Category Archives: Foto

Foto / Photo

Year in review – 2016

Year in review – 2016

When this year started I had a few ideas what I’d like to do, but I can’t recall anything other than “I want to do more” as a goal.
I did know and had started to plan for my trip to Ukraine, but up until I actually got there in February I did have this “what on earth have I got myself into“-feeling, which was soon replaced with “oh, man this is awesome“-feeling. Can read more about my trip here. I must admit that I’ve been a terrible student afterwards, but I do aim try to learn more as I feel an absolute pure joy when I manage to read a word here and there online, names of followers or descriptions on Instagram, Flickr and random images and text I spot online.

One very clear goal I had for 2016 was to make a printed book from my first 3 years of doing portraits and my work with some amazing models in and from Latvia.
What I didn’t foresee was that this actually turned into becoming my thing. I am currently working on my 10th book this year. Most of these book are so far ebooks only, but I hope to make them available as print as well.

While I was away in Riga this November the local bi-yearly cabaret did their shows. This year I really missed a great opportunity and honour: they did a skit where I, as a photographer, was parodied. Was told that it was filmed, so would like to see that.

My published work 2016

Most of these have been translated into German

2016 was a year I worked a lot with photography, but I shot far less than I’ve have done in years. There were two reasons for this, first reasons was the terrible weather we had this summer. The second reason for my seemingly lower activity was that I was editing… a lot. My hardcover book, Naked Latvia, took a lot of work, and when that was done I started on next book project and then next book project… oh. and just in case anyone wonders what is a low number of shots for a year: 14 000.


I really enjoy publishing books and I have plans on continuing doing so in 2017. I want to travel at least as much as I did in 2016, hope to get a chance to travel more, not less. First off is a trip to Gran Canaria with my wife and my muse: Sinba. This will be a combination of vacation and work. After this there are some additional travel plans, but tickets haven’t been bought yet and no date set. I do hope that 2017 will come with a few nice surprises just like 2016 did for me.

Also posted in book, Travel

“I will need a bookshelf for my published books”

I just got notification from Amazon that my own copy of my first paperback is on it’s way.

“I will need a bookshelf for my published books”

Now there is a thought I’d never thought I’d think nor say out loud..

If I’m happy with the print quality I will also make all my other ebooks available as a paperback. With this new development I’m also considering Naked Latvia, my hardcover book. Quite a lot of people have expressed interest in that book, but that the price was too high. I can fully understand that point of view, and if the quality is something I can live with I will make a more affordable version available.

The first few sales of the book was in Japan. Looks like I’ll be hunting for a Japanese translator.

Sexy Models: Foxy Cherry: Uncensored sensual photos

Foxy Cherry is now available as a paperback

Change of workflow

My workflow will change, if I find the quality to my liking, so that I will publish the physical books first then ebook afterwards. The reason for this that I then can make the ebook free of charge for those that have bought a physical copy. Personally I don’t like the idea to pay for an ebook or for an mp3 when I have the physical item already in my house…. So when I’m allowed to make it available for free I will do that 🙂


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Naked Latvia – Hardcover book – now available on Amazon

Naked Latvia – a hardcover book – now available on Amazon

The development and progress Kenneth Gjesdal, a portrait photographer, has achieved over 3 years (2013 – 2015) working with amazing talented and beautiful models from Latvia.

Naked Latvia

Out now on Amazon
ISBN-10: 1367173469


I’ve been to Latvia twice a year since 2013, and in addition had one model visiting me twice in 2015. During the first few trips I attended workshops. Lately I’ve been working on my own or with a fellow photographer.

In this book I’d like to show the progress and changes I’ve made over the last 3 years, doing portrait photography. I photograph and/or edit every day; there might be days when I don’t, but these are few. I like to try out new editing techniques so there are a lot of different styles and hopefully: progress.

