Been a while. Three months in fact. This post has undergone more than a few updates within that time as a draft. I think I will go ahead and post this and write another post right after because of all the content I have to share.
Back in August I had the chance to meet a bunch of new people and took a trip by myself for a week to another country. It was an all around exciting and inspiring time, and I’m going to write about it all now.
First off, I had the opportunity to hangout with my old friend Patrick Andrada just days before he moved to the Bay Area. I had kept in contact with him when I saw he was into portrait photography as well and knew he was moving but didn’t know when. Randomly I hit him up to ask if he was doing any shoots because I wanted to tag along to do a video with a model. It turned out, minutes before I messaged him he found out about a TGS meetup in San Diego with multiple photographers and models. Lucky for me he was willing to let me tag along.
TGS (The Gypsy Shack) is a collective/agency of creatives based in the SoCal area and it was great meeting so many other creatives and working together. I was mostly focused on putting together a video of the day but I was able to whip out the x70 to take some photos too. God that thing is handy.
Here’s the video I did from that day shot on my A7ii with a handheld setup.
Had a lot of fun shooting and putting that video together. Lucky to have Taylor and Bria there to give me a lot of room for creative freedom.
A few days later I was at LAX ready to board my plane to Copenhagen.
I didn’t realize until I was already in London for my layover that I hadn’t really ever traveled anywhere alone before. It would be a week of firsts for me. Arriving in Copenhagen was strange. I’ve never been to Europe in my life and after figuring out how to use the Metro and stepping off at the station, I felt like I had just stepped onto the set of a movie or something. The fact that Jamie wasn’t with me only added to the surreal feeling.
I was welcomed by some of the city’s well known bike racks and colorful buildings at the bus stop before making my way to the Air BnB.
I got to know this little neighborhood entrance pretty well. Knowing that I was going alone, I chose an inexpensive attic room about 20 minutes from the city. There was a 24hr market across the street and easy access to the closest bus stop. Nothing too special though.
For my first night, feeling exhausted, I made the trek across the street to the gas station. Surprisingly, they had some chicken kebabs. I asked the cashier what they were called exactly but I couldn’t tell you even if it was spelled out for me. Also tried this energy drink slash cola that’s a local product called Cult. It was actually pretty good. I think I bought two more during my stay.
Still adjusting to the time change and excited for my day, I set up my Sony for a time lapse of the sunrise which I ended up using in the video I made.
Half of my room was the roof so it was slanted in. The windows were cool. I ended up heading out kind of early and headed towards Copenhagen Central Station.
Leaving the station in the middle of the city I came across this entrance to what seemed like a daily art exhibit with food. It wasn’t open until later in the day, so I decided to come back.
Copenhagen is full of color. The people mostly keep to themselves unless talked to. If you can start up a conversation then they’re all kinds of friendly however.
After taking what I thought was a back alley I ended up finding myself right at the front entrance to Christiansborg Palace, the Danish Parliament. I was planning on going here but I honestly just ended up here on accident, so I walked around and took my Sony out for some video while snapping some quick shots with the x70.
Started exploring the shopping district a bit right near Christiansborg Palace. Reminded me of most high end shopping strips like you see in Vegas or Waikiki, tourist trappy.
This guy wasn’t happy about getting his picture taken.
I was craving some coffee so I stopped by one of the local chains called Espresso House. I got an iced mocha and it was so good. It wasn’t over loaded with sweetening but you could still taste that it was mocha. It was really just the perfect iced mocha to me and just from a chain cafe.
Lots of gelato shops and cafes scattered through the shopping district.
My second night in Denmark in one picture. I stopped by a grocery store called Føtex a couple bus stops from where I was staying to pick up some food and an adapter so I could charge my phone on something. The air bnb didn’t have a microwave, but did have a stove and mini oven surprisingly. I couldn’t get the pasta to cook right in the oven though. Hilariously it was never getting heated up enough to my liking yet kept starting to burn and dry up so I just ate it half heated.
