Saturday, May 29, 2010

Museum Of Bad Art - MOBA


"Without bad art there would be no good art"
via gelconference.com

Louise Sacco at Gel 2010 (Museum Of Bad Art - MOBA) from Gel Conference on Vimeo.


I came across this vid through the A Photo Editor blog. I watched the entire vid and It was so pleasant and insightful that I felt the urge to share it with you guys. I don't know why and how I should interoperate my feelings but I felt very encouraged. ;-) Read the full post

Friday, May 28, 2010

Practicing your photographic vision


To my experience one of the best methods to learn lighting is to look at great photographs and take them appart mentally. If you are a decent photographer I'm sure you've done that a couple of times. What about the other building blocks of the image? When I look at a great picture today I try to decipher it's message and then look at how the other parts of the image adds up to convey that message. The look of the models, how they are positioned, what the styling elements and clothes look like etc.

If you haven't attempted to deconstruct an image like that I suggest you do. And of course, I'm very narrow in my preferences but this method can be applied to all type of photography and not only fashion and portraits.

And most importantly, this is a tool to understand an important part of photography. I'm not suggesting that you should build your style and vision based on the style of other photographers, your personal style must always represent what's unique about you. Read the full post

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Working with a vision improves my photography


Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

It's my belief that my artistic vision is the most important tool I will ever posses. I'm always reluctant to give advice about what to do or how to act in order to become a successful photographer. I'm not yet successful so there's a chance I'm just treading water in the wrong end of the pool.

But I'm totally convinced that to reach a "decent level of success" one need to learn how to work with a vision. A technically perfect image might be good or even very good but it will never be greater or more valuable than the message it translates to the viewer. I think of lighting, retouching, exposure, angles etc. etc. as tools to shape the message of the image, and my vision is my ability to see what I need to do in order to create that message.

If it's your own message as an artist or that of a client or a common message shared with other creatives of course depends on each project, but the photographic vision is never less important.

The ability to improvise and act on the unforeseeable is of course very valuable. What I'm trying to get at is the fact that if I don't know what to create when I'm standing there with my camera in hand (substitude camera with pen, guitar or whatever you use in your creativity) chances are pretty high that what I create won't be of any value, not even to myself. And most clients are definitely not to happy about spending money on something they aren't sure will pay off.

How to master working with a vision, Swedish translation and more in the full post click

How can one master working with a vision? I think the answer is simply to practice. Practice, practice and practice. For me it's not enough to use light and retouching and other technical things, I must incorporate models (their mood, the way they interact...), props and scene elements etc. etc. in my vision.

Also, one thing I've learned through experience is that it's almost impossible to attract the attention and participation of the other creative personalities that you rely on if you don't have a vision that you share. Today I'm absolutely not considered an authority in the business and I'm poor as church mouse so I can't use money as an incentive, but if I come up with a good enough idea it's actually possible to pull of a shoot every now and then. Hopefully it will lead to me getting good enough to actually start landing assignments.

I find this topic very interesting, if you have any thoughts of your own I encourage you to share them in the comments.

Coming up on the blog are a couple of articles on practicing your photographic (artistic) vision. Stay tuned via RSS or the social media service of your choice, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Google Buzz.

Information på Svenska fotograf Mårten Keijser Summary in Swedish / kort summering på Svenska:
Jag är övertygad om att min fotografiska vision (visualiseringsförmåga) är det absolut viktigaste verktyg jag någonsin kommer ha som fotograf. En tekniskt perfekt bild kan vara bra eller rentav riktigt bra men den kommer aldrig vara värdefullare eller starkare än budskapet den förmedlar.

Som jag ser det är exponering, ljus, retuschering, vinklar etc. verktyg för att förmedla det budskapet, och min fotografiska vision eller visualiseringsförmåga är min förmåga att se vad jag behöver göra för att skapa budskapet i en bild.

Jag finner detta ämne väldigt intressant, om du har några egna tankar vill jag uppmuntra dig att ge en kommentar till detta inlägg.

Jag kommer inom kort att lägga ut ett par artiklar om hur man kan öva sin fotografiska vision. För att inte missa något rekommenderar jag att du följer mig via RSS eller den socialmedia-kanal du föredrar Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Google Buzz.
Read the full post

Monday, May 24, 2010

Current music video favorite


As a blogger there's a constant pressure to always be in on the latest trends and this video has been around for a year and it's widely popular. But I'm not embarrassed to share it today and say that I discovered it just last week after a recommendation from a friend, it's good enough to be shared anyways.

