Today I took my Nikon D7000 camera and went for a walk. I had no real plans, I just decided to walk upwards and see where I ended up.
I found Hiking Gold, that's what I did.
But let's back it up a little. The walk started in cute neighborhoods.
I mean, look: Cute.
Buildings in LA can be super boring, but up in the hills it's fun to look at every single house.
Some have medieval knights (?) on them...
And some hide behind dense vegetation...
And other ones want their place to be seen as much as possible.
And one looked like the entrance to an enchanted garden.
And then I reached Sunset Ranch, where you can rent horses and go for a guided ride up in the mountains. It was also okay to just walk through so that's what I did.
But before I show you the horses and the views, let's take a cactus pause:
I found a small path up a hill and tried that one.
And it lead me to horses!
(Read in very strong British accent for most humorous effect)
After chatting with the horses for a while I went back down the hill, and found another path where other people were walking too, which is alway a good sign. I turned around and saw another sign (Hö Hö. Or He he in English, but Hö Hö is like a combination of He he and Ugh and is clearly much more fitting for stupid punny jokes).
Around here I began to realize this was a popular hiking spot and PROBABLY it would lead closer to the Hollywood Sign.
Look at this silly cactus/coat rack!
Anyways: The view was fairly spectacular.
See the horse ranch down there?
Also: HOW COOL IS THIS BLACK AND WHITE EDIT I DID?!?!
It's like Gotham City!!!
Where are all the moody broody super heroes?!?
And then I came really really close to the sign and it was cool!
This one and the rest of the photos were taken with my iPhone.
Because I had to take some self timer photos!
Jumping Pippi Longstocking style infront of the LA Skyline that was so pretty today.
And then I was SO HUNGRY and walked home.
That was one lovely 2 hours and 15 minute hike!
On Monday David and I went to San Francisco for a few days. David's brother Joakim
was there for a gaming convention to show his new game, and since he was in the same country AND state as us we of course wanted to go and see him. We were eager to spend some time in San Francisco too, since we haven't been there more than a few hours before.
We had an amazing stay- San Francisco is a beautiful city- and on Wednesday, before we drove back to LA, I documented the hours we had left in SF with my Nikon.
Let's see what we were up to, okay?
The hotel breakfast was kind of a bummer so the last day in the city I had looked up a café that supposedly served great bagels and coffee - so we drove there.
The difference between LA and SF became very clear here. THIS is a city. LA is weird and spread out, but SF has to squeeze everything into a small area. That makes for some real hustle and bustle totally unlike LA. I like both, but it was quite refreshing to spend an early morning in this vibrant city.
I'll never stop thinking Nob Hill is funny. Never. Giggle every time I see this photo.
And here we were! Beanstalk Cafe
, squeezed between buildings in the middle of building renovations. I love it!
David looked cute, and a little worried. I asked him a camera related question and this was his face before answering.
This, my dear friends and readers, is a Cragel. Croissant and Bagel coming together in a beautiful way.
When I saw people raving about it on yelp I knew I had to try. This is their morning cragel. Scrambled eggs, cheese and bacon. Yup! It was AMAZING!
David also chose a cragel. Of course.
The cafe was tiny. We were so lucky to catch the only table in there. Lots of regulars came in to get there coffee and bagel fix. All of them were perfectly individual characters. The "mayor" (that's what he looked like at least) talking in his best booming speech voice as to make sure no one misses his presence. The old man sitting quietly on the bar stool sipping coffee and reading his paper like he most certainly does every day.
It was lovely to watch it all while having our breakfast. It was the perfect start of the day.
Okay. No more pictures.
Look at that cool cold brew machine! It dripped- slowly, oh so slowly- filling the decanter in the bottom.
And then we had to get going. We wanted to see one more thing before we left San Francisco.
But first one more look at the city!
We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge.
And went to Muir Woods! Even though we were early both the parking areas were filled to the brim and we had to park along the road. Faaaaar down the road.
So we had to take a walk to get to the walk, haha!
SO worth it.
Muir Woods is a beautiful redwood forest with thousand year old trees looming high above our heads.
(Can you see the two tiny old ladies in the middle?)
Tourists of all ages. Isn't this the cutest?
This one is quite cute too. Trying to get an entire tree into one photo- It's impossible!
All you could do in Muir Woods was look up, following the tree trunks all the way up, up, up.
It makes you feel really small.
Aah. So lovely up there.
One of my all time favorite things: sunshine coming through the branches in spots, creating the loveliest combination of light and dark.
Here's another one.
And here. (If you look closely you can see a spider web in between the branches)
And this! See what I mean?