Wrote about it in when I started working on it, and that was also my last post in Norwegian. Working title was Riga I – IV

I would like to thank you for your interest in my work and if you have any comments I would very much like to hear from you.
Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are highly appreciated, my facebook page or in an e-mail:

If you’d like to suggest some form of co-operation, please drop me a line.

With love

Kenneth Gjesdal

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Zoo photography: how to photograph animals at the zoo

How to photograph animals at the zoo: Zoo photography

Apart from doing photography work I normally do, portrait photography and events, I also enjoy going to zoos.
Getting the good photos in a zoo is something I see a lot of people struggle with. So I’ve set out to write a book about photographing animals at zoos, aquariums and parks and so on.

Zoo photography

Zoo photography
(den Lille Dyrehagen – the Small Zoo)

Do you have any questions about zoo photographing?

Don’t hesitate to send me an email or put your question below if you have any questions or suggestions on topics you wonder about or think others will want to know.


Some of the topic I’ve put in my draft (not complete list)

  • What equipment is required
  • Camera settings
  • Camera technique
  • What other things to bring
  • Planning
  • Zoo resources online
  • What time of day and year
  • Legal issues
  • etc

    zoo photography

    Bring not only camera for your day at the zoo, but some food too.

zoo photography

If possible put the lens inside the fence, but be aware of danger, like the electric wire here 🙂


Location portrait photography

Location portrait photography vs studio portrait photography

Advantages of Location based vs Studio based photography

Advantages of location based portrait photography

  • unique looks, but does demand one search out new locations or use them in different ways / angles
  • easier for client or model to relax. An empty studio with few, if any, things to interact with can be a bit intimidating
  • the light outdoor can give one a lot variation to the results, all depending on the time of day, season and weather
  • the cost. If one does not have a studio freely available, then there is the advantage of don’t have to pay to rent a studio
  • unexpected sets (can of course also be an disadvantage, if sets are not as expected)*
  • Locations can add interesting structure or provide “natural” props*

Advantages of studio based portrait photography

  • control of light is much easier in a studio and if one really know what look one wants, then studio is a very good choice as everything can be controlled
  • weather is not a factor one needs to take into consideration
  • privacy is not an issue if one works in a studio. Not everyone feel comfortable if a lot of people stare at them, so being indoors can help
  • no need to drag all equipment with you. If you have a lot of lenses and props you want to use in a shoot or not quite sure what to use, it can be a bit difficult to leave something behind
  • shorter way*

* = expanded based on feedback 🙂

I do spend quite a lot of time doing location scouting. What I normally look for is somewhere with a new, distinctive look, as secluded as possible, but not too far to walk. I do have a lot of equipment at times and the client or model also often bring with them a number of items, change of outfits, make-up, water etc.

Some examples of location portrait photography

Here is the place the example photos were taken. I’ve used this spot quite a lot last few years.
It’s not too far from where I live and it’s very close to the main road, but quite secluded in the summer time. Only negative with this place is that it is quite cold as it’s shaded by the mountains most of the day.

Also posted in Portrett Tagged , , , , |

Back from another photography trip to Riga, Latvia

My goal originally was to complete my photography book from my trips to Riga before I returned, but the work takes a little longer than I expected, not that I’m in a very much of a hurry, but I did had hoped to bring copies with me. I expect I’m roughly halfway done, or perhaps a bit further. I will not include any work from this trip in the book, nor will I edit many of them before I’ve completed the book… That is a goal at least, I’m known to keep such “promises” I tell myself 🙂

Although he wasn’t with me physical on this trip, my good friend George Groot, is in many ways “responsible” for this trip as not only did he introduce me with two of the models I was lucky to work with, but he also gave me a tip on a photography studio I hadn’t heard of before; Yeko Photo Studio. I used the studio twice during the stay. Was very happy with the results and service I got.

