Totem

Diana’s thoughts

Gothic Oslo

Shattered sky

Oslo fjord (pinhole)

Faceless city

Oslo. Half a million people, but no one to communicate with. What are you all afraid of? Why don’t you show your face? Why is it so that the tighter we people are packed, the greater the distance between us? Nothing else in nature behaves like that. We are a paradox, an exception, a monster.

Well, fine, keep hiding, and reveal your real selves only for your beloved, as long as you have some. Then we’ll see.

I’ll go back to yet another sleepless night in yet another shabby hotel room. The faces on TV aren’t any faker than the ones in the street, anyway.

“O”

War

Street art, Oslo, 30.10.2013

Oslo, end of February

Jonny, photo model

Oslo center, an evening about one month ago. I notice that a popular retail-clothing company is advertising their Christmas sales by using dummies wearing paper masks. The masks reproduce a man’s face, bearded, with dark sun glasses and a Santa Claus hat. Nothing special in fact, however I take a photo of the scene as a man stops to look at them (probably thinking “what the heck..?”).

An hour later I move to another part of town to see if I can get a shot or two there. As I walk by a pub, I notice a bearded man smoking a cigarette. He’s rather photogenic but I have no chance to take a photo of him while staying unnoticed. It’s so dark that I doubt I can get a sharp shot anyway, but I stop and ask if I may… Permission granted, a few shots taken. And it turns out he’s the model the retail-clothing company used for their mannequins!

A completely coincidental encounter in a city with over half a million inhabitants..

L1009511

L1009539

L1009540

Rain

These are about the city in a rainy autumn evening, where just about everything resonates with your already low mood: All those strangers rushing home and bothering even less about you then they ever would, forced by their umbrellas to keep greater distances than ever from each other and from you. And all those drops..

Oslo, Oslo

This was supposed to be my street photography weekend in Oslo, but the photo mood wasn’t really there. I came home with a dozen pictures taken with a little compact camera, but at least am happy with a few of them. They may be examples of photos saying more about the photographer than the subjects, but here they are anyway.

Am I a criminal?

Two days ago, once again in Oslo, I got slightly in trouble with a hotel receptionist for taking one of the photos in the series below. She meant I was not allowed to photograph the hotel window from the public street. I protested that even though it was a private property, it’s perfectly visible from the public street and there’s no sign forbidding photography.

After I got back to my hotel, I did some research to find out what the Norwegian law says about street photography. Am I only doing this now after 10 years of street photography? Yes in fact.

What I found out is that the Norwegian law is very strict in protecting personal rights. It’s perfectly legal to photograph anyone (maybe except children) without asking for a permission, but it’s not allowed to publish photographs of identifiable persons without their permission. Exceptions are photos where the identifiable persons are taking part in street protests, parades or similar, photos that have a public usefulness (whatever that is), and photos the main content of which isn’t the person – although identifiable – but the situation, the context this person is involved in. Hopefully, most of my pictures will fall within this last category for the judge who gets my case the day someone sues me for doing street photography and sharing it. The alternative is photos like the ones below, without a face or a soul. Feel free to leave a thought on this, if you like.

Majorstuen (Oslo)

No more meetings, no more schedules, no more everything. Only my thoughts and my camera, at least for an hour or two.

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