To keep up with Tristan’s two-wheeled
When you’re born Dutch, you learn cycling from a young age, and will most certainly develop a common love for it, says Tristan Bogaard (@tristanbogaard), a 22-year-old photographer making a 7,500-mile (12,000-kilometer) trip across 12 countries in Europe by bike. Tristan caught the cycling bug after making a two-wheeled journey across the US from New York to Los Angeles with his brother, but on returning to the Netherlands he realized there are many beautiful journeys closer to home.
His route will pass through the Amalfi Coast in Italy and the forests of Norway, ending in Bergen. Cycling for about four hours a day, Tristan stops to take photos and fuel up on fruits, nuts and water. “Riding a bicycle is the perfect way to see the world — it’s faster than walking, carries your luggage and is able to stop and go where cars and other vehicles can’t.”
Ahead of each stop, Tristan connects with local Instagrammers, and uses the Warm Showers network to find places to stay within the cycling community. “Whenever I find an Instagrammer that has photos I like — and have put their place of living in their description box — I make a screenshot and save it. Throughout the journey I’ll send them a message when I’m getting closer to their location, to ask if they’re up for a coffee or even an InstaMeet.”
Tristan says he has made incredible friends through Instagram. “If it wasn’t for Instagram, this might very well never have happened,” he says. “The roads are sometimes long and boring, but always end in greater company than you’d expected there to be.”
I am personally interested in random places that have the ‘Blade Runner’ feel,” says Ryan Allen, a PhD student from New York, who co-created the account @bladerunnerreality to post pictures of places that are aesthetically similar to Ridley Scott’s cult film.
“We realized we had a lot of photos of a certain kind of architecture or lighting which evoked flashbacks of ‘Blade Runner.’ We both loved the look so we got pretty excited about finding more of it in New York pretty quickly,” adds the other creator, Siddharth Chander, who now works in education in Washington, D.C.
They are also fascinated by the craft shown in the film. “The future isn’t clean, like so many other movies depict. It’s just this one little detail that builds this very real-feeling world,” says Ryan. Siddharth adds, “Yes, I think the detail is really inspiring. That kind of thinking resulted in one of the most beautiful films ever. You’d like to see that sort of creativity encouraged more often.”
Both Ryan and Siddharth share their own images of ‘Blade Runner’-inspired sightings, and also curate submissions of original pictures on the account. “For instance, we recently had one from Kazakhstan, which I don’t think is a place that immediately evokes a futuristic look,” says Ryan. Siddharth adds, “The best part of this whole thing was that right from the beginning we were contacted by a few people from Europe and South America who just loved it.
“We aren’t telling a story, each photo sort of tells a different story and then the next day it’s something new entirely,” says Siddharth.
On a Saturday night this past spring, screeching dissonant guitars and a clashing, heavy-handed beat could be heard filling a dark bar in downtown Oakland. If one were to have peaked their head in, they would have been surprised to find the noise coming from just two people: drummer Ignat Frege (@hand_model) and multi-instrumentalist Felix Skinner (@felixskinner).
The two make up Wreck and Reference, a metal band from Los Angeles that defies most of the traditional trappings of metal bands. There is no guitar on stage, no bassist. Only two musicians, one of who, Felix, elicits piercing, guttural screams into the microphone while striking the pads on an electronic sampler strapped around his neck.
“It was clear early on that the possibilities that it provided were limitless, that it would allow us to run with any mad idea we had,” says Felix, 28, about his use of a tool more closely aligned with electronic and hip-hop music than metal. “We’re typically drawn to sounds that aren’t traceable, that require a bit of wrangling and warping to make just right.”
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Felix began taking guitar lessons at the age of 10. But he was more intrigued in going against the grain with his music than submitting to any prescribed notion of what things were supposed to sound like. He refused to practice the Dave Matthews Band songs his teacher asked him to memorize.
“I was more interested in the strange sounds I could create by hitting the parts of the guitar I was told not to, using my pick to scrape instead of pluck,” he says. “In retrospect, it’s clear this was just a way for me to cope with the fact that my fingers never did what I wanted them to.”