I can't put any good words on it but I think this video & song just radiates of emotion and feeling. I share with you, Fever Ray with 'When I grow up'.



For the full list of videos that have made it to my "Current music video favorite"-post, click here. Read the full post

Sunday, May 23, 2010

To add a Flattr button to your blogger or blogpsot blog


Like I said in my post from yesterday, I signed up for flattr because I believe it's a great way for me as a blog reader and consumer of online art to be able to show my appreciation by giving actual (but small) cash contributions in a very easy and comfortable way (not having to sing on paypal or anything, just a click).

This tips is for users of googles blogspot service. To make it so that a unique flattr button is created for every blog post one have to copy a special code into the blogger template layout code. The original source of the code is Mattias Bomelin, check his blog post here and give him a flattr if you find it useful.

Nicolas Gramlich used the code and wrote a bit more "noob-friendly" guide as to how and where to put the code, here.

What I did was to paste the piece of code below just after the line that says:
<div class='post-footer'>

<div expr:id='"flattr_summary_" + data:post.id' style='display: none;'>
<data:post.body/>
</div>
<div expr:id='"flattr_title_" + data:post.id' style='display: none;'>
<data:post.title/>
</div>
<span style='float:left; margin:5px;'>
<script type='text/javascript'>
var flattr_uid = '_____'; // Replace underscores with Flattr ID
var flattr_tle = document.getElementById('flattr_title_<data:post.id/>').innerHTML;
var flattr_dsc = document.getElementById('flattr_summary_<data:post.id/>').innerHTML;
var flattr_cat = 'text';
var flattr_lng = 'en_GB';
var flattr_tag = '<b:if cond='data:post.labels'><b:loop values='data:post.labels' var='label'><data:label.name/><b:if cond='data:label.isLast != "true"'>,</b:if></b:loop></b:if>';
var flattr_url = '<data:post.url/>';
//var flattr_btn = ''; // for normal button
var flattr_btn = 'compact'; // for compact button
</script>
<script src='http://api.flattr.com/button/load.js' type='text/javascript'/>
</span>

Remember to insert your own flattr user number. You can change where you place the code in the template if you wan't to change the placement of the button (but you have to understand a bit of html for that). Of course, before you do anything save a backup copy of the template code and you have to check the "Expand Widget Templates"-checkbox. Read the full post

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Flattr, useful if you have a blog or share art online


Maybe you've noticed the recent addition of a Flattr button on the bottom of my blog posts. I'm helping out with the beta testing of the all new Flattr service.

It's basically a "click if you like"-button that can be linked to content you share on the internet, blog posts, forum posts or online art etc. The perk is that it doubles as a micro payment service. To be able to click or to have your own buttons you have to be a member. As a member you pay a minimum of 2€ a month and that money gets distributed to the ones you've clicked. If I only find two blog posts I really like one month and decide to click them, the owners of those blogs would receive the hefty sum of 1€ each. It's not much but mathematically it's infinitely more than nothing.

I decided to give it a try, not that I expect or plan on making any real money out of this blog, I mainly wan't to be able to show my appreciation to all the bloggers and contributors to forums and art scenes online.

For me to be able to give you your fair share of my 2€ a month do check out the Flattr website and sign up for an invitation to the beta membership. Once you are a member give me a shout in the comments to this post, or through any other means. I'm finding it a hard time finding flattr buttons in the areas of the internet that I

Remember though that as of today they charge a 19% service fee, 10% on deposits and 10% on withdrawals. I'm hoping, and betting, this fee will be reduced otherwise I might decide to leave their service, but I really find it a good initiative worthy of a serious attempt.

And also if you don't find anything you like, your money will be sent to charity automatically. Read the full post

Thursday, May 20, 2010

American vintage fashion story


Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Model: Brent Chua , Ford Models NYC
Model: Anna H. Nouveaumodels
Styling, Makeup & Hair: Emilie Karlberg
Wardrobe: Gina Holdar

Just finished the retouching and I'm so happy with the results. This is a project I've been wanting to do for a long time and it was quite an adventure to make it happen so I'll share the story here.

Me and Emilie met the charismatic and enthusiastic Gina at a fashion event in Stockholm about 2 months ago and we soon decided to do a vintage fashion story with outfits put together from Ginas huge collection of American vintage clothes.

