Beata Rydén Photography Blog

Beata Rydén Photography Blog

Creating "Void"

Creating photographsPosted by Beata Wed, May 08, 2013 00:05:49

I am very proud to share my latest work with you: "Void" for my series Finding Peace.

"Void" 2013.


I am going to write about the process of creating this photograph. I hope that you will learn something from it!

"Void" was created during the project "Roots of imagination" that I did together with Victoria Söderström. I had planned to do another picture for this series, but when I left town with Victoria to drive to the countryside (where we stayed for a couple of days to shoot together), I didn´t know how this photo would look. Me and Victoria had an amazing time, helping each other out with different photo shoots, acting as both models and assistants. Victoria had smoke bombs with her that I was happy to use in this and this picture. The smoke bombs also made me think of this picture. I thought of someone standing outside on a field with her head in the bubble, looking far away into the fog. I think fog is an interesting symbol for borders, or the lack of borders. The bubble is a symbol of integrity, our ability to find peace within ourselves. But the fog is uncertain, we can´t see beyond it and it has no border.

I knew that I wanted to use the white dress that Victoria had bought online. I knew that I wanted to photograph before sunrise, because I needed that magical light you can only get at the blue hour before the day starts.

Trying to keep warm with a blanket!

So, one morning we got up early. I put on the white dress and a lot of clothes over the dress to keep me warm. I took the bubble and my camera gear. Victoria packed some props for her picture that she was going to take after I was finished with mine, and her own camera. I wanted to use myself as a model because I wanted the color of my hair to contrast against the fog and whiteness of the picture. We tried to put a darker wig on Victoria (who´s blonde) but with that on she couldn´t fit the bubble on her head. Because of that, I decided to do this picture as a self portrait.

I knew exactly how I wanted to stand, how to hold my arms and in what direction I was going to look, because I had practiced on different positions the day before, asking Victoria to photograph me at the same time so that I could easily see what position was best for this picture.

What I didn´t know was where to stand. We tried some different spots, and you can easily see the difference between light:

Here I am turned towards the morning sky, and as you can see, the sky is brighter than my dress, which is quite dark. Photo by Victoria Söderström.

Here I am turned towards the darker forest, which allows the white dress to pop, which was what I wanted. I decided to go with this spot. Photo by Victoria Söderström.

After I knew where to stand, I asked Victoria to pose with the bubble so that I could adjust my camera settings. I adjusted the height of the tripod, the angle, shutter speed and aperture.

Getting ready to shoot.

First I took the main shot, where I would stand in position with the bubble on my head. I then asked Victoria to light a smoke bomb in order to get the foggy effect that I needed (there were no "real" fog to be seen anywhere). Victoria did a great job, running around with the smoke bomb in her hand to make the smoke spread in the air. Meanwhile, I stood still with the bubble on my head, photographing with my remote to catch the smoke in camera.

The smoke turned out great in camera, creating the foggy feeling that was my goal. In post processing I used one shot of me standing with the bubble, and one shot with a lot of fog. I combined these two images, adjusted some curves, and then the job was done :)

Here are some more pictures from the shoot:

After running with the smoke bomb, Victoria had black fingers!

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A room of one´s own

PersonalPosted by Beata Mon, April 22, 2013 15:20:07

Virginia Woolf wrote in her novel "A room of one´s own":

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

I think this can translate into any other passion or creative work you are doing. In order to create, you need time. In order to create, you need space. You need a space where you can feel safe. You need a space where time can flow, without too much hurry. You need a room.

Before I started to work with photography the way I am today (spending almost every hour of the day thinking about new concepts, photographing, editing and trying to market myself by reaching out to people, showing them my work) I didn´t have the calm around me to spend as much time on my artistry as I wanted. I had too much around me to be able to focus on my own work. When I created pictures back then, I did it when I had some spare time left, often in the middle of the night, but I wouldn´t choose to work with my images instead of meeting friends or doing something else. If I felt that I´d rather stay home and be creative than meet a friend, I had a hard time telling her that, because it felt wrong to choose my own company before the company of a friend, especially when that friend expressed an interest in meeting me.

As a child, I had no problem with this. I loved to run home after school, close the door to my room and sit for hours alone. If someone wanted to play with me after school, I simply said that I wanted to go home. So, what did I do at home, alone? I wrote novels, poems and songs for the piano. I made drawings, little movies, photographs. I read about space and stars and dinosaurs. I dreamt of adventure, freedom, of being a bird that could fly away into the sky and be forever free.

