Saturday, December 22

Week 5 of the Life's a photo campaign - night

I love Amsterdam by night. Amsterdam is a beautiful city regardless, but there is no other city like Amsterdam at night. I have so many pictures from this assignment, I found it very hard to choose just 4 to deliver. And Samsung picked 2 pics for their campaign page. Which 2 pics would you choose?? Take a look at the campaign page on tumblr to see which two pics Samsung picked:) 

Also a bit fun; all 4 photographers in Amsterdam took the first shot below, not knowing that the others had the taken same pic:)  We explored the city on our own this week, and still ended up with many of the same/similar shots. 

Wednesday, December 19

Instagram drama - please calm down!

Morning!! Boy what a drama yesterday!! Have everybody calmed down a bit? People really love to hate FB don't they? And the day they bought "our" beloved little app is the day the drama started. Has anyone noticed the positive things that have come from the fusion though? People tend to focus on the negative like the spam or the downfall of the pop page. The thing is, we cant blame IG or FB for the spam, it's a result of the app getting big, attracting all kinds of users and exploiters. In fact they are doing a lot to fight the spam, and it has gotten better. Remember those F4F's and L4L'a? Gone. Just sayin... I'm not saying everything is perfect, but when is it ever?

Now about yesterday's drama. I know legal talk is very hard to understand. Fact is that every online service has TOS and I'm sure that if we took them all apart, we could find something to cry about in everyone of them. Something similar happened when Pinterest changed their TOS and they changed the language after protests. For some reason, people want to believe the worse about IG now that they are owned by FB, so everything they do is over dramatized and criticized. I agree that it's good to be critical, but the paranoia about FB/Ig is extreme. This is why I choose to use common sense and choose to believe Kevin in his reply to the critics and when he says they are sorry about using bad legal language and that nothing has changed in the way they will use our pics. It's good that we show them that we won't accept anything and that we want clarity, and language we can understand, but remember it's so much easier to believe the worse. That's the way it always has been and probably always will be. I think the article on The Verge about the new Instagram TOS gives us a levelheaded view on the hole thing. And if you haven't seen my last post here, it might be an idea to read that too:)

Instagram know that they need their users to survive, more than we need them, and that's a very important fact. They cannot build a business plan on exploiting their users. The users would leave or the quality of the pics they would upload would be useless and bad. Simple as that. 

Conclusion: be critical, but use your common sense and don't jump to conclusions before you know the hole picture. I'm staying, in fact I was never leaving. Hope you'll stay too, cause there really is no other place like Instagram:)

Tuesday, December 18

Instagrams new terms of services - what's the fuzz?

There’s a lot of discussions and articles about Instagram’s new terms of Service, effective on Jan. 16th 2013. For different reasons, I decided to write a post with my personal opinion and thoughts regarding these, discussing some of the main concerns raised.

I’m not a legal expert, nor am I a technical expert in social media other than being a user of many of the services out there. I write this post as an avid and experienced user of different services (like FB, Instagram, Flickr, twitter, foursquare, ++) and I’d like to call myself an expert in practical and logical thinking :). I’d like to note that this is my personal opinion, based on my way of thinking and my way of interpreting the legal terms discussed in some of the articles published about the new terms.

Before I start, maybe everyone should take a moment to think through how life would be without the services that "uses" us (like FB, twitter, google, Instagram +++++) If you want to stay private, the only way is to not use these services AT ALL, don't post anything online, don’t registre or order anywhere online, payed or not payed service. They all use our information.

Now about those terms. If you read the legal terms on their own, of course they sound scary (at least if you understand them:)). If you start putting them in practical examples combined with some pure logic, they might be less scary.

What’s an example of  “using your username and photo in an ad” ? Have you ever had FB suggesting new friends? Based on the fact that you have several friends in common, they suggest that you know eachother. This is an ad, it probably isn’t recognized by you as one, but it is, and FB is using your data  and your picture to make the suggestion to someone who might be a friend, but also might be a total stranger.

Have you ever registerd to a new service, i.e. pinterest, twitter, Instagram etc. and been asked to “find friends on FB”? This is a service provided by FB to third parties. They give the new service access to their users database and based on your email address they know who your friends are.

Have you ever stopped to think about why you get adds on FB that actually fits your interests? If you have registred somewhere that you are interested in photography, you get adds that are related to photography. That’s another example of FB using your data and giving it to third partys. I’m not bothered by this, because I’m not letting it bother me. I ignore it. If you don’t want this to happen, don’t put your interests out there.