The next morning I woke up a little late on accident. The jet lag really messed me up. I was actually supposed to shoot with a local model that day for some lifestyle portraits, but because of the predicted rain and our own conflicting scheduled it got cancelled. So I decided to check out that open art exhibit I saw the other day called Postbox. The path to it ran alongside the open trench for the railways that ran toward Copenhagen Central station.
When I got there it had barely just opened. There were a few people walking around and setting up still. They had a th playing and a bunch of artists were creating live in their own little shipping container areas. The place really reminded me of a temporary version of the Container Park in downtown Las Vegas.
I’m not sure if there’s any significance in Danish culture with boxes but I noticed it was a common theme for naming things. There was even a very popular club called Culturebox that I unfortunately didn’t get to go to.
Next I headed over to Tivoli, one of the oldest amusement parks still in business in the world.
Check out what passes for “Nachos” over there.
As I already expected it started raining while I was there. I was fortunate enough to get some good video and photos though. While I waited for the rain to calm down so I could start heading home, I stopped by this little cafe to get some hot coffee. I remember the cashier being extremely nice. Behold, one of my few souvenirs from my while trip:
While planning to visit Europe, before our plans changed, I bought these Palladium boots. I was skeptical at first but these these are super comfortable and actually provide some good traction. I was really glad to have them for this trip.
I finally just put up with the rain after waiting a good half hour or so and headed to the bus stop.
I swear, this little boy was way too cute. He would smile at me and wave over his dad’s shoulder and then as soon as I would lift up my camera to get a picture of him he would get all serious or even look away. It got to the point where his parents even noticed and even tried helping me to get him to smile.
To be honest, the rest of this night was very wet and dark. Accidentally missed my stop (was trying to get some food before I got home) so I ended up walking to the previous stop in the pouring rain. Thank God I know how to read a map, I almost started walking in the wrong direction. Mostly, I was just really worried about my cameras getting wet from the water that was starting to soak into my backpack.
On the day before my flight back home I decided to stop by a bunch of places near the main city center and see Christianshavn and the famous hippy village of Freetown Christiana. On my way however, I was reminded that this was Pride week in Copenhaven.
Ended up stumbling upon this camera store with a bunch of used gear. If only I had some money.
Was funny seeing both cameras I had brought with me.
Stopped by the Museum of Art because I heard it was completely free and there were a few Picasso pieces on display. I was not disappointed.
Some of Picasso’s work.
After a crazy amount of walking, I made my way to Christianshavn.
This Church spire was one of the best views in the city. The wait was super long. I had barely made it to the door when the two girls I had made friends with in line told me it would be better to come another time because of how slow people were coming down (after you get to the top, there’s no time limit for staying up there). So I asked them for directions to Freetown Christiania, and headed over there.
Christiana is a pretty special place. Special in that there is a whole street lined with vendors selling bricks of weed, yet none of it is legal, but somehow it works out to where the police leave the street alone because they know it brings in tourism, and money for the city? Crazy huh? But because of this unique situation, you can’t take photos in the actual areas where they sell weed. If you do, you could get yelled at or worse beaten up. They don’t want any evidence of their activities.
Afterwards I headed to Round Tower to get some video with a nice view of the city
I started feeling very tired. This was the most walking I had done the whole trip and I was ready to rest at home for my flight the next morning. I suddenly found myself unable to leave though, as I discovered all the traffic that was being caused by the pride parade. It was so bad that I could walk places faster than the buses were arriving. I decided to go ahead and get some footage of the parade since I had time to spare.
Miles of walking and a few hours later, I was able to catch a bus heading in the right direction. There’s a lot of things I can say about this trip. I grew a lot from the experience, learned how to just be alone, got comfortable whipping out the sony with a cage and handle for video in front of random people, and I used a lot of public transportation (which I’ve never used before). But honestly, I really missed home. I really think travel is something meant to be shared. I will be back some day, I’d like to share this city with Jamie.