As a wannabe photographer, I’m continually on the prowl for excellent photographers to copy learn from. Every so often, I discover a new site with shots to make me gasp with envy amazement. And when those shots are RED?
Well, that’s one definition of Red Nomad OZ heaven!
So when I discovered the amazing ladyfi, on whose gasp-inducing photos from her adopted homeland Sweden I am helplessly hooked, I wanted to find out more about her. Then one day she posted her Red Glory series on her blog LADY FI – and I just HAD to overcome my natural fear of rejection to ask her if she’d agree to an interview!
Perhaps unaware of the dangers of being interviewed by a fawning fan, she agreed to be my 7thRED Alert guest, share some of her incredible photography and answer my questions!
RED: I’m SO honoured to have you as my RED Alert guest! Where and when was the RED Glory series taken?
ladyfi: Walpurgis Eve is 30 April and every year a bonfire is lit about 3 minutes away from where we live. This year, it was lit by our local lake, so we walked down to see the procession of people with lit torches setting the bonfire alight.
RED: A pyromaniac’s delight – I must tell Pilchard! Of course RED sunsets are de rigueur downunder – but are they common in Sweden?
ladyfi: We’re quite lucky and get very colourful sunsets and sunrises during the summer as well as the winter.
RED: (displaying shocking ignorance) I would never have thought the sunsets would be RED that far north! What’s the back-story to Walpurgis Eve and your RED Glory photos?
ladyfi: The story behind the shots is one that is a thousand-years-old. It’s an old pagan ritual where people burn old wood – partly to kick out winter and welcome in the spring and the longer, warmer days; and partly, to keep away the evil spirits.
RED: I guess a thousand years is long enough to tell if the tradition works!! With which colour do you most identify?
ladyfi: Well, I do like RED! It’s the colour of passion and energy.
RED: Great answer! Readers: please note!! Any reader of this blog knows I love all things RED – but do you have a favourite RED thing?
ladyfi: I love RED flowers and of course, sizzling RED sunsets!
RED: As your photos attest! Does the colour RED stand out in Sweden?
ladyfi: Well, that depends. It’s a country of muted tones so yes, the RED stands out. But as many many houses are RED, you get used to seeing this colour.
RED: Your photos often feature water. Why is that?
ladyfi: Well, I live about 30 seconds away from Vallentuna Lake, so as soon as I see a lovely sunrise or sunset, I can run out and snap it in under a minute. I love the endless variation of sun and water and the reflections. A special kind of peace descends when I’m out there with nature.
RED: Your gorgeous dog Oscar often features in your photos and on your blog too. Is that deliberate?
ladyfi: He spends a lot of time swimming and he adds interest to the photos. Well, I think he’s photogenic!
RED: Of course he is – or, at least you make him so!!
ladyfi: Also, he has a lot of fans among my blog readers, so I include photos for them too.
RED: And I’m sure that’s no hardship! What’s your all-time favourite photographic subject?
ladyfi: I love photographing nature’s beauty and landscapes – and yes, pictures of my local lake and jetty.
RED: (note to self: re-think the Scenic Public Toilet shots …) Well to me, your macro flower shots are yet another sensational feature of your blog! Do you carry your camera everywhere?
RED: I’m yet to get that hi-tech! Australia is full of red, but I’ve never associated it with Europe. Is there much RED in Sweden?
ladyfi: Yes, the typical Swedish house is a RED wooden one.
RED: HHHMMMmmm… maybe I’ll become an honorary Swede!! What else have I got wrong about Sweden?
ladyfi: People don’t generally know where Sweden is. They often mistake it for Switzerland. There are no polar bears on the streets over here.
RED: No way!! Maybe I won’t come visit after all …
RED: And to think all I knew about Sweden before this was ABBA-related! As an expat, what is the most difficult thing about living in Sweden?
ladyfi: I guess it’s the darkness… You get used to the cold, but the days are very short in winter.
