Living with the 'F'

Timeless Lisbon

It has been some time that I wrote something on my blog, not due to hibernating, but as I am in the process to change and add some things. Some of my friends asked me lately about my ideas and thoughts about images I took. As I intended to try out some podcast work, I decided to take this opportunity and just do it. 

Travelling from India to Europe and there to Portugal, I came upon some reading material where everything seems connected to a better happier and more straight life. As I am a photographer and lately taking more and more my analog gear the idea riped to make a podcast about living with the "F". F like flaneur, film, fountain pen, and fotografie spelled in the German way and other trending words like in the flow of life.

So the decision was taken to make a podcast, most probably twice a month, as an add-on to my blog, I started out to see if I can do it with the gear I already have. Will see how it works out in the long run.

Starting with my travel experience in Portugal some time ago, I already stated that I had the opportunity to read quite some different magazines. They all were full of buzzing trend words like the Danish hygge , the Swedish lagom, Japanese Ikegai, and mindfulness or Achtsamkeit as we say in Germany.

The latest buzzword on everyone’s lips is probably còsagach, an old Gaelic word for feeling snug, warm and just good and this sounds seriously dreamy.

All these buzzing foreign words are connected to reflect on happiness and content. And how to create with pleasure. Trying to take and embed some of these concepts into my way of making Photographs it seems to me that I am coming full circle.

I started photography with a Rolleiflex Twin Lens, and now I’m quite often using only analog cameras again. Not every time but more and more. Filmstock is getting a little bit rarer, but new stock is produced or brought back by companies like Kodak. So film it's not going the Dodo way.

When using Film, it is like walking the ikegai and Achtsamkeit way of living. It forces you to think at least thrice before taking a picture. Carefully framing, right exposure, right lens/or perspective, and so on. What seems to limit is at the same time a great chance to think more about each step of the process. What to capture? How to do it? What style to use? These and many more questions come to mind.

Sure, there’s a lot of uncertainty involved as you won’t know how your pictures turn out until you have them developed. The limitations mean you have to adapt your way of seeing and your decision making when you take a shot. You have to decide in advance what film to take. But when everything fits together, especially and foremost finding the right light you get this sought after feeling of hygge, lagom and so on for free to enhance not only your happiness but push your creativity to another level. 

But back to my image on top of this blog post. What, how and why did I come to take it. Traveling such a long distance, I was a little bit exhausted when I arrived in Lisbon, but I had to stretch a little before settling down. What better way as to take my camera and take a stroll around the neighborhood. And

Lo and behold I came to a scene which incorporated a timelessness to my eyes which I had to take. It was already quite dark, and I didn’t have a tripod. So I took advantage of a lamppost to steady the camera and started to compose my image. In the meantime, a vendor for chestnuts arrived and fired his stoke. What a lucky incident.

Maybe he had been there before, but I didn’t recognize him. With the stove burning and smoking the wagon of the vendor was well visible. I recomposed and too the image. When I look at the image, it has a certain feeling of timelessness which I more and more got traveling in Lisbon and Porto on the following days.

I took the liberty to let the smoke rise in the static images because it pleased me and because this was the additional trigger to get the shot. Hope you like it. You can find my podcast here. It would be nice, if you like it, to give me some rating on iTunes as well to be discovered by others.