Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aerial Arts Performance

Modern Acrobatics


The students and artists from Circus Cirkör put on a great show during their performance on Saturday. I'm not that familiar with all the terms, but on the first photo we see five girls in an amazing aerial hoop act. As I took this photo they had formed a V high up in the air. On the second photo one girl (there were two of them in this number), is using the smooth rope, an act where the artist works from a vertically hanging rope.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Circus Girl

The Circus Girl

Cool Bike of the Day

This is Moa. I met her on Saturday when she was performing with her fellow circus students and other circus performers during the opening ceremony for the new motorway that I told you about in yesterdays post. Moa is attending the three year program at the Cirkus Cirkör secondary school. Cirkus Cirkör is a contemporary circus group that was formed in Stockholm in 1995 by Tilde Björfors. The next step in Moa's education could be three years at the University College of Dance in Stockholm, or a similar school in France. After that all the world could be her stage. We talked a little about how the school works, and it's very different from when I was her age, we didn't have circus schools in Sweden back then. On the second photo you can see Moa in the very cool bathtub bike sitting next to a young girl who must have been very excited by meeting these circus people.

Monday, September 28, 2009

We hereby declare...

How many people...

Look, mom! No hands!

Winding Wotorway

The very dangerous road between Haninge and Nynäshamn (a port city), have been an issue for a couple of decades. The nick name for Road 73 has been The Road of Death. Many people have lost their lives here, and everyone you talk to seem to know someone who has died here. A couple of years ago construction of a new road finally started. And on Saturday the second part of the road opened for traffic. Thousands of people attended the opening ceremony that took place on the road at Överfors near Ösmo in Nynäshamn. It took eight people to declare the new road open, and you can see them all here with scissors in hand. They are:

Per Unckel, County Governor in Stockholm.
Ilija Batljan,Municipal Commissioner of Nynäshamn.
Åsa Torstensson, Minister for Transportation.
Lena Erixon, Director-general at the Swedish Road Administration.
Anders Granat, County Governor Gotland.
Christer Agerback,Managing director from the Swedish Road Administration.
Gilbert de Wendel, Municipal Commissioner in Haninge.
Ulla Hamilton, Municipal Commissioner from Stockholm City.

Before and after the speeches from all the politicians and the moderator Rikard Olsson, there was high class entertainment starting with a few songs from the well known composer Stefan Nilsson and a 200-strong choir. After that a popular circus group performed ( I will show you some photos and portraits in the coming days). They were followed onto the stage by a popular Swedish boy band, E.M.D. which got the full attention from all the young girls in the crowd. When all was said and done, guess what I did? I decided to go for a bike ride on the new road. It was a strange feeling as I was all alone on the new road. On the second photo I was going downhill and decided to shoot a Look Mom, No Hands! photo. It was still a few hours left before the road was opened for traffic, and I rode the twelve kilometre stretch to the Tungelsta junction as I wanted. Stopping here and there for photos. With a kilometre left I noticed a man walking on the road. It was a former road engineer that had got the same idea as me. This was my last ever bike ride on this road, as bicycles are not allowed here, but from now the old road will be used by slow traffic only, and that's where you will find me in the future.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Future Architect

A Future Architect

I spotted this Gothic guy in Handen a while back. His name is Johan. I figured him for a role player like Fredrik that I photographed one year ago. And I was correct. Johan is also known as Triako, an alias he uses when he is role-playing, or playing World of Warcraft, two hobbies that can be very time consuming. Especially if you are a secondary school student like Johan, who is on his third and last year studying architecture and design at the nearby Fredrika Bremer school. His goal is to become an architect (like Adde that I met last year), which means five years at the KTH School of Architecture. Johan is also a member of the youth council in Haninge. Where he is a Ungdomsrådare, or a Youth Advisor if you like. He told me that they soon will be able to move in to heir new headquarters at Lake Rudan after years of lobbying and discussions with the local politicians.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ida & Zickan

