Photography Update 2020/2021

I’ve been away for a while. Life has changed for many of us during these times, and that includes my life too. Social media has also taken a huge backseat for me – not because I have nothing to like or to share, but just because I have and always will take breaks away from it. I enjoy the feedback and inspiration that comes from spending time on social media platforms, however it stops appealing to me when I start feeling like I have to use it to enjoy my life and my photography. Inspiration pops up in other offline forms and taking a break has brought along an introspection into my creative processes. I seem to have a problem with getting comfortable doing personal projects in a predictable manner over long periods of time, and turning off the usual ways of channeling inspiration in favour of others has often proven useful to me. Occasionally, I enjoy looking online at other artists work in order to spark ideas – other times I’ve found it useful to just pick up a random camera, walk out the door and see what happens – an exercise in creativity.

Above: Fun moment from last summer with one of my cameras. Photo by my aunt (Tana Tiilikainen).

Speaking of exercise, I spent a lot of time last autumn hiking and exploring Kontiolahti in the early mornings, often returning to the same spot in hopes of getting the right weather conditions for the shot. I managed to get some decent photos, and just being there in the swamp/near the water was incredible (found some kantarelli mushrooms too). I dabbled in some portrait photography last year, but I haven’t returned to it yet this year. I will do so when the time is right and hopefully I can still take photos of the people that I didn’t get around to doing last time.

Above: A few of my film cameras.

Film photography has also grabbed my interest to a greater degree in recent times. The old, vintage cameras are incredibly fun to use (when they work), and the many types of film available have been interesting to experiment with. I haven’t been able to get ahold of any professional-level film cameras since they are quite pricey these days, but those which I have found I have appreciated whole-heartedly. There is a real ”hands-on”, mechanical feel to using older gear, and despite the many failures on my part (and sometimes the cameras too), I’ve really grown to appreciate photography in a much deeper sense than before. That being said, I am someone who is generally drawn to old as well as new technologies, music, art etc.

Anyways, enough of my rambling. Here are some of the photos I’ve taken over the last year or so. Hope you enjoy 🙂

Above: Let’s start this off with a smile 🙂 Doris joined me last year for a fun and challenging photoshoot. It was fun in the sense that there were many laughs as well as a few interesting and varied backdrop locations within a relatively short distance. The challenge came in with the weather – harsh sunlight in the middle of the day made it tricky to work around the strong shadows, but we had a blast regardless and many of the photos turned out nicely. Doris was also well prepared and many thanks to her for making the trip.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 60mm 2.8D Camera settings: 1/250, f5.6, ISO 50 Other: Off-camera flash, softbox Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Another one from the shoot with Doris.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 18-35mm, 3.5-4.5G Camera settings: 1/250, f8, ISO 100 Other: Off-camera flash, softbox Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

You can find Doris here on Instagram.

Above: Last year I started a day job working for a small village outside of town. I made an effort to take my camera with me every day as occasionally some interesting weather would swing by. These photos were taken on the way to work on a misty morning. The grain works well in my opinion for the foggy photos.

Camera: Nikon FG-20 Lens: Nikon 50mm 1.8E Film: Ilford XP2 400 Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Siverfast 8, Epson Scan, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: What a moon! I was out fishing on the lake one summer night when this amazing sight appeared. I was lucky enough to have my 300mm lens with me and I managed to get a decent shot despite it being handheld with only a few options for composition. A rocking boat is not ideal…

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: 300mm AF Nikon f4 ED Camera settings: 1/320, f4, ISO 1250 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: I gravitate in a nostalgic sense towards this photo. It symbolises summer for me in many ways – being out on the lakes fishing, exploring and just enjoying the rarity of baking under a toasty midnight sun. In terms of the conditions, there are a few things I think that would have made this photo better, but in the end it’s a photo that’s more to me about the moment and the memory than the ”wow”, factor.

Camera: Rolleicord IIe Film: Portra 400 Camera settings: Can’t remember Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: For many years my uncle had been pointing out a particular large rock to me. Its height was very near to the surface of the water, so we decided to have some fun and put a chair on the rock for him to fish from. I took this snap for fun and decided to keep the dust and scanning issues etc., in the photo.

Camera: Rolleiflex T Film: Ilford XP2 400 Camera settings: Sorry, my dog ate them Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

You can find more of my uncle here on Instgra… just kidding, he doesn’t give a fuck.

Above: This image was cropped from a square format photo taken on one of my old film cameras. I was rowing a lot over the last summer and came across this tree that sat fairly far out on the lake. I wanted to capture it when the sun was going down and when the direct sunlight was only hitting the tree and the background. I tried waiting for the sunset to kick in and for the colours to become more subdued and golden, but by the time that stage came by the light was not singling out the tree anymore. I’m still happy with this shot despite the lack of the regular shades of sunset colours, and I’ve also learned to take more landscapes at times of the day other than sunrise or sunset. It was important for me that the tree was lit well in this pic.

