And we are back from the dead! No not really, I was never dead but I´m back, maybe from the living dead or something. Too soon joking about death perhaps? Anyways, this post will focus on the art form of social distancing in all it´s shapes and forms, as well as my standard rants and personal stuff.
Since early / mid March when all hell broke loose and we all went out of work, I´ve had maybe around zero photo assignments up until a few weeks ago. Then I was fortunate enough to be recommended by a client to one of her friends in need of a photographer, covering her digital conference project and boom – all of a sudden I have a super awesome new client! So I have actually been busy doing real photography work, what a wonderful feeling! The weekdays just almost started to feel like real weekdays again, instead of the “Corona Saturday-Tuesdays” that we´ve had for some time now…
So thats why I´ve been too busy and important to do “blogging” lately 🙂 But I have nonetheless been a good boy and done many excursions into Corona-land so we can have this little documentary project going.
I have also come to realize these 2 things for the blog:
- My posts in this blog will be divided into 2 sections, the first being my own personal thoughts and rants like a diary-style kind of thingy, the second part will be more focused on photography.
- This will make it easier for you guys to get to the “good stuff”, if you dont bother reading my personal stuff then just go to the second half for the photo-talk.
- I will most likely mess up this sectioning thing anyways, but atleast I thought about making things easier for you …
Where were we?…. Oh yeah, right now I´m trying to categorize the photos based on different themes and subjects. Like photos where I tried to capture different kinds of social distancing like in this post, I try to put them together in a collection. But then I realize that some of them are overlapping other categories and collections that I created and then I dont know how to continue for a while and bla bla bla, so it kind of slows me down. I dont know if that´s mostly a good or bad thing. I mean it takes a lot of time and effort and when I get stuck in the categorizing I don´t post anything here.
But on the other hand it makes me think a lot more about the photos and what kind of photos I want to take when I go out. I believe that kind of analyze work makes the whole documentation process better and more thought-through, hopefully resulting in better and more interesting and captivating photos. Maybe one day I´ll snap one of those 🙂
For example, I have been trying to decide before I go out what kind of photos I´ll look for. Like, ok so today I´ll try to get photos of people doing social distancing, then I try to focus on that. But on the way to the subway I see something else that I think is worth snapping a picture of and then I´m off of today´s mission. And of course I have to take those spontaneous candid street photos that just out of nowhere emerges like God given gifts, right?
So I forget about today´s mission and just document stuff and while shooting spontaneously and freely from my heart, not limiting myself with boring rules about themes, content and “what´s interesting for everyone”-bullshit , I think that´s when you create art. ( I hear you go; Oh my God you sound so cheezy John ) For this photo project about Corona´s impact on society and our lives, I have tried to visualize in my mind some photos that I really wanna take. Since they are candid and documentary “live” they require some pre-planning and a great bit of luck. I really hope that I can show you guys some of those photos real soon. I have also learned that sometimes you need to spend some serious time at a location in order to nail a photo-idea that you spontaneously come up with. Enter the wildlife photographer going; Yeah John, no shit!
The photo below from a café is one example, where 2 customers are waiting in the squares to order.
I waited for almost one hour to get that photo, and I almost f*cked it up. I had the framing figured out and the settings pre-set in manual mode so the exposure would be as good as possible. But since I had been waiting for so long I must have accidentally thrown the settings completely off. So when two customers finally came in and stood in the right positions and I just snapped the photos Ninja-style, I saw that I had over-exposed the photos by like a billion times. But shooting in RAW made it possible to rescue the photo´s highlights pretty good, and it looks better in black and white as well.
It´s easy to get stuck in a mindset where you think that “Corona-photos” must be in a certain way to be interesting, but what I try to do is documenting the society right now in my own personal way.
Okay so, what section is this now? Oh yeah, I was talking about photographing social distancing so maybe it´s the photo-oriented section? Well I need to go to bed real soon, its almost midnight and tomorrow the week starts over again with a wonderful Monday. I actually have some work to do so I dont want to be too tired, but before I go I´ll say that I think social distancing can be many things. It´s trying to keep a 2 meter distance in the supermarket even when you´re in a hurry home to not working, it´s enjoying your icecream at a café in the sun with one empty table in between the next isolation-socially-drained guy, it´s going out in the evening having a beer in solitude at an empty bar just because you know – beer, it´s using homemade mouth protection masks eventhough you know it´s probably useless since you´ll touch it on the outside and poke your eyes, it´s wrapping the entire entrance to your kiosk in plastic and expedite the customers through a small hole so nobody can come inside with their filthy germs and viruses etc etc etc.
Social distancing is also working from home, ordering all your food online instead of going out, renting a car so you can avoid the subway and all public transport, educating your 4-year old daughter to REALLY not hug her grandmother and grandfather and keep a minimum of 2 meters distance to them when you arrange the first outdoor family fika (Swedish sacred ritual with coffe and fikabröd) in 3 months.
Yeah, it can be so many things and I think we in Stockholm and Sweden are pretty good at it, mostly. We do have pretty chill and light restrictions if you compare to most of Europe, but who know´s what strategy is the best?
What we do know is that the society has changed, maybe forever in some ways and we are distancing us from ourselves and everyone around us, in one way or another and it sucks.
It´s a social distorsion. But it will go away some day.
I put together a gallery of photos here, some of the photos are being re-used from previous posts since I think they fit into the Social Distorsion theme as well. I went to the Airport in Stockholm for a job and stayed to take some photos for this project, and it was totally surreal to be at an almost empty Airport. I´ll write more about that in a upcoming post.
The 2 last photos of the billboards are from a little project within my project. I realized that these billboards in every suburb tells a lot about the conditions and people living there, it clearly shows the segregation in the suburbs in Stockholm along the subway line. I will document those much more and see where it goes, I think it´s quite interesting.
COMING UP NEXT!
I dont know really 🙂 Depending on the photos I manage to get, it will most likely be some cool random stuff that I failed to find a smart and nifty name for in the categorizing haha. Maybe I nail one fo those pre-planned photo ideas? Come back to find out, much sooner than this post I promise.
Until then, stay safe and always bring your camera – I missed one epic shot today.