Best camera

two flatcoated retrievers, Luka and Topi, running in the snow

Some years ago when the iPhone was still a relatively new thing and the camera was nothing special, Chase Jarvis started to talk about how the best camera is the one you have with you. Over the years, phone cameras keep getting better, but they are still a far cry from “real cameras.” But still, it’s a camera that is always with you. And of course, for a good photograph you need vision – and often getting in close to you subject.

The above shot was taken during one of our walks with the dogs during an overcast day that didn’t warrant dragging a big camera along. Going down low, knowing my subjects and waiting for them to get close enough (and firing a burst of shots) gave me this. One of my best dog photographs lately and one that I wouldn’t have made without the camera in my phone.

All of the editing of the photograph has also been done on the iPhone using Snapseed and for reference, this is the unedited photograph.

Luka and Topi, unedited

Tom Englund

Evergrey @ Henry’s Pub Kuopio 27.3.2015

Finally! Three years without seeing Evergrey live was much too long and luckily they finally published a new album and started touring with Finland once again being the starting point. This time they also made it further east than last time, but still not all the way to our home turf. So we had to cheat on Kerubi and go to the neighboring town’s rock club, Henry’s Pub.

Tom Englund

I had no expectations whatsoever on how large a crowd we could expect in Kuopio, but the town surprised us and the place was full enough. And the audience knew their stuff and sang along when needed. There was no photo pit in the place so most of my photography was done from right under Tom’s nose. The benefit of a low stage was that the photographs aren’t nostril shots :)

Tom Englund

This was also the first time that I got to see Evergrey play with Henrik Danhage and Jonas Ekdahl who took a few years off from the band. And now it seemed like Evergrey was back home. There was something missing from the previous album which was again present on Hymns for the Broken and even more palpable live.

Henrik Danhage

Johann Niemann

It was great to hear song throughout the bands career. And of course knowing some of the staples of the set meant that photography was quite a bit easier since I knew to expect certain things. This time I especially loved the lighting for I’m Sorry and how Tom managed to look almost evangelical on stage.

Father Tom of Clan Evergrey

Father Tom of Clan Evergrey

Father Tom of Clan Evergrey

Father Tom of Clan Evergrey

And despite the small and cramped stage and the fact that Jonas and Rikard tried to hide behind the smoke screen through most of the gig, I managed to get several good photographs of both of them.

Rikard Zander

Jonas Ekdahl

It felt like the the vibe of the band on stage was joyous and they enjoyed playing for us and let us enjoy almost two hours of music in the Land of Grey. I just hope that it won’t be another three years before we see them live again.

Tom Englund and Johann Niemann

Tom Englund and Henrik Danhage

Joakim Brodén

Sabaton @ Kerubi 21.3.2015

An unexpected thing happened, and Sabaton sold out Kerubi about four months before their gig. I’m fairly certain that no band to date has sold out the venue that long before their gig, but luckily Anna and I managed to get tickets (thanks Hannes :) ). I was also able to get a photo pass for the gig. And it turned out that it was a good thing that I asked about the photo pass beforehand since contrary to most gigs at Kerubi, this time a photo pass was required to use a SLR, let alone get access to the photo pit.

Hannes Van Dahl

As someone who spends most of his time listening to either death metal or country (don’t even ask, I’m not sure how that happened), Sabaton is a bit out of my normal repertoire. But ever since Hannes left Evergrey and joined them, I’ve been keeping a closer eye and ear on the band.

Chris Rörland

Don’t get me wrong, as power metal goes Sabaton is a prime example and a very good representative of the genre. And they do make good workout music. But most power metal is simply too happy for my taste and the gloominess of melodic death speaks to me more. And I also have a problem with Sabaton’s lyrics. Mind you, the problem isn’t that I am in any way offended about their use of war in their lyrics but the fact that I start binge reading Wikipedia for the historical articles behind their lyrics destroying any productivity I may have had. And yes, it happened to me several times while editing these photographs.

Thobbe Englund

This was the second time we’ve seen Sabaton. The first time was when Hannes was still playing with Evergrey and both bands were touring the US. Pictures of Sabaton’s gig can be found in our old gallery. In fact, two of the photographs I took during that gig were printed and given to Joakim during this gig since they were something special that I’ve never seen in a metal gig so far.

Pär Sundström

This time around the years and hundreds of gigs that Sabaton has thrown showed. And the experience showed itself only in a good and positive way. I loved the way Joakim and the rest of the band interacted with the audience and goofed around with each other on stage. I have no idea how routine most of their tomfoolery is, but it was much appreciated.

Joakim Brodén

And I’m certain that Joensuu and Kerubi let Sabaton know that they are welcome in town again!

"Oh wow, my drumstick can fly."

“Oh wow, my drumstick can fly.”

Alissa White-Gluz

Arch Enemy @ Kerubi 17.9.2014

Oh dear, it really has been about six months since Arch Enemy graced the stage of Kerubi. I didn’t try to get a photo-pass, but luckily there were no limitations to photography from the audience and I managed to get quite a good sample of photographs of the band amidst all the head-banging, jumping and singing along that I did.

Michael Amott & Alissa White-Gluz

Arch Enemy is a band that I’ve long liked for their melodies and guitar work, but have for some reason kept my distance to for a long time. Finally the previous album, Khaos Legions made me a convert and War Eternal has me hooked even more. And of course it helps that the band’s home town is basically our little Swedish import’s home town as well.

Alissa White-Gluz

I don’t know who was behind the lighting of the show, but it offered wonderfully many opportunities to take good silhouette photographs of Alissa against the lights. So many that I really can’t choose a favorite. But I do know that I’m a sucker for a good silhouette.

Alissa White-Gluz

Alissa White-Gluz

I must admit, getting the photo-pass to shoot Sabaton last weekend was the final catalyst to get these images edited and our for the world to see.

Flames from a house fire during a controlled burn

Live fire exercise 8.11.2014

This has been a peculiar year as we’ve had the opportunity to have two live fire exercises followed by controlled burns of the buildings once we are done exercising. The house this time was a traditional post-war single family home that often has livable areas in the basement and top floor but they could be initially left unfinished.

firefighters and hoselines

We only used the ground floor during our exercise since the second floor was much too open to burn in a controlled fashion. The basement was left untouched due to safety concerns.

Door covered in soot from the fire

firegfighters entering smoky room

I also had a GoPro attached to my helmet, but our first attack (in which I was participating and not photographing) was so hot that my helmet and the GoPro housing took quite a bit of damage. The fact that it was so hot also meant that I got about five seconds of usable footage before the world went dark from smoke. If nothing else, that footage can serve as an excellent example of what the reality of entering a burning building is like when compared to what is seen in movies and TV.

firefighters entering a smoky room

flames in a burning building

Flames from a house fire during a controlled burn