Fallen - including a video!

I finished my second image of this year yesterday morning! I had great fun shooting it and putting it together. I won't give my personal thoughts about this one, I'd rather leave it up to you to see perhaps a meaning or a philosophy in this image ;)

Additionally, I recorded the editing process and it turned out to be such a long video. That meant that I somehow had to cut an almost 2 1/2 hour video (and I didn't even record everything!) down to under 4 minutes....it was a process! I had to leave out or shorten many steps that went into "Fallen". I mean....who wants to watch me edit for such a long time! Hahahaha... I hope you still enjoy this slightly abridged version!

.....and here is the image:

Space - a few thoughts on my first image of 2016!

Here it is - my first image of the new year! The story behind it is a very simple one, at least in my mind. Firstly, I simply wanted to have an "upside-down" indoors image. There. Done.

Secondly and maybe a bit more complex, is the emotional story behind it. To me the image is somewhat of a summary of the last year. Looking back, I feel like I spent a lot of time in 2015 "hiding". Hiding as in needing time for myself, time to think, time to re-group. But I feel like I was also hiding a bit from opportunities, from taking action in many ways. Creating and withdrawing to my own "space" helped me a lot. Hiding is nothing bad or unhealthy as long as you come out eventually with a fresh mind and clear thoughts. That's what happened to me and I'm grateful for it.

I chose to blindfold myself for the image. I do like to keep my images more anonymous. In this specific one, however, I also used the blindfold as a key element of what I wanted to depict. When life gets very turbulent and you do retreat and find yourself in the middle of many small storms, you ARE blindfolded in a way. You DON'T know what's coming next. You need time and space and it doesn't matter at that moment that you ARE a bit blindfolded. Eventually, you will come out of your hiding spot, you will have learned, you will have new plans, and be able to see clearly again. I also got to incorporate being upside down for the same reasons. In this little hideout, you find yourself upside down more often than not. It's part of it and, in the end, helps you to regain your strength and your balance.

I went into shooting this without a clear concept (as so often the case with me), just a vague idea and a gut feeling. The concept, the idea or thought, the image represents comes as I shoot. I had a lot of fun doing this, above all because I'm back doing my fine art images.

For the set up I had to clear out our little cupboard, or whatever you want to call it, in our living room. Then I climbed in and out for over an hour, leaving me sore today! It was so worth it....also because this cupboard is sorted out and dusted too ;)

The Quiet State of Longing and how the image came to be

As always, I will let you find your own meaning in this image. But I did want to write a few lines that should give you a glimpse behind the scenes of "The Quiet State of Longing"...

I have shot this a while ago and, after three edits, it was tucked away on my computer for a too long time. Why? Because I was uncertain about it and too insecure to show it. But I have to admit, I still love it and here it is! The little secret behind this image is that it came to life during my VERY FIRST shoot of fine art images. My friend and I met up for our first shoot together and this was almost exactly a year ago. We carried loads and loads of props, dresses, fabrics, and equipment through a forest and ended up by a waterfall, our location for the day. We were both nervous, frightened even, happy, and excited all at the same time. We wanted to create but really had no idea how to begin the process. We jumped right in. I had a little story and general ideas based on the story. This image, however, just "happened". It had nothing to do with the story that we used as a guide. Now I know that sketches, ideas, stories are oftentimes only the scaffolding for the image you are creating. They give you something to hold on to until the real idea emerges.

Well, here is the result ;) It was my friend's first time modelling and my first time creating what I now call my "Dreamworlds". I will never forget this damp, foggy, chilly afternoon by the waterfall because it truly was the beginning of an entirely new type of photography for me.

Do you remember your first fine art shoot with a model or alone? How was that? How did it influence your future work? Feel free to share your story, I would love to hear!

(P.S.: After the shoot when the light was gone, we ended up sitting in the forest a few yards away from the roaring waterfall. At first, we thought it was great, badass and an overall almost spiritual experience. Hahahaha....half an hour later, i called my husband to please pick us up. It had started to rain, we were soaking, dirty, and spooked by forest noises and animals stepping on branches. It was fun though....for about 20 minutes ;) )

Curiosity and how hardware stores are the best source of inspiration

I use a Nikon D7000 and my favorite lens is a Nikkor 40mm 2.8G. Then I have several tripods, a few reflectors, and my trusty camera bag that I love more than any fancy purse. Ok, truth be told, there are a few more lenses and filters and accessories. But the 40mm, one sturdy Manfrotto tripod and the bag (a Tenba, for those interested) are really all I need for almost any shoot. Therefore, I don't spend a lot of time in camera stores. In fact, I think I haven't been to one in almost two years. Where I like to spend time is in fabric stores, at flea markets, and especially in hardware stores! I ALWAYS, without exception, walk out with something that I could use for my photography. They are just great, aren't they? Clamps, pieces of wood, random containers, construction lights, paint, tape, barbed wire, regular wire.....just so many great items to use for photography!

During my years in the US I saw my share of ginormous hardware stores. But now, living in a small country where everything is.....well, small, imagine my absolute delight when my husband and I discovered this DIY store the other week that even had a DRIVE-IN section!!! I have heard rumors that something like this existed but have never seen one in person. Imagine all the stuff you can get there for all your photography projects. [I do sound like a complete geek, don't I?] My husband quickly succumbed to his fate and patiently walked miles and miles through that store with me. Also, he tried not to look too embarrassed when I let out a small shriek of joy when I found the perfect ROPE. Trust me, only fellow (conceptual) photographers will understand my reaction ;) I proudly brought home my rope, sat down, and started sketching my photo ideas. Let me tell you, items like this make me happier than any pair of shoes. I'm a photographer girl, not a girl-girl after all :)

Two days, one quiet morning, and a night shift later I finished my first rope image. I kept it very simple and for this simplicity I love this image.


I also recorded while editing and, as always, you can watch the video right here! I have used stock images of ropes in the past and the resolution was always terrible. So, this time around and with my very own rope I could photograph rope sections individually and piece them together later (as you can see in the video).

I cannot wait for my next trip to my new favorite store and I'm curious to hear if you share my love for hardware stores. Have you purchased items in DIY stores that you couldn't find anywhere else to incorporate into your photography? Which ones and for what images? Let me know in the comments section below!

Sanctuary - An Image for my Book Series

"Sanctuary" developed very quickly. Shoot, composite, save. Some images just flow ;)

What is your sanctuary? What is the place where you feel like you can lose yourself, where you feel safe, and where you lose track of time? I chose a book for my image because stories, foreign countries, their geography, new characters and their biography make my mind travel and time fly. Especially during the most unstable or more difficult periods in my life I clung to books because they provided a constant, allowed me to pass time in foreign lands, and life stories different to mine. While I still refer to books as steady companions, photography more often than not substitutes reading. This is the main reason why I called this portfolio Dreamworlds - on a small scale, the images take you away into far away lands and unknown stories. I hope you like it and I hope you share a little bit about your sanctuaries!

In addition to the image I also have a VIDEO for you! Enjoy!