02 October 2014

30 September 2014

Thinking about braids

So… I started this braid photo project.
But it sort of failed. One problem is that I have no space to shoot in our small apartment (we are looking for bigger as we speak) - so I had to go to my dads house to have space. And that wasn't always ideal. I had to borrow flashes from work and dragging them with me on the train and then to my dads was also a craphouse.
I needed to have girls with long-ish hair, and that I did not have. I had myself. And my hair was getting too heavy for me to stand. So now it's cut and I've got these flat bangs that don't look like they should.
Uff, I hate starting projects and then everything becoming messy and no fun.
But the more you have to depend on location, your own appearance and having the right stuff...the less fun it gets. 

25 September 2014


Found him sleeping under the roses.

24 September 2014


Children's workshop during Kulturnatten in Lund.
This was etched with a nail.
It's based on Lollo needing a diet and me cutting bangs.

19 September 2014

10 September 2014

05 September 2014

Our little Lollo

Lollo is at the hospital today, waiting for another surgery.
He's bleeding from his stomach, and we don't know why.
And it's just about the worst thing, seeing him ill.

 Make sure you get your cat an insurance, that's a hot tip at the moment. 

03 September 2014

"The Hair" submissions

Hi girls!

So fun to see your contributions! I've picked some of my favorites, and I'm gonna allow myself to comment them too... I hope you don't mind!
I made my photo (top) in a small hurry and didn't really surprise myself with the result. But, I do like the shiny-ness I got in the hair. Or rather, in the hair-helmet.

Lauren McGlynn
I chose this one first because I think Lauren did a great job with light and color. I do think it's a little annoying that the hair goes over her upper lip (it would be more harmonic a bit lower) but composition isn't always as important as color and light! Make sure the skin on your model isn't magenta! That's so important for the right mood and balance. And I think the skin is very good here and the sun flare is just soft enough.

Tanja Lundin
Great depth in this one! And I like how the girl looks like a precious fruit. Since she has such a kind face the lipstick really works for the photo. I also like the matte calm colors. No magenta in the skin tone :) If I could comment anything it would be that perhaps the brightness in the top left corner steals a little attention for her face, but it's toned down already so it isn't a biggie.

Iris van Vliet
If the last girl was like a fruit, this girl is like a lion. I like the fierceness in her gaze, and I appreciate the drawings on the face.
If I could give any tips, it might be to matte it down a bit. To put some sort of blue or reddish color in the blacks of the picture. So that the contrasts aren't so hard.

Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard (tumblr)
This one is from my homegirl Signe. She's always doing something unexpected nowadays. I've always liked how she mixes red and purple tones, I've seen it before in some of her photos. I thought this was an interesting way to solve the task. Fun to really focus on only the structure of the hair. Maybe it would have been great to see these three sets with three different hair types and with a tad more clarity in the actual hair :)

Gemma Driessen
Gemma also focused a bit more on the actual hair. I thought it was really cute how she made it as water and placed a little paper boat in it. I think the photo could have had some darker colors and maybe a little less contrast. It's a great idea to keep working with!

This photo is funny and sweet. I love using masks :)
I appreciate a direct flash combined with warm tones. It's simple and real somehow. And I also like that the dark areas is tinted blue and not pitch black.
Hot tip from Uli would be not to have a tree behind the head. It will always look like you've got a tree-hat on. But once you've learned this lesson, you often never do the same mistake again. That's how it was for me anyways.

Humle Rosenqvist
I think the photographers name goes so well together with the picture. I don't know if this is a self-portrait, but the girl sure looks like a Humle Rosenqvist (what a pretty name).
I like how it's so bright and sad. It feels like a girl from a Jane Austen book. Worried she'll never find a husband. The little bow in the hair does so much to ad to the mood. Without it the picture would loose it's vintage touch. If I would edit it I'd remove some of the red tones in the skin and maybe made her even brighter.
(If my readers don't know how to edit red tones, a quick way is to mask the face (ad some feather) - go to "selective color" - choose red - drag down the magenta. Sometimes doing this in the yellow channel can also help.)

