Shoreside Ponds

These ponds are quite odd, they are dotted all over the seaside nature reserve in Torekov, they seem to be fresh water ponds very close to the shore. The Swedish coastlines really get’s my imagination going, it’s very barren and has been shaped by the elements for thousands of years, it’s very ancient feeling and I can imagine that it’s probably not very different to when vikings ruled these lands.

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Gardens of Torekov

Torekov is full of these beautiful little houses with very well kept gardens, none of them are elaborate masterpieces, just simple beautiful gardens with lot’s of flowers.

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Pink and purple sky

I’ll be returning to the workforce soon, hopefully it will be better than the last position and I don’t get drained too much and lose the will to write this blog. I went several weeks last year without posting anything for no good reason. It was a bit of a case of everything all at once I think, with Max having arrived in our lives, changes in the job and plenty of other things, it got the better of me and I just didn’t feel like sharing much. So far this year has been much better, then again I haven’t had a real job. I went to a good 30 or 40 interviews, but nothing much sparked my interest for quite a while.

This’ll be the first time in a long time that I’ll become a public transport commuter. Perhaps it’s time to start taking a camera with me. Speaking of cameras, on our last two trips I only took the Fuji gear with me. I didn’t miss anything from the Nikons, in particular since I picked up a fuji 10-24mm zoom lens, I also recently got the 35mm fuji lens which found its way into my bag for Sweden. That lens coupled with the electronic shutter is real nice, being able to shoot at F1.4 in the middle of the day is very cool. There are many things I like about the Fuji, I still love my Nikon gear. Though I fear it won’t get used that often, the image quality on the Fuji is just as good and the functionality with firmware updates is continuously improving with Fuji, if you want a new feature from Nikon you have to buy the newest camera. I still have a use for my Nikons, I’ll eventually get back to Africa to shoot more wildlife, I don’t think the autofocus on the Fuji or any other mirrorless camera is ready for wildlife. Also the big telephoto lenses either don’t exist or are miles away from what Nikon and Canon have to offer.

Obviously I’m sharing another photo from Sweden, will do for the next few days. There’s something magical about the sky up there, the first time I went to Torekov a few years ago, I thought the pink sky was a fluke, I saw the same pink and purples tones a few more nights last week.

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Swedish Impression

I got back after a very long drive late last night. Here is one of the first shots from Sweden. We spent most of our time without internet up there, just occasionally checking emails to make sure the world wasn’t missing us. Torekov is a very peaceful little village and it somehow takes me back in time to when things were slower and simpler, people stop in the street to have a chat. Kids play in the park eating ice cream in a cone, I was doing quite a bit of that too. It reminded me of when I was a kid growing up in Christchurch, before the internet, cell phones and even windows existed.

Everyone should have a place like this where they can get away and regain touch with who they are. I have quite a few places like this in the world, this is one I have been introduced to by my lovely girlfriend Louise and her family.

It’s very easy to become engulfed in today’s world, with so much information being created, shared and consumed every single day on the interwebs, and yes I contribute to this every growing amount of data. Technology is supposed to improve our lives, it has in some ways and not others, I wonder if we will ever find the right balance between technology and life, is your life controlled by the desire to always be connected? I feel like mine is sometimes, I work in the technology sector so for me it’s somehow a little more acceptable, in my mind at least. I find myself watching others who are completely engrossed in what is happening on the little screen in front of them, I wonder if they would notice a man in a monkey suit walk past them.

My advice to everyone is to put your phone, tablet, or whatever device you have down for a few days, look at the world around you, explore it and enjoy it.

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Fields of Denmark

Yesterdays post was a bit rushed, I had to make it to the Copenhagen airport by 2 today, I’m here and I’m early, I drove up while Louise and Max took the plane, we didn’t want to make Max sit in the car for 12 hours, he’s got plenty of that to look forward to in the future.

I love driving, I’m still a bit of a petrol head and still turn my head like a big kid whenever I hear the roar of a big engine go by. I was trying hard to keep up with the Porsches on the german motorways, but my 2 litre Audi sadly just shouted “captain I don’t have the power”. I covered Germany from South to North, pretty much in darkness in less than 12 hours, that included a one hour power nap at a petrol stop.

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Love Sweden

It’s time for a road trip, I’m leaving about 2 hours late, I have to meet Louise and Max at the Copenhagen airport in 16 hours, should be a nice drive. We won’t have much in the way of Internet up there so you’ll have to wait and see what kind of photos I bring back.

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Himba Scowl

I had a great time with this old girl, I sat opposite her in the sand and first talked before I started taking photos. We didn’t speak the same language, she suggested that I become her man, I suggested than my friend would be better since he was single at the time. She started by scowling at me every time I took a photo, eventually she couldn’t hold the ruse anymore and started cracking up.

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Wild Beasts

I was originally going to share this photo yesterday, but changed my mind while I was writing the blog post. I figured a photo of a creature that is more menacing would be more appropriate for what I was trying to say yesterday. Though a cheetah is probably less dangerous to a human than a herd of wildebeest. It’s a fairly natural instinct to make the assumption that any predatory animal is dangerous to humans, especially one that hunts other mammals. What I have experienced is a completely different thing, I have never felt threatened by predators, though I must admit that most of the time I have been in a vehicle when these animals are close. Except when diving on the sardine run, then I was surrounded by hundreds of sharks.

These types of feelings are why my photo library is full of wildlife pictures, while I enjoy photographing cities and landscapes, there is something inside of me that feels truly at peace when I am photographing and watching wild animals.

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Cheetah Glare

Evolution is a strange thing, wildlife photographers go out in search of images of beasts that our ancestors lived in fear of.

The ones that truly want to photograph the wildest of places must be committed. For what they seek generally doesn’t come cheap and will be outside the general climatic comfort zone of most human beings. We’ve become accustomed to a subtropical climate and we try to control our environs by choosing to live in places with those conditions or by trying to mimic that climate with the use of heating or air conditioning. I commend the photographers that go out and put themselves up against the bugs of the tropics, freeze in the poles or battle against the elements to get that photo.

I like to think that I am one of those photographers, when I choose to be, most of the time I sit behind a desk. However on the odd occasion once or twice a year if I’m lucky, I will go places that do not naturally have those desired subtropical temperatures, I will tough it out in the heat or the cold, with the bugs if necessary, if I know I am likely to get a photo I am happy with.

Plenty of other people go to the places I go, sadly most of them do it on tour buses and in fancy lodges. I prefer to do it my way, at my own pace, I like staying in a tent close to nature with nothing between me and the wild beasts that may come and sniff round the camp at night. It’s more exhilarating that way, I feel closer to nature and more alive.

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Swing on a beach

There’s something about the ocean that always makes you feel a little cooler, perhaps it’s the cool ocean breezes, not really sure. What I can say is that the lakes in Switzerland just don’t have the same effect, I go for a swim and cool off, that works but as soon as you are out, within a few minutes I’m sweating like I was before I got in, simple solution really, stay in the water :).

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