In 2011, when I started to feel an urge to create more, I realized that I needed to give myself permission to do what I really wanted to do, and that I was the only one who could make that decision. What I wanted to do was to create conceptual photographs. I decided that I needed to give myself time and space in order to do this. This also meant that I needed to make priorities by saying no to social activities and too much work. I started to work less, and naturally I didn´t need to spend as much money on activities or other stuff, because most of my time was spent in front of my computer, alone at home.

I wanted to write about the importance of having your own space, because this is something that constantly is on my mind. For example, my series Finding Peace is based upon this concept. I believe that you have to choose to be creative. If you don´t make a choice that you are going to spend the whole day alone (or just an hour) to create your art, it´s not going to happen. You have to give yourself permission to do what you love. You are the only one who knows what is truly important in your life. Your inner self will tell you where your passion lies if you dare to listen.

Many are afraid of doing what they love. Sometimes we can feel that a passion or an interest in being creative is so important that we don´t dare to do what we want to do because of fear of doing it badly, or fear of what other people might say. We all want to protect ourselves. We don´t want to loose what is important to us. But I believe that one way to protect yourself is to make room for your true self. If you make room for yourself, you will find the peace to be creative. If you sit down in calmness, the universe will open itself up to you. This can mean that you have to sacrifice other stuff. Maybe you can´t see your friends as much as your used to, or you have to cut down on something else. In order to make room for yourself, you have to give other things less space.

To me, being able to close the door, knowing that I am all by myself, is when I feel the most creative and alive.

"There is a room where no one can hurt us. There is a room where no one can get us... Let´s go there now."

Miss Li, "The Room"

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Portfolio work

PhotographyPosted by Beata Tue, March 26, 2013 00:48:46

Hi guys! I just wanted to do a quick update on the blog. I´m back in Jönköping to attend school for one week. The last weeks I have been working on a portfolio, which I´m finished with now. I´ve worked on a new series for my portfolio, which I write about here. On wednesday we are going to show our portfolio for some photographers "in the business" and hopefully get some constructive criticism. I think this will be a good way to practice meeting new people and telling them about your photography. I always find it hard to talk to people about what I´m doing. When they ask, I try to explain it, but it often sounds a bit confusing. So a chance to practice that skill is very welcome!

To get new pictures for my portfolio, I spent one weekend in my house at the country with my mother. I shot many concepts, two which included this pink tutu! Unfortunately, it was freezing outside.


Prints for my portfolio, shot with iPhone.

After this week, I´m off to a new project with my dear friend Victoria. We are going to shoot together for a couple of days and I am super excited about it! Today we planned everything for the trip, including what props we should take with us, which costumes we should bring and what concepts we want to shoot. We are going to pack a car full of everything we need and just drive away to awesome locations. Victoria is such a talented photographer and it will be a pleasure to work with her!

Victoria from last year, on the bus with her camera ready!


Victoria shot this of me today with my iPhone in school when I´m holding up my portfolio :)


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Thoughts about freedom and our free will

PhotographyPosted by Beata Tue, March 19, 2013 09:53:08

If you follow me on facebook or flickr, you may have read that I´m in the process of building a portfolio. This is a project that I´m doing in school, and one part of this assignment was that we had to create ten new photographs for our portfolio. We had three weeks total to create new pictures, and to put together a good enough portfolio. That means two weeks for photographing, and one week for printing and building the portfolio.

This was a real challenge for me, as I usually create pictures that demand much more work than this. I do not wish to change my way of working, because my work would not be as good as it is if I didn´t put as much time and effort in it as I do. But it was fun to see that I could create in a faster way, when I decided to do so.

"Conspiracy"

What I did was that I decided to create pictures that would work as a series together with this one. I didn´t think it would be a series when I first created "Conspiracy", but the more I thought about the meaning of this picture, the more I felt like doing more pictures like this.

I started to think about freedom. I thought about our free will and our dreams. Is it possible for us to live as free individuals in a world where dreams are advertised as goods to by? How do we know that the dream we have is actually our own, and not anything we want just because we have learned to want it?

How can we be sure that what we choose is based on our inner desires, our own will, and not based upon the ideals and norms that our society teaches us? Nowadays we praise the free will, and we are constantly reminded that our happiness as individuals lays in our own hands. You alone are responsible for your own happiness. If you´re feeling bad, you are likely to get the advice to change your way of thinking. There are tons of books out there that will teach you just the perfect way of living to receive your goal to be happy.