Marie Nielsen
Sweet and simple. The fabric of the dress works great with the lines of the door. I would have loved if the model was more symmetrical to the door though, I think that would have made it more peaceful :) 

27 August 2014


Me and my favorite guy ♥
Robert doesn't like his striped T-shirt though. I think he's super cute in stripes. But he doesn't agree. Also he says it itches (because it's in linnen fabric). That part I do understand because it does have an itchy texture. Oh well, at least we were stripy one night for this picture :)

23 August 2014

Birch forest

I’ve been thinking about the hair assignment and I’m actually having trouble deciding on what to shoot. I’d like to surprise myself… not do anything too predictable. Heh, easier said than done. I’m really hoping that you’re keen on the assignment too, I’d love to see your contributions.
I’m also working currently on a braid photo project which is why I’m extra interested in hair at the moment :)

I shot this photo in the birchforest last Saturday. Some of the branches were cut down and had been laying on the ground just long for the leaves to dry a little.  So the whole place smelled like a luxurious sauna. It was great. I thought I would be alone so I could shoot this but I discovered that there was actually a path further down the forest so now and then people came by. But not too often…which had to mean the path wasn’t popular.  It was marked with white dots. So after photographing and getting 3 ticks I picked 1,5 liter blackberries and went looking for the white path.
The weather was perfect. . It was 17 °C, cloudy, and I felt like one with the air.  I wore jeans and a thin cotton sweater that barely touched the naked skin underneath. And NO bag. This is a big thing for me. I always have a super stuffed kånken backback – wherever I go. Packed with heavy camera, extra sweater, water, hairbrush, book etc. But now I only wanted the weight of my own body. I tiptoed around the berry bushes into the white path. It was strange. I’ve been in this forest so many times and never noticed this. It went the opposite way that I always do.  

I came into a beautiful open field with a few trees and bushes. I climbed an oak tree and smelled the last summerair. Then the field formed into a hill and the view showed fluffy white cows. The path was really cozy. I found mushrooms and a larger pond with waterlilies, and eventually ended up right where I had been photographing. 
Always great finding new places in a place you thought you'd already explored. 

19 August 2014

Reader assignment: The Hair

Photos from pinterest

My dear creative readers!
Remember we did a few assignment some time back? We had a Blue theme, A magical place and a Literature theme?
I feel like I've lost touch with my readers, since no one comments so much anymore it doesn't feel like such a crowded place anymore. I though a new assignment could be fun, so I learn more about you and also I know many of you are crazy talented. And I'd love to do this task together with you.

The theme is: "The Hair"
It can be anything from crazy hair in the wind - to a photo of hair covered in flour. It can also just be a nice hairdo captured in a nice way. You don't have to have yourself in the photo (although I do like self-portraits :) The hair doesn't need to be the main element in the picture either. Be creative with the theme! 
And - it's about the hair on the head (beard also counts)- not the hair on the rest of your body.
I'm giving this two weekends and setting the deadline on September 2nd. Create a new photo, the idea of the task it not to participate with old material :)

Theme: The Hair
Format: 600 px wide 
Deadline: 2 September
Submission: Send to info@ulrikakestere.com

Don't forget: To add name and homepage/blog link in your email with the photo

And as usual I'll post my favorite submissions on the blog!
If you've got any questions just post them in the comment field and I'll answer asap.

17 August 2014

A friday in august

 On a workday I have the alarm set for 07.10 A.M. That gives me 15 minutes to brush my teeth, braid my hair and get dressed. I later spend about 10 minutes to tiny-sleep next to Robert before I leave. He'll only be waking up in about an hour. Sometimes he's aware about the fact that I'm saying bye and sometimes he just looks really confused and mumbles things he later on doesn't recall saying.

 I bike 5 minutes to the train station to catch my train to Helsingborg (where I work). About a 30 minute ride. I have trouble finding books that I like, but now I'm reading Yann Martels Beatrice and Vergil on the train. I quite like it. There are a lot of animals in it. I like to sit in the quite department. Because there are girls on trains that chat really loudly and about really stupid things - so I always try to avoid ending up close to that kind of travelers because then I can't thing about anything but everything they're saying.

Just before 08.30 I should have ended up outside this building… if the trains haven't been tricky. I work at an ad agency and we're soon going from 8 to 7 people. So a very small one that is.

