2011 was the year when I got back home from travelling.
You think you know the country you come from, where you grew up, but as I came back I was slumped into a reverse culture shock that took months to get used to. If you ever get used to it.
One of the consequences of my travels, was an increased passion and interest in Photography, it lead me to starting my own business, getting a few gigs and overall spending most of my spare time in various photography related projects.
I am by far not done or close to my vision, that is a good thing, because your vision constantly changes, and if I ever thought I completely fulfilled it, that would mean that it was no longer a vision, but a static image that have lost it’s life.
Most of the time, I am happy with the photos I take. Some days, I completely hate them. But every time I feel like that, I see how my mind expands and start looking at things in a new and different way.
Some days, I wake up feeling like anything could happen. And really, they can. Imagine what could happen in 2012?
This is uncharted territory, filled with fairytale creatures playing hide and seek with us. They show themselves every now and then to lure us further into the forest, until the day when we can no longer find our way out again, forced to live in this magical place forever.
A life that live itself, moving from one beautiful place to an remarkable event and on. Every year a new forest, every forest a possibility and every possibility an opportunity to see something new, feel something deeper. To look back on what has been, is to send a silent thank you, to leave things behind us and move on, deeper into the forest, get a little bit more lost. Lost, we will stumble upon what we need, not knowing we were even looking for it.
Allow 2012 to be that year. A year were we get lost and find the magical.
A magical year.
What has been for me, are these photos. They show a part of my 2011. What I have done, where I have been, What I have experiences.
Who I am.
I hope you enjoy them. And I hope you will be part of creating a magical 2012 with me.
Here’s the link: http://mathiascederholm.com/web/en/2012-ett-magiskt-ar/
I have updated my photography site with another Maria photo shoot head over here to see it: http://mathiascederholm.com/web/en/en-till-maria/
I took last week off and spent it in my family’s cottage house on the countryside, between Enköping and Strängnäs, about an hours drive from Stockholm. Arriving Friday evening for ten days of peace and quiet. I spent the first six days alone and then had company over the weekend before going back home together.
November has been mild so far. No snow and almost too warm to wear a winter coat. It’s grey and lifeless after the leaves have fallen off the trees and no snow that lights up the darkness that hits you by surprise every winter. Isn’t it weird how one can forget what winter feels like every year?
Every summer, it feels unlikely it can ever become cold and white with a darkness that never lets go, but every winter you wonder how it is possible to ever get warm again. In this weather, walking around in shorts and a t-shirt and sweating seem impossible.
A few times a year, I think we need some time on our own. To get away, turn off our phone. Not checking e-mail or facebook. Just sit in a couch and be bored. Spend our days reading, going on walks, sit in front of a fire drinking tea. Not read newspapers about sovereign debt or watch tv shows. Not go shopping or running from activity to activity.
I have found, that the best inspiration comes from silence. We are so used to constantly being bombarded by sights and sounds and consuming experiences that we never really allow ourselves time to let things sink in before we are well in to the next thing. When we take a time out we let this happen, start the sorting process inside us where everything automatically finds it’s right place. It becomes the foundation on which we have new experiences, a self-correcting therapy, and when we get back changes come by themselves without our intervention or force.
To sit down by the water of lake Mälaren watching the sunrise is both better therapy and considerably cheaper. No matter how many museums we go to, how many beautiful paintings we see or how often we go through the centre of Stockholm with it’s beautiful architecture, we humans will never create anything as wonderful as what we are surrounded by daily. A sun rising is worth more than all the Rembrandts’ and Picassos’ combined.
We live without breathing sometimes. Thinking we enjoy all the activities we are in the middle of but they never really satisfy, and because of this, we need to repeat them, over and over, throwing ourselves into new ones constantly. Better and faster than the ones before. While we are watching a movie, we are thinking about what we will do when it is over. When we eat our dinner we think about the dessert and while eating our dessert, we think about what to do when it is finished.
In silence, there is no after. In silence there is no before. There is only now.
The first days I feel restless. But eventually it gives up and I become bored.
I am bored because I am so used to doing things all the time. But I realize that boredom is not about not having something to do, but rather to constantly be looking for something to do. And when I close my eyes and stop, let go of all the thoughts of doing something, all thoughts about what has been or what will be, boredom disappears.
I no longer remember what happened last week and no thoughts about getting back show up either. Being here feels like an eternity, like every second lasts for hours so I can savour it, enjoy it fully. When I get back home, I feel like a new person.
It has only cost me some of my time, but the pieces swirled up in the last few months has finally found rest and everything feels clear. I notice the difference and I am filled with wonder that all of this came on it’s own.
Now I will go back to activities, experiences and doing and I find myself enjoying them more than before.
About six months ago I registered my first company as a photographer. I have gained a lot of experience during this time, but now I want to take the next step and build up a proper portfolio. To do this, I need your help.
I am looking for couples in need of a photographer for their wedding that are willing to let me capture their full day, from morning to late night for the cost of gas and food).
If you know anyone willing to do this, ask them to contact me.
You will find my current portfolio on my new website http://mathiascederholm.com or via my new facebook page located here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mathias-Cederholm-Photography/
I accept other types of photography work too, so check my website for that stuff too!
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
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!
from Paula in the Netherlands (not for long…)
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.
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.