I am actually a big fan of positive thinking, and I don´t mean that there is anything wrong with this. What I want to focus on is how free we are in ourselves. Maybe sometimes, there is a reason to be unhappy. Maybe sometimes, the society should change. There are people in this world who commit suicide because they can´t find one single reason to stay in this world. I find this to be one of the most tragic things that can happen to a human being. Maybe this is the price that we pay for our modern civilization? There are so many demands on how to live, how to look and how to feel, that everyone of us feels from time to time that we can´t live up to it. Who has decided what we should do with our lives, and what should be considered as a meaningful life?

I want to do this project to start a process of thinking about freedom and responsibility. If we think that we can only create happiness for ourselves, what kind of world will that turn into? We think that it is so important to be free, and to be able to make our own free choices when it comes to what mobile phone we want, what kind of work we want to do, which hospital we want to belong to, where we want to live when we are old and can´t take care of ourselves anymore. But do these choices make us free? Sometimes I feel like all the choices can make us trapped. You are responsible for your entire life. If you don´t live up to the standards of society, you may get medication for your unhappiness, or you may be considered as a "failure".

What does freedom mean in a world like this?

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Detour

PhotographyPosted by Beata Sun, March 10, 2013 01:32:44

I´m at my country house with my mom over the weekend. It´s always a joy to come here. Nature makes me calm, and it´s such a luxury to be able to go out whenever you want and shoot some weird conceptual photo! I can be alone in the woods, or on a field, and I can run up to the house if I forget something. It´s a freedom that makes photographing so much easier!



"Detour"

We have an assignment in school to shoot 10 new pictures for a portfolio. We only have two weeks to shoot all the pictures (which is crazy I think), so I decided to bring my camera and photograph a lot during the weekend! The photo above was shot after I was done shooting my original concept in the same location. It´s in the forest behind our house. It has been so cold today. The sun has been shining and it´s been beautiful, but the winds made it veeeery cold! I had to run in to the house for a cup of hot tea every time I had been out to photograph.

I snapped this of myself when I was done with my first concept! I´ve been working in front of my computer the whole evening, editing some of the pictures from today. I hope you´re having a great weekend!

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International Womens Day. Part Four: Brooke Shaden.

InspirationPosted by Beata Fri, March 08, 2013 12:51:02

Today, March 8, is the International Women´s Day. Because of this, I wanted to take the occasion to show you some of my biggest inspirations when it comes to Fine Art Photography.

This week I have been writing about women who have influenced me in my photographic art. One artist every day of this week, until March 8. Today I present the fourth artist, and later I will present the fifth artist as well.

These artists teached me what photography could really be, and made me see beyond the documentary side of photography that I was used to see. The photographic medium has a strength that goes beyond the truth. To me, the truth isn´t of interest when I create a photograph. Maybe the inner truth, but not the obvious world of objects around us. These artists opened up my eyes and showed me the endless possibilities that the photographic medium can possess.

Part Four: BROOKE SHADEN.

Brooke Shaden was born in March of 1987 in Lancester, PA, USA. She studied film and English at Temple University for two years before she went into Fine Art Photography full-time. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two cats.

Brooke calls herself a self-portrait artist, and she says she creates self-portraits for ease and to have full control over the images. But she also works with models, as in the picture above. Brooke Shaden has a goal with her photography:

"To question what it means to be alive, and to create new worlds."

I discovered Brooke Shadens work through Flickr, an online community for photographers (amateurs and professionals) to share their work. I am totally honest when I say that I had never seen anything similar. I was amazed. The square photographs, that looked like paintings, with the strong colors and expressive models in them. At first, I couldn´t define what was special with the pictures, except that I had never seen anything like it.

Something changed inside of me the day I saw Brookes work for the first time. I had to redefine what photography was. I had to redefine what the photographic medium could do. I discovered that photography could do much more than I ever thought was possible. And I discovered that I could do more with photography than I ever thought was possible.

"I believe that confidence is the best thing you can find when it comes to being successful in any part of life. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?"

After being amazed by Brookes work, I learned that she was two years younger than me, that she didn´t have any exam from a School of photography (except from film), and that many of her photographs were self-portraits. This made me realize that you don´t need anyones permission to do what you want to do. I understood that I didn´t have to get accepted at a certain school in order to pursue photography. I understood that I didn´t need a big studio, lots of gear, or an assistant in order to create my work. I didn´t even need a model! I could do it all by myself. Brooke made me take my camera out in the woods, all by myself, and shoot self-portraits.

"Without persistence, dreams are forgotten too easily. When I started photography full time I knocked on the doors of roughly 100 art galleries before one said yes. Had I quit after 50, I might never have had a career in photography."

Quotes from Brooke Shadens blog.

To see Brooke Shadens work, head over to her website.

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International Womens Day. Part Three: Vee Speers.