Model: Sinba

Model: Sinba
MUA & Stylist: Ramona Lazda
Shot in studio

Model: Lita Lote

Model: Lita Lote
Model: Lita Lote
MUA & Stylist: Ramona Lazda & Linda Akmenlauka
Shot in Studio

While I was there another photography friend of mine was also in Riga and shot in another studio, we didn’t work together this time, but we met each evening and talked about what we both had done and looked over a few unprocessed photos, but mainly we just went out and had a meal and could talk photography for hours without anyone presents getting bored out of their minds 🙂

The photos I didn’t shoot in the studio was shot in the apartment I rented. I prefer renting apartments instead of hotels, not only do I find hotels boring and too predictable, but I do prefer to have a bit more room. I like to walk to the kitchen and make myself something to eat in the evening, and then walk to another room and eat it, not sitting in one tiny (or sometimes not so tiny, but still just one or two rooms). The cost of renting an apartment in Riga is way less than a hotelroom cost back home so…
How do I find apartments you might ask. Lately I’ve used Airbnb (if you use this link you’ll get a discount when you book with them, and so do I 🙂


Model: Candice

Model: Candice
MUA & Stylist: Linda Akmenlauka
Shot in apartment


Model: AliseElf

Model: AliseElf
MUA & Stylist: Linda Akmenlauka
Shot in apartment

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Editing portraits – what I most often need to edit

What I most often need to edit..

The little things

What I actually spend most time on when I edit portraits are not what people might think; the face or re-sculpture the body (something I normally don’t do)
I often have to spend up to 90% on the things that few would notice at the time, but might notice afterwards

This photo below here, from my third trip in May, 2014 to Riga, Latvia, show some of the things that would annoy me if I didn’t get it removed. the price-tags underneath the shoes.
This actually took me a little while to remove. In addition to this I had to remove some spots on the floor and wall. Elizabeth needed little work as she was in my opinion already photo-shopped when she entered the studio 🙂


What I most often need to edit in portraits, the other things

This is what I spend most of the time on this image editing. Sometimes it is the little things 🙂

Model: Elizabeth

Most editing in this photo was shoes and background…
Model: Elizabeth


What I normally don’t do

I do not normally reshape a person.
I try not to over-edit.


My “normal” edit process

I will document later a normal editing routine later and post it here. Stay tuned 🙂


Tools I use

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC

Topaz labs plugins

I earn a small payment from the link to Topaz plugin, but at the same time so do you if you should buy one of them. (free 30 day evaluation available)

Also posted in Portrett Tagged , , |

Bokprosjekt – “Riga I – VI”

I august 2013 dro jeg til Riga i Latvia for å lære meg å fotografere mennesker. Jeg deltok som eneste deltager på en workshop, for å lære som fotograf å jobbe med mennesker. Før dette hadde jeg i svært liten grad tatt bilder av mennesker, men heller fokusert på landskaper.

Tiden var nå inne for å utfordre meg selv kraftig. Jeg søkte og fikk tildelt et kulturstipend fra Lund kommune, og dette gjorde at jeg kunne returnere til Riga sent i desember 2013 for videre opplæring.

Jeg har vært tilbake i Riga to ganger i året siden da, og hatt besøk av en modell fra Latvia to ganger. De siste gangene har det vært lite med workshops, men mer jobbing på egenhånd med modeller og make-up artister.

Jeg vil gjennom denne boka prøve å vise utviklingen både når det gjelder det å ta et bra bilde, og prosessen i etterkant.

Jeg vil inkludere bilder som ikke er blitt vist før. Teksten i boka vil bli på engelsk.

Also posted in Portrett Tagged , , , , , |

Modell fra Riga på besøk

Etter siste tur til Riga tenkte jeg at det ville vært interessant å fått litt mer enn bare noen timer med en modell og reist litt rundt i distriktet hvor jeg bor. Jeg fant en helg det passet for meg og ønsket å jobbe med en modell fra Latvia jeg alt har jobbet med som hadde lyst og mulighet til å fly til Sola.


