Preparations

I was first going to write that I don’t many preparations before taking photos. But actually, that’s far from the truth. It might have been true regarding water photography when I was starting out, because then, I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it. I just knew that I wanted to take photos in the water. Because, I love water. I also think that even if you have an idea of what you want to photograph you should be open to what’s around you.

The clear waters of Torneträsk

But when I’ve been photographing roller derby or surfing, I’ve been prepared. It’s just that I don’t notice my preparations anymore because I’m so used to them. With roller derby for example, I even watched a couple of games before I started taking pictures. Usually google venues I’ve not been to just to see the layout of them, what kind of lighting there is (usually horrible), what colour the walls are, if there are windows and start thinking about where I might place myself in the venue.

The view towards the shore with fishing cabins that usually are on the lake in the winter.

For these photos I felt like I never prepared more in my entire life. When I drove home in april from Riksgränsen I knew I was going to come back during the summer and get into the water to take some photos from there. I thought I was going to go to Trollsjön because the water is so clear and you can see for 35 meters. At least that’s what I heard and still haven’t been there. It was raining when I was going to check it out, and also, i find it quite boring just to take land- and seascape photos with noting special in them. So then I decided to go into Torneträsk instead, where the water is also clear, and cold, and have Lapporten in the background. And then I waited, checked the weather report. And waited some more.

Torneträsk and Lapporten. The photo I drove 1000 kms to take. Of course, I enjoy being up there so I would have been happy even if I wouldn’t been able to take this photo.

In the morning it was cloudy, and since I wanted Lapporten as a backdrop which was half covered by clouds I just had to wait until the clouds cleared. I’m quite restless so when everything was packed I just went down to the lake and sat on a rock and prayed to the weather gods to move some of the clouds. And them I started preparing, got into my wetsuit, gloves, boots, fins and cap. Checked the settings on the camera, changed the settings on the camera, checked the rocks at the bottom of the lake where I was going to take the photos from, remembered a couple of things about water photography that I had forgot, did some warmups, sat on the rocks some more, did sun salutations and said the opening and closing mantra that we do in ashtanga yoga. Waited some more, until finally, the clouds cleared. I was in the water for 10 minutes, but I got the photo I wanted. So yes, I do preparations before photographing.

  1. I like the dual focus of both below and above the water at the same time with the mountains in the background and what the environment under the sea is like; it is an interesting angle.

    “Usually google venues I’ve not been to just to see the layout of them”

    Good on you for taking this in account — very savvy move.

    “what kind of lighting there is (usually horrible)”

    🤣🤣 yup poor lighting is like kryptonite for photography.

    1. Thanks! The world looks a bit different below the surface. And, I discovered when I started out photographing in poorly lit venues that you can use colours, instead of shades and contrast created by light, to get your images to stand out. Lets see how that works out. I took some roller derby photos a couple of weeks ago, in a venue with bad light, but haven’t even had time to look at them since I’ve moved back up north and there’s so much to organise now when winter is coming 😉 But I’m working on it!

      1. True, things definitely do look different below the surface 💙☺️.

        That is a highly compelling improvise of sorts that you noticed and caught-on to concerning the use of colors and such to improve the attraction of images under poorly lit circumstances — not a bad idea hahaa.

        Yes I remember about the Roller Derby photos that you mentioned a while back — all the best to you with those given the amount of organizing and so many other things that you have to do 📸🎞🙌😄

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