Pug mania!

I’m getting to know some of the sweet photography spots in my forest by now. It’s a really cool place, within 30 minutes of walking I have some very different areas. Today, I worked with a special model.

Meet Johnny Pug – the coolest Pug in the forest!

_DSF1361_1-web

his is about 20 meters from the main road. Already the forest is all around us, no sight of any cars. No sight of anything man made in fact…(except the pathway).

_DSF1396-web

A bit further is the deforestation site I’ve used before. At the edge of it, the stones are covered in moss.

_DSF1409-web

Perfect lookout place for a small dog!

_DSF1451-web

At the end of the site, the pathway divides in two. We started to the right.

_DSF1473-web

After a short bit, there grows a lot of these plants – perfect as a shelter for a pug!

_DSF1490-web

A bit of play and fun with Mom on the way.

_DSF1500-web

Johny here is ninja-trained. Do not try this with an untrained dog.

_DSF1534-web

And sometimes not all lights are on Johnny…His human “brother” is just as cute!

_DSF1549-web

Not only lions live in the high grass that we found about ten minutes later. 

_DSF1573-web

And to top it all off: heather! Loads and loads of heather!

_DSF1603-web

“Luckily I’m secure in my manlihood. I can pose with pink flowers just as good as any bitch!”

I feel like I’ve moved to photo paradise… 😀

Puppy in Dystopia

I would never place a puppy in an unfriendly environment for real. But I had this idea of a puppy, all alone in a world gone bad, alone with just a toy.

This is my first session with a customer in “my” forest. We went to a deforestation five minutes into the forest, and just let the puppy loose to follow his own desires (of course, Mom is nearby all the time!). It worked like a charm.

_DSF0878-web_DSF0885-web_DSF1074-web

Of course, we also did some “normal” portraits!

It’s awesome to have these two environments literally side by side…

_DSF0997-web

Yes, there is a stick flying through the air. We were trying to get him to look up. Well…

Puppies grow up too fast. Totoro will never be nine weeks again. These photos are precious, they freeze time and create memories. And he had a GREAT time!

Speedlight for dummies: part one

One of the things that I could see everywhere at FotomÀssan was light.

Not strange, as a photographer is totally dependant on light! As I am outdoors most of the time, I use the sun as my lightsource, and if I need to I bounce the light in a reflector. (Wait, that’s a lie…I bring my reflector, and think I will use it, but never do. I just…forget…)

But sometimes I have felt the need for a second source of light. To brighten shadows on location, and save me some time in Photoshop. Something small and easy to carry. I know what you are all thinking: “you need a flash!”. But me and flashes don’t really work well together. I hate being photographed with a flash, and I have seen in my four-legged models that many of them feel the same way. Plus I don’t like how it looks. And the eyes get red or green.

Or maybe, just maybe, I don’t know how to use it properly…

Luckily for me, I could listen to no less than three seminars on how to use flash. Speedlight, Prophotos A1 (a speedlight/studioflash hybrid), and studioflash with softbox.

It actually seemed easy. It actually seemed like it could work for me! All of a sudden I knew what I had been doing wrong, and – maybe – how to fix it!

Although a prophoto A1 seems kind of fantastic, it COSTs about 10.000 sek. That’s way over my budget for “fun things to test”. Instead I got a Godox TT350 to use on my camera, just to give it a go! Price: 1100 sek.

All the photos today are straight from my camera, no editing whatsoever, just to show you what I did:

 

web-7086

No flash.

 

web-7093

How it usually looks when I try to use a speedlight. Terrible!

So far so bad – but I knew how to fix this! I switched from TTL (that means that the camera and flash talk to each other and agree on the best exposure. In this case they are wrong.) to manual flash mode, and used my flash compensation to turn down the intensity of the flash…

 

web-7097

Much better, but still not really perfect…

…and all the way down…

 

web-7137

Yes! That’s it, the result I have been looking for! Just a touch of light.

One of my biggest concerns was if my model would find the flash scary or uncomfortable, but she didn’t seem to mind.

 

web-7135

The Godox speedlight comes with a “catchlight-card”, that reflects a bit extra in the eyes. Works really well!

This is the effect I wanted – photos that doesn’t look as if Ihave used a flash, they just…pop…a bit more. Switching from TTL to M gave me the possibility to set my cameras exposure as I wanted it, and then just use a tiny bit of flash to fill the shadows. Nice!