Tatt i studio i Riga, 2015
Model: Sinba
MUA & Stylist: Ramona Lazda & Linda Akmenlauka

Å si at jeg var litt nervøs for hvordan været kunne bli er å si det veldig forsiktig…

Vi reiste til Sverd i Fjell for å ta noen bilder med litt lokal forankring før vi dro og spiste middag. Tenkte at hu gjerne ville prøve hval og det falt i smak 🙂
Etterpå tok vi noen bilder på hotellet.

Sverd i fjell

Sverd i fjell
Model: Sinba

Sinba - War bonnet

Model: Sinba











Lørdagen kom med veldig surt vær, vi kjørte til Moi, med et par stans underveis, tok en kopp kaffe hjemme hos oss. Etterpå kjørte vi i et kraftig regnvær, med litt torden mot Byrkjedalstunet hvor vi skulle overnatte.

Nedenfor Månafossen

Etter vi hadde vært oppe med Månafossen gikk vi ut i elva og tok noen bilder nedenfor

Sinba sin ide å krysse elva...

Eksempel på hva en må gjøre for å få bilder… Vannet var kaldt og var litt bekymret for å falle på de glatte steinene med kamera..

Været var ikke noe særlig bra, men vi satte kursen mot Månafossen, hvor jeg tenkte vi kunne få noen ok bilder om regnet gav seg, og det gjorde det faktisk med en gang vi kom inn i Frafjord. Med Latvia som er, etter det jeg har sett, flatere enn Danmark, så tenkte jeg at det kunne være kjekt for Sinba å se slikt landskap. Det var det jammen og, hu klatret opp til Månafossen som om hu ikke hadde gjort noe annet og tok bilder med sitt kamera av naturen under hele turen.


Sinba i Gloppedalsura

Sinba i Gloppedalsura

Søndag våknet vi til kjempeflott sol, vi tok noen bilder ved Byrkjedalstunet før vi dro til Jæren (Bryne) og Orrestranda før jeg kjørte henne til flyplassen. «Don’t send me back!» sa Sinba med et smil da jeg spurte om hu hadde hatt det greit.

Sinba forstod plutselig hva jeg mente med "vannet er kaldt i sjøen her"

På vei mot stranda fortalte jeg at strendene er like fine som de de har i Latvia, men bare mye kaldere om sommeren. Plutselig forstod hu hva jeg mente… 🙂


Model: Sinba

Siste bilde for denne gang

Siste bilde fra besøket
Model: Sinba

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Modell kom til Moi :-)

For ca et år siden ble jeg oppmerksom på en modell fra Krakow, Polen. Jeg vurderte om neste utenlandstur ikke skulle bli en tur dit om modellen kunne tenkt seg et lite samarbeid.
Jeg tok ikke kontakt da jeg så det var litt vanskelig å få til, men hadde henne og den nydelige byen Krakow i bakhodet.

Helt plutselig fikk jeg nylig en melding fra denne modellen, hu skulle være i Norge og lurte på om jeg ville jobbe med henne… Ikke bare fant vi en dag som passet, men hu kunne komme til meg på Moi…
Som sagt så gjort, så et par korte uker etterpå dukket hun om på togstasjonen på Moi (23.4.2015), litt trøtt etter togturen, men det gikk fort over. Vi tok bilder på Skjeggestad og i Drangsdalen, men i motsetting til et par dager før så var det kjempekaldt, en utrolig sur vind, så det ikke mulig å holde på så lenge utendørs. En må ha backup planer her i distriktet, så vi gikk innendørs.

Nå er det en stund siden dette besøket og jeg har hatt mye å gjøre, en fototur til Riga sammen med en annen fotograf, fotografere konfirmanter m.m.
I kjølvannet av sist besøk i Riga så fikk jeg plutselig en kveld en ide om ikke en av de modellene jeg jobbet med sist kunne tenkt seg en tur til Norge for å fotografere her og vips så var det ordnet, nå håper jeg bare på fint vær den helga hu kommer…