphor for life?

I let you think about that!

Nomadic hugs,
from Paula in the Netherlands (not for long…)

 

A visitor from the road

 

When in Bangkok in May last year, I was staying with Peak in her couch surfing community N6. A place where I met a whole bunch of interesting people. One of those was Paula, originally from Argentina but now call the tar roads of the world her home. She barely got in the door before we started talking.
Sitting in the living room of the place for hours, we shared our adventures and found a common interest in India where I had just arrived from and where she recently spent nine months.

A few weeks later we met again in Pai in northern Thailand and ended up travelling together in northern Thailand and Laos for over a month. In the end of June, when Paula celebrated her one year anniversary on the road we parted ways and I returned to Thailand while see continued on to other parts of south east asia, ending up spending quite a few months in China.

A year later, after celebrating two years on the road she hitch-hiked through Mongolia and Russia to finally cross the EU border in Finland. After hitch-hiking north all the way up to Rovaniemi, entering Sweden in Norrbotten and coming down the E4, she ended up on my doorstep.

She stayed with me for five days, and has now continued on to make the roads of central Europe unsafe.
We spent our days and evenings talking, drinking tea, cooking, listening to music and talking some more. Just like we did most evenings the last time we saw each other.

I have always been impressed by her photography. She is sensitive to good composition and oppurtunities and several times I have commented that she should really get a good dSLR instead of the compact camera she is using.
But if your budget is $10 a day, a new camera is not high on the list of ncessary items.

However, she was lucky in timing her visit with my birthday, when I decided to get myself a new camera as a preent to myself, so to support the development of her gift, I decided to give her my old camera, with the catch that she is not allowed to put it in auto except in rare cases.
A better camera doesn’t, however, mean that you automatically become a great photographer. But if you already have a good sense and talent for it, imagine what you could do if you also learn the technology?
In photograpy, the hard part is developling your vision, but the tool is still the prerequisite to get anything at all, so now I hope I get to see even better photos from her. But feel no pressure!

Below you see some of the photos from her trip so far and if you know spanish, you can find her blog here http://depocuntodo.blogspot.com/. More pictures can be found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/pdepli

Postcard from India

 

The first postcard I’ve gotten is from my friend Uma in Chennai, India. I met Uma the first time in february 2007 when she invited me and several friends to visit for her daughters wedding. A proper traditional Indian wedding.
She introduced me to a whole new culture, a new way of seeing things and is today one of my closest friends that has helped me understand both my own culture from an outsiders point of view and a complex culture such as the Indian one. The only thing that needs to be sorted is the fact that she has seen more Ingmar Bergman movies than I have. That is unacceptable.
This is the note that comes with the postcard:

This picture I took in 2006 on my Kashmir holiday. These kids swarmed around us, smiled, sang, danced and kept us company. I just loved their beautiful looks and spontaneity. Seeing this again I send them a kiss and hope they travel across the globe on your postcard blog. :)

If you haven’t done so, please send me a nice postcard from a place or a situation that means something to you! You can do so for a low cost at postcard.com if you don’t happen to have a physical one laying around.

Respect

 

Today I sat down to send off four envelopes. When folding them together, I realized that two of the letters were for customers with no more pre-made labels.
I could have written the adress by hand.

But I didn’t. I felt embarrased to do so.

My customers deserve better than to get an envelope with the adress written in haste.
They pay good money for my job. And that is how I treat them?

My respect is not written on paper,

It comes in the details.

Zenit-E

 

Last week, I had this sudden impulse to start looking for an old analogue camera. I haven’t used an analogue camera in over ten years, and I have practically no experience in using one. I was therefore attracted to the idea of learning the craft from the beginning.
I went online and finally found a Zenit-E on e-bay for the sum of $25!

Zenit-E was made in Russia during 1965 and 1982 and sold in more than 12 million units. A big deal back then. Eventually the company died from the competition by better Japanese brands.
I was unsure weather it would actually work, mine is from 1973 and is older than myself!