This was my first attempt, and I have a lot more that I want to try with that small speedlight. But there is hope!

 

 

 

 

 

Fuerteventura: Saturday with sunrise, VallebrĂłn, craftfair and snorkling.

It’s fun to revisit my photos from my vacation, now that it’s been a few weeks! So many memories…It takes a little while, as I find myself remembering and dreaming quite a bit.

Anyway! Saturday we woke early. Ola said to me “I read your bucket list, and I know you want to photograph the sunrise over the sea! Let’s try it!” We didn’t go far, but far enough to have a nice view over…Clouds. And Clouds. And more Clouds.

To save myself a lot of editing job, I chose to photograph in JPEG and take advantage of the beautiful color profile that Fujifilm has. It has a red/yellow tint that works perfect with sunrises!

Even though we didn’t actually see the sun, the light was still beautiful in colour.

After breakfast we set off. Our dreamplace to live is a small village called VallebrĂłn, and we visit every time we are nearby.

web-6505

It’s something about how you drive through the mountans and suddenly a valley just opens up – the light is amazing. It just has a good feel to it!

The town seems quiet, and has that Fuerteventura-mix between beautiful houses, ruins, and everything inbetween.

This time we visited the viewpoint nearby and could see all the way to the sea.

Some day…

The weather was quite warm despite the sun playing hide and seek, to we continued to Lajares and the craft fair. Lajares is a really nice little town as well, with restaurants, cafĂ©s, and art and craft stores. Saturdays there is a fair, and that’s where we headed.

I love looking atdifferent kinds of art, ad really enjoyed visiting the air and the small shops/studios!

Last stop for the day: snorkeling in El Cotillo.

This was the place where Ola almost drowned last time. Do I need to tell you that I was a bit nervous, and NEVER let him out of my sight? I stood on the beach, following his every move, while he filmed underwater and enjoyed himself immensly.

web-2-25

The beach is lovely, a nice bay with calm water. I especially like the house, the architecture is a bit…special 😀

You can see where the waves start crashing No swimming beyond that point!

web-6573

Look carefully…can you see the flippers? They are there.

It actually felt like a a small victory when he got up from the water unharmed.

Our vacation was getting near the end, but we still had one more day.

Friday – we meet JP in Fuerteventura!

I had one special thing I wanted to do this trip – I wanted to photograph dogs! Every nature photo is beteer with a dog in it. But…where could I finns models? I know exactly zero dog owners in Fuerteventura…

After our first trip, Ola started to browse the internet after more information and films from our newfound paradise. He quickly found JP in Fuerteventura, and we have watched every video from the beginning with great interest.

So I built up my courage, and in january I asked JP if we could meet him, and if I could photograph his dogs. And he said yes!

So friday afternoon we came to the meetingplace. Both of us a bit nervous (small talk is not my forte, and in English it’s even worse), but there was no need for that! JP is just as nice and friendly as he seems, and took us for a walk with the dogs at a dried-out river bed. This was a new side of the island, like a miniature Grand Canyon! I was busy with dogs and camera, and we enjoyed the company, the sun, and the stunning nature.

web-6089-2web-6167web-6197-2web-6211web-6254-2web-6351web-6398web-6252web-6428

When they found out I not only had meatballs, but in fact was giving them away FOR FREE, the two dogs started modeling like never before. We had a great time!

Morale of this story? Dare to ask. The worse thing that could happen is that you get a “no”. And there is a much bigger chance of “yes” if you ask, than if you don’t ask…;)

 

Thursday – going south

Thursday our plans was to go to the south. As long as we could! Fuerteventura isn’t a large Island, so it’s a nice field trip for a day.

First stop: Morro Jable. We wanted a cup of coffee. The city wasn’t awake yet…No coffee, but I got some history instead!

Stella Canaris was an enormous hotel/resort/zoo. 2013 they stopped paying the people working there. Everything was left from one day to another – keys in the rooms, chairs by the pool, glasses and plates in the cafĂ©s. The animals were rescued or let out of their cages (I really hope the large snake and the Crocodile that can be seen on the posters were rehomed), the staff either left or stayed to live in the abandoned hotelrooms.

There was a guard watching us so I couldn’t try to get inside the fences…that’s an adventure for next time!

