Since I’ve stopped chasing distinctions and medals I’ve actually increased the amount of photography I do, and I’m probably producing more images, but on a haphazard basis as I no longer have the salon schedule requiring me to produce images by certain deadlines, and I’m enjoying the creative freedom this gives me. I will still enter competitions, but because I want to rather because I have to.
As mentioned in previous posts the salons did allow me to make many new online friends, quite a few of whom I’ve since met in person. So after a great recent trip to Serbia to meet my good friend Bojan, this time I took up the invitation of another talented photographer Håkon Grønning, and it won’t come as a surprise that I took the lovely Lulu Lockhart with me :)
I’m finding that when I’ve known someone online for some time, that when I finally meet them they seem just as I expect them to be, and the online friendship pretty seamlessly becomes a real world friendship. Håkon and his wife were great hosts, and he had loads of great locations planned for the week we were there.
Here’s a small selection of images I’ve edited so far, although there are plenty more to come.
One of the things that was a surprise to me, in a nice way, was the number of houses made completely from wood. This is a simple portrait from an old abandoned farmhouse.
I think Lulu’s figure is perfect for showing off by sculpting it with light, as in this doorway.
More sculpting, this time with backlight. Maybe I should have been a sculptor, but it’s so much quicker with light and a digital camera rather than hammer and chisel.
We also visited a bunker from the last World War, and I like using places that were once used for violence for showing off human beauty. This was the very heavy door, and I love how Lulu stands out against the almost black background.
And I don’t often ask Lulu to jump, but this seemed a good place to start, and I don’t think she quite believes how high she jumped. I’ve also helped her a little with my use of camera angle and perspective, but it’s a straight shot, she did really launch herself up that far.
Norway has great natural beauty, including this magnificent waterfall. Håkon and I were standing quite a distance from it, and were cold and wet. Lulu was 2/3 closer, so was rather colder and wetter, but we kept her out there for the absolute minimum time. I hope she feels that the discomfort was worth it for the images.
More natural beauty with some lovely rocks, and with the really long days we were often able to shoot quite late, this one was taken around 11pm.
When the light is quite contrasty I feel that simple images with strong bold poses work best, as in this image.
We also found some quite interesting man-made objects as well, and the long days means that even quite early in the morning we often still had quite high contrast. However I feel that works with this strong shape image.
This tube provided a bit of a challenge for exposure, as she was heavily backlit and I didn’t just want a full silhouette.
I was really pleased with the great variety of images we managed to produce. As I have said there are many more images to come, but I have images from other shoots that I need to work on as well, so they will have to wait.
Many thanks to Håkon and Lulu for making it a special and memorable week, I can highly recommend Norway, apart from the eye-wateringly expensive beer!