When I got it and opened the package, I was very impressed. The quality of it is better than my four year old digital, in part because of the sturdy metal casing. You can clearly tell that this camera was built in an age when things were meant to last.
The camera is completely mechanic. It doesn’t even use batteries for the light meter. Instead the light meter works with selenium gas that reacts with the light and tell you what iso, aperture and shutter speed to use.
It feels like walking around with a brick and when you look through the viewfinder, you are immediatelly transported back to an age when the world was slightly yellow and worn down.

I shot two quick rolls and turned it in for development. Today I picked them up and was surprised by the result. Not only does the camera work, I’m actually quite happy with them.
I have done no editing at all with these pictures, I wanted to see the exact quality the camera produced as it is so that I can learn and adapt to the cameras peculiarities.
This is what I got:

 

Volt festival 2011

 

Yesterday I went to the Volt festival in Uppsala, an annual festival for all kinds of electronic music.

It was a varied mix of all kinds of music and a very interesting and exciting experience. In the end I have to list Darkstar, who did an exellent performance, as my favourite. Around midnight, it felt like it was enough, my brain was about to collapse from all the noise and visual effects trying to steal a bit of my brains attention. A bit sad I have to say, because the bus didn’t leave until 03.15 in the morning.

I brought my camera with me to try and shoot as much as possible. Shooting music and concerts is a bit different, especially indoor since the light is very unpredictable. Just because of that, I wanted to experiment as much as possible in a place where it was actually ok to bring your camera. It turned out to be challenging but rewarding.

Send me a postcard

 

When I moved in to this apartment, fall of 2008 I decided to paint the walls or put up wallpaper.
It’s not like the ones I have right now disturbs me, but that is not the reason why I haven’t done anything so far. There are two reasons. One, that I don’t know what to do, but the major reason is that I find it really boring to redecorate. There are so many better ways to spend your time and money.

Last week I brought back all the photos I have had at work since January. Because of that I started moving things around at home and realized that the photo I had hanging in the hallway needed to be taken down. Instead I put up one of my photos from my trip, but somehow it didn’t really fit there. So this monday I took it down and started putting up some old photos that has been laying around.
Some of these photos is from an old roll of film that me and two friends shot with an analog camera back in 1999. There were some nice phofos in there but I also took out the four pictures I bought at a museum watching a Richard Avedon exhibition in Amsterdam some years ago.

Richard Avedon is one of the worlds most famous fashion photographers. He’s taken pictures of every celbrity you know. To his death, 81 years old in 2004, he photographed actors, models, writers, dancers and politicians. Picasso, Elisabth Taylor, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Ronald Reagan.

I had never heard of him.
Have you? How many photographers do you know?

Before I heard about Richard Avedon, I could probably not have named one photographer. I liked photography, but never really reflected that someone had actually taken that picture. That this someone was an artist that conciously had created an image. The line between crappy party or holiday pictures with a plastic camera to an artist creating art with his camera didn’t exist.

There were just images
On things we observe. And we observe things everyday.

But in that exhibition in Amsteradm there was a picture on the wall. A white wall. Clean. And on that white background I saw Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe symbolize to me, Hollywood. A beautiful world of smiles. A world of plastic where we get the same response no matter who you talk to or how they feel.
In that picture I didn’t see only Marilyn Monroe. A mere representation. In that picture I saw a human being.

A human being just as alive as you and me. With feelings just like you and me.
In this photography I felt a connection to a human being I had never met, that I hardly knew anything about.
In a photography I saw art.

On my wall there are four photographsn by Richard Avedon. Unfortunately not the one of Marilyn Monroe, because I have been unable to find that photograph of her.
I would really love to have more photographs on that wall, so therefore I ask you for help. I would like you to send me a postcard or photo to me. Your black and white favourite. If you don’t have any postcards like that, you can upload a photo to Postcard.com and send it to me.
Send it to:

Mathias Cederholm
Bällstavägen 51
168 66 Stockholm
SWEDEN

Choose a picture that means something to you, if needed convert it to black and white in iPhoto or Picasa on your computer and upload it to Postcard.com. On the backside, write a motivation on why you chose that picture.

I look forward to recieving postcards from all over the world. And even if you don’t know me, but have found this blog some other way, so send me a postcard anyway!
I will publish all postcards recieved on this blog, so choose a picture, write something interesting (or not) and send it! ?