Now about that logical thinking. Think about this: FB and Instagram needs us more than we need them. I repeat, Instagram needs us more than we need them!!!!

What would they be without their users? Would they really do something that made all the users stop using them??? I really don’t think so. They may have put some legal terms down to cover their backs, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to use them litterally and fully. Yes, they will use our data, give information about how many of us are interested in photography to third partys, give information about what places we visit, what we eat etc., but so do other services to which we registre. This is not something new. If you don’t want geographic/location information to be shared, don’t use the geo tag on your pictures or foursquare or “places” on FB. Only YOU can control this and you have the option to not give this information away. They can only use information that YOU give them. Just as they can only use pictures that YOU publish.

Now, take a minute to think about what it is exactly that you are you worried about that Instagram will do with the new terms. Are you worried that Instagram starts stealing your pictures and uses them to make money? I am not. I repeat I am NOT! This is where my logical thinking comes in. Have you ever read the Instagram blog? If you have, have you noticed that they always credit the owner of the pics that they publish? What does that tell you? Who wouldn't like to have their picture featured on that blog? You don't get payed for it, but it's a fantastic and valuable, not to forget honorable exposure. Do you still think that Instagram will steal your pictures and make money from them? What would that bring them exept unhappy “customers”? There’s no way Instagram (or FB for that matter) would survive and keep their users if they started using their pictures in a way that violated the owners copyrights. Believe me, they (they as in Instagram and FB and all the other services) know this, they know there are enough sites out there that monitor EVERYTHING they do, and like I said before: They need us more than we need them. And they know it.

I guess you already know that anyone who can see your pictures on FB or Instagram (or Flickr) can download them or copy them very easily. If you are worried about them being stolen, that’s a genuine worry, but I am much more worried about people, “friends” (as in followers on IG or twitter, or friends on FB) or just random people stealing them than I am in Instagram or FB doing it. The only way to reduce/avoid stealing is to watermark them, use low quality pics only or not post them at all. As a photographer, depending on selling my pictures and products to earn money,  I worry about this too of course. But I think the benefits of publishing and sharing my pictures online is much greater than not sharing. It’s a choice that I have made and up till now it has helped me get where I am today. My business would have been close to nothing if I hadn’t had social media to share and show my work.

I hope I made some sense here, at least to some of you. Remember, I'm saying this as a user of social media, not claiming to be an expert in legal or technical terms, just using my common sense and probably some female intuition:) Now it’s up to you to decide what is best for you and try to see all sides before you decide. Good luck!!!

Friday, December 14

4th week of the Life's a photo campaign - waterfall

As you can see, these aren't exactly waterfalls, but as there really aren't any waterfalls in Amsterdam, I decided to use the "waterfall function" differently. The function basically means long shutter time, which smoothes out movement in the water or other moving objects. These are my 3 favorite pictures taken with this function and taken for this weeks assignment. Please vote for Amsterdam if you think Amsterdam deserves to be the most photogenic city:)

3rd week of the Life's a photo campaign - silhouette

These are some of my silhouette pictures taken for the 3rd week of the campaign. Take a look at all the Amsterdam pictures here and the hole campaign here. Lots of photographic inspiration find your way:)

Wednesday, December 5

Simply selling greeting cards

Created and distributed with love:)
How would you like to buy some greeting cards created and distributed with love and a personal touch? They make a great christmas or birthday present:) As the title says, I have started selling my Simply cards. As this time of year is too busy for me to set up a professional shop, I have decided to do it the old fashion and personal way; order by email here:) 

If you are interested in buying my cards, just send me an email with your order, stating which country you live in and full name. I will send you an invoice through paypal and have your cards sent within a few days.

They can be purchased in sets or individually. They are delivered with white envelopes (incl. in the price).

The options you have are as follows:

Set of 6 Simply bird cards (same motive with different colors):   €20,- (first pic)
Set of 4 Simply animals (see pic 3, nr. 1 - 4) €15,-
Set of 4 Simply flowers (see pic 4, nr. 5 - 8) €15,-
Set of 4 Simply art (see pic 5, nr. 9 - 12) €15,-

Or you can put together your own collections (from the cards in the pics):

1 card €5,-
3 cards €12,-
4 cards €15,-
5 cards €18,-
6 cards €20,-
10 cards €32,-
20 cards €60,-

If you choose to build your own collections, tell me the number of the card (as labeled on the pic) and how many. Delivery costs will have to be added and will depend on destination. I will let you know before confirming order. I've already shipped several packages overseas (to USA), and that costs € 5,70 as an example/indication.

