Maëlick in the North

Toy Photography in Northern Finland, Sweden and Norway

Photography Diary – 2022

It’s been over six months since my last blog post, where I announced I was leaving my job and turning a page of my life. Since then, I’ve been radio silent online about both my life and photography.

Bye bye Oulu

Around the time I posted my last blog post, I actually already knew I had gotten a new job in Luleå. It was already almost certain I would move to Sweden, but I didn’t know yet all the details about when and how I would start the new job.

Now it’s been over four months since I started to settle in Luleå. I had planned to write and post something about moving to Sweden, yet it never happened. It also took me more time than I expected to move out of Oulu completely. Maybe a part of me didn’t want to leave.

Luleå and photography

Yet, I can’t say I regret my decision to leave Oulu. I was in need of change which Luleå brings without being fundamentally different from Oulu.

But there is one thing that I’ve struggled with: photography.

Moving out of Oulu meant losing my favorite photo spot. I have to admit… I think I had grown tired of this spot.

The last photo session at Pyykösjärvi. Looking towards the future ahead.

Yet, I miss it. So far, I haven’t been able to find something remotely close to what Pyykösjärvi had been for more than five years. A place where I can go anytime, just a short walk from home, and a place that has enough variety for pictures. And thus I don’t go out as often as I’d like to take photos.

At home in Luleå, taking photos on the dark and snowy street. Remembering all the good times on the lake.

Slow photography

Besides moving out of Oulu and losing “my spot”, there are at least two other issues that several hinder my photography.

First, I lack the motivation to process and sort my images. It started during the summer when I procrastinated sorting the images I had taken. I’m now at a point since the Autumn where I don’t bother unloading my SD card on my computer and end up looking at images more than a month after taking them.

While I’m worried about the number of unprocessed images I will need to deal with, it also comes with advantages.

Going for the first time through photos taken weeks ago is reminiscent of film photography. Sometimes I don’t remember what I photographed, and it becomes a bit of a surprise. But more importantly, it makes me more distant from my own photography, which makes it much easier to find which images are keepers.

Then another hindrance is my lack of inspiration. I still struggle with toy photography as a whole, but LEGO in particular. With all my LEGO collection packed for moving and now sitting temporarily in storage, it makes me question the future between me and LEGO photography. Am I done, or is it just a matter of finding my mojo back? So far, I still don’t have an answer.

My best photo of 2022

Every year, Flickr opens a group, Your Best Shot, to submit a single photo. Every year, I use that opportunity to reflect on what I did during the past year.

In 2022, there were two highlights: the lens and the toy I used the most.

Because of my lack of inspiration, I ended last year by buying a new lens, hoping it would inspire me. At the same time, I started to look in my toy collection for something different. I took some of my first photos with the LensBaby Obscura of a custom crow figure I got from Krash Override when I was in San Francisco five years ago.

While I’m back to mainly using a “normal” lens, I spent over half a year using (almost) exclusively the Obscura. It made me view photography from a different angle and grow.

Then, the Krash Kustom crow is likely my most used figure this year and one of the few I feel excited and inspired to photograph.

Both the crow figure and the Obscura have allowed me to express feelings I couldn’t express with words, and thus my best chosen photo of the year has to combine both of them.

Towards 2023

There are still many unknowns on what will come next year. Too many things I need to figure out to get out of my photography burnout.

Last year, I ended my post about 2021 similarly. There was much to figure out. And I’m basically ending this year repeating myself.

Yet, looking back at this year’s images while writing this post gave me a strange feeling. It’s as if I’ve become a completely different photographer. During the spring, I decided to complete a few projects (like this one, this one, and these ones) and update galleries on this blog. It’s as if I had known this all along and had to tie up some loose ends before being able to turn the page…

But I’ll wait until the end of next year before claiming that’s what happened. Until then, I’ll keep embracing slow photography if that’s what I need to get out of the rut.

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