As those who follow my flickr page regularly have probably noticed, i recently did a school project involving a large number of paper airplanes. Months ago the idea of an empty trashcan surrounded by a mountain of paper planes popped into my head, and kept resurfacing until i just decided to use the idea for a “finished work” i had to turn in at the end of a 4-week course at school (im on my final year studing visual arts at Icelands Academy of the Arts)
Before thinking much about how i’d shoot the final outcome, i set about creating the planes, which turned out to be far more time consuming and boring than i somehow imagined it would be. After a week or so of spending an hour here and an hour there folding paper, i started feeling the whole thing was rather pointless if not downright silly. I decided to photograph the work process, and got a surprisingly good image from that, which at least made the trouble seem a little bit more worthwhile.
With a little more than a week to go before turning in, i still didn’t really know where or how i was going to photograph all these planes, and began losing interest in the project. I got a vague idea that it might be cool to get a real office to use as a “set” , but had no idea where i’d find an office.
At the dinner table one evening, i asked my parents if they had any bright ideas, and my dad suggests “why not borrow the office of the Minister of Education . It’s a school project and all.. ” My mom agrees that this is a neat idea, and i look at both of them like they’ve lost their minds, and say “right.. like she’s gonna just loan me her office to fill up with paper planes” and then my older son says “i dare you mom.. you’re not chicken are you?” and that did it.
I sent a letter describing the project to the Ministry of Education, and then patiently waited to get a “no, that’s not possible” response in return. After more than a day with no reply i started feeling like a downright fool, but then i actually got a call , from the minsters secretary, wanting more details about the project, and she says they’re considering my request. That was on a thursday. On monday morning, (4 days before i had to turn in the finished project), I still hadn’t gotten any response so i called just to make sure i’d have to figure out a plan B, but instead i was told that i was welcome to use the office that day.
My friend Sara came along to help, and we got these really weird looks from the lady working in the reception, had to assure her that we did indeed have permission to be there ( i don’t blame her really , we had 3 large bags, one of them an ugly black trashbag, filled with paper airplanes, two camera bags and a tripod, and i was dressed like a really fake looking “businesswoman” )
Anyway, i shot both film (slides film which i cross-processed) and digital, the digital version somehow came out better for computer screen viewing, but what i turned in was a print from one of the negatives, which im going to post here for comparison.
As you can see, this is not just a simple scan of the negative, however, i’m not going to disclose, for now , how i got that weird look to it. Feel free to guess, and i might explain it in a comment below. (It looks a lot better printed large and framed, you’ll just have to take my word for it)
Why there’s a disembodied head perching on the corner of the desk is a whole other story, which i’ll explain in a later post, a week or so from now.
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Ok.. i uploaded that photo first for chuckles.. That’s my cousin Berglind and her husband, they were married yesterday, and while they’d hired a “real” photographer (i’m no wedding photographer, tho i’ve shot two weddings before.. found it’s really not for me) , she wanted me to take a few portraits as well. Funny how time flies.. there’s a picture in a photo album somewhere, taken in the year 1988, that shows me, age 9, sitting in a chair with Berglind, age 3, in my lap, at a beach house that her family was vacationing at in Sarasota, Fl. (My family was living in Gainesville, Fl, at the time, and came to visit them) Seeing her yesterday, looking raidiantly beautiful and grown up, i couldn’t help think of that photo , and how odd it would have seemed to me then, to know i’d be photographing her on her wedding day, and me still unmarried Life’s funny that way. Anyway, all rambling aside, i thought i’d use the opportunity to show off a few photos from these three photoshoots , since i never uploaded any of them on flickr.
