Newspaper boy

Nearly every household on the Paper Route was a subscriber. Which is more than a little scary, considering whose interests the paper represented—and still does, to an even greater degree in recent times. The fact that the neighbourhood was an established middle/upper–middle class area might explain it to some extent, still the feeling I’m left with is that during the 80’s there was a thick blanket of uncritical thinking—apathy even—keeping a good part of the Icelandic nation warm. That may be an overstatement though, I’m certainly no historian.

The grocery store closed a long time ago. Sometimes in between then and now people more or less stopped shopping at the smaller local stores, and took up driving to shopping centres to get hold of their necessities. That’s pretty much all that is left now, shopping centres.

The retirement home next door is still up and running though. I wonder where they buy their groceries these days.

Of course none of this had anything to do with me at the time—I was twelve, worrying about being twelve.

Way home—empty bags

I first wrote about the Paper Route here.

All photos can be clicked for more pixels.

“Drop bar for mountain biking: part I to V”

Came across this on the www and since my bike now has a grave need for some bike–love and I seem to be developing an interest previously not known to me, here are a couple of links to a short series about drop bars on mountain bikes.

From Guitar Ted Productions.

Not that I’m likely to do much mountain biking, but for some reason I like the idea of having a bike that could.

Mountain bike by a reservoir.

To do: brakes, crankset, front derailleur, wires, saddle,.. bar?

Mama don’t take

New blog: Mama don’t take my Fujifilm away.

Not that I can think of any reason that she—or anybody—would want to do that.

“Hiking”

black and white photograph of a man with a bicycle

Man with bicycle, overexposed HP5 (larger)

Some decades ago, I believe in 1994, I found myself in Denmark. Where people travel by bicycles. Among other things, I operated a camera. During that trip I made probably one of my all time favorite portraits—that wasn’t finished syncing to Dropbox when I left work today and probably isn’t something I’m about to share anyway.

In those days I went about with an SLR camera and a 35mm lens, sometimes a fifty, seldom something else. 90% of the time loaded with HP5—the black and white classic from Ilford which, if I’m not mistaken, is still in production—that I processed in a tiny darkroom while enjoying the smell of the chemicals (not being ironic, I really did).

I had this hardly-defined idea about how I wanted to be a street photographer, without much of a notion about what a street photographer did or was—other than being someone who observed and absorbed perhaps the life on the street and somehow managed to translate that to a 36mm strip of film—and still don’t. I believe it was more about the wish to be a part of something, rather than photographs. Such as the one above that was obviously done sometimes after finding out how much I liked the blurry movement effect of a 1/8th of a second (or even slower shutter) speed.

I also had a—also hardly-defined—idea about wanting to photograph people, away from the street context. Again, the wish to be-a-part-of, to belong, and other than that not much of an idea what a portrait was about, but in contrast to street photography I do seem to have developed some opinions about portraiture since. It wasn’t long after this though that I stopped photographing altogether, mostly because it wasn’t going anywhere. Stuck on a street, at 1/8th of a second I guess.

Some years later I picked it up again, the camera and the thirty-five, and although it took years before vaguely starting to form an identity as a photographer, I’m glad I did. And as much as I find the photograph above a bit of a cliché and seem to be somewhat embarrassed by it, I’m bloody fond of it too. Much more fond of it actually than anything else. I mean, it’s a footprint. On a path that—although crooked and rocky, without a notion of destination, often going in circles and seemingly never coming to an end—I’m really glad to have hiked on.

Lately though it feels more and more like it’s time for another break from hiking. That, or I need to find a pair of boots that fit better.

Paper route

When I was a kid I delivered a newspaper. A horrible, horrible newspaper, but I wasn’t in a position to understand that until many years later. A digression, anyway. I can’t remember when I started or how long it lasted, I think until I was thirteen or fourteen. So, each morning I got up, long before most of my classmates, picked up the pile of newspapers that had been delivered outside my house earlier that night, and set off on the daily 60–90 minutes route, depending on how weighty the day’s publication was.

Back then I remember how I pretended to hate it. Or, in hindsight, how I lacked the appreciation for what it had to offer. The rest of my days were fairly packed with activities—sport, music, school of course—so there wasn’t much time to be on my own. The paper route offered a bit more than an hour of daily alone-time, where I had nothing but my own thoughts to deal with. I believe it was the closest I ever got to meditating.

Earlier this year I had to spend a couple of weeks in Iceland, not far from where I used to live back in the days. One morning I decided to walk the paper route. Took some photographs. Found out that I might want to chase it some.

Paper Route (larger)

I don’t go there often, so it will certainly become a long-term project, if a project at all.

Time shows.