Spider webs everywhere!
The sunshine was especially tricky here. The contrast are beautiful, but can make it super hard to get the photo you want.
The girl in the entrance kiosk told me I looked smashing in my outfit. That made me happy, because I felt kinda tired and very far from smashing.
I have a lot of photos like this. Dark trees and bright green foliage. Can't get enough of it!
Always a big fan of creepy roots.
Looks like some kind of pre historic monster.
It's fun to take photos of other tourists being touristy.
Muir Woods was such a wonderful place. I actually cried a little because I was so overwhelmed by it all. Nature is fucking awesome!
And when we got out of the woods we stopped to take in this fairly astounding view.
It felt like a good way to end our San Francisco trip.
We drove back to LA with new energy and when we drove into Hollywood and saw all the movie posters it actually felt like coming home. Isn't that strange?
And walking through the door to our apartment, it smelled like home.
Not like New Apartment.
There’s a certain combination of light and color that makes my heart sing. When I look at photos where I’ve managed to capture that perfect look it feels like music to my eyes and I just can’t stop looking at it.
I’ve mentioned the phrase Music to my eyes a few times in blog posts before, and I’ve spent quite some time thinking of what exactly it is that happens to create this sensation. What the formula is, so to speak.
Because it feels a little bit like magic to me.
I started to search through all my photos (Soooo many!) to find a bunch of pictures that have IT, and here is the result.
OMG! That window! A constant source of Music to my eyes!
So, the common theme in all of these photos is a combination of short depth of field creating a nice blur (bokeh
) in the background, and light that is filtered through something; it might be a dirty window, clouds or fog- but the light has to be bright yet not sharp. That’s the key to this, let’s call it- phenomenon.
Most (but not all) of the photos are also in soft colors, and that definitely enhances the appeal of the photos.
It’s just so smooth and light and delightful!
It’s music to my eyes!
2015 was a year for the books.
Strangely (stupidly?) enough I didn’t blog a lot, so let’s hope I’ll remember it all without evidence in dated blog posts.
I have been thinking about how to do the yearly recap this time, it’s not as easy as usual because I don’t have a lot of entries to back up the rambling. So I’m gonna ramble, mkay?
Self Portrait for my series A Lotta Dancing. "Rotvälta"
At new years 2014 I decided that 2014 was going to be The year to be brave. And I think that turned out to be true, in many ways. At the start of 2015 I knew that big things were about to happen with Lights Out so I didn’t really decide on a plan of action. If anything, I decided to follow along on whatever were to happen.
And that has sort of been the theme for this entire year.
Just follow along, and see what happens.
A lot of things have happened.
2015 started with a whole lot of waiting. David were in talks with Hollywood about turning Lights Out into a feature film, and the plans were so far along that we knew we would have to relocate to Los Angeles for a while. We didn’t know when though, and we didn’t know for sure. Hard to plan your life when you don’t know for sure.
I blogged a bit:
We kept busy making things. We had an idea for a new horror short and went location scouting in the woods. Sweden decided to turn into the most beautiful winter wonderland and we tried to work with it but it was just too cold and snowy for us, so we went home and made Attic Panic
Self portraits taken at the hotel those first two weeks.
And then one day Hollywood called and said ”Can you come on Friday?”.
On the last day of March we took a plane to Los Angeles. We had a hotel to stay in for the first couple of weeks before we could find something a little more permanent.
In the first couple of weeks David didn’t have too much work to do, so we went to the zoo, had sandwiches with a view from Mulholland drive and ate a lot of frozen yoghurt.
We made it our thing to have "dinner with a view".
I went into this entire adventure knowing that I would be alone a lot. And that I wouldn't have anything to do during the days. So I was kinda prepared, but it was still strange. To be in a country where I’m not allowed to work, where I don’t know anybody and where I don't have any of my things for jewelry making.
We moved to a tiny house in Burbank and I started to investigate our neighborhood.
During all this time it was still a secret to the world what David and I were even doing in LA.
For almost a year we carried around this huge secret about the most exciting thing in our lives, it makes for quite a lonely life not to be able to talk about such a huge thing.
Our families and closest friends knew of course and talking on the phone with them was always great.
I thought I was going to blog every day, but when I couldn’t tell all of you about the reasons behind our adventure in the first place, I just didn’t know how to blog anymore. And that feeling has been hard to shake (I hope I’ll want to blog more in 2016 but for the everyday life there’s always instagram. Go follow!
But then, in June, we could start telling the world
Self portraits at our Burbank home in the top two photos, and at our Hollywood Hills home in the bottom two.
