What a day!

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Lately, I started an internship at a local newspaper. This opportunity has given me so much, I can’t explain how much fun I had and how much all of these experiences mean to me. Sitting around the table drinking Somalian tea and eating homemade samosas with the city mayor. Meeting Don Rosa which entertained me a lot during my childhood when sitting on Sunday mornings reading Donald comics and eating cereal. I had so much fun covering different demonstrations and meeting so many new people. Even got my own little story in the local newspaper, “Vårt Oslo” where I work.

The other day was maybe my high point of it all with covering the woman’s cup finals. I don’t watch much football anymore, but I try to follow when Liverpool plays. But the game was not the fun part, it was walking around with my cameras and a press card. I am lucky to have an incredibly supporting cousin who borrowed me a professional camera, and a Sigma 150-600mm lens. Along with my Nikon D7000 with a Nikon 18-140mm, I had some options and felt the rest was up to me. It was a bit troubling with lighting since you need high shutter speeds to freeze fast movements during the match.

 

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There I sat in the pressroom, pretending I knew what I was doing while updating Facebook and waiting for the game to start

When I arrived at the stadium I didn’t know what to expect. The journalists from the newspaper and I headed to the press entrance, and there we signed in. All the journalists were sitting on another floor and photographers in their own room near the pitch. So I walked into the room where all the professionals were. I recognized some of them from tv. I found me a seat and started settling with my computer and camera equipment. When the game started, I was trying to figure out how everything worked in the technical zone, where to stand and where I could move around. Then the game started and I forgot about everything and all I was doing was trying to get the shots, finding the emotions in the players and capturing the action as it was happening.

 

 

Tomorrow is a new day and I have got some new fun assignments, a demonstration, the opening of a cultural house and a live broadcast with guests later in the evening. Now I got an external flash, so hopefully, this will improve the image quality of my indoor shots. I have had some trouble with lighting with my D7000 and have previously got grainy shots in poor lighting and I have tried to find the best settings that don’t compromise too much of the image quality.

No Time Like The Present


I found this tile on the wall, and the question was something I actually have spent a lot of time wondering about lately myself. Life is so fragile and time on earth is so precious. Many of us spend much time on thoughts that have no value other than causing pain and losing time from focusing on the only moment we actually have any control over, the present. Worrying about the future is pointless because things never turn out like you imagine them anyway. Another time consumer can be regretting the past, and this does have the important value of learning, but for many, my self-included it can become an obstacle that holds you back from moving on and stopping you from living life.

So I thought of a project that would get myself out into the streets of Stockholm and become a time-traveling delivery man. While I’m at the same time getting more practice of taking portraits and talking to strangers. This is part one and I will continue to update and try to make a series of this.

So if you could give a message to your younger self in only two words, what would they be? Feel free to comment, I would love to hear it! Have a nice day!

 

Micha Vlad
Micha Vlad – “Våga Leva” (Dear to live)

 

 

Under Construction

I am still under construction but things have changed for the better, I haven’t had much time to write because I am one step closer to my dream of making my wonderful hobby a wonderful full-time job.

As I wrote last time in Prison of Mind I walked around talking to everyone from big banks to real estate agencies in hope of getting a chance, and so I did. I talked to an editor in a local newspaper in Oslo and got myself an internship. I work for free, but I don’t see it that way. I see a lot of opportunities and I am so grateful for this chance I have been given. There are so many great photographers out there, and the only way I see I can make my dream is to work harder and giving everything, and it will pay off in the end.

I am so happy with all the responsibilities I have been given, and to be part of the team. I am one of the admins for their Instagram account @vaartoslo, I also get to work on my own project and an article of portraying and interviewing people in the streets. I’m also taking photos for news articles which is something completely different from what I ever did before and I got to start with no other than the city mayor. I think I was the perfect amount of nervous and anxious. Meeting the mayor and politicians have never been something I have done much in the past. I always felt low self-esteem like I’m in the gutter, I wrote in The Observer of Life I never felt part of this world. So words can’t explain the feeling this chance I have now means to me.

It’s also a great way to learn so much more about photography, challenging myself every day. Taking portraits is new to me. I love street photography and shooting situations and capturing moments that occur in everyday life is fun, but walking up to strangers asking to take their photo and telling them where to stand, and at the same time try to capture their personalities and getting them relaxed an off guard is a totally different story! The first day I went out I didn’t know how I would approach or what to say, but I didn’t care about the photos where good or not, it was just practicing getting turned down and just keep going. I have asked many people before and taken their photos, but of the situation not them, their eyes and soul straight into the camera. It’s something very personal and I want to do a good job and make them feel good. I had a great time!