InspirationPosted by Beata Thu, March 07, 2013 14:25:20
"Thirteen #5"


On friday, March 8, it is the International Women´s Day. Because of this, I wanted to take the occasion to show you some of my biggest inspirations when it comes to Fine Art Photography.

I´m going to write about five women who have influenced me in my photographic art. One artist every day of this week, until March 8. These artists teached me what photography could really be, and made me see beyond the documentary side of photography that I was used to see. The photographic medium has a strength that goes beyond the truth. To me, the truth isn´t of interest when I create a photograph. Maybe the inner truth, but not the obvious world of objects around us. These artists opened up my eyes and showed me the endless possibilities that the photographic medium can possess.


Part Three: VEE SPEERS.


"Immortal #7"

Vee Speers was born in Australia but has lived in Paris since 1990. She says that Paris is a place with "unlimited potential and endless creative inspiration."

Vee Speers has been exhibited world wide.

"Untitled #3, The Birthday Party"

It was the photographs from the series "The Birthday Party" that made me like Vee Speers very much. The photography is quite simple, it´s the same composition in all the photographs and the children are photographed in front of the same wall. The focus isn´t on the environment, but on the people she portrays. The children are wearing different costumes, and they look into the camera with a severe eye.

"Untitled #5, The Birthday Party"

I´ve always liked the way that Vee Speers uses color in her photographs. She edits them in a way that reminds me of painting rather than photographing. She stages her photographs in an obvious way, with models that are put in front of the camera, posing in various ways. Though the obvious modeling, her images feels real and honest to me.

"Untitled #16, The Birthday Party"


"Immortal #12"

Vee Speers inspires me to explore photographing even further, to look behind the obvious ways of doing things, to see the possibilities of manipulating your models and putting them into different environments.

Se more of Vee Speers work on her website.

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International Womens Day. Part Two: Lovisa Ringborg.

InspirationPosted by Beata Wed, March 06, 2013 10:03:10

"Cocoons" (from the Limbo series)

On friday, March 8, it is the International Women´s Day. Because of this, I wanted to take the occasion to show you some of my biggest inspirations when it comes to Fine Art Photography.

I´m going to write about five women who have influenced me in my photographic art. One artist every day of this week, until March 8. These artists teached me what photography could really be, and made me see beyond the documentary side of photography that I was used to see. The photographic medium has a strength that goes beyond the truth. To me, the truth isn´t of interest when I create a photograph. Maybe the inner truth, but not the obvious world of objects around us. These artists opened up my eyes and showed me the endless possibilities that the photographic medium can possess.

Part Two: LOVISA RINGBORG.

"Piñata" (from the Limbo series)

Lovisa Ringborg was born in 1979 in Linköping, Sweden. She finished her MA in Photography in 2008. Lovisa is inspired by painting when she creates, and she has said herself:

"In all of my pictures, I have worked in a painterly way, with texture and colours in the photographs. Coming from painting, that’s a natural way for me to work, it's only the media that have changed..."


"Solitary Act 1- Compulsion" (from the Limbo series)

I discovered Lovisa Ringborgs work when I saw her exhibition at Kulturhuset, Stockholm, in 2009. She exhibited her Limbo series (above). The photographs in the series are dark and full of mystery. I was so amazed by what she had created. The blackness that filled up most of the canvas was so intense. And it was something special with all the models. Everyone had a certain look. As if they were all focused on something far away, beyond what we could see.

Lovisa Ringborg inspired me to use the darkness in my photographs. The reason that I started to turn day into night in some of my photographs, was because I was so inspired by her vast areas of black in her photographs. I created my photograph "The Gardener" with this darkness in mind. I believe that Lovisa Rinborg´s photographs possess a unique feeling, they have a certain emotion to them that makes them special. An emotion that makes me stay in front of every picture, looking very carefully at all the details, the surrounding, the dark, the eyes of the model (opened or closed). Lovisa Ringborg inspires me to go search for those inner worlds.

"if your secret was an animal what animal would it be"


"Holding breath"

Lovisa works with models and stages her photographs. About the process she sais:

"...I'm not interested in working with portraits. I work with my models, change them until they become something else, become my own… I want them to evolve into symbols or signs rather than individuals."


"Haunted"

"I think the children in my work are vulnerable and fearless in the same time. I don't see a clear difference between the adult and the child though… I believe the childhood is always present in the adult and the integrity, pride and other feelings that are supposed to be reserved for the adult, are very present in the child even if not always respected. I think that's what I'm trying to show in a sense."

(Quotes from: http://www.photoicon.com/online_features/40/)

See more of Lovisa Ringborgs work on her website.

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