We visited friends in the Santa Cruz mountains a weekend in May. They took us to the beautiful Point Lobos beach and I blogged one of my favorite posts of the year
During this time we started to work on getting me into the movie as well. It was a nerve wracking time for me, because what if I came all the way from Sweden, for a shortfilm I was part of making, and didn’t get anything. That would have sucked so hard.
I was scared, and nervous and felt very powerless. I’m not used to not being able to make things happen for myself. And Hollywood is a scary place.
Especially if you are a woman. And you maybe don’t fit into the very narrow Hollywood ideals.
In July the part was mine. But I needed a visa to be able to work, so after applying for that a whole new game of waiting started before the All Clear came.
July was also the month when David started shooting Lights Out.
I went to the film set every other day. It was amazing to see how everything worked, but most of all it was wonderful to see David direct.
David needed a photo of him looking "Directorly" so I took this of him. It's my favorite photo ever of David.
Some behind the scenes photos from my days on set.
Being a Director’s wife on set is not the same as being an Actor on set. Even though it was nice to be able to come and go as I wanted, it was AMAZING to be there as a part of the crew. A meaningful person for the making of the movie.
I had a trailer. And hair and makeup people that came in between scenes and made sure every hair lay right and that my makeup didn’t move in the heat.
Being in all that hustle and bustle was fantastic!
After shooting was over David had a few days off and we went to a cabin in the woods to relax. It was heaven.
These photos from El Matador Beach went unblogged because my computer broke down right around that time. I really love them though, so I'm showing you now instead. I especially like the photo of the boy and his shadow sketching. I also like the one with the young couple hugging. They had their engagement photos taken there on the beach and I sneakily took a photo of them while they were being photographed.
We went to Palm Springs and celebrated our second wedding anniversary. It was insanely hot. We drove around and stopped to take photos that I showed you in the post Lost in the desert
I spent a lot of my days this year walking around with my camera. When we moved to Hollywood Hills in september I documented one of my long walks in photos. A walk over the hills.
We moved from Burbank to Hollywood hills and it was like something switched in me. The neighborhood was beautiful and I could walk places every day. I started taking lessons from an Accent reduction coach, not to totally rid my accent but to feel more secure in talking English. It’s hard to act in another language than your own- All those little nuances that you know without even thinking about them aren't there anymore. I felt like I was starting from scratch with my acting, and that is not a great feeling when you’ve been acting since you were eleven.
I needed to build confidence in my work all over again.
The accent classes were exactly what I needed!
I also went to improv classes and that was great for me, as I’m used to being completely in control on stage or when making the horror shorts with David. In Improv I had to just let go.
It was so hard. Fun but hard. I’m going to keep taking improv classes during 2016. And acting classes too.
Birthday gal and pelican!
One day we went looking for a war era enigma
that I'd read about on the internet. It was like finding ourselves in an Indiana Jones movie!
Some self portraits from in and around the pre production office for Lights Out.
During all this I've been working on a project by myself. I decided over a year ago to really take advantage of the fact that I would be alone a lot in LA, and make a book of self portraits. I bought a tripod for my iphone and set out to capture scenes everywhere I went. Sort of like learning Los Angeles through self portraits. That book is finished now and I'll show it to you soon. It's called Alone in LA and I'm extremely proud of it.
The highlight was when I had the opportunity to roam around an abandoned hospital two days in a row. I took so many self portraits in those scary hallways.
Anyways. The last couple of months of 2015 was all about finding routines, sort of. We were still living in tiny furnished apartments and had realized we needed to find something more permanent. Because we’re staying in LA for a good while. I spent my days walking, drinking tea at cafes and making the photo book Alone in LA.
Probably my favorite self portrait of the year, if I HAVE to choose just one. Taken at our friends place in the Santa Cruz mountains.
Going home to Sweden over christmas was wonderful, but you know what? I missed LA.
We had a new apartment waiting for us when we got back, and I can't wait to start turning that place into a home.
That’s what’s been missing. A sense of home.
When we now got back to LA it’s with so much more confidence than when we got here on the last day of march and I can't wait to see what 2016 brings.
If I dare to hope (and dream and plan) it’s for a daily life that feels fulfilling, new projects- together as well as by myself- and a true feeling of belonging.
Oh, and did I tell you? Lights Out is coming to theaters July 22! ISN’T IT FRICKING AWESOME?!?!?!
Oh, and if you're interested in reading some more, here's a few text posts from 2015 that I'm particularly proud of: Catching up on yourselfBudget wardrobe tips and tricksTo stand out The feeling of not yet knowingMen writing women