Going out to Erkna island

    October 31, 2013

    I have fond memories from my childhood, sitting in the living room window of my grandparents house (Joyce & Salamon) looking out to a small island on the horizon. With the wind gushing outside I had a good view to Erkna island where the lighthouse and keeper's quarters together made out a silhouette that looked like a castle. I had heard tales of people hiding in a cave out there during the war, and I could just let my imagination run... I guess I was an introvert child, hopefully in a good sense. I was not dependent on constant stimuli from my parents or others. This inclination to be comfortable in my own company gave me an opportunity to cultivate my imagination and inner life at an early stage in life. Magical chilhood moments such as this one, also gave me the chance to excercise my capacity for prolonged, focused attention. 

    I guess I was doing mindfulness back then before the term was coined. Kids have a natural capacity for it. In a microcosm of my own I could dwell on seemingly trivial, small things for hours. Just watching the wave's crash on the reefs outside my grandparent's house, dreaming of one day sailing out to that island on an adventure of my own. I believe that this childhood introversion laid some of the foundation for my discovery – and love of photography later in life.

    If the weather permits, I will be heading out to Erkna island tomorrow. For the past six months or so I have been doing too little actual nature photography so I am really looking forward to this weekend of pure, focused photography.

    Erkna IslandThe weather can get ruff in this area, so there is a real chance that I might be stuck out there. Now wouldn't that be a shame…. So just in case I have packed batteries and memory- cards for a good, full week of photography – oh, and some extra food.

    The last time I was out doing some photography on Erkna, my father brought me out there in his boat (picture below). This was back in 2004. I was supposed to be “quick", but as you know, time flies when looking through the viewfinder. My father waited stoically and patiently out to sea in his boat for hours, while I was roaming about. I guess the good weather had something to do with his stamina, but I also guess that he recognized how much I was enjoying my shore- leave. Thanks dad – for your patience that day :)

    John Molnes and Mariann Eilertsen. I took this picture while skin diving, back in 2004.

    I recently went through the pictures from that visit to Erkna, and I would not deem any of those photographs good enough to make it on to my current website. Seeing such progress in my work surely gives me a motivational boost. On the other hand I can see that I took more pictures back then, with a bigger variation in choice of motifs. I can learn something from this: To play more, to be more curious when I'm out with my camera.

    I sometimes purposely limit myself by bringing along just one prime lens. In this way I can focus my attention more to the range of motifs that is suitable for this particular focal length. This time, I'm bringing all my gear, but limiting myself to a small, uninhabited island. This will make it easier to focus my attention, and not the least also give me some time for some good old reflection, slow- time and mindfulness.

    If some of the pictures from this trip are deemed good enough, they might be “premiered" during my next Christmas Exhibition in Gallery Ellingstova. I will post the pictures on my brand new website sometime early next year, so stay tuned for updates :)