Enjoying the Sunshine

I was taking photos at Haninge Park in Handen a few days ago where they are building a new apartment building, and when I came around a corner I saw these two sitting on a bench enjoying the sunshine. And if you know me you know that I'm always looking for another portrait. This is Ida and her dog Zickan, who is a parson russell terrier. Ida told me that she works as a nurse. She's born and raised in Haninge, and one of her favorite places is the Tyresta National Park where she used to go horse-back riding for many years. She asked if I had any photos from there and I tried remembering the name of a woman I photographed there a few months ago, but Ida beat me to at as everyone who has spent some time there knows Carola and Buster.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Autumn Avenue

Autumn Road

Sometimes it's good to be at the right place at the right time. You have seen it here before. It's one of the avenues that Frans G Upmark planted after he built the Hammar Estate 200 years ago. This was the scene on Thursday. The sun was shining when suddenly the sky turned very dark blue, and you knew that a storm was quickly approaching. It started to rain a couple of minutes after I took this photo, and as I arrived home I could hear thunder not far away. I like how the rowan tree with it's red berries adds some extra color to this my first real autumn photo of the year. For Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hampuz Fardby

Stunt Driving

As promised here is another photo from the Motor Fever event. The guy you see here is is Hampuz Fardby. He is one of the top Freestyle motorcycle stunt drivers in Europe. He started his career as a trial racer and was very successful for nearly a decade. When that became boring he practically invented the new sport Freestyle riding, and that's what he has been doing for the last seven years. Travelling around Europe with his bikes. One of his tricks is a backflip with his trial bike. There's not that many people who can do that trick. I asked if he had been involved in any scary accidents and he said that he had broken most of the bones in his body. Last year alone he had six operations and quite a few stitches. He can do amazing stunts on his bike and he will continue doing what he does best for as long as he gets a kick out of it. More photos and videos on his website. And to see some of the photos I took during the Motor Fever event press the white arrow below.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Motorcycle Stunt Show

Tricks & Stunts

Motorcycle Stunt

Andreas Gustafsson

There was a cool event in Handen last weekend called Motor Fever. A couple of very talented stunt drivers put on a great show. I will show both of them in action, starting today with the local hero Andreas Gustafsson from Vega. He is a semi pro, sponsored by Yamaha who pays for everything he needs. As I arrived Andreas was out on the tarmac and when he finished one of his runs I walked over for a chat. He told me that he averages twenty shows per year at the moment. Earlier this summer Andreas competed in the Stunt Riding German Open at Hockenheim for the first time and he finished in 22-second place. His mother told me that sometimes when he is practising his stunts there can be as many as 50 teenage boys watching his every move and trying their best to copy his tricks on their mopeds. The stunt he is performing on the top photo earned him a lot of applauds. On the second photo you can see four volunteers that spent what must have felt like the longest fifteen minutes of their lives on the asphalt being jumped over by the two stunt drivers. What you can't see on the third photo is Andreas latest injury, a burned hand. His mother said it looked like a football before Andreas put on a glove and the skin collapsed, that was one week ago but a small injury like that doesnt stop a dare devil...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Girl in the Red Coat

The Girl in the Red Coat

The girl in the red coat is Emma. I met her in Handen last week. She told me that red was her favorite color. And that it was her grandmother who told her that she would look good in red. Emma was on her way to the mall, where she was going to buy birthday gifts to her mother, who will be forty five years old by now. And also to her brother, who will no longer be a teenager when you read this. I asked Emma if she had any fun hobbies, but she said that her job in a store and the fact that she has a kid was more then enough to fill up her days.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Conspiracy Theory of the Day

Conspiracy Theory of the Day

This was a bit of a surprise. My flickr friend Jim and I were on our way to the Cultural Centre in Handen on Sunday where we were going to grab a cup of coffee. As we closed in on the mall we saw this guy with his sign. Jim spotted him first and said something like what the f**k is this. I stopped the guy and quickly asked if I could take a photo and he said sure, no problem. We didn't stop and talk to him, but he said he was on his way to Stockholm and a big demonstration. When I came home I looked it up on the web and it was two different groups that were demonstrating at Sergels Torg. One against the regime in Iran, and the other against the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem. Not sure where this guy fits in!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The KJB Man

