When I was employed at Hallandsposten a lifetime ago, the editor in chief always picked on me for being reckless with my camera gear. Which of course wasn´t true. It just got a lot of beating from everyday wear and tear. Being a press photographer, if you keep your things in a padded box, lenscaps on, your cameras and lenses will look brand new even after several years of usage. But you will also have missed a whoooole bunch of split second images, you know the ones you can´t plan for but will haunt you forever if you miss the shot (because you had all your gear stored away so that sober black paint wouldn´t flake off)?
I want to be ready when that shots flies by, which means cameras always in hand, on your shoulder or on the seat next to you in the car. Which also means your stuff will get worn. Some assignments will wear more than others. All gigs that occur in or near seawater and/or salt will make your japanese hitech stuff go… bad. A couple of months ago one of my Canon 5DmkII´s went dead when on Greenpeace action at sea. Corrupt data was the sentence from the repair shop, which was kind enough to disburden my bankaccount from SEK 2800 in order to reset the thing. Then last week, my beloved 50mm 1.2-lens just came apart (which happened once before a couple of years ago when on, yes you guessed right, assignment out in the cold waves outside Varberg). Maybe they didn´t glue it together the way they should that time, I don´t know. And finally(?) today my 70-200 gave in, and put a halt to zooming and autofocusing. This time I wasn´t even close to the ocean, but I suspect last week´s kayak-job put some sand where it didn´t belong.
Maybe I should just stay on land and leave those salty gigs to photographers with underwater gear….
Ah well, I just love getting some payoff for all those expensive insurances!

Our reportages from Svalbard are beginning to show up here and there. Frihet and Platsjournalen were the first ones, and this is how it turned out. For Frihet, we managed to get a hold of Viljar Hanssen, one of the survivors from Utoya massacre. Viljar was shot five times and just barely made it, and now he´s getting back on track and was recently elected into the local government of Svalbard. Do read his story, you´ll find it here.
For Platsjournalen we met up with two swedes, Andreas and Ulrika, who moved to Svalbard for work (and for love, in Ulrikas case). Read their story here. I don´t think our issue is out yet on internet, but I´m sure it will be pretty soon, so be patient.