RED: Yes, us Aussies really don’t get the concept of ‘winter’, do we?
ladyfi: Also, the Swedes are very private and reserved so I miss the spontaneity of friends popping in for a cup of tea that I enjoyed so much in the UK.
RED: But now total strangers from all around the world virtually visit you every day! What made you start blogging?
ladyfi: I was inspired by a friend. And then I found I enjoyed it. I write content for digital media all day long so my blog is something creative I can do for myself.
RED: Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s gone beyond being just for you now!! Have you been inspired by other bloggers?
Brian (waystationone at http://www.waystationone.com/) is a fabulous poet.
Christine (Christine Create at http://christinecreate.com/) has the most gorgeous photos; and Hilary (The Smitten Image at http://thesmittenimage.blogspot.se/) is funny, wise and a great photographer too!
RED: I look forward to catching up with them!! For how long have you been a photographer?
ladyfi: Oh gosh, I got a DSLR camera three years ago and have been smitten ever since.
RED: ‘Oh gosh’ is right – if you’re THIS good after only 3 years, there’s NO hope for the rest of us! What are your 3 top photography tips?
ladyfi: Firstly, experiment and have fun. I’m not at all technical I’m afraid and don’t bother about the settings that much. For me, the emotion of a photograph is far more important.
Next, every photo has a story to tell – what story do you want to tell? And how do you tell that story in an interesting way? It might be through words, or via an interesting feature in the shot, or an unusual or creative framing.
And finally, rules are meant to be broken – yes, you can shoot into the sun and place your jetty or object in the middle of a shot. I love taking photos close-up and don’t mind cutting off parts of a body or object!
RED: Well, I’ll frame those words of advice because whatever you’re doing, it SO works!! What comes first in your blog posts – the words or the photos?
ladyfi: The photos – although I feel that on their own, they are not complete. They need the words too. I look at my photos and wait for the words to come.
RED: Your masterful use of those words is what elevates your blog to extraordinary status! But others’ words also inspire you, don’t they? Can you share a favourite quote?
ladyfi: ‘Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not’ — Ralph Waldo Emerson
RED: Thank you so much for being a wonderful RED Alert guest! Do you have any final words to share with my readers?
ladyfi: On a more personal level, this quote by Wayne Dyer is something that I try to bear in mind during difficult times: ‘How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.’
Fantastic RED interview.. Fiona’s pictures are always beyond gorgeous, looooove Oscar, so it was excellent to find out a bit more about Sweden and how those stunning images transpire. Nice one Red.
@Reader Wil – Thank you!! Drop in any time to see if I’m keeping my end of the bargain!
@Daryl E – Thanx for the tip! Anyone who does RED is a friend of mine!
@Barb – Thank you for dropping in – I hope you learned something new about your hero!
@Kath – Well, who’s stopping you?!?!?!
@Island Rambles – Well, who wants to see dull pix of depressed people??!! But it really IS like that here!
@Jeevan – It’s always a pleasure finding out something new about a country, a person or a blog!! So glad you enjoyed it!!
@Valerie – Well, a little Aussie chutzpah goes a long way!! As for a year of fun & adventure, I’ll be MOST disappointed if it doesn’t happen – but you’ll have to come back here & check it out!
@Mary – NewFoundLand IS a dog. Isn’t it??
@Gail Dixon – You’re SO not alone in that! (Note to self – get a pet!!!!)
@Jim – It’s nice to find out what makes our heroes tick – and hope like hell a little of that awesome talent rubs off!
@The Elephant’s Child – Hahaha … I’m glad I’m not the only one!!!
@Evan – While I was selecting the pix, I couldn’t help but notice how Oscar kept creeping in …
@Hilda – I’m more of a cat person, but for Oscar, even I will make an exception!!!
@Tina – I’m honoured!! And I promise that not all pictures are RED …
@Sallie – Oh, you’re WAY too kind!! But glad you enjoyed it – it was so much fun to do!