The harsh, unforgiving tones that would eventually make up the sounds of Wreck and Reference go hand-in-hand with the photos Felix likes to take: haunting, captionless images tinted black and gray and red. But when it comes to writing music, it’s more about sensations than images for him, creating songs about unsettling feelings. It’s about tapping into an emotion, no matter if the sound that comes out fits into someone’s built-up perception of a musical genre.
“We’re just as averse to being a ‘synth band’ or an ‘electronic band’ as we are to being a ‘guitar band,’” he says. “As soon as we find ourselves in a box like that we’re overcome by the urge to kick our way out.”
At Sugar House Creamery, a tiny dairy farm tucked in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, it’s all about the Brown Swiss cows. They’re hardy. They’re docile. They turn the farm’s tough grass into well-balanced milk perfectly suited for cheese-making. “And they’re not too hard on the eyeballs,” says Alex Eaton, who, with Margot Brooks, founded Sugar House in December 2013.
The farm produces just three types of cheese, which Alex says ensures consistency and extremely high quality. But the small size of their operation also allows for experimentation, which Margot can trace back to her childhood on a dairy farm, making batches of chèvre on the kitchen stovetop from the milk of her pet goats.
Alex and Margot’s photos and videos capture the essence of life in the New York countryside — except for the smells. “The grassy, vegetal smell of warm summer milk being strained into the bulk tank. The smell of the cheese cave: beer and pine boards and yeast and earth. So many smells,” says Alex. “Some bad, but mostly good.”
When your job is to create lots of drawings on a daily basis, you almost never get yourself to practice drawing again,” says freelance illustrator Takeshi Terayama (@takeshiterayama), who is based in Fukuoka, Japan. Inspired by a fellow illustrator friend who manages to keep up with his sketches every day, Takeshi started to get into the habit of making daily drawings using a croquis book and a black dermatograph pencil. Sharing his work on Instagram has also helped make the habit stick. Every evening between dinner and bedtime, Takeshi spends anywhere from five minutes to two hours drawing motifs that come to his mind. “I don’t have any specific theme,” he explains, “but it’s boring to draw models and images that are already art-directed by someone else.” While many of his subjects come from his personal photos and scenes from documentary films, he admits that his baby son is the best model — especially when he’s out of ideas. “I plan to continue my drawings for a while, because I want to find out where this will lead me.
Although he is fully committed as an illustrator, Takeshi likes to work his creativity in another hobby he is passionate about, which is cooking. “I wanted to become a chef when I was little,” he says, adding, “I’ve been cooking since I was in first grade, and my experience with cooking is actually longer than my career as an illustrator.” He likes to be in the kitchen so much, that he even shares his cooking photos and recipes online. “If you want to know how much I love cooking, I’d say that my mind is full of recipe ideas all the time — from when I’m taking a bath to those moments when I get in bed and think about things until I doze off into sleep.
People often ask me, ‘What’s the story about the tree?’ If there is one, then I’m writing it right now,” says 44-year-old photographer Patrik Svedberg (@patrik_svedberg). Patrik started the @thebroccolitree project after noticing an otherwise unremarkable tree on Lake Vättern along the drive to his studio in Jönköping, Sweden. Taking photos and videos of the tree since 2013, Patrik is struck by what happens outside of the frame, as well as what’s in it. “Sometimes it’s the most beautiful sky. Sometimes it’s a couple in their 90s. Sometimes it’s birds or stars or just so, so gray and dull. But it’s almost never about the tree itself,” he explains. “If something truly stunning happens just outside the capture then it’s lost. I will not go chasing it. But so many times something remarkable has happened right where I want it, so still today my pulse rises a bit every time I’m approaching the tree.”
Patrik says his Swedish upbringing made him environmentally conscious and the long winters are a challenge to make the best out of bad conditions. “It’s very Swedish to grow up with a strong sense and respect for nature for some reason,” he says. “Maybe it comes with the very varying seasons.”
Patrik plans to showcase images of the tree over time in galleries in the region, and will keep adding to the tree’s story over time: “The tree is the main character, but the stories wrap around it more than the tree is telling them, and each photo has its own story.
24-year-old Brazilian psychology student José Sales (@vejocores) has always had a peculiar relationship with colors. He says he was a “color maniac” as a kid. “At the age of five, I would save up my entire allowance to buy paint for my creative experiments, which sometimes included painting the neighbors’ houses without their permission,” he recalls, laughing.