Camera: Rolleiflex T Film: Portra 400 Camera settings: N/A Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: I was out in Kontiolahti on my way back from a shoot when I heard this swan calling out for its partner. I grabbed my 300mm lens and took a few photos of the swan on this misty pond. Eventually the second swan arrived and by that time I was happy enough with my day, so I decided to pack it up and leave.

Camera: Nikon D800 Film: 300mm AF Nikon f4 ED Camera settings: 1/320, f8, ISO 400 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: I’ve been to and photographed this jetty many times, but I just can’t help photographing it when I’m in the area. I had an excuse this time though – there was a nice sunrise going on and I’ve never tried it with film before 🙂

Camera: Rolleiflex T Film: Ektar 100 Camera settings: N/A Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Same place as the previous pic but different morning. Felt it gave off an incredibly mysterious vibe so of course I had to do it.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 18-35mm, 3.5-4.5G Camera settings: 1/250, f11, ISO 400 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: A rocky lake shore in Joensuu. I’ve done this style of photography for a long time and will probably continue to do it, if not only for the fact that I appreciate being near a lake and watching the sun go down.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 18-35mm, 3.5-4.5G Camera settings: 1/2 sec, f16, ISO 50 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: I visited this swamp so many times last autumn in hopes of finding misty mornings. I got lucky a few times and it was a really awesome change for me since I’ve never done a lot of morning photography, especially at that location. These trees were really amazing to discover and to photograph – many similar looking ones mixed in with the occasional odd one – kind of like people. The cool colours of the fog mixed with the warm autumn tones of the foreground were a real treat for me. Also, I’ve learned that a lack of good boots leads to wet socks, as well as slushy sounds coming from the feet whenever movement occurs.

Camera: Rolleiflex T Film: Ektar 100 Camera settings: N/A Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Another patch of trees that really stood out for me. I just found the lighting to be amazing, as well as the misty backdrop.

Camera: Rolleiflex T Film: Ektar 100 Camera settings: N/A Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: This photo doesn’t have the ”wow factor”, but it’s another that I quite like. I went really simple with the editing as I have started to do with a lot of my photos. There are some that I will edit a lot, and others that I feel don’t need it at all. This one needed subtlety, and I reckon the cool misty tones work better with it in that way.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 135mm f2.8 Camera settings: 2,5 sec, f16, ISO 400 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Greeeeeen! Damn it was green that day 🙂 This is the same swampy area as before but on a different day. I waited a long time until the direct sunlight only hit the trees in front and not in the background. Think it worked well and I’m always happy to get a shot that is unique in it’s own way, since I usually don’t have such strong greens in my photos.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: 300mm AF Nikon f4 ED Camera settings: 1/100, f7.1, ISO 1250 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Another shot I decided to keep things simple in terms of editing. This scene caught my eye as I was really drawn towards the variety of colour, the mood and the character of the tree. Autumn is amazing here in Finland – so much to offer.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: 300mm AF Nikon f4 ED Camera settings: 1/100, f8, ISO 400 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Similar story as above but cooler colours.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: 300mm AF Nikon f4 ED Camera settings: 1/125, f8, ISO 400 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: For the above shot, I spent years meticulously planning and racking my brain to finally pulling off this highly creative shot. No, just kidding, my film camera jammed and this is what happened. Was a surprisingly interesting mistake though 🙂

Camera: Rolleiflex T Film: Ektar 100 Camera settings: Oops Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Photo of some roots. Not much more to say.

Camera: Polaroid Onestep + Film: Polaroid i-Type Camera settings: N/A Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Last spring I found a patch of reeds nearby to where I live and decided to contact Rosa once again for a shoot. It was nice to get outside and shoot outdoors for a change.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 60mm 2.8D (love this lens) Camera settings: 1/250, f8, ISO 50 Other: Off-camera flash, softbox Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: Some film photos of Rosa shot in studio. Really enjoyed trying this out and hope to do more in the future.

Camera: Nikon FG-20 Lens: Nikon 50mm 1.8E Film: Ilford Pan F Plus 50 (Left photo), Ilford XP2 400 (Right photo) Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Siverfast 8, Epson Scan, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: The digital camera version. Edited the eyes etc.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 60mm 2.8D Camera settings: 1/60th, f8, ISO 50 Other: Off-camera flash, softbox, light modifiers Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: The Polaroid version. Wish I would have had black & white film for this one, but I still like it regardless.

