29th of July

Why Do Things By Halve? Return to India

I guess one thing that I realised about myself in the past few years is that I don’t like to do things by halves. What this has to do with India? Well – I will get back to that shortly.

But let me start by saying, If I want to do something I go all in. It might be slightly obsessive, but I have come to accept it is part of who I am. If I want to climb a mountain I go all in with crazy training, and eating like a rabbit, if I want to learn a programming language I disappear from the surface of the earth and bury myself in front of my computer, if I want to learn how to print in the darkroom I order a mountain of chemicals and become the mad scientist (by the way crossing the border between England and France through the euro tunnel with a suitcase full of darkroom chemical makes for some very stressed looking border police – true story!)

This obsessive nature can be rather productive at times, but there is also another side of the coin when things do not work out as I want them to. After my mountain adventure last winter I have been struggling with some bad ass knee problems, also known as patellar tendonitis, which has hindered me from training as hard as I would have liked to. Two things has come out of that – firstly my mood has become darker and I flipped 100% in terms of diet – no more eating like a rabbit, more like eating like a pig (followed by a fair bit of weight gain), and secondly I have become greatly fascinated by anatomy. Again my obsessive nature has kicked in and I have been in “body debugging” mode, studying human anatomi, and training specifically to improve my knee situation (in my case ankle+hip mobility + strengthening my glute region – also known as the bum). I have become crazy flexible and my buns has become considerable stronger – slowly progress is being made to provide myself with a more healthy knee situation.

Another thing that I have become obsessive about the last few years has been becoming very mobile, and cutting my living footprint down to a minimum. Most of my things has been sold, given away or thrown out. I don’t own a TV – well I do but it is permanently lend to the wonderful couple Dorthe and Dennis, I only own a few boxes which also resides in the basement of Dorthe and Dennis, a computer and a bunch of outdoor stuff. This month I moved to Norway to live with the wonderful woman Michelle Ortiz. I love the fact that from the time I made the decision to move here, to it being a reality just took a little more than 3 weeks. Its a very freeing feeling to be able to do things like this on such a short notice.

One of the latest things I have been working on in this more mobile lifestyle is to make the move from bulky DSLR cameras to tiny mirrorless camera. The technology has been moving fast the last few years, and now some affordable solution exists which provide outstanding quality. Currently I am busy testing the Fuji x100s – an amazing cost efficient camera weighing only a little less than one pound. I love that such a tiny little camera can provide me with such amazing quality – it really brings back the joy in photography. It is a great tool that does not come in my way, it is light and well performing, and allows me to focus on the subject matter without worrying too much about technology. It is dead silent and very unobtrusive – ideal for my passion of photographing people.

Now you might ask what all this has to do with India, and not doing things by halves? Well the answer is quite simple really. I want to put this camera to the ultimate test, I want to put it through it paces and see how it works on the streets of incredible India. So tomorrow I will put myself on a plane and go to India during the monsoon to do nothing but photograph for two months. If it can take the abuse of two months of photography during the heavy monsoons I know I have found myself a real gem. Needless to say I am excited to be visiting India for the 7th time in my life, a land of startling contrasts. I am sure a lot of human stories are there waiting to be reported by my Fuji x100s.

8th of March

The Little Pink Slot Machine

Walking the streets of Kathmandu capital of Nepal with fellow traveler Gaoness Yang, looking for a nice local restaurant to feed our starving tummies we came across this scene:


Usually when I come across something intriguing I do not hesitate to pick up my camera and shoot – as I know that whatever is causing this moment to be a potential interesting image may only last but a fraction of a second. However I have to admit, in this instance I was completely taken aback. I could not figure out what this pink slot machine was doing in an empty green room with a woman sitting enjoying her fruit in front of a TV.

Having travelled a fair bit in Asia, I am no stranger to unusual settings on the streets, but I have to say this particular setup was a bit more random that what I am used to. Fortunately there was no risk of this scene disappearing anytime soon, and having caught my breath my instinct returned, and I raised the camera to my eye capturing this peculiar moment.

This is what I love about places like Nepal. I don’t get to see places like this back home. This family had some spare space, and decided to turn it into a minute gambling place – I suppose. I don’t figure it is a particular successful business, but it is a business none the less. Actually in hindsight I regret not asking if I could play the slot machine – I would have loved to support her little business. I guess I was just too distracted by my roaring tummy.

Gaoness and I enjoyed the scene for a moment – taking it all in. Then we carried on our search for a nice place to eat.

There are 0 comments on this post

Categories:  Nepal Photography Travel