From, no wait, to Rjukan with love

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From the archives
View between trees over a valley, fog blocking the view somewhat.

Rjukan is one of the places in Norway where I would like to live at some point.

It’s probably a fantasy, mostly. An illusion.

Picture: A village, in a narrow valley, in between steep mountains, with its history and all. And the lack of sun during the winter months, and mirrors to compensate. The kind of place that could become big on Instagram? (Not that I checked, perhaps it already is).

Not that this is an illusion, but I suspect the associations, ideas, the “oh how nice it would be to live there for a while”, are.

Arriving at the illusion has a certain charm though.

No, that’s impossible.

The journey towards the illusion has a certain charm though.

Not journey.

Approaching the illusion has,.. its thing..

Which reminds me of this book of photographs I seem to recall having, in one of the boxes I can’t remember where I placed. Approaching Nowhere, if I’m not mistaken. That’s not Rjukan, not nowhere. Far from it. The illusion is, though.

Or, what do I know? Having spent only enough time there to drink a cup of coffee and walk about with a tripod for an hour or so. In pouring rain.


Foggy landscape photograph showing trees, river, houses and mountain.

Photograph that almost got left behind on a hard drive.

When there were envelopes

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When there were envelopes

The fact that this particular batch of envelopes reaped no responses doesn’t mean that a future one won’t. Nor does it change the fact that a previous one did.

The lack of ROI for these particular envelopes did, however, come with a cost, one that was neither foreseen or anticipated. In hindsight, at this particular point in history, it should have been obvious that the potential concequences might turn out to be a bit of a catastrophy and given that, perhaps there never should have been envelopes. Let alone ones that made it all the way to the mailbox.

But that was a long time ago. Looong time. From now on—to envelopes.


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Odda, sometimes before dusk. +


Matching ok or not so well.

In a somewhat chronological order. Except Odda, sometimes before dusk, Odda should be at the end, if the timeline was important and it is. Timelines always are.


Men with bright coloured clothing, repairing courthouse.

A BMW by the lake. I mean the reservoir.

The local art museum. No, not the only one. In between exhibitions.

Camera on a tripod head in front of landscape.

Portrait of the lens. And gobo.

The hut and the steel wires that make sure it stays up.

“Don’t fall down here”, I guess the plastic line was meant to say.

A truly horrible place. Thanks to humans in suits, elected.

Water. And concrete.

Another reservoir. It seems to be a reoccuring subject.

At the time, two of the saddest photographs.

Coastline. Lines. Old country. Nostalgia. Et cetera.

In defense of the 3:2 frame

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In defense of the 3:2 frame

There are two possible approaches here, aren’t there?

  1. Sorry, but there isn’t any. It’s horrible and should be banned.
  2. The 3:2 frame, like frames of other proportions, needs no defense. It’s just a simple rectangular*, of a certain shape. Now move on, nothing to see here.

Personally I should force myself to commit to #2, no later than now. Have spent way too much energy already on disliking 3:2.

*Perhaps what we should be asking is why rectangular?

Summer day, walking

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From the archives
Summer, walking

Summer light is nice, it lasts forever.

In some places at least, say north of 60 degrees, it does. Not here though, not in Southernland. Not because Southernland is so far south, just enough to allow night to be night and change the summer light character quite a bit. It’s still nice, very nice in fact.

The hows and the whys and that sort are not too important. Just different.

By the way. It’s not only the duration of summer light that makes it nice. Although that’s nice too. Let’s say it’s complicated.

That was five times nice. Six including this one.

Out with the thirtyfive

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Tourist stand overlooking river.

We did get out some, the thirtyfive and I. In another country and not a whole lot, but enough to burn a few gigabytes of data to a harddisk. I like the term *tourist stand, a bit like a light stand, about position. Or positioning. Stay tuned.

Swimming pool classic. Or was it cliché? Not that it matters, I’m equally, easily, charmed.

Somehow the most genuine photograph I have made in a long time. Genuine as in resonance.

A variation, I guess, on a photograph I first started thinking about making a couple of decades ago. Given that it feels remarkably unsatisfying but that’s ok, it leaves room for growing on me, later.

Pull, with a twist

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Pull, with a twist
Unrelated? Perhaps.

Some places have a stronger pull than others.

During a less–than–likeley–ever–to–be–realized moment of fantasy I looked up this place in Iceland. It’s fairly remote, the last time I was there the only way to reach it could hardly be described as a road. A double track with ambitions perhaps. For all I know that may have changed though. The search engine came up with several informative—for the potential tourist—and less informative pieces. I clicked on the images tab. The first few captured the scenery, there was birdlife, the odd man–made structures in the landscape, people looking out towards the ocean. Then the 4×4 shots, the I conquered the landscape with my vehicle, my extension photos.

Looking at them it felt overwhelmingly obvious how I wouldn’t be able to contribute anything meaningful to the image search, were I to realize my moment of fantasy and travel there and later upload the photos I would make to the internet. Somewhere the search engine could index them. Or perhaps it was more like a moment of 21st century apathy, no not apathy but hopelessness with a twist.

