Natural beauty

I find so many pictures of women nowadays “cool”, hard, flashy, “sexy” – utterly un-interesting and artificial. What’s wrong with letting a personality and some humanity shine through too? Why must you look like a plastic doll to advertise a product? I simply don’t get it, even if it is technically perfect.

As any other serious photographer I look for the person, for the joie de vivre, conviviality, humour, the sense of goodness and humanity that one can sense, not least through the eyes of a person.

So instead of cool, give me warm-hearted. Instead of hard, give me soft. Instead of flashy, give me natural light and the quality that does not appear in the first moment but when you look twice. And instead of sexy, give me beauty and sensuality.

I have no interest in doing photography that suits the advertising business. But if some business or corporation would give priority to natural appearance and personality inside the picture, I’d be happy to sell.

Working with Natalia in Basel

This is a kind of introduction to a person you’ll also meet at my photo site in the future – Natalia B, a Russian born in 1988 that I take pictures of. Here is the story, or rather the beginning of it – and a little about why I am fascinated by this type of photography.

I teach peace and conflict resolution at the World Peace Academy in Basel every now and then. I was there last week. I meet so many young people there from all over the world – 30 in the room from about 25 countries…it gives me hope for the future. But we should never say that it is up to the young ones to take over; we should say that it is our duty to make it easy for them to succeed us, rather than leaving behind a world in a mess.

Continue reading “Working with Natalia in Basel”

"Between War and Peace" at my gallery

So happy that I opened my 7th exhibition yesterday with a dear friend’s photos…Sören Sommelius, cultural editor at Helsingborgs Daily and TFF Associate since 20+ years back. 62 images making up “Between War and Peace”. It’s been such a delightful co-operation and it’s his first photo exhibition ever.

More than 75 friends, family and connoisseurs came, so positive, so appreciative.

Sören and I spoke for a few minutes two times during the opening – emphasizing the need for counter-images to all those of violence thrown at us all day long.

One of the guests, a professional photographer, wrote – “Unfortunately, today there are few photographers who place fellow human beings worldwide and their conditions in focus. That’s why Sören’s images hit me straight in my heart.”

Here is the poster! Do come! It is Vegagatan 25, Lund, Sweden – and we are open anytime but by appointment only on +46 – (0)738 – 52 52 00…my iPhone.


Exhibition “Between War & Peace”

“Between War & Peace“, July 14 – August 14, 2011

62 photos by Sören Sommelius from former Yugoslavia, the U.S., China, Ethiopia, India, Egypt  and other places – pictures about war, reconciliation and peace – and peace activism. Sommelius is a cultural editor, columnist, traveler and author of many books.

The works have been processed by Jan Oberg and printed by him and Anders Jönsson, ArchivalInkJet in Lund.

Below the poster you find two links to interviews with Sommelius.


“The is always a new picture to be taken” – Helsingborg Daily, July 7, 2011.

“Photo exhibition about the peace after war” – Sydsvenska Daily, July 15, 2011.

Summer flower hipsta…


© Jan Oberg 2011

This is one of my latest Hipstamatic photos…iPhoneography.

Well, not quite true…it’s been through PhotoShop and changed quite a lot from the original.

Do you like it?

Working on "Between War & Peace" by S??ren Sommelius

How do I prepare a new exhibtion? What does it take?What’s the process toward some kind of good presentation and how does it strengthen our social relations and friendship?

Not everyone, I assume, who visits a photo gallery – or any other gallery for that matter – has a firm idea about the work that goes into producing a good exhibition.

The process of planning and decision-making has many aspects – such as the artist choosing what to show and “killing a few darlings”, then comes processing the pictures, printing them, framing them, hanging them and producing a catalogue, discussing price setting etc. It’s quite a job with – as in this case – 62 pieces that make up my next show with photos by my friend Sören Sommelius.

Continue reading “Working on "Between War & Peace" by S??ren Sommelius”

Exhibition “Pixel Unlimited”

“Pixels Unlimited” – March 23 – July 3, 2011


Utgångspunkten är ett helt vanligt pressfoto från december förra året, tagen av Matt Dunham, Associated Press – ett riktigt bra pressfoto, full av dramatik och rörelse. Den visar hur Prince Charles’ och Lady Camilla Bowles’ Rolls-Royce blev attackerad av några studenter när de var på väg till en bioföreställnng.

Jag har lite slumpmässigt tagit ut t ex 2 x 2 cm och blåst upp den flera gånger, sedan igen 2 x 2 cm av den och förstorat upp, etc.? Alla bilder på utställningen, som är rena mönster, har skapats genom att gräva ned i pixeldjupet inom denna bild.

Dessa pixel-fynd transformerar jag sedan till “crosshatch” – vad som på svenska kallas korshårs-mönster (krydsskravering på dansk). Du ser hur alla mönster innehåller linjer som korsar varandra.
Dessa mönster kan skapas som egna verk eller kombineras med varandra i det oändliga.

Sedan har jag låtit dem ingå som element i några collage där de kombineras med mina “vanliga” bilder till en sorts tablå. I några av dessa ingår element av Edvard Munch, Jasper Johns, Albrecht Dürer och Andy Warhol (jag visar dig gärna vilka det är).

Fotografiet & fotokonsten genomgår i dessa år en explosionsartad utveckling. Den digitala tekniken öppnar helt nya möjligheter, som jag vill använda men jag låter den inte styra.

Av milliontals potentiella bilder är det jag som väljer ut några och bearbetar. Jag tror det här är ett rätt “annorlunda” sätt att arbeta med foton på; några ser mer ut som grafik men jag kallar ju allt vad jag gör för foto-grafik. Det har varit en upptäcktsfärd och jag tycker det finns en fantastisk detaljrikedom och mångfald djupt nere i karossen på den där Rolls Royce…en skönhet som förmodligen finns i alla digitala bilder och som “gamla” fotografiska film inte hade.

Jag har tryckt alla i A3+ format på förnäma Canson Fine Arts papers, 1500 kronor per st. De har 25 som max-upplaga. Alla tryck kan också levereras i A4 till 600:- (upplaga 50) och i A5 till 125 kronor (upplaga obegränsat).

Anders Jönsson, master printer på – har som vanligt tryckt de stora formaten på ett utomordentligt sätt, helt o fullt som jag hade tänkt mig de skulle bli. Fråga mig om priserna; de beror nämligen på upplagan som är mycket liten på dessa stora format.