Zenit-E roll 3+4+5

 

The last few months, I’ve shot three rolls of film with my old russian Zenit-E. I love it, but it is a bit unpredictable. Several frames turned out to be empty, for some unknown reason.
Hopefully that is something I can learn to get rid of as I learn to handle the camera better. Bad photos on the other hand, I can’t do anything about. You just have to accept that with film, where you can’t see the result straight away, some photos will be really bad.
Half of the frames are really bad or broken and half of the rest is hardly ok. All in all, the roll of black and white turned out better than the rest. I can’t tell if that is because it is a different type of film or mere luck. We’ll see by time.

Some of the pictures taken by Claire Roycroft

 

Roll 3

 

Roll 4

 

Roll 5

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…)

 

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.

 

 

I will wait there

 

When the going gets tough, our real friends make themselves known.
Those who stay, to weather the storm.

I have been hurt, I have hurt others.

I hold nothing against anyone, but neither do I hold myself guilty.
I will not promise to act differently in the future, just as I won’t hold on to the past.
I could promise you to never do it again, to think it through one more time.
I could promise you gold and lush forests.

But.

When we finally get there, I have absolutely no idea how I will act.
I have no idea what will actually happen.
So, if you are looking for promises and guarantees, security or someone to blame. You will find hundreds to join. Thousands looking for an ally in the cursing of an unfair world.

But, it won’t be me.

But, should you change your mind.
Then out beyond ideas of right and wrong doing, there is a field.

I will meet you there.*

 

 

 

*Last two lines by Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Rumi ca. 1250 A.D.

Postcard from Isle of Skye

 

Next postcard is from Claire from her visit to Isle of Skye in northern Scotland this summer.
Six months ago I didn’t know her at all, today we live together. Sometimes, strange things happen fast, they take sudden turns into places you hadn’t expected at all. That’s part of the charm of life. If things were always happening in expected ways, and simple, we would quickly get bored of life. But sometimes, the unexpected is hard to deal with.

On the backside of the card it says:

Portree on the Isle of Skye where I’ve been staying for the past few nights. This morning I sat on the pier (at the very far left in the picture, today it is a much bigger stone construction), listening to the seagulls and enjoying the morning air. xx

 

 

 

 

A postcard from ancient times?

 

Here comes the next postcard. I’m a bit behind on these, having several more to come the following weeks. Meanwhile, if you haven’t sent a post card to me yet, I would be happy if you did! If you don’t have a regular one, send it through http://postcard.com/. Please make it Black and White or Sepia and choose an image that means something to you!

Send it to:
Mathias Cederholm, Bällstavägen 51, 168 66, Stockholm, SWEDEN

The following postcard is from my former collegue Nina that I worked with at a recycling/Solid Waste company in my hometown Västerås some years ago.
Nina is a smart and open person to work with. One of those positive co-workers that puts a smile on everyones faces. She is also a talented photographer.

The photo is by her and show her daughter Frida.

 

A dreaming Cleopatra.

My daughter Frida some years ago on her way to a masquerade. Scarf, cloth and christmas tree decorations – anything that could be found in the wardrobe.

Since I enjoy photography it’s fun to have a daughter that enjoys having her picture taken (my son avoids it).

What is she dreaming of?

Hugs from me to you.
/Nina

 

Joy

 

During my last trip to California me and my friend Joy went on a drive through the backroads of Siskiyou County in the northern part of the state. An area with a wild west atmosphere covered in sunburnt grass, old barns and houses and grazing cows. The only thing missing is a Zeb McCahan or Clint Eastwood showing up on a horse in sunrise looking for adventure.

The area was flooded by adventurers in during the gold rush that started in 1848 but is today a quiet county consisting mostly of ranches and people that has withdrawn for a bit of peace and quiet. It is also a conservative place in contrast to the liberal views in most other parts of California.
The landscape is beautiful and I love the mix of valleys, rivers and mountains with the snowclad Mount Shasta in the horizon.

During a four hour road trip we managed to get a bunch of photos of Joy, who happily modelled for me. If you want to see a slideshow with some more pictures check out my flickr site with this link: http://www.flickr.com//photos/mcederholm/sets/72157627320418245/show/

More photos from my trip will follow later.

 

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

Rocco di Montepiggiolo

 

The next postcard is from Mrs. Frisk, a friend I got to know a couple of years ago when she started dating one of my closest friends, Johan. First time we met, she got the impression that I disliked her, but what she didn’t know, was that her new boyfriend had given me too many cocktails the night before and therefore I was a bit grumpy and tired and not in a party mood.
Since then, we have become good friends.

The text on the postcard says:

Rocca di Montepiggiolo

This photo is from an old fortress in Italy. The quality is not that good since I took it with my old Eriksson T68i cell phone, but I still love it. To me, this fortress symbolizes a place to just be, an adventure and joy.

Hugs!
Mrs. Frisk

The photo also prove that a cell phone can take great pictures in good light (although the quality of this one is not that great because it is a photo of a printed photo).
If you go into a store, often they show you how many megapixels a camera has, but nowadays, this is largely irrelevant. This might have been interesting information when digital cameras first arrived on the market, but the last 6-7 years all cameras are enough for most people. Instead, too many megapixels might actually make the photo worse since a 12 megapixel cell phone camera is too large for the tiny sensor inside.

Despite this, the megapixel myth has survived as a marketing tool to people who doesn’t know what it is. It is easier to refere to a irrelevant number than to tell them what is good about the optics, sensor etc.