@Tabor – I guess you could just ask her … questions about snow are not exactly at the forefront of this Aussie blogger’s mind!!
@Lisa Gordon – I guess we’re both in awe … glad you enjoyed!
@Linda Medrano – It was my pleasure to both conduct the interview and bring it to you!
@TexWisGirl – Looks like you’re in the majority then!! Thanx for dropping by! And yes, nothing much gets past us Aussies – I knew EXACTLY what you meant!
@Hudson Howl – I’m honoured! Thanx so much for your lovely comment and the subscription – I’ll try not to disappoint you!
@The Chieftess – I’m hoping just a little of her talent will rub off!!
@Filip – So glad you liked it – and the Swedish Archipelago has always intrigued me too!
That’s interesting and informative on ladi-fi as well the country of Sweden! Lovely done the post Red 🙂
I am a fan of LadyFi so I followed everyone here….I like it here and must look around….your blog is a breath of fresh air to blogs. I love the Australian attitude toward blogging….it always looks sunny there and everyone is happy!!!
Absolutely amazing photographs. I want to go to Sweden – NOW!
what a great interview .. if you want to meet your American soul sister you should check out Virginia Jones’ http://virginiajonesphotography.com/Virginia_Jones_Photography.com/Home.html she loves RED and even published a book on Paris in the RED
Thank you for showing these heavenly photos! I wish you a year of beauty and love and a continuation of your wonderful red sunsets.
I came to visit you because I am in awe of Lady Fi and the environment she includes in her inspiring photos. I also love Oscar!
wonderful pics! even so red is not in my top ten 🙂 i love all your pics here and follow you now 🙂
Thank you for this wonderful introduction to ladyfi—her photos are gorgeous! I think Oscar is absolutely handsome too.
These photo are wonderful..I especially love Oscar in the lake.
Thank you. A wonderful interview with a supremely talented woman. And you are right – if these are the photos she takes with three years experience the rest of us are DOOMED!!!
Thanks for this! I am a big fan of Fiona’s work and have learned a little more about this amazing human being. Thanks.
Great interview! Love LadyFi! And Oscar. 🙂
Good on you, RED, for reaching out and asking LadyFi for the interview: her photographs do have that special “something” about them – reckon we all agree it was a great success. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a year of fun and adventure!
What a great series of pictures, love the dog. I was amazed of the Swedisch Archipellago when we were there.
LadyFi is indeed a wonderful and inspiring photographer!!!
i meant ladyfi’s but you knew that. 😉
i ADORE ladifi’s photos, her dog and her blog! thank you for featuring her!!!
I adore Fiona’s photography and her poetic remarks. She’s extraordinary! Great interview! Thank you for sharing!
A wonderful interview, with a very talented photographer.
Happy Monday to you!
Good feature but I had hoped to find out how she gets so much texture in all that snow.
How fun eavesdropping on this lovely conversation between two of my favorite bloggers!
The Sweden thing. I once heard someone say New Foundland was not a Place, it was a dog.
I am a big fan of tulips so those shots were beyond lovely for me. ~Mary
Been a fan of Ladyfi’s images for tad. Anyone who does not see or feel or is not inspired by her images, well they must NOT be able to see. Good ‘shtufffs’ does she create.
I followed the bread crumbs from her site to yours. The interview, an the romp through much that is here was well worth it.
BTW, I have subscribed.
This is a great interview, and ladyfi’s photos are indeed glorious.
you have obviously found a soul mate in red! Thank you for bringing her beautiful photography to us.
Gorgeous shots, I love sunsets to no end (being from the tropics, originally:) and these are amazing! Thanks for alerting us to this loveliness. I’m also enjoying the RED, it’s so wintry, muted here these days.
@darlin – Yeah, the 3 years thing made me jealous as hell … it was a pleasure interviewing ladyfi for the very reasons you give!!