During his teenage years, José became interested in photography and has recently revisited this childhood obsession. His series of photographs capture the way he sees the world, one bold color at a time. Knowing which color to use for a photographic series comes naturally. “It’s as if colors are always looking for me. I find myself taking series of photographs that relate to a consistent theme,” he says.
For José, colors have always represented emotions, and his study of psychology is an attempt to explore the subject further. “My favorite color is constantly changing and speaks to the moment I’m going through,” he says. “Blue was during a very serene time and orange was when I was looking for new possibilities.” More than anything, José hopes his photos will convey his personal experience. “I hope that people notice that my photographs are a diary, where each and every detail speaks to stories lived and felt.
Sharing their lakeside house in Nyköping, Sweden, with hens, two cats and their five children, husband-and-wife artists Pia Kammeborn (@kammebornia) and Dennis Kammeborn (@kingofkammebornia) are the self-professed king and queen of “Kammebornia.” Located on a farm with a 1880s gardener’s house, Kammebornia is an art project and lifestyle, embodying the couple’s focus on beauty and stress-free living. “It’s about every person’s right to live in their own fairytale and to be the king or the queen in your own life,” Pia explains. “‘Love and Play’ is our motto, and we wish the world could be a happier and more playful place.”
Pia is an artist, photographer and writer, and also an avid knitter — creating sweaters, mittens, socks and cardigans since the age of 12. “It has always been a form of therapy for me. I feel calm and relaxed when I knit,” she says. “It’s a kind of magic and I like doing something constructive instead of destructive. It’s a soothing rhythm in the knitting, and I make warm and beautiful things for the people I love.” Pia adds that hardships and sorrows have given way to a renewed appreciation for small joys, like sharing coffee and growing flowers. “My favorite place to knit is in our greenhouse, or close to my darling on the couch, while watching a good movie like My Fair Lady or The Sound of Music or an old black-and-white Hitchcock.”
Hello my name is Elie Kimbembe (@visionelie). I’m a 21-year-old artist specializing in photography and design from Toronto. My style is everything and everyone in my environment.
I was born in Congo and moved to Canada when I was a child, so traveling has always been something that’s influenced my life. It’s weird, but I’ve somehow found ways to find good photo opportunities everywhere I go — whether it’s cool architecture or my good-looking friends.
When I see something that sparks my interest visually I always try to capture and share it the way it is. I like to show the people and things I admire most. I want to be versatile in every way possible, and to master all aspects of making something out of nothing.
My husband tries to reason with me that I am in no condition to drive, but I am currently unreasonable and get in the car anyway. Somehow, I navigate the familiar way to her building while carrying the most unfamiliar feeling in my gut.
My dad is walking up as I pull into the driveway. Once I say the thing I came to say, his world will collapse like mine just did. How does one say a sentence like this? We sit on a bench. I somehow say it in between sobs. His face goes blank. He sheds a tear but says nothing. This is how he deals with grief.
My mom isn’t home. She’s out with friends: a movie and an early dinner. So, I pace the floor while she enjoys her final moments of ignorant bliss. My husband comes in with the baby who gets hysterical when I get hysterical, so I try to stay calm.
My brother’s business manager calls. He is kind. He sends condolences. He says he was there when the detectives were there. He says something about a coroner’s notice being affixed to the front door of the house telling the world he has died. He tells me he doesn’t want to rush me and knows this is a deeply personal time, but that once the news gets out, it will be a runaway train. It will be totally out of our control. So, I need to tell my mom as soon as possible. I don’t fully understand what he means. He is my brother. He is my brother who died. I don’t realize who he is to everyone else.
My mom is still not home. I don’t know what to do. I text her and ask where she is. I don’t want to say too much. I don’t want her to drive knowing what I know. She says she’s at some sushi restaurant and texts me a picture of her dinner. I ask if she’s playing cards later tonight. She asks why — what’s wrong? I say nothing.
The phone rings at 6:45 pm. It’s one of Harris’ closest friends who rarely, if ever, calls. He tells me TMZ leaked the story. He asks if it’s true.