Category: Art

Black Friday Sale: All Prints Are 50% Off

Black Friday starts now!

Get your Christmas gift shopping done early with my Black Friday sale! All my prints are 50% off until November 27th.

Click here to go to my online store. Shop early and save 50%!



Swan Lake

Close up of a mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor) cleaning its feathers. 
A mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor) cleaning its feathers. You can purchase this image in my online shop.

You’d think that photographing swans (or any other waterfowl) would be easy when you live on an island with plenty of birds around. And it is, most of the time. Not when you set out to photograph them, though. 

Close up of a mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor) cleaning its feathers. 

During my usual walks along the coast, I could see many swans paddling quietly around the island, foraging, or cleaning their feathers, always close to the shore. So I’d think, “I’ll come back and take some photos.” Then I’d come back with my camera, and one of these two things would happen:

1) They wouldn’t be there. At all. Gone. Hasta la vista, baby!

2) They would be far away at sea, out of the reach of my telelens.

 

Mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor)
Mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor)

But time, patience, and perseverance paid off, so I could take the photos—eventually 😉. These are some of the photos I was able to take after several frustrating attempts.

Have you tried taking photos of birds or animals? 


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New Macro Lens: Canon RF100mm

Macro photo of a pink African daisy (Osteospermum)
African Daisy (Osteospermum)

I finally gave in and replaced my old macro lens (the beloved Canon EF 100mm ƒ2.8 Macro). I was reluctant to let it go because it is a good lens, albeit a bit heavy. It lacks image stabilization, though, and it’s not a problem if you use a tripod. I, on the other hand, seldom use a tripod. I like to move around freely. 

Macro photo of petals of a pink dahlia
Dahlia

Enter Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. What a difference! It has a new design, is not as bulky and heavy as the old one, and fits much better in your hand. And most important, it has image stabilization. Even if handheld, the combined camera and lens image stabilization let me get sharp images at f/5 – something I couldn’t have dreamt of with the old lens. After checking the first photos I’d taken with the new lens, It was easy to let go of the old.

Macro photo of petals of pink African daisy (Osteospermum
African daisy (Osteospermum)

So, here you go, a few photos taken in my garden with a Canon R5 camera fitted with the new lens. Which one do you like best?

Pssst! The top image is available to purchase as print or digital download in my shop, along with other flower photos.


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Damselflies and Dragonflies

Macro photo of mating emerald damselflies (Lestes sponsa)
Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa)

This is one of my favorite photos, mating emerald damselflies (Lestes sponsa). The top one is the male; females lack the bright blue color of the males.

Damselflies are most common in July and August, so I spent the last couple of weeks by the small lake near our house photographing them. Emerald damselflies are found mainly near stagnant water (lakes and ponds, canals, etc.), rarely along flowing water. Aren’t they beautiful?

Macro photo of a common winter damselfly (Sympecma fusca)

A well-camouflaged winter damselfly (Sympecma fusca). They like to perch among reeds, where their muted colors allow them to blend in.

They’re related to the emerald damselflies (Lestes sponsa) and, like them, can be found near stagnant water; but they don’t have their bright red or blue colors.

MAcro photo of a Western Willow Spreadwing (Chalcolestes viridis)

Western Willow Spreadwing (Chalcolestes viridis)

Macro photo of a moustached darter (Sympetrum vulgatum)

Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum)

Macro photo of a moustached darter (Sympetrum vulgatum)

Another photo of that moustached darter.

Which photo do you like most? My favorite is the top one, the mating emerald damselflies, even though it was hard to choose, I love them all!


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Time to Shoot Macro!

Macro photo of a pink bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)

I’d grown so fond of my tele lens (Canon RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM), which works so well for both wildlife and flowers, that I’d completely forgotten my macro lens (Canon EF 100mm ƒ2.8 Macro) that I used so much until a couple of years ago.

Macro photo of a black-veined white butterfly (Aporia crataegi)
Black-veined white butterfly (Aporia crataegi)

I truly loved that macro lens, an old design that still works; poor thing, forgotten in my photo cabinet, at the back with old lens caps, batteries, and what not. Time to take it out and show it some love, I decided. So, here you go, a few photos taken in my garden with Canon R5 fitted with that macro lens.

Macro photo of a ladybug
Ladybug

Which photo do you like best?


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Gorgeous Glory of the Snow

Low angle close-up of blooming glory of the snow

Lovely glory of the snow in the morning light. These photos were pure luck. I did plan to scout the woods for a field of Scilla to photograph, but I didn’t need to in the end. As I was returning from an early seabird photo session, this incredible sea of blue flowers caught my eye while waiting for the traffic light to turn green. It turned out there was such a field next to one of the parking lots of our little shopping center! Since we order most of our stuff online, I rarely go by that lot. So there you have it, as a photographer, you need both preparation and luck 😉.

Low angle close-up of blooming glory of the snow
Lovely glory of the snow in the morning light.

Both images are available to purchase as prints or digital downloads in my shop, along with other flower photos.


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Spring in Stockholm!

Close-up of  a flowering cherry tree branch

Spring has finally arrived in Stockholm, at last! I have hundreds of photos of the Japanese cherry trees blooming in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm already, yet I go there every spring to take a few more. I can’t help it!

Close-up of  a flowering cherry tree branches

Both images are available to purchase as prints or digital downloads in my shop, along with earlier cherry tree flower photos.


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New Freebies: Easter Cards

Easter card featuring the Carrot Express with a bunny driving a car loaded with carrots.

Easter is around the corner, so I added some new cards to my Freebies page. They’re completely free to download; feel free to have a look and use what you like, no strings attached.

I hope you like them. I love working on greeting cards; I don’t feel any performance anxiety as I’m not an illustrator. It’s just a pleasant hobby, and it makes me happy to see people using them.


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A Full Moon on the World Poetry Day

Full moon

What better way to celebrate World Poetry Day today than by writing or reading a poem? I wrote this haiku a few days ago, on the night of the full moon.

full moon
watching its twin
In the pond


To read more poetry, click here.


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Faith and the Art of Writing

Seashells heart

I do not know whether I shall make progress; but I should prefer to lack success rather than to lack faith. Once again, Seneca hits the nail on its head. My writing mornings have become more and more torture sessions after the almost euphoric beginning. I write and write, one sentence after another, and I write almost anything, no matter how bad or irrelevant to the topic, just to record something in the log and say, See, I’ve written that much today. But do I believe in what I’m writing? Not anymore. I’m losing faith, and that’s about the worst. In survival situations, mental strength is the difference between who dies and who lives; in writing, between who finishes a book and who doesn’t.

I finish the daily quota and go for a walk, unsatisfied by the day’s production. A jumble of words, a bright spark here and there … how can all this become a book? How could I think I could write? But isn’t every author saying that you have to write, no matter how bad, in order to learn how to write? You’ll suck at first, they say, and you’ll continue sucking for a while; you have to make your peace with that. But with every word scribbled down in anguish, with every sentence excavated from the depths of your creative mine, with every doubt encountered but dismissed on the way – you learn. 

That is, you learn if you have faith and keep at it long enough to notice your progress. That’s the difference between those who finish a book and those who don’t. Learning how to write means learning how to live with inadequacy and doubt and how to keep going despite your mind screaming in protest. “What’s the use?” that traitor would say, “You call that writing? You’re lucky your life doesn’t depend on it.” You hear it scream, yet you continue, you endure it and write another sentence, and another one, and another one.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it”; Picasso’s words comfort me. Have faith and keep going. Never stop working; never lose faith. You’ll make it.


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