A Cool Ride

I saw a unusual looking car on the road a while back. A few hours later I noticed it parked at the Jordbro shopping centre, so I stopped for a chat with the owner. This is Sten-Åke Svensson. The car is an KJB. That stands for Kjell Bergstrand. He was the man who designed and built the car. The sheet metal is 1,3 mm thick, and Kjell did the stamping of the metal himself. The steering comes from a Volvo 240. The engine from a SAAB V-4. Some of the instruments came from a Russian Lada. All the wood and the seats were taken from a boat, and I do believe the designer was a professional boat builder. When he died a few years ago his wife decided to sell the car. A few interested buyers were turned down for different reasons, but Sten Åke who called the woman on the phone, was accepted, and he took a train ride all the way up to Luleå where the deal was made. He paid 40 000 SEK and is now the owner of the worlds only KJB. Once a year the widow travels to Stockholm to meet her family and she then usually meets up with Sten Åke. During our chat some of the local kids gathered around to check out the car and ask there own questions. To see the rest of the photos of the KJB just press the white arrow below.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Rebel

The Rebel

I should have posted this portrait a few weeks ago but because of a few events it had to wait. I was in Jordbro when I noticed this guy walking towards me. He was enjoying an ice-cream, and had a cigarette behind his right ear. That's a combination I hadn't seen before so I asked if I could take his portrait. This is Kobben. He lives here in Jordbro. When he is not busy on his early morning paper delivery in Handen, you could probably find him in a garage working on his Volvo 740 Turbo. He is into Street Racing. Very illegal and obviously very exciting. One of the most famous street races around here is the Birka Cup. I didnt ask Kobben about the A.C.A.B tattoo on his hand, but I know what it means. Since I took this photo I have seen Kobben again, although we didnt talk, he was at the recent car meet where he fit in perfectly.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Miss Do-Gooder

Miss Do-Gooder

During Haninge Day I was talking to the guy who had tipped me off about the fruit carver when this stunningly beautiful woman walked up and handed us a leaflet about an upcoming Rock 4 Charity event here in Haninge. This is Celina Molin. She really is a do-gooder. She works for both Save The Children, and for Världens Barn, also known as SOS Children, an organisation that works to help orphaned children around the world. Celina told me that they having three events around Haninge in the next month. One at China Station, one at the Cultural centre, and one at O'Learys Haninge . Did I mention that she is a babe?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two different organisations

Give Blood Now

Jenny & Cassandra

Many organisations took the opportunity to inform the public about their work during Haninge Day. Here are two of them. On the top photo you can see the blood bus from the Swedish Blood Centre. I decided to have a look inside and that's where I found Pia. She was dressed in her scout uniform (the scouts were also informing about their activities during the celebrations). I asked if I could get a photo of her while she was donating her 4,5 decilitre blood and she was fine with that, as was the nurse Ingrid who was making sure that everything was working fine. To donate blood in Sweden you need to be healthy, have an ID card weigh over 50 kilo and be somewhere between 18 and 60 years old. Every year people in Sweden donate around 2 million litres of blood.

Second photo shows the smiling duo Jenny and Cassandra. Two members of the volunteer organisation Bilkåren. The English title is The Federation of Women's Motor Transport Corporation. One of 19 volunteer organisations in the Swedish defence force. Bilkåren dates back to 1939. That's when the first female volunteer ambulance drivers and truck drivers got involved in the defence force. Today they have around 6000 members. Jenny and Cassandra seemed to be a big hit with the local kids, if you look closely you can see one happy kid behind the wheel.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Young Love