@SFlaGuy – It’s actually not that hard to find RED – and you, my friend, could be next!! Now! Why didn’t I think of using the word ‘borrowing’?!?!
@NatureFootstep – Well, you’ll just have to keep dropping in here until your summer – there’s plenty of RED down here!
@Robert Geiss – Thank you, my friend, I’m so glad we both agree on ladyfi’s talents! I hope you enjoy your week too!
@LONDONLULU – Well, this blog is a RED-specialist zone – so come on down & get your fix anytime! Tropics huh?
@Jill – It was my pleasure! You could be next, you know! Just say the word!
@George – Thank you, and yes – glorious is EXACTLY the right word!!
@Linley – And I have a sneaking suspicion that even her reject photos would look good …
@Freya – Thank you! You could be next, you know!!!
@Beach Bum – You’re right! At least try to HIDE your ignorance, I say!! Thanx for the vote of confidence!!
@eileeninmd – I chose the photos to use – and Oscar kept sneaking in! Don’t know quite how he did it!!!
@FruitCake – Thank you!! I just couldn’t go past that last pic …
@Manzanita – Oh, you’re WAY too kind!! But who’s Diane Sawyer?!?!?!
@Saucy Kod – We’re so lucky she agreed to do the interview & show her pix, aren’t we?! I’m honoured!!
@MJWC – You’re too kind too!! I know I have a lot to learn about photography – lucky there are people like ladyfi to learn from!
@ladyfi – Well, that’s a win-win, isn’t it?!?! I’m honoured to have you as my guest & look forward to many more happy hours admiring your glorious photos!!
cool! I have seen a lot of ladyfi:s shots. She has a great place for sunset shots. 🙂
Can´t give you much red I´m afraid. For now it is mostly shades of grey.
Fantastic photos from Ladyfi, such a great read. Cheers
Beautiful photos, I LOVE the sunsets! I also loved reading the interview, ladyfi has a beautiful positive way of viewing the world, not only through the lens, in which she does a phenomenal job I must say. And only 3 years? Wow, now that’s right impressive!
Cheers to both of you!
With such colour, surely much passion for photography. Thank you for sharing. Yes, agree, that she owns amazing images. Please have a good new week ahead.
You are certainly making the effort to find the Red in this world. Those flowers photos are amazing. I’ll be “borrowing” that technique the very next time I take out the camera.
Thank you so much for featuring me and my photos! Loved your replies. And I must say, I’m a big fan of YOUR blog and your photos too! You’re awesome.
Glad I caught this interview with you, Fi… Always nice to learn more about a favorite blogger. 🙂 Super job, Red!
Wanna Be my rear end!! I go on a lot of blogs and some say they ARE a Photographer… They don’t know what real photography is. I should send them to your site. Beautiful Pictures!!
This was just a delightful post. I am shortly going to make my way to Ladyfi’s Blog and also, some she mentioned in this post. What glorious captures and I can absolutely share her feelings about the story in the photo. My fav thing on PEI at cottage is to sit with the sun, coming up or down and feel the energy as I capture these beauties. Way to go Ladyfi – luv your photos.
You ain’t no “wannabe” …… you dah “be.” Move over Diane Sawyer. Red is on her way.
Interesting interview and photos, Red. The last shot featuring Oscar is a corker.
Wonderful interview on Lady Fi. Now, I feel like I really know” Lady Fi. I have been one of her fans for since blogging. And I love her dog Oscar, he is a cutie.
ladyfi: People don’t generally know where Sweden is. They often mistake it for Switzerland.
I’m a pretty laid back guy but if one thing drive me crazy it is talking to some person who is ignorant of even the most basic geography. For example I unfortunately got into a conversation with one person once who had no idea that one of the states here in America is New Mexico, he thought it was another country.
Like Freya said, great interview and photos that are total works of art.
Great interview and stunning photos !