© Martin Kull

Brussels Graffiti

A business trip to picturesque Brussels could not be without also exploring the streets with my camera. In many parts of the town beautiful street art and graffiti can be found and some areas are great for capturing interestig street photography scenes and characters. I visited the train station Brussels Kapelekerk several times and captured a few memorable moments in this album

Brussels Graffiti 2

Ski safari in Aosta, Italy

We like te UCPA concept, skiing with a French mountain guide in challenging areas and in a group that fits your level. We spent a week in Italian Aosta valley with an off-piste group skiing in Gressoney, Alagna and Courmayeur. Conditions were varying from mild with snowfall to cold and bright sun. Our guide Loïc Zaccaro did a great job to find secluded off piste areas, steep couloirs and skiable pine woods. Altogether it was another great UCPA adventure.

Daniel on north slope of Gabiet

Iceland preparations

To complete our adventure to conquer the Nordic summits we will make a try at Iceland's highest peak Hvannadalshnjúkur 2 109 m this summer. The climb starts at sea level so we better be prepared. Last weekend we took a nearby hike at "Blå leden", Bogesund Vaxholm. No heigths, but a quick stride through a wet winter landscape. Rewarding finnish at restaurant Hamnkrogen in Vaxholm.

Approaching Bogesund castle

Chamonix

I love the mountains as much as I love the sea. In January we went to ski with the French organisation UCPA in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. The concept is great: Simple lodging, all inclusive: all meals, ski-pass, equipment and best of all: you get to ski with a French mountain guide for four days. This year we decided to join an off-piste group with ten skiers from France and Sweden in a mix of ages. Lots of fun and challenging skiing. In a new album I show some of the Landscapes shot during the week together with a few photos from earlier visits to the top of Europe.

Panorama from top of Grands Montets

Magic ice skating

Nordic skating is fantastic under the right conditions. Fresh ice, flat and shiny as a mirror, a low winter sun and little or no wind. Temperatures have not been low enough, this winter, for the sea in the Stockholm area to freeze, but the lakes typically have 5-15 cms of ice and last weekend the thin cover of snow had just melted and frozen again. We had some magic moments at Vallentunasjön and Garnsviken:

http://contextphoto.com/albums/ice-skating/

Photographing could be a challenge, in good conditions the light is harsh, exposure in backlighting needs to be estimated and if you want to catch your fellow skaters from the front you need to skate ahead quite a bit, prefocus and plan the composition. Many shots are taken on the go with poles in one hand and the camera in the other.

Magic Vallentunasjön, Jan 2015

New York City streets and protests

I had the opportunity to spend three days in New York City and mainly focusing on photography. Beforehand I had checked out some great locations for street photography in the city https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zqN0POJ0gwLw.krTZOqcv0m5U and during the three days I made a lot of walking to visit many of them. I had thought it would be easy to find subjects and shoot street in this bustling metropole, but on the contrary, streets were jammed by Christmas shoppers and made it hard to get clean backgrounds and to my Swedish eyes so much was new it was hard to find and pick the odd subjects. Also fears imagined as a street photographer, that I have partly overcome in Stockholm, were back in full strength. Still there were some lucky shots that I can share in this album

In December 2014 protests against US police brutality were back in the streets, also in New York. During my photo walks I ran across several manifestations and performances, showing lots of engagement, anger but luckily all I saw were peaceful. I have documented three events from Union Square and Times square here.

6 Times square Dec 12

Being in New York it is also hard not to be struck by the magnificent  cityscapes and night views. Some photos of the city to be found here.

Street workshop with Eric Kim

Last week, on October 29-30, I participated in a street photography workshop in Stockholm, led by Berkley based Eric Kim. Seven photographers from Germany, Switzerland, France and Sweden were my fellow students. After an inspiring talk on how to catch emotions in street photography Eric guided us in the streets and always pushed us closer to our subjects.

The first day´s mission was street portraits where we had asked for permission and the goal was not reached until we had gotten 10 No´s - harder than you could imagine, since people are very kind and many interesting characters in the street are keen on being recognized.

Serenity at Drottningatan, Stockholm

The second day was harder and we were asked to take candid shots maximum two arm lenghts away and minimum 10 exposures of each subject.

Portrait, Sergels Torg, Stockholm

I appreciated very much Eric´s easy way and the practical advice he gave us in the street. He motivated us to take some great shots as showcased here. Erics behind the scenes video is also on Youtube. I learnt a lot during the two days and some of my take aways are

  • By getting this close to the subjects and by carefully selecting backgrounds I can use color in my street photos
  • I don´t need to hate my flash if used carefully as a fill light
  • And most importantly, it is great to approach people in the street!
View a collection of my shots from the workshop here