Young Love

It was a warm and sunny day last week. On the big lawn in the park in central Handen I saw this couple kissing, and said to myself, this is a scene I need to break up! Meet Ida and Tony. They have been together for about six months. Both are secondary school students, on their third year. Tony wants to work with media and Ida sees herself as a future philosophy student. When I gave Ida my card she told me that she already knew about my daily photo blog after reading about in Metro last year. And just like me she often walks up to The Old Tree, and has left a comment or two here! That's my kind of coincidence.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

At the Cultural Centre

The Opera Singer

Death, visualized

Loud´n Proud

There was a lot of different activities to see hear and try during Haninge Day on Saturday. Here are a few snaps from inside the Cultural Centre . On the top photo you can see local girl Johanna Martell, a young and talented opera singer preparing for her performance at the cafe. The pianist is Jacob Moscowic. More about Johanna on her web site. Or have a look at her blog.
Second photo shows a sculpture by Natalie Sutinen. It can be seen in the art room and Sutinen's exhibition opened on Saturday. The artwork has no name. It is made of wax, paper, books and feathers. Sutinen often works with wax dolls, and says that she wants to visualise death with her art. And I do think that really shows here.
On the third and last photo you can see the band Loud 'n' Proud playing some loud music in the theatre room. Surprisingly the audience were mostly pensioners, at least that was the case when I shot this. More photos from this fun day to come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A World Champion

A World Champion

If you know anything about swimming you will recognise this girl. Sarah Sjöström is a world class swimmer. Earlier this summer she broke the world record on the women's 100 metre butterfly in the World Championships in Rome. And she did it twice! First in the semi final, and then again in the final when the won the gold medal. Back in March of 2008 Sarah, then an unknown 14 year old, shocked the swimming world when she won the 100 metre butterfly gold in the European Championships. Later that year she made her Olympic debut in the Beijing Games. I met her on Saturday during the Haninge Day celebrations when Sarah received a bracelet with the inscription World Champion from the Mayor of Haninge. And as a surprise birthday gift the municipality gave her a paid driver's licence course. I asked Sarah about her favorite places in Haninge and she picked the Torvalla swimming arena and Cafe Momo at the mall. After I shot a few portraits I told Sarah that I had made a photomosaic after she won that gold last summer. When she heard that she got a bit excited and we walked over to where her family was waiting. It turns out that Sarah's dad Göran had made a poster from my mosaic and it's been hanging on a wall at their place ever since. If I get my stationary computer up and running I will try to make a new mosaic from Sarah's latest world record swim. Sarah who turned sixteen in August is now attending secondary school at the nearby Fredrika Bremer School where she is studying media.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Thai Connection

Wat Santinivas

Watermelon Carving Made Easy

The annual Haninge Day was celebrated in Handen on Saturday. The sun was shining, and it was quite a warm day. The area around Poseidon's square at the cultural centre was jam-packed with people. I must have met at least a dozen or so people that I have previously photographed for this blog. Over the next couple of days I will show you some of the things I saw, and naturally that includes a few portraits of the locals. This year there was a big Thai connection with dancers, artists and a of course Thai food. I will start by showing you two beautiful Thai women in traditional dresses. They are members of Wat Santinivas, a Buddhist temple here in Haninge. During the day they took part in a dance show and I'm guessing I wasn't the only photographer asking them for a photo. The second photo shows Warisa Emretzon, also from Thailand, Warisa has lived in Sweden for nine years. She is a trained Chef. She got her education from Kasetsart University in Bangkok and from the international hotel school in Thailand. She has also worked two years at Boston Marriott Hotel. These days she works at a school in Huddinge, and is also a study circle leader at Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan in Haninge where she teaches the art of fruit carving. If you would like to see more of Warisa's work check out the galley on her web site.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dos Coronas

Dos Coronas

This is Knasen. It' s a nickname. Knasen was at the Easy Rider Festival last Saturday with his unique motorcycle. He has built and designed it himself. It's the worlds only Dos Coronas. He told me that when people hear the name, Dos Coronas they just like me, think about the beer. In Swedish that name would be Två Kronor, or Two Crowns if you like. If you look closely at the motorcycle you can actually find two old Swedish coins. I took a photo of one coin that is engraved in the fuel tank. In reality two Crowns want buy you much, and it did cost Knasen a little more than that to get the bike in working order. He told me he reckoned he used something like 120 000 Crowns to construct the 900 cc machine. But it's probably worth it as it is a one of a kind bike. And it got the attention from quite a few people at the meet. As I was talking to him one guy came up and asked if he couldn't start the bike so he could listen to the engine. And as that made it impossible to talk any more that was that!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Troll Bikes

