By Tobias Eriksson
The city of Lindesberg, Sweden. My home town. It’s been nearly two years months since we moved here, my partner landing a rewarding job, me schooling our daughter in to kindergarten, so I had some more time to photograph while looking for a job.
We’re not staying. Soon we will move from our rented house to a proper farm in the country with neighbours close by and doing work preserving and serving what we grow.
This little town’s centre is situated on a ridge by a river long used for logging and shipping timber and ore to the factories and railroads further south. The lake which has formed where the river swerves to the east is nowadays lacking the ships and barges but in summer water scooters and speedboats roar across the mile-wide water.
When the weather is nice (or really bad) I venture out with my camera – mostly my Olympus Pen F – to catch the light. And the odd fellow citizen. Or my daughter. The camera is so small I don’t feel it hanging over my shoulder. I use mostly lenses that I’ve myself converted, but also M42-mount lenses which I have an adapter for.
I rarely expose on anything other than black and white film. If I do it’s for the purpose of experimentation – to heighten the photographic qualities of the subject rather than only display what’s in the frame. I have a cameraphone for the latter.
This is my world. Should I visit a big city the Pen always accompanies me, even if I often feel like bringing an additional camera. Should I go the other direction the lakes, the forests and the mountains have a special place in my heart, and in my photographs. I always bring a close-up lens to hold in front of the lens when necessary.
This densely forested region does not give many opportunities for landscape photography. Not that it has been a genre I’ve been much interested in. Rather my subjects are the sparse signs of human life or exciting compositions in nature – be it close-up or tilted up.
The advantage – and drawback – of living in a small town is that you in a short time find the interesting places to photograph. Then you go frustrated that you’ve seen it all. Soon enough, though, you realise that you can see new things in the familiar places, depending on time of day or season. Or you yourself have acquired a new gaze and can find novelty and variation in the known and recognised.
And sometimes you abandon the town to tread the soft moss on the ground, spot a deer in the distance and experience the wind wheezing through the pines.