One of the two weddings i shot last summer was when Berglinds’ older brother, Jón Þór (we’re the same age, and played together when we were less than 3 feet tall ), got married .. Jón Þór and his wife Guðrún are quite possibly the jolliest, cutest couple alive…
the other wedding last summer was shot in Eskifjörður, which is as far from my hometown of Hafnarfjörður as you can get, without actually leaving Icelnad. That was likely the hardest job i’ve ever done. I drove off at 4 a.m. , to be sure to get there with plenty of time left over. Half an hour into my trip, in heavy fog, i managed to hit and kill a bird, that just HAD to be sitting in the middle of the damn road. I was off to a great start. At Vik í mýrdal, i decided to take a short nap before continuing. Accidentally slept for over 3 hours. So off i rushed, getting more and more stressed with each passing hour. To make the trip more colorful, i picked up two 20 year old swiss hitch-hikers, who just happened to have shot a wedding together not too long previously, and they entertained me with stories of how much could go wrong during such a gig.. After dropping them off, i managed to get stuck in the town of Djúpivogur, driving several aimless circles and not finding the right exit, because by then i was panicking that i’d not only be late, i’d never even manage to find the town of Eskifjörður at all.. It shouldn’t, in all honesty, even be possible to get “lost” in a town as small as Djúpivogur. My mistake was actually driving into the town in the first place.. i thought i was supposed to go thru it. I wasn’t. I actually had to stop at a cafe there and ask for directions. Come to think of it, I imagine i’m the only person to ever, actually, get stuck in Djúpivogur. So, i drove back the way i’d come, passing the young hitchhikers again, where i’d left them 10 minutes earlier, feeling enormously stupid. After a quick, desperate perusal of the map, i figured out where i was supposed to go next, and about 2 towns from Eskifjörður, it started raining. (it had been sunny the entire trip, and i was going to photograph them outdoors..this just kept looking better and better..) I finally arrived in Eskifjörður at 3:45 pm, after nearly 12 hours of travelling, a mere 15 minutes before the ceremony started, all sweaty and exhausted.. Just had time to throw on a dress and pantyhose, which i of course managed to tear in all the rush, just a little boost for my confidence before shooting the ceremony.. Amazingly, despite the murphy’s law feel of the whole day, the actually photoshoot went well, and the people were happy with their photos. So, all in all, a great experience.
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Ok.. so i get a fair bit of mail, thru my website and flickr.. most of it nice people telling me they appreciate what i’m doing w my camera, which i always appreciate hearing, but once in a while, i get stupid mail. The title of this post is taken from one such flickr mail i got this weekend, which went something like this:
“hey.. rebekka. I was wondering, if i sent you a nude picture of myself, would you send me one of yourself? Don’t get mad, it’s just a post-modern thing. ”
Yeah. Suppose throwing around some artsy phrases struck this person as a sure-fire way to get me naked and posing , for his viewing pleasure.. Maybe i should write him back and tell him he’s getting his genres confused, and that nude-picture swapping is more akin to neoclassicism. (altho it’s not, i’m just making that up) . Just to get him thinking. Maybe he’d end up at the library browsing thru art-history tomes, and would learn something useful, or at best, learn some new phrases to toss around at parties.
But hey, can’t blame a guy for trying i guess.
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for each view:
ha. Well, it felt wonderful last night to go out for the first time in AGES and do something foolhardy like jump into Kleifarvatn half naked at 2:45 am , in wind and drizzle, just to make this photo.. I’ve missed doing stuff like that, and coming home, having cocoa and being able to check off yet another seemingly too-uncomfortable-to-justify-doing idea off my mental checklist. I was becoming worried that turning 30 the other day would force me to grow up an put an end to this sortof behavior, but no. I’m still ok. Whew. Actually, i’m reallly enjoying being 30. It sounds so.. distinguished.. and i can always pretend to be grown up , on occasions when such a thing may prove beneficial in some way..
There. Now that i’ve blown the dust off this blog of mine, maybe i’ll try to post something here more frequently..
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To begin with, i’ve finally managed to get an online print store going. Its in the beginning stages, will add more photos very soon, but here is the location, bookmark it and stay tuned if you’re interested in buying prints at some point.
I’m offering them in limited edition, signed and numbered. The number of prints available varies, the most will be 25 (of each size), the more expensive will only be offered in an edition of 10 copies. And once they’ve sold out that’s it, they’re done. If anyone has a request for a certain image that isn’t currently on offer, please get in touch and let me know.
I’ve been taking a bit of a break from photography in the last month, decided to do some pencil drawings for a change, its a shame to have the ability to do this and never use it.. These are almost complete.. not sure if this is going to be a series of more, or just the two.. but im absurdly pleased with them, either way.
My flickr photostream has now reached over 4 million views, which is of course, a really nerdy thing to be writing about, but then, i’ve never denied being a nerd.. im even including a nerdy screenshot, for good measure:
One more thing..
This last saturday, a small independent tv producer team came from London to shoot footage for a short documentary style tv-show about photography, they chose me and one other guy off flickr for their pilot show.. Spent nine hours with them (and the icelandic cameraman), taking them to places i often shoot at, and giving an in-depth interview at my school (documented in the really bad photo included below). If all goes as planned this will be shown on british television, which is rather cool. Very fun experience in any case.
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