As I am writing this, and eating breakfast I’m at the same time itching to get back out, I have spotted some locations I want to try and can’t wait to shoot more! Tomorrow I will cover a demonstration and a marking of building a new culture house. So a lot going on these days. Contrary to what my life used to be some years ago. Instead of waking up terrified and exhausted before my eyes where even open. Exhausted before even getting out of the bed of all the hours I had to kill to get through the day. I now wake up with a smile and energy.

Many thanks to my love too, who have given me everything. She never stopped believing in me. She is so strong who has invested her time in me, and it’s not been easy for her in the beginning but she has she has shown me my strength and I will do everything to be the best man I can be for her. I love you, Nathalie!

The Observer Of Life

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For as long as I can remember I always observed the life around me. But I have never really been a participant I felt I should be. It is like the world is a big highway going so fast in each direction, I always stood on the sideline and observed the traffic. Sometimes with the wonder of where are you all going, what’s the rush?

I had many attempts to join the traffic that is the so-called life. I had a series of jobs one after the other. But working as a lorry driver turned out extremely good, at least for a while. I loved to be alone on the road with my semi truck, driving all over Norway. Sitting behind the wheel thinking, listening to music and enjoying the scenery Norway had to offer. But I lost my license because of my bipolar illness. Now I am back to start, my doctor and I are trying to find a way I can get back on track. But the rules are strict.

HangoverThere are times when I feel I can do absolutely everything. Powered by a bottomless supply of energy and self-esteem, I can go on and on and I feel invincible! But it never lasts long and usually ends up creating more problems than actually fixing them. Life has always been a never-ending roller coaster. I am not sure I agree with being diagnosed with Bipolar 1. But I’m pretty sure I have a mood disorder. Because like a clockwork you can set your time to, depression and anxiety take me all the way back to start. Especially when the day gets darker and colder. Like a balloon losing its air. I end up laying shriveled on the floor. Physically and mentally broken.

Like Pinocchio, I have really dreamt and hoped for Giuseppe to come along and turn me into a normal boy. And not to feel so alienated. But other days the same thing scares the living shit out of me. I don’t want to be normal either! I just want to be me, and start accepting me for who I am. And to be accepted for who I am.

Well, this turned dark… And that was actually not the point. Because there is a lot of light in this story! I have dark clouds and days, but something has changed. I’m still fighting even when feeling down, even when the lack of confidence and the devil on my shoulder tries to talk me down. I won’t let it, not anymore! It can take my energy for some days, but not my dreams.

I am more than my history tells me. I am not defined by depression. I am not hopeless. I did mess up at school, always ending up in every special class. It made a kid feel very special, and not in a good way!

I messed up my life for many years when I was young and I made a lot of bad choices. I have been in more than enough institutions over the years. I did a pretty good job wrecking myself and my life, with no regard for the future. It’s hard to think of the future when I couldn’t see one for myself. My history will always be there no matter how hard I judge myself and talk myself down, it doesn’t lead anywhere.

For the first time since I was a kid, I have a dream again. I’m not dreaming of being a celebrity, I don’t want fortune and fame. I dream of happiness and creating a life with a solid foundation. I want to build something of my own, having ownership of my life.

I also want to help others that struggle with depression or anxiety. Photography may not be for you, but it`s worth a try! When life gets dark and filled with destructive and hopeless thoughts, start to look and seek for all the happiness and beautiful things around you! You will be amazed by the present moment can bring such awareness about the beauty around you. Take a picture and collect that feeling you get to keep forever or as long as you want. You can express yourself when you have no words. I bet there are tons of different ways of achieving this. You can find whatever works for you 🙂 Personally, I have never been any good at painting or drawing. So photography works for me when finding motives like beauty and happiness are all around us. It’s just hard to see if you’re not looking.

Free as a birdThis photo is from the summer of 2015 and it was when I just started playing with iPhoneography. This year was when my passion really ignited. I had tons of problems and still a disaster zone. But that summer really changed me and my life around, I felt hope again for the first time in what felt like an eternity of loneliness and depression. But in some way, I knew I was going to make it. I had hope! That’s all that I was searching for. Looking back now I am so grateful for not ending up doing something stupid that I never could have undone. I owe photography everything! Walking with my Nikon in my hands have changed me for the better. I love the playfulness I feel when taking pictures. I love the lack of anxiety. I go around talking to complete strangers. Which I never did before. And to me the answer to my own question have never been clearer, I am the observer of life and that’s what I want to be! Because in the same time I’m living and enjoying my own life!