Hello, I am Jon ! My art name is ©leftjohn, since I am lefthanded, so my creative hand is my left and also because I am very proud of my left hand. Sometimes I do nice surgery with the it, too !
My life as a photographer started when I was 11, in 1962. I bought a “box camera” for 3 USD= 16 Nkr. I was especially attracted by the nice smell of the leather case. Very soon I understood that the quality of the pictures would probably not become good enough neither to satisfy myself, nor to impress other people.
This “selfportrait" was taken by my brother outside our hut in the “mountains” of Lillehammer with my first camera.
In 1964, when I was 13, I went with my two brothers 15 and 16 to stay alone for a week at this hut, burning wood and paraffin and carrying water from a river nearby after making hole in the ice, in the days skiing in minus 15-20 degrees Celcius. We survived also the 7 hours travel to get there with train and bus bringing skis and backpacks .
After working for 2 years, every afternoon during the weeks in a bookstore, I had collected enough money, about 1300 Nkr = 250 USD, to by my firs SLR camera, Exacta Warex, made in East Germany.
Minolta and Nikon had been on the market for a while, but there was doubt if the Japanese products were good enough, yet.
The bird, a nesting Common Blackbird = Svarttrost = Turdus Merula, was captured by me in a tree close to the Kings Castle, close to where we lived. It was published on page 3 in the second biggest newspaper in Norway, Dagbladet. I was mentioned by name as “a young bird photographer”, and in addition to the honor received a 6 USD = 35 Nkr paiment.
For many years I went to schools, studied, became a dermatologist, was married, built houses, established a private practice and got two fantastic children. During these years I took many family pictures and so on.
In 2006 I joined a photo group with Thorbjørn Tandberg to Kirgistan, where my interest for photographing started to blossom again. What I learnt from Thorbjørn and my co-travellers has been very important for my later work as a photographer.
“Doble Proudness” was taken in July 2006 in the mountains of Djeti-Oguz in Kirgistan. The former KGB-officer had this eagle as his “housebird” and hunting partner. It was said to have killed 7 wolfes for the officer (!) . The picture was chosen as the Photo-Of-The-Month at Foto.no in Oct 2008.
The revolution in digital photographing the last 10 years has been amazing. During the last years I have spent more and more time with my camera in the wild nature of Norway, Svalbard, Kenya and this year Alaska.
But I still work more than full time as a dermatologist and manager of my own office.
In that way I am extremely privileged that has an interesting work that I like and still the freedom to spend a lot of time on my hobby !
Some time I get the pictures I really want, many times I have to admit that there is still a long way to go !