Simply birds, 6 cards
Simply Animals, 4 cards

Simply flowers, 4 cards
Simply cards

Friday, November 30

Second week of the Life's a photo campaign - macro

These were my submissions for this weeks assignment on Life's a photo. The assignment was show your city in macro mode. A fun and eyeopening way of seeing a city, and I have to say: I LOVE Amsterdam through the macro lens!!! If you do too, please help Amsterdam become the most photogenic city by visiting the campaign page and sharing the pictures you like most. The first two pictures are the ones picked for the competition and if you click on the pics you should be sent directly to where the pics are showcased.

Thursday, November 29

The future of digital photography

Do you wonder what all the talk about the Samsung Galaxy Camera is? Watch this film to understand how cameras will work in the future. It's pretty amazing...

This is the camera that I am using for my assignments in the "Life's a photo" campaign. I am representing Amsterdam in the competition and if you like our pictures, and/or the city, every share you do of the photos will help Amsterdam towards being one of the most photogenic cities in the world. I find it deserves it:)

Monday, November 26

Life's a Photo - Amsterdam

Hi everyone!! I'm one of 4 photographers who represent Amsterdam in the "life's a photo" campaign  We will do our best to show the world what a beautiful city it is and hopefully we can show that it's the most photogenic one compared to the 7 other cities competing. If you like our pictures and/or our city and would like to help, please visit the site and like or share our photos of Amsterdam.

You can also sign up to win an artprint, one winner every week. All help is appreciated!!

Greenhouse effect - Life's a Photo - Take It #lifesaphoto

Sunday, November 25

First week of Life's a photo campaign - Landscape mode

These are 3 of my submissions to this weeks Life's a photo assignment; "Show Amsterdam in landscape mode" You can still share and show you like the Amsterdam photos on the Samsung Galaxy Camera tumblr page. The pics are taken by 4 amsterdam photographers and I think Amsterdam rocks!!!!

Wednesday, October 3

iPhone4 versus iPhone5

So, I am one of the happy new owners of the new iPhone 5 and I couldn't help doing a little quality check and comparison to my old dear 4. I think the pictures show very well how much better the camera is. These pictures were taken in VERY bad lighting conditions. It was dark and there was a very bright window to the right of the motive, which is a situation most cameras don't like. I also took the opportunity to check out the purple lens flare that everyone is talking and whining about. And guess what, I found it!! BUT, not only on the 5, it's there in the iPhone 4 pics too in a much worse way. For the record, these pictures are all SOOC (straight out of camera), not edited in any way and taken under exactly the same conditions with the iPhone standard camera app.

                       iPhone 4                             iPhone 5

     iPhone 4                             iPhone 5

     iPhone 4                             iPhone 5

Conclusion: I think the pictures speak for themselves. There's no doubt that the iPhone 5 camera is much better than the 4 in these light conditions. One of the things I had most trouble with using my 4, was the transfer from very bright to darker and the ugly flare and unsharpness it causes (like the window versus the wall in the two last iPhone 4 pics). In some cases I managed to make it into a feature rather than a fault, but it definitely was a problem and a negative feature in many cases, like the examples above here. I can't say I like the purple flare in the last iPhone 5 picture either, but you have to take into consideration that no camera likes these light situations and as much as we would like our iPhones to be as good as a DSLR, they just aren't. I'm going to test it in other sunny conditions as well, but for now I prefer to be very happy about how much better the iPhone 5 camera is. Remember, being a good photographer is also about knowing how to tackle difficult light situations like these and knowing how to avoid that flare if it's unwanted. I'm happy with the picture I ended up with which can be seen on my Instagram feed and has no purple in sight:)

Monday, September 24

Superstars, indie rock and geeks

A sign of life from me. Today has been one of those really craaaazy days, where everything happens at ones. I found myself answering and communicating with 5 different people on 5 different apps from 4 different countries today - at the same time!!! I's a good thing I'm well trained in multitasking. And thank good for my iPhone!!!! Some of those chats were actually very good news and can lead to some cool stuff, but more about that later. Right now my post was supposed to be about a blog called GeeksUnleashed, the home of geek culture as they call themselves and their current interview with moi. I have to say I'm very honored to be called a "superstar" although I am realistic enough to know that that is very much exaggerated. Still, how many times in my life will I be called that? The thing is, the person who interviewed me, Kerry Lambert, just might become a real superstar himself one day, being a talented basist for the indie band FiN (which I love btw). If you don't now them, you should check them out, great music!!! So, who knows who the real superstar is...:) 

Anyway, if you are interested in knowing why Kerry thinks I am one or you just want to know some secrets about me, you could check it out here:) 

Have a great day and week!!