Camera: Polaroid 636 Close Up Film: Polaroid 600 Camera settings: N/A Other: Off-camera flash, softbox, light modifiers Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: ”Submerged”. This is one of the photos/images that of course needed tons of editing. It was created in an interesting way – using my photos from my studio of Rosa and long stretches of material mixed with underwater GoPro shots of some fish I have taken many years ago (I knew they’d come in handy some day!). Other effects etc., were added in Photoshop.

Camera: Mixed Lens: Mixed Camera settings: Mixed Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

You can see more on Rosa Summanen here on Instagram.

Above: Joensuu town hall at night. Changes have been made around the park and marketplace so I decided to take a photo.

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 18-35mm, 3.5-4.5G Camera settings: 20 sec, f16, ISO 50 Scanner/Software: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

Above: I went to Koli not too long ago and took a quick shot with my phone from one of the the few available places to explore (the paths were extremely slippery and covered in snow). I really hope to visit more often in the future so that I can spend more time photographing the area. It’s a truly incredible place to be and one of the few places in Finland that has a more elevated terrain (or at least I believe so).

Camera: Samsung something something phone

Above: Another quick shot from Koli, but using one of my old TLR film cameras. Really need to get back there to do more.

Camera: Yashica 635 Film: Ilford XP2 400 Camera settings: N/A Scanner/Software: Epson V550, Epson Scan/Silverfast 8, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop

So that’s it! For now at least. I hope you’ve all been keeping well through these times and are able to pursue your creative endeavours. I’m aiming to get back into photography more often so that I can learn and further develop my personal style of creativity.

P.S I will be doing some scouting/hiking/exploration for future projects etc., during the spring, so if you’re in the Joensuu area and have any suggestions for locations or are looking yourself for something to photograph, feel free to give me a shout 🙂

Enjoy this post? Feel free to contact me for projects, collaborations, or if you have any other queries:

August 2019 – Photography

This last August was alright for me in terms of my photography. The inspiration is coming back, and I think it has a lot to do with the change of weather and some new, fresh ideas coming to mind. I’ve found that the summer is great for spending time outdoors and for planning future compositions. Even though the weather hasn’t personally been ideal for me, I find it often pays off to do a bit of planning for future shoots. Anyways, here are some of my photos from August.

Above: Macro photography is not something that I’ve paid attention to in the past, but I figured that I might give it a try occasionally from now on. My photos usually focus on a larger area or subject, but I feel that it’s good to try news things with photography and to sometimes just leave the old comfort zone for a while. I think that landscape photography will always be my main passion, however I do also enjoy trying new things for both fun and the experience.

Above: I was walking home one evening and I came across this amazingly orange branch along the side of the road. The glow, detail and flow of the branch attracted me to it. Golden hour is a great time if you’re looking for small patches of light amongst your surroundings. The colour is usually great too.

Above: A misty morning here in Joensuu at my favourite local spot ”Kuhasalo”. The mist on this particular morning was great, but not thick enough for foggy forest photography etc. I think that the mist worked in this situation since the background is so far away. I’m hoping for some thicker fog to roll in soon :).

Above: ”Joen Yö”, is a special night for the locals here in Joensuu. In this photo, the recently-completed large wooden building was lit up with an interesting and creative lighting arrangement. I took the opportunity to create a cityscape photo from this celebratory night.

Above: Another one from a different night, but at a different angle and earlier time.

Above: Early morning sunrise in Joensuu.

Above: A few random Polaroid photos from August :). The one with the car was in Helsinki. Speed holes?

Above: My last photo from August. I went camping on some random island in hopes of capturing the northern lights once again. I was lucky enough to see them, but it was only at 2 or 3 a.m., so technically those images are for September :). I will also upload the aurora photos to a separate post. This sunset was however a reward in itself, and it was a great way to spend the last evening of the month. I think that next year I will be camping a lot more.

So that was it for August. I hope you all had a great summer and that you have an amazingly rewarding autumn! I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to the change of colour in the landscape, the moody weather and the starry/occasionally aurora-filled night skies. There should hopefully be some great photo opportunities ahead.

See you at the lake or in the forest!

 

Enjoy this post? Feel free to contact me for projects, collaborations, or if you have any other queries:

 

2018 – A Year of Photography

2018 was an incredible year for photography. I learnt a lot and am forever grateful that I managed to spend so much time with nature. With each sunset, sunrise and starry night burnt brightly into memory, I will move forward with a goal to experience them all over again in 2019. Below are photos from each month in 2018.

January:

Above: As far as I can remember, January was a mixed month. It had its share of awesome winter sunsets, but there were many overcast days too. I also visited Tampere and managed to photograph some of the city.

February:

Above: In February, I started to focus on night skies. Star trails were something that I wanted to work on, and I spent many nights waiting for hours in very cold weather. The experience was worth it, and now I have a greater understanding for this kind of photography.

