Daily life interim recent and future travels | Life after child cancer

Near future

Not much is happening at the moment – after the workshop, my trips down to southern Sweden and visit to Prague, Czechia, I’ve been home for a while now. I’ve felt extremely tired the past week or two though and I’m not sure why. It’s a struggle still to keep my head above water, but I’m doing alright.

Next workshop is May the 18th, ending on the 20th, where I’ll go to a workshop with the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation together with a group of survivors.

After that it’s off to Brussels, Belgium for a four-day course in how the European parliament is organised. This workshop is organised by Youth Cancer Europe and is between the 20th and 24th. It’s not ideal for me to go to two workshops back-to-back like this, but I promised someone I’d go to the Swedish workshop, so I will. It’ll be good for me as well of course – the workshop is about mental health. Seems right up my alley. It’s just that the timing isn’t the best. I’ll power through though, then I’ll see how long time it takes for me to recover.

Continuing with my new hobby – Photography!

I’m continuing to read about, and experimenting with, photography. I can be a quick learner once I really get in to something. And I have a lot of time on my hand, for good and bad.

It’s fascinating how misunderstood something like photography can be. Several years ago – probably ten years ago by now – I wanted to get into photography. However, after calculating the cost of the camera and memory card, someone said that it doesn’t include a lens… So, I added that. I really wanted to photograph the moon – I tried one night using my cell (not a smartphone, this really was a long time ago!) but it looked like I took a picture of a light bulb. Anyway, to photograph the moon, I realised I would have needed a tripod. Which was expensive. This is what put me off, all the extras. I figured that the camera was the most important thing; the rest was just annoying extras costing too much money.

I kept believing this for a long time, that the camera was the main component. I did realise at some point that the lens was important as well, but still, my emphasis was on the camera. Like most others. I didn’t see it as a real art either. I figured it’s like painting, but easier, since you don’t have to do any actual painting.

Now, I’ve gotten into it, for real. Suddenly, the advice given by pros is to not put emphasis on the camera too much – and especially not its specifications. The camera simply isn’t that important. In fact, many, many pros recommend buying last year’s model and save a tonne of money. The focus should instead be on other things. Lenses and lighting. And the camera’s ergonomics; being able to reach all important buttons without hindrance is key. It doesn’t hurt to have some of the extras a new camera brings either, but from the suggestions I’ve seen, the camera is less than half the total budget. If you’re saving up to buy a 1500€ camera, being unable then to afford any other lens than the one included, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Even though lenses are important, you won’t need a lot of them in the beginning. Even if you’re in to everything; doing portraits, landscape, architectural, macro, if you get it right, you’ll have a collection quickly where lenses won’t be the reason your (my :P) pictures don’t turn out as well as you’d (I’d :P) hoped. No, it’s the damn light… Many people just start using natural lighting at this point, when they can’t control it, but I feel that it’s a copout, a reason not to learn how to use lighting. So, I’m going to learn how to use flashes and other lights properly.

I like this hobby, it’s given me a new perspective on so many things. In movies, I try to observe the lighting. In daily life, when I remember to, I try to look how the light falls in different situations, mostly on people. Shadows from the glasses, glares in the forehead, and so on.

It’s interesting, it’s something I’ll never master to one hundred percent – I don’t believe anyone has. Endless possibilities. It’s also the first time I’ve experienced something with so many accessories. It seems like there’s an accessory for an accessory for an accessory – ∞.

And it’s all the damn lights’ fault.

(For those interested, here’s a few guys on YouTube that provides some good advice for novice photographers.)

James Popsys
Tony & Chelsea Northrup
Jared Polin

I especially like the Northrups, they do things methodically, mixing the science behind photography with the artistic side. Jared Polin is sort of an extremist and perhaps a bit hot-headed, but he does have some useful things to say.

Most of these latest photos were taken close to sunset. None of them are perfect but I feel like I learn something new every time I go out.



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