Tuesday, September 11

Photo workshop for creative ladies

I'm looking forward to going back to my home country Norway the first weekend of October! This time to teach some of my photographic knowledge to a bunch of creative ladies at the Casatreff organized by CASAkreativ.

My workshop will be on Saturday Oct. 6th from 10 am to 1 pm, price is NOK 400,-  and will be about  how to take creative and meaningful pictures "just" by seeing, noticing and composing right. I will talk about how to capture the little moments and how seeing the world through the lens can make you a happier person:) It's suitable for any camera, following my beliefs that it's not the camera that takes the good picture, it's the eye and the passion behind it;) I will also talk about mobile photography and Instagram and how these two things literally changed my life and my work and made me see the world in squares.

The pictures in this collage are all taken in Oslo this summer with my iPhone4. It was an eyeopening experience, visiting the city I grew up in, walking in the streets and places that I have walked 1000 times before, but never really noticed. This time I could finally appreciate the city, the city life, the architecture, the people and all this city has to offer. It simply made me love my home town again.

If you live close to the Tønsberg area and would like to participate you can sign up on CASAkreativ or send me an email on Don't hesitate though, the places are filling up fast:)

Friday, September 7

Simply exhibition...

I'm getting ready for my next exhibition, at the Atelierroute in Blaricum, Oude Dorp, which will take place this weekend. This will be the first time I participate in this yearly happening so I am very excited!! The pictures show my new portfolio book, my newly printed Simply cards, one of my favorite motives (poppies) and the very cute mini mini pictures for sale for only € 10,- Will show more pics from the exhibition on my Facebook page for those with interest.

Now have a good night!!!


Friday, July 13

All you ever wanted to know about me (or mayby not....:))

I have to say it was an honour to be asked by Iphonesia to answer a few questions about myself for their new series called Featured Instagramers on their blog. I guess in the end it wasn't just "a few", but quite many and it resulted in a very long interview saying pretty much all there is about me and my experiences with iphoneography, Instagram, how I gained over 40K followers, what I feel about the former popular page ++. I totally understand if you don't feel like reading all of it, but if you are interested in knowing some of my secrets, some of my favorite apps and favorite users, you might find it interesting to scroll down towards the end of the interview. Just sayin' ;)

Monday, July 2

My latest project; SeeMyCity

Hiya!! This is one of the things that has kept me busy lately; the SeeMyCity project and building our website. I am very proud to have played a big part in the build up and design of it, together with Herbert Schröer (@herbertschroer on instagram). And we can thank Thomas van der Kooi (@graphreak on Instagram) for the design of the logo. If you are curious about what SeeMyCity is, take a look:) It's good stuff. If you leave a comment on the blog (through Tuesday July 3rd) including your instagram user name, you might get chosen to be featured on the blog and our instagram feed. Our second project is SeeMyOslo and will take place on August 25th. See more about the event here.

Tuesday, June 19

Interested in photography?

When Debbie Wibowo asked me for an interview for a Magazine she's writing for, I was honoured and happy she was interested in my work. When I saw the magazine in question I was even more honoured. It's a lovely and inspirational magazine, a photographic and visual feast, it's online and it's free!! It's Christina Greve that is the maker and editor of this magazine. She is also a dedicated Instagramer as well as a talented and successful photographer. Not sure how she manages to do it all, but she's definitely doing it:) In her magazine you find interesting articles about other female photographers, lots of inspirational photography and articles about Instagram. This issue has an article written for newbies on Instagram. As for me, I was very happy to be the featured Instagramer. I'm talking about my experiences with the app, what Instagram has meant and still mean to me and my photography and also giving some tips and advise, so if you ever wanted some advise from an Instagram "veteran", this might be your chance to read up:)

Thursday, June 7

what is "abstract" in photography?