The Family

I met an interesting family at Vegabaren during the Easy Rider Festival. They are mad about trolls! The man in the family, Johan has even taken it as his second name! He is now called Johan Trollet Schalander. Together with his girlfriend Carola (it was her I spotted first), and their young daughter Teresia, he has two Honda Goldwings. There is also a camper that is one big bed. And a trailer that is packed with a big tent and what have you. Both bikes, one of them has a side car, the camper and the trailer are covered with spray paintings of trolls! The artwork was made by a well known spray painting artist. The original troll design comes from the botanist and painter Rolf Lidberg who was Johan's favourite painter. For the last eight summers the family has been travelling around Europe to many motorcycle meets and won countless awards for their bikes. And wherever they come they are the centre of attention! Johan told me that they must have spent around one million Swedish kronor on their machines. That is a lot of money. The more I looked at the bikes, the more trolls I saw. So I decided to photograph as many as I could and make a flickr set so that you could all see them. So just press the white arrow below and sit back and watch the slideshow.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Very Happy Ending

Back Together Again

Two weeks ago Urban Eriksson visited the Emilia restaurant in Jordbro. As he normally does, he left his parrot, Benzon, in a tree outside. Benzon is an old lady. She's 41 years old and has been living with Urban for thirty years. Due to an injury the parrot can no longer fly. But when Urban left the eatery a little later, Benzon was gone. As Benzon would never willingly leave with someone else, the missing bird was reported to the police. I read about the drama in my weekly local paper last week. And today I spotted Benzon and Urban reunited! Urban told me that someone probably stole the bird, but then decided to let it go. It was found a few days later in a forested area nearby. Don't you just love a story with a happy ending!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Steffe Reflections

Harley-Davidson Squircle

Harley Chrome

I visited the Easy Rider Festival in Handen last Saturday. Saw some very cool and unique motorcycles. Old and new. And a couple of interesting trikes, plus one or two home-made bikes. And naturally I shot a few portraits. All of which I will show you in the coming days. One thing that is certain is that bikers love chrome and skulls. Another thing that is certain is that I have to shoot Self Portrait Reflections whenever I have an opportunity to do so...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tungelsta Day

Art & Handicraft

Elfie Larsson

This past Saturday saw the annual Tungelsta Day. I took a stroll with my camera, and one of the places I checked out was Handlaget that operates from the old station house. There is an ongoing art exhibition there. The artist is Elfie Larsson. She works with water colors. I had a chat with the artist and with her husband Rolf who turned out to be a keen photographer. If you would like to have a better look at the old station house check out this link. And for a zoomed out version I recommend clicking here.

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Future Fire Fighter

A Future Fire Fighter

This is Jannika. We met in Västerhaninge a while back. I was on my way home, and was hoping to shoot at least one portrait, and when I saw Jannika near the commuter station I decided to ask her if I could take a photo and ask a few questions. Jannika is a qualified nursing assistant, currently looking for a job. Her dream job is a bit different. She is hoping for a career as a fire fighter. If she passes the tough tests and the two year long training she will be one of around 60 female fire fighters in Sweden. In total there are 4000 fire fighters in this country. She is a former track and field athlete and stays fit by going to the gym. Good luck with your dream Jannika. It's a dangerous job, my dad was a fire fighter for many years and told us some stories over the years.

