Summer of 2011

 

It’s a bit late to post summer pictures in early October when the autumn chill gets to you and the northern parts of Sweden are already getting snowed in. But it is long overdue and at least, the snow has not reached this area yet, and hopefully won’t for another month at least.

Besides, it’s nice to look at pictures that seem to be taken ages ago, remember the California heat and remind yourself that although winter is approaching, it’s not going to last forever. Sooner or later, days will be bright and sunny and warm again. Even here.

This summer was the fifth time I visited California.
I have never before had an interest in visiting the U.S. at all, even though it is a very popular place to go, but it so happened that I got to know a bunch of Americans, most of them on the west coast, and when you know someone in a place, going there just makes a whole lot more sense.
I’m not much for sightseeing and except for an occasional overdose of temples or churches or old buildings at different times in my travel history, I tend to avoid typical tourist destinations. Not because they are not worth seeing, but because I find taking a random stroll around cities or other places a lot more enjoyable. I want to do what the typical resident of a place do, get a taste of the atmosphere and meet and observe locals. I have found that every city or village, every country or culture has it’s own specific flavour, and you get a taste of it simply by sitting on the curb next to the street, or having a cup of tea in a café or simply by walking the streets up and down until you get tired.

So despite having been to California five times, I still haven’t seen the Golden Gate, and out of these times, I actually only been in San Francisco once. But every year, I get to see a new part of the place. And I keep coming back, to hang out at my friends place in the middle of nowhere, to rest and chillout over a glass of wine.
When other people go sightseeing, I enjoy going places and drink abnormal amounts of tea or chat for hours about everything and nothing and do nothing.

Below are some of the pictures I took during those weeks, months back, that today feels like a long long time ago.

 

Postcard from London

 

Next postcard comes from my friend James in London
Me and James have known eachother through the internet since about 1997, but we met the first time in Germany in 2004.

We all have something we care for, for me it is cameras and computers, for James it is motorbikes and cars. Especially Jaguars.
Things that appear to be very different. In function as well as in size. But if you look beyond these details, there is actually very little difference. A camera or a motorbike actually have something fundamentally the same.

It is easy to forget these days, when everyone we know is running around with dslr’s, smart phones and own cars, how many centuries of technological innovation lies behind every single thing we own. How many millions of hours that is needed to build the things we use.
How many people throughout history have worked all their lives, studied, tested, failed and started all over to produce these things. What a piece of art they really are.

Yesterday, a new iPhone was announced. The iPhone 4S. And several newspapers exclaim their disappointment that they didn’t get an iPhone 5 instead. A disappointment that it hadn’t evolved more from last years release.

But we really do forget.

We forget all the work that is behind the development of a phone like this, millions of years of human evolution. Thousands of years of technological evolution.
How much effort contained in that small little thing that fits in your pocket and that does everything except frying your eggs for breakfast.
That small thing that in a few years only, has changed the way we behave. How we live our lives.
Changed the world we live in and how we look at it.

The car changed our place in the world. The camera has changed the way we look on ourselves. The smart phone has changed our social world.

Ins’t it strange then, to be disappointed?

In the end, it’s not about how many more megapixels our camera has, a better battery or how big the screen is. It is about what we can do with this tool. How it changes things for us.

This photo from James, and what it represents for him, really captures this:

 

I dont have many black and white photos – but this one I always liked – it provokes a strong feeling in me - about freedom and the unknown.
I still like to drive the car alone at night.  Going nowhere.  Just drive.  :-)  It reminds me of that.

When I first passed my test – this is in 1977 – I took my Mums car out any night she would let me and would drive around the streets long into the night – I loved to just drive around the West end – going nowhere - with an old radio on the passenger seat (the car had no radio of its own) – playing whatever music – just driving around and around.