We recently had my photo of the two braid-girls enlarged in order to put on the wall at the office.  I sit on the chair with the scarf so I have the photo behind me. I still haven't found a place in the office were I'm truly comfortable sitting. Before summer I had been sitting with my back to the hall so everyone saw my screen all the time. I found it quite stressful. The funny thing is that if you comment on it everyone just says "Yeah but that's just because you wish you could sit and surf on other stuff"… which is so not true. No one likes when their screen is visible for everyone. So now I turned my desk so my screen is towards the wall, but I still have a colleague on my right that sees everything I do. Hmm… not really fair since everyone else has "screen-privacy" at the office. It was exactly the same at my last job. We were 25 people. Everyone had their back free except me. What the fudge?
I think I'm super sensitive about my work-space. We also have the radio on all day which makes it harder for me to concentrate. Oh well, but that's life I guess. Buuut - that one time I worked from home - gosh was it easy for me to focus then. Maybe I'm the kind of person who needs her own room at work.

We have two dogs at the office. The Airedale terrier Kajsa (shown on the picture) and a Grand Matiff named Teddy, but he wasn't in the office this friday. Kajsa is really happy and jumpy and sometimes eats my breakfast when I'm looking away (I eat my breakfast at work - hence the 15 minutes getting ready in the morning). Teddy is heavy and tired and looks rather sad most of the time. Even when he's happy that is. Teddy slimes a lot also. So if he comes over to check on you you're left with a wet mark somewhere.
We have a small balcony with a great view but no one hardly ever sits there(why?).

When lunch starts I often take a walk by the sea if the weather is ok. No one really eats lunch together at the office (I'm still not sure why that is, eating lunch by myself is a tad depressing). This friday I found a new pretty place by the rocks. It was just in-between warm and chilly - the weather not being able to make up its mind.

I found this weird fish on the street, dried already - called a Kantnål (Pipefish). It looked like a mix between a thin eel and a seahorse. I guess a bird had had it with him and then dropped it or something. It was a weird thing to find on the sidewalk anyways.

When there's nothing on my schedule waiting for me to doodle with I sometimes sit with my own stuff. At the moment I'm coloring a new village. Similar to one I've done before. But I do like having a pretty tight workload at work. Not so that I get stressed out (like when a production leader walks by every hour saying "Are you done yeeet?") but simply that I know what to do all day. Even though I'm allowed to illustrate if there's nothing else waiting - it's not always that I'm in that mood or in my "zen" to be creative with my own stuff.

On fridays we end work at 15.00 so I was home around 16.00 and then Robert and his friend Drew had made vegetarian lasagna. So we ate and then they took of and I was to be alone this weekend.

After the guys  left the rain started poring. First a bit confused - smashing in the sunlight. But then it got a little darker and the mood was right.

Since Robert was now gone I would give my love to the flowers instead. Otherwise it would just go to waste. At the moment we almost only have geraniums at the windowsill. They're old-lady flowers and the smell is said to be good for your health. Imagine that! Especially since they smell a little like an old lady.

I listened to some 60's music and doodled on a picture that didn't turn out so good. Ate a peach and figured the picture wasn't so important maybe (yeah right, I hate when things turn out crap). Just when I was getting into my flow (and it was easy that evening when the rain was smashing on the windows) I had to get going to see my friends. I usually don't drink coffee but if I'm to avoid yawning away at 22.30 I have to drink some before I'm meeting friends.

I met up with my girlfriend Vanja who I've known most my life and her boyfriend from Holland. They were making rhubarb pie. Three of my guy friends from the university days (when I studied Industrial design) also joined us.

The guys had brought various nuts so after eating cashews, pie with whipped cream and whatnot my stomach was in bad shape. Nuts after 21.00 is a no-no. My body is already preparing for sleep and has no interest in digesting food. Lazy bastard.
By the time the clock was closing on midnight I went back home.
And that was that day.

12 August 2014

Swimming and those red colors

Öland, Djupvik.
Her red hair and that red bathing suit. The red balls floating in the water and the pink sky low in the horizon. It was one of those evenings in July. 

10 August 2014

02 August 2014

Swimming in sundown

During sunset it's often one world in one direction and a completely different in the other. Warm and shiny in one end and smooth and cool in the other. I recently came home from Latvia and these two were shot by a lake in Viksne.
Work starts on monday - but it's been a great vacation with a lot of bathing. I usually considered summers to be pretty boring, but since I met Robert this has really changed. And when you work full-time in front of a computer you appreciate summer a hundred times more - that's definitely an upside with work!