Oh, and don't worry, there's no way to tell that you have that portioned snus under your lip!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Martial Arts Performance

Minami Ryu Jujitsu

Striking and Kicking

Modern Day Samurai

Yesterday it was time for the annual Tungelsta Day. There was a few interesting things to see, and today I will show you some photos from the Martial Arts performance that took place on the soccer field at the Tungelsta school. It was a big hit with the kids. On the first photo you can see two girls from Minami Ryu Jujitsu warming up. Minami Ryu Jujitsu is a local Budo club, and it was members from that club that were performing. The second photo shows the youngest and most impressive member of the club. He was on the mat for most of the time, doing an impressive Kata, and also demonstrating different punches and kicks, before finishing off by easily breaking several boards using his fists and his feet. The biggest cheer of the day came when the teenage girl on the third photo took down Antonio Somma (a Jujitsu coach), during a demonstration of self-defence. I believe the show attracted many of the spectators, and I wouldn't be surprised if the club received a few new members after their performance.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Different People

Moonshine Cruisers

Head Tattoo

A Family Outing

Three people photos from the cruiser meet in Handen. On the top photo you can see Patricia and Jari, they are an item, and they are members of the club Moonshine Cruisers. Last year I met their President, a guy called Robban at the event. After the meet at Vegabaren the party continued all night at the Moonshine Cruisers headquarters closer to Stockholm. Second photo inst your typical raggare. It's a guy with a head tattoo. We talked for a bit. He told me he wasnt too happy with people taking his portrait, but when I asked him for a few shots he happily posed for a few snaps. The third photo shows the variety of people at the meet. Meet Tommy and Tina. They were at the meet with their two kids Moa and Johanna.

Friday, September 04, 2009

1950's all over again


1950's all over again

Together with Jimmy I walked around the cruiser meet looking for some of the babes that had entered the hottest greaser girl contest. And here are two of them. The top photo shows Anna. One of my favourites to the title. I didn't get the name of the girl on the second photo, as Jimmy was the one asking for a photo here. You can see his version over here. He had never before asked anyone for a photo, but after a few hours in my company he seemed to have figured out how to do it!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The smell of burning rubber

Smoke Gets In Their Eyes

Last Years Winner

Taking A Rest

There's nothing better than the smell of burning rubber. At least that was the opinion of many of the raggare at the cruiser meet last Saturday at the famous Vegabaren. During my visit the air filled with burning rubber every ten minutes or so. Some of the visiting cars had travelled a long way to get here and celebrated in style when they arrived. Some of them even produced a pink smoke cloud! Every year you can vote for the worst cruiser car at the meet. To enter the contest you must show that the car has passed the compulsory periodic inspection done by the Swedish Motor Vehicle Inspection Company. And believe it or not, both these vehicles with the resting raggare on the car hoods has been here for the last couple of years. And has obviously passed that test!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

At the Cruiser Meet

Dressed For Success

Volvo Amazon


Here are a few more shots from the cruiser meet. The first photo shows Rebecka, Teddy and Madde, three of the people that I met and asked to pose for a portrait. As you already know by now there was a Greaser Girl contest, and I'm sure both Rebecka and Madde got a few votes. If you are wondering about Rebecka's tattoo, I believe that it depicts Hylonome who was a Kentauride (a female Centaur). The second photo proves that you can drive a Swedish car when you are a raggare. This is a customized Volvo Amazon, now a convertible with a very cool paint job. On the last photo you can see a beautiful 1958 Ford Fairlane parked across the road from the famous Vegabaren. Which is very fitting as it was in 1958 that Sweden's first ever Drive-In Kiosk opened here. And a few years later, in 1964 it became the country's first Hamburger Bar. The man behind it all was Erik Engström. After him the Italian Carlo Taccola took over and he has done a great job with the place. Today there is even a hotel here. For more than forty five years Vegabaren has been the place to be for the lovers of the Raggare culture, and anyone else hungry for a burger in the day or late a night. I started coming here when I was eighteen. Me and my friends would drive up to Handen for a meal and sure enough there would always be a few Raggare around. Later as we started visiting night clubs and bars in Stockholm we often took a taxi home, and a stop at Vegabaren was obligatory as it was also a favourite place among the taxi drivers.