I Think abandoned places are fascinating, I can imagine whole stories about how it was and what happened then. Mostly ghoststories, I love horror litterature and creepypasta…

Anyway, as coffee in the morning is a must-have, we continued to the harbour. There we found the waiting hall for the ferry. And coffee!

In the harbour we also visited a sea-turtle nursery. As you are well aware of we humans tend to destroy the world around us. Sea-turtles eat plastic bags or get stuck in garbage, and get really sick and die. In this nursery they are getting help, and they are released from Cofete beach when they are fully recovered.

It made me really sad to see these majestic animals sort of flying through the water in the small pool, round and round, with their feet scraping the walls. They are so beautiful and full of grace, and I really hope they will be let out in the ocean soon! At the same time it was very effective to show the gentle seaturtles to the tourists, my first thought was “how do I donate money to this?”

We moved on – to the south, to the south!

From Morro Jable there’s a dirt road leading South. After about 8 km you can choose the Mountains and Cofete, but this time we stayed with the shoreline and headed for a lighthouse. On the way we passed a viewpoint and stopped to look at the scenery.

Down here you can see far without any company except for the goats. Our car looked deserted…

web-5844

At the lighthouse we were surprised by rain. But that doesn’t stop us!

We continued on the road to the last viewpoint.

If we could get there, that was! All of a sudden a large group of goats decided they wanted to go from one place to another. We were in their way…

After about ten minutes they left us alone, and we were on our way again.

Here there was nothing to break the wind, and I got wet as the waves crashed against the rock I stood on. Luckily my camera is made to endure bad weather, because the Beauty!

And right there, in the middle of nowhere: a door. As a Dark Tower fan I felt chills…

web-

On the way back we passed the most peculiar camping site I have ever seen. I guess you could call it Caravan city?

web-6007

Back in Morro Jable we got wet in the rain, walked the beachpromenade all the way, watched flowers and squirrels, and had a terrible late lunch at a chinese restuarant. Morro Jable is nice, but the north is really more our thing…

One last stop before we got home: the beaches of Jandia are famous. We had to stop!

If the beaches of Corralejo are for kiters and the beaches at El Cotillo for surfers, the beaches of Jandia seems to belong to the windsurfers. Especially the ones that are new to windsurfing.

(Sorry about the blown-out highlights in the clouds, I accidentally changed my settings…)

Tired and on our way home, we just had one more question:

Is this camper van for sale…?

web-6083

 

 

 

Tuesday – roadtrip and The Beach Beyond The Caves

We normally get up att six (seven if I work from home), so we had an early start! We and our little Citroen started on the road from Corralejo to El Cotillo. Not the asphalt road – the road next to the sea! We didn’t really care about the goal, it’s the road that matters (a bumpy, dusty, wash-board-like road…) The plan was to stop and snorkel, but it was really cold and windy…

We passed Majanichu, said hello to a sea gurkin (hope he still lives, he was out of the water and we didn’t dare touch him…or maybe her…) and enjoyed the waves and the wind.

web-5593

The colour palet for Fuerteventura has to be sea-blue, terra cotta, graphite, sand-yellow, the green of the succulents that grow here and the deep lilac in the mountains. And maybe a light off white, from the foam on the waves.

We took a detour to the lighthouse next to El Cotillo, and followed the walk from sign to sign and learned a bit more about the beach and the island. In my opinion a bit cold to sit and meditate, but hey – whatever works for you!

A quick stop in El Cotillo for some lunch (obviously a mistake to order burgers and fries at a fish-restaurant, it tasted like the chef really hated burgers…But at least we weren’t hungry anymore!). El Cotillo is always nice!

web-5598

We were in the mood for more road-trips, so we set course for Ajuy! We were going to look for The Beach Beyond The Caves.

I love to bring my camera to Ajuy, it’s one of the most beautiful places I know and I always find new views.

We started our walk by leaving the common trail to the caves, and going through a broken fence into the great wide open (yes, I could hear Tom Petty in my head…).

And we walked. And walked. All alone. I could see the caves from the backside, and asked “Are you sure you know where we’re going…?” “Yes. Maybe. Ithink so…Let’s try one more hill!”

And there it was.

web-5650

We didn’t continue the walk down the cliff, but just stood in awe and enjoyed the sight.