Did you ever try to define "abstract"? Or look it up on google? Let's just say it's not an easy subject to define:) After going through quite a few "double Dutch" words and phrases, I found one that is pretty comprehendible: 
"An abstract aims to present only the gist of the subject matter"
Which in photography pretty much means that you show only a part of the bigger object, like just a part of a building or just the texture of a door. It can be a pattern found in any object, big or smal, industrial or natural. Abstracts are often easy on the eye, easy to like, but it takes a practiced and creative eye to spot a good motive. An abstract motive can be found EVERYWHERE, you just have to open your mind to them:) Good luck!!

Saturday, May 19

"Make a wish" - a Wood Camera tutorial

There's a new app in town, and it's called Wood Camera. It's a very interesting photo editing app with 17 textured layers, 22 filters (or lenses as WC calls them) and 12 frames to choose from. It's not yet the all-in-one photo editing app that it aims to be, but it's getting close and it's already an app I wouldn't be without.  I have tested it on some of my photos and what I love most of all with this app, are the textures and the fact that they are very easily adjustable. As are the lenses/filters btw. You can also adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and hue, which does save you from using another app for that purpose. It took me a while to figure out where/how to do those things in the application, but I did figure it out in the end:) Anyway, I liked this so much that I wanted to do a mini tutorial on the process of my picture "Make a wish", a picture which is more than just a picture to me. I took this while out and about with my little girl and we went on an adventure to find those "make-a-wish-flowers". She said she wanted to blow many flowers, so she could make many wishes:). I want to address the fact that I did not add those little parachutes digitally, I was lucky and got the perfect shot (out of many tries:)). I feel that this textured and dreamy editing fits the picture perfectly.  
Picture 1: open up the pic you want to edit (either take a pic directly in the app or get it from your camera roll and click edit (a). 

Picture 2: Click on the filter/lens button (b), then try the different filters (22 to choose from). I chose "Merida"(c). You can adjust the lens intensity (see d). To open the brightness, contrast and more adjustment boxes, touch and slide the "adjustment box" (e) to the left. See pic 4 and (g). This was the function that took me a while to find btw:)

Picture 3: If you click on the eye (f) on top, you get a full view of the picture. Click on it again to return to adjustments and lenses.

Picture 4: Here you can see the brightness adjustment box (g) (also mentioned in pic 2). I brightened my picture a bit, as I know the texture I wanted to add makes it darker. You can also go back and do this after you add the texture.

Picture 5: First I clicked on the texture box (h), then the filter I wanted to use, "Grunge 3" (i) and last I adjusted the intensity (j). I prefer just a hint of texture, so low intensity for me.

Picture 6: Click on eye (k) to see the finished picture, then on "Done" (l).

Picture 7: To save picture, click on the arrow (m)

Picture 8: That brings you to quite a few options of saving. To save to camera roll click first box (o). As you can see you can also add it straight into Instagram and other apps directly from the app (n), which is a pretty cool function if you ask me.

Picture 9: If you do click on "Instagram & others" as in pic 8 (n), it takes you to 7 different app options to send it on to. Click on (p) to post on Instagram.

Voila!! That was it for now. Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Please leave a comment if you did and I also would appreciate any feedback you might have on either picture, tutorial or app:) Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 10

Pieces of Holland

I have a graphic mind and a thing for abstracts:) When put together, abstract pictures manage to create a fantastic visual, a piece of art, and I have to say I quite like this collection:) Have a good day. Btw. this picture will be for sale at www.society6/mariannehope (also see link on right side of blog)

Sunday, March 25

Iphoneography exhibition at "Bijvanck in Beeld" in Blaricum

Ready for the exhibit
This weekend I had my first exhibition in De Malbak and the event called "Bijvanck in Beeld" (some of those head photos on the website are mine btw). There were lots of people visiting both Saturday and Sunday, and I got loads of enthusiastic and positive reactions. I made some interesting contacts and even sold several pictures, so all in all a great event!

For the exhibit I chose to showcase only my iphoneography based work/art. I had framed pictures in 3 different sizes, I had my Keepsy book "It's about the little things" (that is also for sale through that link btw., not digital, but a paper book:)) and my iphone based business cards, which I still love and which got a LOT of attention. 

Seems I'll be doing another exhibition like this in Blaricum Oude Dorp in September. Already looking forward to it. I'll also have pictures in the "Dit is Zuid" exhibition in Rotterdam throughout April as well as the planned "SeeMyAlmere" exhibition in May/June. So, you can see there's a lot of exhibiting going on at the moment:):)

Close up of my display of mini pics, business cards and my Keepsy book.

My set up