Stockholm pedestrian street scene of horror

Who would have thought that the first job I do as a married man would be a truck attack in Stockholm.

As fast as I got the news, I grabbed my gear and just ran! I was at the scene of the attack about 40 min after it happened (TRAFFIC) which was already too late.

When I arrived most of the streets around were blocked already. I took few fast pictures and then moved to a different angle. In this angle I could clearly see the truck. When done with this angle I moved again to see if I could find a better view of the street. Finally after walking around the blocked streets I could reach the highest point of Drottninggatan. It was two hours after the attack. After shooting few images I checked the screen to see what I was looking at, at once I understood that what I was looking at was the horror of the attack. In the images my eyes saw one of the four casualties on the ground. As a photographer I got to see few casualties of different attacks several times already. This time it was different, all of a sudden it happened in Stockholm, the place I refer as home the last seven years, on the same street that I together with my wife walked on 24 hours earlier, the same street that all our wedding guests walked on as happy tourists one week before the attack. 

As a press photographer you need to disconnect your feelings from what you see the same moment and forward. Many people might call us robots but what they don't understand is that if we don't do that then we would never be able to do our job. What we can do as photographers is to respect the situation and respect all the people we want to take photos of. 

All and all I did the best I could with the situation. I got many publications worldwide. I am not happy about it, but again, this is my job. I hate it and love it at the same time. 

This is how the attack looked through my lens.. 

The Nordic Sami reindeer herders

Last month i had the privilege to join a group of Sami people from the Vilhelmina Norra Sameby as they herd their reindeers.

It is something that i wanted to photograph for a long time now. 

As the days are short, I had to take advantage of every minute. I had to make the best out of the days I was given to follow the herders.  

I am really happy with the result of the first shooting and looking forward to next time which will probably be around Spring time.

I have a lot of respect for the Sami people. They work harder than most of the people around the world.

Here are some pictures from my days in Norrland:

 

Breivik makes Nazi salute on first day of lawsuit against Norway, accusing state of ‘inhuman treatment’

Few weeks ago I was asked by AFP to travel to Norway to cover Biathlon world championships and Breivik’s lawsuit against Norway, accusing state of ‘inhuman treatment’.

Let me remind you who Anders Behring Breivik is. 
On 22 July 2011, he killed eight people by setting off a van bomb amid the government quarter Regjeringskvartalet in Oslo, then murdered 69 participants of a Workers' Youth League (AUF) summer camp on the island of Utøya. He is a Norwegian terrorist! A mass murderer!
Now he is accusing state of ‘inhuman treatment’!!!

I understand that Norway is a democratic country but I just don’t understand how they can give him this time and this stage under the spotlights yet again..

Before getting to Skien prison to attend his lawsuit against the Norwegian State I was nervous. For those who don’t remember I arrived to Norway less then 24 hours after the attacks and stayed there for a week. As a photographer I can honestly say that it was one of the hardest weeks in my professional life. It was so sad and emotional. So many people lost their life and hundreds of family members lost their loved ones.

The time was 7.30 am when I arrived together with my colleague to Skien prison. The sun was already shining but it still felt like winter cold. After 45 min of security check we finally got into the other side of this massive jail wall. 

We entered to the makeshift courtroom at the prison’s gym and found our seats. Now all we had to do was to wait. 

The lawyers came and placed their documents on their tables. Some prison guards walked among us journalists.

8.45am a yellow door opened up and there he was. I saw his face for the first time! With handcuffs, surrounded by guards he started to walk slowly towards us. 
His handcuffs are removed and as expected he raises his arm for a salute, but instead of his right wing salute, this time he raises his arm for a Nazi salute!! With his arm up for at least 10 seconds he looks with his scary eyes into all the cameras not missing even a single one!

When the judge entered the court room we were told to go back to our seats and not to photograph until the break.

