portraits.by.olaf

for the very first time

The path tilted slightly downwards and the many stones made it a rough path. We told her to leave the bicycle up and to walk down, but she didn’t listen. While she drove down, she gained speed and lost control, and in one second she was lying on the floor. The bicycle on top of her and she started to cry, more out of shock than of pain. She didn’t realize what happened. She fell of her bicycle, for the very first time.

She came earlier to me and asked me for ‘key number 15’. I didn’t understand it, thought she was learning how to count, until her father told me he bought her a bicycle and need some gear to fix the side-wheels so she could go out and drive her new bicycle. For the very first time.

After lunch, we went for a drive, on her new bicycle. I had an easy job as I was photographing only. Her father had to run a lot, to ensure all would be fine.

In the end it was all fine, she fell only once. It is part of learning how to drive. For sure, she will fall still many times. It’s ok. What matter is that she had a great time. That the joy was so much bigger than her tears. What matters in the end, is the smile on your face.


passing by …

We were sitting in a bar in Vienna, enjoying a moment of doing nothing. The weather was not clear: sometimes rain, sometimes dry. Being seated at the window, I decided to play a bit with my camera. I put it on a book, pre-focused and on manual, and just clicked on almost everybody passing by. 

I always enjoyed watching people while sitting on a terrace and or in a bar, I just never photographed them in this way and I must admit it was rather fun to do. Results are snapshots, but then, this is what I saw, I snapshot of a person passing by.

The diversity of people passing by was great. Fully covered  (either for their religion, either for the weather) to summer style, enjoying the first rays of sunlight on their body, cooling themselves down with ice-cream.

The image which keeps me wondering though, is the one below. What looks strange to me, is the drawing on his sweater. Is it factory made, or did some-one draw it? It looks like the latter. But then, what does it mean? For what stands the A? The arrows? Why does this guy wear it? Even when, factory made? 

So many questions. Unanswered. I guess I’ll never know the answers. People passing by. Often unnoticed, but sometimes we see. Sometimes we wonder.


portrait of ankica

For years we work in the same company, we great each other in the hallway, yet we actually never talked. Funny, or silly. Depends how one looks at it.

She entered our office to collect a signature. I told her that she could get it, in exchange for a portrait. So she did. Window light, a reflector and five seconds.


portrait of miroslava

She’s leaving us, up to another job, though the firm convinced her to stay a bit longer until replacement has been found. The week after I finally got her in front of my camera. She’s smiling, though forced. It might be the situation, the circumstances.

I took several images, the last one only lasting 2 seconds and to be the most still. Lightning was again simple: a window and a reflector.


rambling about freedom

Should one even call any discussion about freedom a rambling? Isn’t freedom the highest we should strive for? If so, any discussion about, any attempt for freedom should not be called a rambling, should not be disgraced to a rambling.

Yet, my post is called ‘rambling about freedom’. Not to dishonor freedom. I decided to call my new series ‘ramblings’. Here you can see why. Actually I honor freedom with the fact that I open a new series with it. Good for you if you can still follow me. Looks like I’m rambling myself.

Anyway, back to freedom.

Until all are free, no one is free!

I am a lucky guy. I’m born and raised in a country where freedom was normal. I did not ever in my life perceived my freedom threatened. That said, I’ve seen the impact of freedom fights on people. I’ve seen the consequences of war, what it did to people. I’ve seen the impact of liberation on people, when they realize they’re free. For the first time, or again.

I am a lucky guy. Freedom is a given for me. Never taken away, never under threat. I’m a free person. Yet, the message on the wall, the graffiti, made me think, still makes me think. Am I free? Can I say I’m free as millions of people are not? Can I ignore all those others? Should I fight for a better world? Can I enjoy my freedom, be happy, if so many are not?

I am a lucky guy. I’m free, though deep inside my heart I know I’m not. However, I can ignore, I can close my eyes. I can pretend. And may be therefore I am lucky: I have the luxury to do so, as I am free.

Complicated.

Until all are free, no one is free!

Rambling.

photographed in Vienna, Austria… and still wondering who wrote this? a refugee? a peace activist? a person like you and me? who wrote it? …


about ramblings

When walking around town, any town, one will see graffiti. Sometimes it is wonderful, pure art and sometimes it is a message. Sometimes the message seems to have a meaning, mostly it doesn’t. At least to me. Nevertheless, I read the messages, often ignoring them as they don’t make sense. But sometimes a message touches me, puts a smile on my face or simply makes me think or wonder. 

I was in Vienna the other day and had the possibility to walk around near the river side. Those who know Vienna will know that there are many graffiti’s around. Lots of art, probably created on request of the city. But also many messages, mostly senseless to me however one message stood out and while photographing it, I decided that such messages do deserve a place on my blog as to me they do deserve to be seen by a broader audience.

So there you have it, a new series on my blog: ’ramblings’. May be the title is not fair towards the idea behind and towards the authors of such messages… however to me such messages are ramblings as a dialogue is non-existent and therefore the perception will be totally out of content. Ramblings.

Back to my walk. I enjoyed watching the artistic graffiti’s and while strolling on wards I saw the composition below which stroke me cause of its colors. I photographed it as I found it and the image is not edited. You see what I saw ;)


portrait of vlatko

I tried to make a portrait earlier of Vlatko, but did not succeed as he was not able to sit still for several seconds. It really sounds easy, sit still for four-six seconds while I make an exposure, but it is not. If you don’t believe me, come and try it ;)

That said, the last attempt, the last image of the last session did it. And I must admit, the cynical look is how I know him, this is Vlatko. At least, during working hours.


smoking is bad for you!

“Smoking is bad for you!” she says, and climbs on the chair and starts a monologue why one shouldn’t smoke. 4,5 years old and keeping a lecture about health. The words don’t matter, her face says it all: “don’t smoke…”



eastern is early…

This year Eastern is rather early, and winter showed off himself just some weeks ago, meaning life did not yet return on our hill. It is still grayish, though the grass start to be greener. Not only at the neighbors, but also in our garden. At least.

Nice thing of Eastern brunches is that the house is filled with flowers, and while waiting for the food to get ready, I play a bit around with my camera, making portraits of flowers.

First a series in black and white to capture the fine structure of the leaves. Flowers are so delicate. Than tulips, they are so simple, yet so graceful. Finally a mix in color, as flowers should be seen in color!


Happy Eastern!


finally spring

Today spring finally arrived. At 17.15 it entered our world. This morning it was still freezing and snow was all around us, but now it will change as spring arrived. Days will be longer, temperature will be higher, and within some weeks nature will burst and the mountain will become green again.

Good thing of living on the continent is that one really can enjoy all seasons: I love summer for its temperature, love autumn for its colours, love winter for the snow and I love spring for its new start: I really love to discover all the bulbs and plants coming to life again. Every day I look in the garden to see what came up today, what started to blossom today. Spring arrived. Finally.

First things (eatable) to come up in our garden are garlic and onions as they have been planted/seeded last autumn. They are still covered with snow today, but soon, very soon they’ll be here. Spring arrived. Finally.

Lightning was simple: a window and a piece of paper as fill.

Using Format