Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Reykjavík Marathon 2010

So my brother is a runner. He decided to take part in the annual Reykjavík Marathon. He did not run a full marathon of 42,2 km, but the shorter half marathon or 21,1 km. I decided to come along and cheer him on and take some pictures. There were quite a few people that took part or 7,319 in all (either the 10 km run, 21,1 km run or the real marathon of 42,2 km).

The beginning of the Reykjavík Marathon 2010

Now my brother did well and ran the distance in 1 hour and 54 minutes, which is decent and I'm proud of him! :o) 

Half way through
Near the finish line

Recently my brother bought Vibram Five Finger shoes that are specifically designed for people who like to run barefoot, or at least close to barefoot. So he ran the half marathon in those "shoes" and it proved to be quite good. Next on the agenda for my brother is a full marathon in Vienna, Austria... Go brother, GO! 

Happy happy

Joe McNally's Lecture in Iceland!

This last Friday I had my first "formal" education in photography. Most of what I know about photography I have learned from forums, blogs, books, articles, videos and most importantly experience. Focus On Nature, Icelandic photography community decided to bring in a famous photographer and lecturer Joe McNally. Now Joe is a legend within the photo community as he's been a staff photographer both for Life and National Geographic magazine. 

The lecture was at Grand Hotel and it was very interesting as Joe gave an insight into his carer as a photographer, both the hardships and highs. I had some questions that I had been pondering for a long time and he gave me some answers. 

One question I had been wondering about what how to approach personal projects, how to decide what to photograph and where? His answer was fairly simple, to photograph was moves and compels you. Additionally If you shot compelling stuff and show it to others that is the best self promotion that might give you work in the future.

Also how to approach sensitive subjects such as tragedies or children and how to find such subject? His answer was to have full disclosure about what you want to do and be very direct about what you want to do and achieve and then leave the decision with the subjects. Now how to find such subjects he said was a matter of journalism. He mentioned that photographers that want to become photojournalists usually don't get enough education or training in becoming journalists, which is often more difficult than actually taking the images since it requires storytelling and often exceptional human relation skills. 

So photographer + journalist = photojournalist! Simple yet a big revelation to me! 

I also wrote down some memorable comments from Joe as he answered questions on various photography related issues. 

"Think of a world where nobody is watching." 
- Commenting on the much overrated death of photojournalism. 

"You have to be happy at the moment of exposure." 
- Commenting on being published and seeking reputation vs. being actually happy with the images you photograph. 

"You have o love this! You have to love this with a  passion that cannot be quenched!" 
- Joe's advice on how to continue staying in business as a photographer.

Now Joe's lecture was not long and he did not cover a lot of the technical aspects of photography, but I was reminded of what I love about photography and what compels me to shoot...

Me and Joe

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Vacation & Travels - Update #2 (Norway/Switzerland/Lichtenstein)

So the wedding finished late in the evening! Got some great shots of the bride and groom and now my friend is off to manhood and happily ever after! :-) 

Right after the wedding I hitched a ride to Oslo train station where I was kicked out after an hour or so since they close it just after midnight... I just barely missed the last train to the airport and had to wait until 4:45 to catch the next one. I met some Lithuanian girls that were kicked out as well and I walked them to a safe haven at the buss station not to far away where they have a waiting room, but there is a guy there that is posted there to keep you sitting right and awake... funny eh? 

I made it to the airport in the morning and caught a snooze before my flight around noon. Gardemoen airport in Norway is supposedly one of the best airports to sleep in, like people don't disturb you and it seemed quite true because when I came there were lots of people lying around everywhere.  

Now I was flying with Swiss airlines and the flight was good! Considering I was in economy class it was really good! They really care about quality service and lasting impressions. The seats were comfortable, legroom tolerable and they gave me a croissant, yogurt and bar of chocolate! Other budget airlines take note... because they were fair price!

Now arriving in Zurich I went to pick up my rental car, an Opel Agila 1.2... It was a nice car, brand new! Now I tried driving around the city a bit, exploring the center, but it was just so crowded with small streets that I left soon. I had decided to drive East and following the small country roads to Lichtenstein. Driving on the country roads in Switzerland is just beautiful, with the mountains and the ornate houses, it's actually amazing that you make it to your destination because I could have been stopping to look and photograph every 5 minutes (sometimes did that)... I finally made it through to Lichtenstein and almost drove through it! It really is a small place! I found Vaduz castle, which is kind of a symbol for Lichtenstein and took a picture. Before I got to Lichtenstein I found a nice parking-lot in the town Buchs in Switzerland, just over the border, and decided to stay there for the night... I had decided to just sleep in the car since it would not really be worth it for me to rent an expensive hotel room for a few hours of snooze time.

To be continued...