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

I knew what look I wanted to go for and realized that first of all we had to wait a few weeks for warmer weather. When the weather was ok it turned out this project was the type of project where it was impossible to match the schedules of the models and everybody involved. It's crucially important that especially your models are not only great but that they also add to the look you are after and nothing else. Thinking about it, I will probably do a dedicated blog-post about matching models with your projects later. Click the link to read the full story and see the rest of the pictures

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

After a couple of failed attempts to set up a team I was about ready to give up thinking this shoot idea had upset the gods of photography or something. But! Along comes Brent, a super experienced and extremely cool model originally based in NYC now temporarily stationed in Sweden, we had some common internet friends and we quickly decided to do a project together.

He's a Crazy cool guy who brings enough positive energy to power a nuclear reactor and infront of the camera... well you can see the pictures for yourselves. Anna from Nouveaumodels is also a star in my book and she did a great job keeping up with the energy level we were shooting at.

This entire shoot was another "outside of my comfort zone"-project, kind of to explore what I can do with my style. The weather was perfect at the day of the shoot, thin clouds (not thick) over the entire sky creating a perfect mix of hardness and softness in the light. I did bring some modifiers and battery strobes but never even attempted to use them. My job for this gig was to encourage the right interaction and atmosphere and just be there with my camera (from the right angles, keeping the right exposure and depth of field etc. etc. of course)

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

And no, Emilie isn't really a makeup-artist, she had to step in and cover for the mua that originally was on the team but who in the last minute couldn't make it. Sure I steered the entire look away from relying to much on makeup (which was probably for the better) but she did a great job and all I can say is photo-gods who don't want things to happen 0 me 1. ;-)

What I mainly wan't to share with this story is the following, if things feel imposible just keep working, perhaps you have to find new angles or adjust your ideas but there's always a solution and as long as you're convinced the final product is worth it you should keep on working. If you don't know why you are investing som much time and energy and money in what you are doing you have a far greater problem than muas or models not showing up. (This philosophy lesson of course applies in any field not only photography).

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography


Information på Svenska fotograf Mårten KeijserIn Swedish/på Svenska
Artikeln beskriver lite alla turerna kring att organisera plåtningen som resulterade i modebilderna ni ser här. Den blev lite lång så jag bestämde att inte göra någon översättning direkt, men om du verkligen skulle uppskatta det så kan du skicka ett mail eller skriva en kommentar så kan jag sätta mig och göra det.
Read the full post

Monday, May 17, 2010

BTS images from yesterdays fashion shoot


Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Here are a few BTS-images from yesterdays fashion adventure. It was a great shoot with a great team and I'll share the full story with links to all involved and some of the final images when the retouching is done.

Cheers

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography Read the full post

Monday, May 10, 2010

Status update


It's been rather messy the last few weeks, my granddads passing, me writing a French exam, and also the tax declaration before that, all typical topics that doesn't fit the blog perfectly. I've also worked a lot with marketing myself, trying to reach out to the right people with promocards etc. and I am working on a separate article about that, so stay tuned.

There are also a few major portfolio projects under way and that's something I'll definitely share on the blog.

//M Read the full post

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In memory of my Grandfather


After fighting for several years now with various age related illnesses my granddad surrendered his mortal life. It happened about a week ago and I've spent the last few days with my parents. It's the inevitable that makes us feel small and powerless, but I also believe that a thing as horrible as the loss of a close one can inspire a greater respect for life and how precious the time we have on this planet really is.

I've avoided to get too personal on this blog for two reasons. 1. I don't trust internet, even though I rely on it heavily I know it can turn against me in an instant and somehow personal equals vulnerable in my book. 2. I honestly don't think my personal life is interesting enough to be shared. Oh, I found a third reason, an article with no pictures is usually boring and I hate seing pictures of myself, I'm a very camera shy photographer, that's maybe ironic but not at all unique.

In memory of my grand dad I decided to ignore my fears and share with you a project I made quite some years ago now. It's not technically perfect or esthetically unique or anything major but for me right now it symbolizes immortality somehow. It's obviously not as a great a project as Philip Toledanos "days with my father" (it's a "must see" if you haven't already) but that was never the point at the time and it doesn't alter the fact that I'm very glad I took these pictures.

I give you three generations:

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography Read the full post