March:

Above: March was an experimental month. I bought an old Kodak Brownie camera at a local second hand store and got into using film. It was a side of photography that I had not explored since childhood. It was both fun and challenging. Don’t know when I’ll get into that again but it was definitely a good learning experience.

April:

Above: April had a nice variety of scenery. The lakes were thawing, and that created some really cool-looking shapes of ice to use as an interesting foreground element. I remember the crunching sound of the ice under my boots when walking on the shores.

May:

Above: In May, I visited a summer cottage and spent time with family. I good time and a change of scenery. ”Misty Lake”, was also taken in May. One of my more popular photos.

June:

Above: June was a month with sunny nights, swimming and sauna. I spent a lot of time again with family and exploring new areas. ”Midnight Full Moon”, was my most popular photo from this month.

July:

Above: July was a quiet month. I wasn’t feeling very inspired but still managed to get a few shots. ”Unwinding”, was definitely my favourite from this month. It was something different from my usual ”rock & water”, vibe. A lot of swimming and raining that month.

August:

Above: I visited Helsinki. Next time I visit I want to try some street or cityscape photography. There were also preparations for a light show at the Art Museum in Joensuu, and I grabbed a shot while they were doing the testing.

September:

Above: September, you cheeky bastard. This was a month that I will never forget. I saw the northern lights for the first time and worked a lot on photographing the Milky Way. Many nights were spent waiting by the fire for the dark after twilight. I also started to think more about cityscapes that month.

October:

Above: If September was a cheeky bastard, October would be his outright vulgar older brother. The aurora was back again that month, and it was an even more amazing experience seeing them for the second time. I also got a great chance to do some foggy cityscapes and woodland photography. Definitely my favourite and most memorable month of the year.

November:

Above: Not as good as the previous months, but still an interesting one. It’s always nice to see how the lakes freeze over and create interesting shapes along the shore. I should have definitely taken more photos that month, but the few that I got were decent enough.

December:

Above: December was a quiet end to the year. Only a few photos from the outdoors, since I spent more time on other types of photography. Hopefully next December will be better.

 

So that was my photography for 2018! I hope that my photos have been interesting to look at and give you an idea of what the Finnish nature is like. I also hope that I can bring some new and fresh ideas to the table and expand my knowledge even further in 2019. Enjoy your new year and thank you all for the support!  🙂

 

Above: See you out there in the snow 🙂 My first photo of 2019.

 

October 2018 – What a Month!

I was spoilt rotten by the weather in October. I gained some experience with woodland photography, got to see the northern lights for the second time and also managed to have the whole city of Joensuu to myself (not really, but at 4:30am it seems like it). The variety has been incredible, and although I enjoy the winter and its cold, textured snow, I can’t help but want this autumn to last just a little bit longer. Anyways, below are some photos from October. I’ve chosen to also put some new photos here too, as I have already posted some photos from this month in my older posts.

Above: Birch trees in the morning fog. I’ve started to really enjoy this kind of photography. The fog simplifies the scene by decreasing the amount of visibility, making it easier on the eyes and drawing focus to the subjects.

Above: Another tree in the morning fog. I’ve always found this tree to be interesting, but its surroundings have always been too distracting to produce a good photo of it. The fog took care of that for me and gave me a nice opportunity for a shot.

Above: Another tree that stood out for me. On this morning the fog wasn’t as prominent as in the previous photos, so the background is much more noticeable. I found the blueness from the background to work nicely with the orange colour of the leaves. Maybe I will try it again sometime under different circumstances.

Above: I tried adding a human element to this one. A little break was needed too.

Above: One of my typical sunset shots. It’s very hard to get me away from these, and autumn has had no shortage of dramatic skies.

Above: This was an amazing night and the second time that I had the pleasure of gazing upon the northern lights. You can read more about it and see more photos from that night over here.

Above: This photo was taken really early in the morning here in Joensuu. The city was quiet and the atmosphere was incredible. You can see more cityscapes from October over here.

Above: Nothing special, but just for memory’s sake.

Above: Fine art photo. Had some fun creating this and hope to get more creative with these in the future.

 

That’s all folks. Thanks for taking the time to check out these photos and hope you all have a great November. I’m excited to see what it brings.

 

P.S. Feel free to follow my work on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and drop me a message if you’d like to chat 🙂

Local Cityscapes – Part 1 (Joensuu, Finland)

Autumn is an amazing time for photographing nature and landscapes. The colours are amazing and the sunsets aren’t to late at night, but I’ve decided to also set some time aside and do some local cityscapes here in Joensuu. I’ve been focusing on one area in particular, trying different angles and using different conditions to see what I can come up with. With different times of day and weather conditions, the results can vary quite drastically. Below are some of the results of my ”experimentations”.

Above: These pictures show some of the various stages of the day, all at the same place. