The Collective Inspiration Challenge: Nils Karlson and Marie Westerbom

Part One:  Inspired by Marie Westerbom

by Nils Karlson

Whenever i see a photo by Marie, it evokes a wonderful and nostalgic emotional landscape in me, the feel of a peaceful, warming memory coming back into consciousness. It feels like listening to shadows, coming from a primal place filled with soothing placidity, devoid of blinding noise.

"You're like an old perfume
That brings back memories
That old, forgotten tune
That I now recall"
(Amy Millan, "Old Perfume")

After the anouncment of Marie and me as a pair for the FSC challenge, i was worried – which aspects of Marie's visual language feel close, but not too close? What makes our works feel related, though still different? One thing was sure: i did not want to mess with the concept of quiteness and peace. That's the foundation. Fortunately, Marie and i got in touch, discussing and exchanging ideas. Without this communication, i would have been lost.


Based on our correspondency i decided to work on the vocabulary, not the message. Searching for similarities and differences in our approach, looking closer at Marie's body of work. i realized the aspect of fragility in her floral works, expressed with shallow depth of field on an almost macro level. So getting closer to the inner world became my grammar, applying it to my language of lightness.

The first image came out...nice – but lacking the emotional depth.

  (Fuji400h/RB67/90mm)

 

(Fuji400h/RB67/90mm)

The second image came out...nicer – but too much of me, not enough of the nostalgic feel.

  (Fuji400h/RB67/90mm)

 

(Fuji400h/RB67/90mm)

The third image came out...even nicer – i can feel both souls, but not to its full potential.

  (Portra160/RB67/90mm)

 

(Portra160/RB67/90mm)

The fourth image came out very well – the coastal aspect is a big part of me, and i feel some of the soft and serene nostalgia talking to be - but i wanted a whisper...

  (Fuji400h/Pentacon Six/80mm)

 

(Fuji400h/Pentacon Six/80mm)

The fifth photo is the "Friendly Ghost" (Eels) i was looking for:


"If you're scared to die
You better not be scared to live
I've been spending all my days
Giving all i can give"

  (Fuji400h/Pentacon Six/80mm)

 

(Fuji400h/Pentacon Six/80mm)


What remains is not just a couple of photos which are a little different from my usual ones.

What remains is insight, understanding, and a broader concept of language

Thank you, Marie, for participating, and thank you, FSC, for making this possible.