Mo Blog

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


I thought it would be nice to post the fruits of my experiments with my first roll of Kodak Portra 400. I bought a 120roll ages ago with the intention of testing it on Crossings to see if it would find a place. Enough to say that a Hasselblad was only a touch too wieldy for a project so hit and miss. To me Portra is indescribably beautiful and lush. The main reason is that i know not a gaddam thing about film. But the other reasons are its inimicable colour. And i love colour.

I shot a few frames during a shoot for the brilliantly creative summer pages of Core magazine with Hamish Campbell that you can check the full spread for here.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Til hamingju Ása og Garðar

I wanted to give this magical event a space of its own, while it was just part of our trip to Iceland it was also the main reason we were there! From a photographer's perspective, I am one very, very lucky guy. The run-up: perfectly relaxed. With 3 days from our arrival (and after the gut busting stress of my gear making the ballistic expedition through a cargo hold) we had the leisure of meeting our bride and groom for a delicious coffee and a catch up, having a good scout of some nice locations for their photos after the ceremony and we got to sit in on the rehearsal. This is preparation, and if one thing can be crowned the great asset of the day then the pre-think and the schedule is what would be. Oh, but there was also this: The weather. Perfectly perfect the whole way through. Blindingly sunny but omnisciently overcast when I really needed it.  And it was this sun that captured the spirit of item number 3: The location.

Iceland and a festive Akranes. For our photos we wanted something very simple but true to the home town of the couple. After having a nose in a few spots we settled on a cove hidden past some of the coastal dunes. Towns have an affinity to their mountain (they all have one), and Akrafjall, the twin-peaked beacon for Akranes, proved itself as the most formidably breathtaking backdrop we could have wanted. The other more notable eccentricity of Iceland was something i should have but didn't really expect. Its weddings, and im not talking about the ceremony here, are infamously lively! The boisterous merriment started after 7 and after speeches, balloons, food, games, speeches, songs, speeches, food, speeches, C A K E, games, slideshows, coffee and a speech, we were finally ready to start the partying. I however, was ready to drop dead. But a brisk disappearance to secure the camera and back everything up saw me fighting fit in comfy shoes an hour later to be welcomed back as a guest. A cold, earned beer in hand, it was one of those moments. Even at 5 in the morning, with the sun fully up for another long summer day, I was feeling the bliss.

But who for the major props but the missis herself: cake maker and waistline shaker! Some serious amount of chocolate gorging. ALL Sola's doing. (even the leaves, which while i like to maintain in my head, do not grow on trees)

sjö klakka

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The most remarkable thing about Iceland has nothing to do with road coverage, national dishes or ludicrous linguistic whimsy as Icelandair were nodding along in their in flight promo. Sure enough, by the time you land you are prepared for something like an Arctic Australia. An echoing landscape filled with listless acres waiting to  welcome you with its gratuitous eccentricities and a meaty handshake. Not an accurate likeness exactly.  Not in its seasons and sunlight nor in the all year round yearning for icecream and liquorice is it most remarkable. It is anything to do with its petrol stations. It is in how subtly and inexplicably different a place it is from anywhere else that makes it remarkable.

And the effects are felt! When people talk about Iceland they can't help but draw comparisons to other places. Its like a Scandinavian chimney! Its like a ground-floor America! Its a really hard place to figure out. Its modern but dated, large and very small. Its familiar and hugely unfamiliar, magnificently remarkable yet perfectly dull. It is after all, a way of life. And it is contagious.

Maybe because i was on holiday i will admit. Having the longest hours of the day to squander away at leisure. The sun never set but just did golden laps of the mountain tops.  Bookshops with cafes that allow infinite swagger as you read their books cover to cover.  Infernally portioned ice cream, any time of day, with pretty much any coating you can care for.  Sights, sounds (or the absence of sometimes) and the air. With hidden boutiques and shops in Reykjavik existing as an exhibition in themselves, selling the fruits of the maddened  craftsmen and women of the country. The national slogan could literally be "BIG on creativity, SMALL...on population." People are up for it, ill put it that way. There seems to be more museums, theatres, music schools and performance centres than administration buildings. What is acutely obvious is that all this modernised luxury is new and exists within a very old civilization, itself unchanging for generations, who had it very, very tough and got very good at taking nothing for granted. Being cheek and jowl with an old culture was the right measure of humbling and recharging.

And lo the photos!  Me and Sola were in no shortage of company and fun. There were lunches and coffees and daytrips galore and, im quite pleased to say, i recorded most of it on film (still in the lab though). Tourism can be a trial enough when you are surrounded by cameras and you too want to take photos. There is a deflation seeing 4 other people hold their camera up to the same scene and there is that sheepdog instinct to want to crop them out, "preserve" the attractions.  Well there was none of that this time!

And i would be greatly overselling myself if i didnt mention my sidekick.

And i would be greatly evasive if i didn't at least pretend that i still have to mention this

Kvaer kvedja og bless:-p