After not looking for a while it started to make sense again. Make sense to go and see, to breathe and smell, to touch the rocks and the weather, to experience, to be. And—perhaps—to record. Even if there are way too many records already. Not to contribute to the image search result pages but see if they might initiate a thought or two. A question worth asking.

We speak in hearts, stars

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Night sky, stars..

Not that kind of stars, but stars that use only a small amount of energy and in return they don’t shine particularly bright. Or for long. Same applies for the hearts I believe, and thumbs, for that matter. I wish there was a way to replace them, with something like a nod, but I guess that would be difficult to illustrate so that we all understood what it meant. Or—and I know I am being demanding here—words, even sentences.

No, better snap out of it. On we go. With stars and stuff.

Norsk landskap*

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Norsk landskap*

Many years ago I learned about this project, Norsk landskap (*norwegian landscape), carried out by four photographers who drove off with a 10×8 camera and several boxes of film in an attempt to redefine the norwegian landscape photograph, which at the time was suffocating in waterfalls and other epic–ness.

A brief disclaimer; as I don’t have the rights to publish any of theirs, the photograph above is mine. Apart from being influenced by the work of the four, as well as others who came before and after them, it is unrelated to what follows, which is a description of their work.

“In 1987 the four photographers Johan Sandborg, Siggen Stinessen, Per Berntsen, and Jens Hauge took a trip around Norway in a Volks-wagen bus in search of the ordinary Norwegian landscape. Every time one of them called out “Stop!” they halted the bus, got out, and came to consensus about motif and angle of vision before a picture was taken. On this 18-day trip they drove more than 7,000 kilometers and took altogether 134 exposures with an old-fashioned Japanese large-format camera. The result was Norsk Landskap 1987 [Norwegian Landscape 1987], hereafter called NL1987, which consisted of 44 framed color photographs, a montage of postcards sent home from the trip and a map of Norway on which the route and the sites of exposures were drawn in. The project was shown in an exhibition at the Henie Onstad Art Centre in 1987.”


“Many people also had problems with understanding why it was necessary to photograph these ugly places when Norway had so many beautiful ones to offer.”

Christine Hansen, in an essay for Norsk Landskap’s 25th anniversary exhibition catalog.

To catalog text.
To a selection of photographs.

Norway, Buskerud, Hol, Ustaoset

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Norway, Buskerud, Hol, Ustaoset city

Ustaoset is a small village in the middle of Norway. Its claim to fame, if it is at all famous that is, came with the railway between east and west. And a skiing event, large for its kind I believe, although I’m not sure if that type of skiing is very popular outside of Norway. And huts. And Hallingskarvet, the short montain range just above it. Not very many people live there though, according to 2014 numbers, only 36 of them.

I have driven through Ustaoset only a few times and it always strikes me as an intersting place, perhaps because when I get there I’m usually coming down from Hardangervidda and the view and surroundings tend to be impressive, not to overstate. A place I’d like to see more of, preferably in early autumn, with a camera and a tripod and some compositional balance*, clothes that keep me warm, good shoes and healthy feet and all the time in the world.

Rural road construction at dusk.

Some construction on state road 7, railway tracks in the back.

*Just made that up. Not the thing but the phrase. Suspect I’ll be using it some.

#runningman has a worse* camera

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#runningman has a worse camera

Replacing old with ancient, in digital camera terms at least, #runningman’s image quality just decreased, considerably. It turns out that’s quite alright, if not for the better. Battery life is still adequate, pixel count has gone down and with it, file size is lovely, colours are wonky in a good way and the optic is good. Best of all though, the older, worse camera of the two is much smaller, lighter, and no drama worth mentioning will happen should #runningman trip with it in his hand and land on it.

Brown puddle in low green vegetation

It all looks decent enough on the internet anyway..

old=Fujifilm X100S (is being missed, terribly)
ancient=Ricoh GR Digital III


*Update: I probably should address worse, in the context that the best camera is the one you have with you, cliché as it is. And how if there is going to be a camera while running, as long as the image quality is acceptable, small and light is number one on the list of qualities for #runningcam. Well, the Ricoh GRD has plenty acceptable image quality and the title of this little piece is nonsense. For a different usage, other criteria would apply.

..the communication

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the communication

Aperture has a workshop. They ask:

“Do you know where you’re going next with your photography–or where it’s taking you?”

Good thing you asked, Aperture. Honestly, I have no idea. I do know this, though:

I photograph because it is the communication, the one that is. Even if it exists partly, mostly, exclusively even, in a void*.

An empty room, where the images and what they carry bounces between the walls, slightly altering meaning and/or perspective with every change in direction.

Where much of the content exists outside the visual, making it hard if not impossible to give meaning to others than the one who was there, thought that, felt like so.


To an extent a bit like talking to oneself on the way home from work. Yet not.

Two trees, a stream in the background, in black and white.

Landscape photograph, odd proportions, no colours.

*(If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to ..)