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Bob Bovin


Bob was born 1943 in Sweden.

Teen-age photographer
Bob's first camera was an Agfa Isolette, with 6x6 cm film. He had seen his father using the camera and making contact prints from films and he wanted to try for him self. Bob started, 12 year old, with sport photography, taking pictures of tennis, and track & field competitions.
Already in the last years of junior high school, 15 years old, Bob started to work as freelance photographer for the two local news papers. His first press camera was a 6x6 Rolleiflex, the standard press camera of that time. Bob got a Hasselblad 1000F of his parents 1958 and started to use the news papers 250 mm telephoto lens for soccer games. His first scoop was published in the top news paper of Sweden, Expressen. One photograph from a soccer match was elected best soccer picture of the year. During the summer months and week-ends most of his time was spent on assignments for press work. A lot of sport events was covered, but also general projects in co-work with journalists were done. The work took such proportions that Bob was called to the schools principal, but after a check of Bob´s grads of the school work, he just gave Bob his wish of good luck in the press work.

Documentary interest
The work as a freelancer focused mostly on sport, but the general interest changed to documentary work. The influence came from reading the international journals like Life, Paris Match and the swedish journal Se. Yearly published journals like Photography Annual made deep impressions. The pictures and books of Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Capa, Elliot Erwitt and later on Martin Parr influenced Bob and his way of work. He more and more tried to document every days life and specially situations including humor. The combination of a sign and a happening that could cause a laugh made his day.

Science photographer
Graduate studies, in the beginning of the 70-ties, at Lund University in Sweden, introduced Bob to the use of electron microscopy in solid state chemistry. Electron microscopes are in principal very big cameras for photographing the order of atoms in solid materials. After a PhD in chemistry Bob started a profession as an electron microscopist. In the 90-ties he became professor in the same area. The high light of the profession was the cover of Nature in 1985, followed by a resent cover on a nano-science journal 2005. Bob has published 3 papers in Nature, 2 papers in Science and totally more than 130 papers in international scientific journals.

Revisits to old photographic print processes
For more than 10 years Bob studied the old printing processes. He changed several of the chemical components of the methods and some have been published by friends. He did a number of prints using the old process like; gum print, cyanotype, platinum printing and kallitype. In the 80-ties he also took part in many exhibitions locally and nationally. Mostly group exhibitions, but some single exhibitions. Bob was also board member in a local society, which was running a photo gallery. The gallery had both Swedish and international exhibitions. Among photographers on display were: Imogen Cunningham, Martin Parr, Lennart Olson, and Christer Strömholm.

Travel and Nature photography
Bob has lived for a year with his family in Phoenix, USA 1979, and worked for shorter or longer periods in France, Japan and Denmark. He has been visiting half of the states in the US and travelled five of the seven continents. Bob has focused his camera both on Nature and the way of living in different countries. Today his greatest interest is wild life in hard climates.

Bob has taken part in many single and group exhibitions. A short list of the exhibition can be seen here. He was presented in a local TV program when he had exhibitions in Linköping, Sweden 2009-2010. You can see the TV-interview here.



Electron Microscope Nature and JNN covers LeicaM6 Exibitions
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