Then all of a sudden we weren’t alone anymore! Three youngsters and a drone appeared.

web-5623

The sun disappeared, and we headed home. On the way back we passed the warning sign for dangerous drop…

web-5664

…and I took a closer look at the fence…

web-5666

Security? More like “at your own risk”. It’s a great walk and well worth the effort, but keep dogs and small children on a leash!

On our way back we were instantly reminded that Fuerteventura is a tourist island.

I don’t see that as a problem, as I’m starting to learn when and where to go to avoid the big busloads and still see the interesting stuff!

web-5668

And one last photo of the day. Kitesufrefs under a rainbow.

web-5675

Only on Fuerteventura.

 

Back in Fuerteventura!

I’m back on my favourite island – Fuerteventura!

This time I’m not only accompanied by my husband but also by my Fujifilm x-t2. Last year I had my big Sony, and my shoulders and back hurt and I sometimes left the camera in the car. Fujifilm and a 35 mm lens has walked with me all day yesterday and all day today – and I hardly know it’s there! Except for when I need it of course 🙂 I keep it in a wrist-strap, so easy to change hands if necessary and no big strap that gets in the way or constrict my movements.

Enough about my equipment…

We arrived yesterday. We left at sunrise, and I got some shots through the window of the plane (sorry about the poor quality, the window wasn’t exactly clean…)

The light at sunrise is kind of fantastic!

Almost nine hours later we checked in at Surfing Colors – we came back this year as we really like the relaxed atmosphere here. A stroll around town, see what’s changed since we were here last year, a pizza at one place, a coffee at another. Relaxation starting to spread.

Before dinner we took a short walk in one of my favourite parts of the island, the “badlands” between Corralejo and El Cotillo. We didn’t go far, but the rough feeling of the wind, the sea and the lavastones always make me feel att peace with myself.

The sun was setting, so we got some really nice light!

When I turned the other way I could see the town:

And as it got darker I turned to the mountains and the hills of lava-stone.

See why I love it here? This is raw nature, untamed, not bending to anyone or anything.

I’m so happy to be back!

 

Working together

I feel a bit guilty, normally I post twice a week but these past two weeks have been kind of busy…I have had some absolutely amazing photo sessions, and I will show as soon I get the editing done the way I want it. I have got two from today, so let’s start there!

Autumn is the best of seasons when it comes to photographing, and today was no exception. Overcast but bright, the colours are fantastic, and it’s still warm enough to let the dogs be in the water.

Ulrika wanted photos that reflect their relation and how they love to work together. With a dog this well trained, and a relation filled with mutual love and respect, that was an easy task!

urval-2967urval-3185

Seeing two individuals working together like this, and to get the privilege to capture it with my camera, that makes me all warm and happy. Thank you!

How to take better photos with your mobile

I’m travelling this week, and is currently in an RV using my phone for internet.

I use my phone for a lot of things! Blogging. Facebook. E-mail. Filming. And photographing!

Yep, that’s right. I really believe that there is no better camera than the one you have with you. I ALWAYS have my phone!

I remember the first camera-phone I bought. It had the camera as an extra accessoir, and it screwed on the top. The photos were…barely recognisable. At best. A lot has happened since then! Today’s cameraphones are generally really good. Some of them you can even set to RAW, if you want to edit a bit more. (I don’t, I’m short on space as it is…And if I want to do something “extra” with my photos, I use my DSLR.)

Let me show you a few from these last three days (click on them to see full size):

 

What do you think? Some of them are straight out of my phone (Samsung s7) and some of them are edited in the app Snapseed that is my absolute favourite editing-app (and as usual the people at Snapseed don’t even know I’m writing this).

Some advice to improve your phone-photos:

  • Look at the background. It’s even more important with your phone, because it’s very wide-angle.
  • Don’t zoom, it will pixelate your photo. Move closer instead.
  • Use the wide angle affect, and put something in the foreground to create depth.
  • Always think about composition. Rule of thirds apply very well!
  • My phone have a great function, it takes a photo when I say “cheese” or “shoot”. Perfect when you have two leashes in one hand and try to handle the phose with the other!
  • Try to keep the horizon straight (easier said than done for some reason…)
  • Keep your thumb away from the lense! Seems obvious, yet I still struggle…
  • And take LOTS of photos. Keep the ones you like. Trash the rest. Share on facebook, instagram, blog, or anywhere else.

Happy shooting! Go for it!