I am done with the first images. He is seated in his chair so quiet and polite. He looks up and then looks down again on his documents in front of him. He listens to the state’s lawyers. All and all he looks like a normal person.
When I look at his hands touching the documents again I can’t stop thinking that these evil hands killed 77 innocent people just 5 years ago. Then, for few moments he even had a smile. The feeling I had that moment can’t be described.. 

For these kind of extreme cases i do think that there is a place for a death sentence even in a place like Norway!  

IBU World Championships Biathlon competition in Oslo Holmenkollen, last days

The IBU World Championships Biathlon competition came to an end.

The championship was all France with a total of 11 medals.  Norway finished their home championship with a total of 9 medals. 

I have nothing bad to say about the championship from the media side. Everything worked just perfect.

Until next time, here are some more images from the last days of the championships. I hope you enjoy them as much as i enjoyed capturing these moments for AFP.

IBU World Championships Biathlon competition in Oslo Holmenkollen, Day 2 and 3

Day 2 and 3 showed us how the French and the Norwegian biathletes dominate this sport.

France's Martin Fourcade is one of the best in the history of Biathlon. At the end of day 3 he had already won 3 gold medals!

42 years-old Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won his second silver for this championship. It is amazing to see this athlete in action as his first appearance in the Biathlon World Cup was in 1993!!! 

All and all, really great championship so far. The organizers doing fantastic job with the athletes and the media. Great snow conditions.. So great job #Oslo2016! 

Here are some images from Holmenkollen day 2 and 3:


IBU World Championships Biathlon competition in Oslo Holmenkollen

I am now in the snowy Oslo. I was sent here by AFP to cover the IBU World Championships Biathlon competition between 3-13 of March. 

I find this sport very exciting. The biathletes have to ski as fast as they can and then to shoot in the shooting range while catching their breath in ALL weather conditions! It is definitely one of the toughest sports out there and one of my favorite to shoot!

Yesterday i shot the MIxed Relay. Here are some photos:


 

World Rally Championship - Last day!

Rally Sweden has come to it's end! Exhausted but happy :) Here are the final pics from today..

World Rally Championship- 3rd day

Finally! I woke up this morning at 4am to a snowy Karlstad and beautiful winterland in Värmland county! Unfortunately the conditions are still poor and the organizers had to cancel three stages. I did what i could and photographed 2 stages..


   

World Rally Championship vs Global Warming

Yesterday started Rally Sweden part of the World Rally Championship. The idea with Rally Sweden is to let the drivers the chance to drive on snow and to offer many winter stages.

When i photographed the rally for the first time in 2011 it was FREEZING!! I remember waking up to -30 degrees. The atmosphere was amazing and the drivers couldn't wait to drive.

Unfortunately, since 2011 it got warmer and warmer. Yesterday night when it was time to start the race in Karlstad, the organizers had no snow at the arena what forced them to cancel the first stage. Today when i woke up it was 0 degrees. On the way to the first stage i couldn't see any snow at all. When i came to the second stage at Torsby airport i just couldn't believe it. One of my favorite stages was so different from last year and wasn't that interesting for photos anymore. The stage was completely naked from snow. It felt almost like spring time (Swedish spring time).

Later when i crossed the Norwegian border to the other side the condition started to look a bit better and it even started to snow again. 

I hope it will snow all night so the drivers will be happy, if not, we might not see World Rally Championship in Sweden next year..

World Rally Championship

Every year I get to cover many great sport events in the nordic region. One of my absolute favorite events is the World Rally Championship!

I remember the first time i shot it in 2011. Being so close to these powerful engines on the snowy roads in the deep forests of Värmland County is something i just can't describe in words.

Every year i try to be more creative and try some new angles. I am looking forward to continue with what started last year.

I will publish some photos during this weekend and of course when this weekend is over.

 The gear i will use for the Rally this weekend..

The gear i will use for the Rally this weekend..

Hi all

Hi there,

This is my photo blog. From now on i will share my travel adventures and some great work moments.

Will write more soon!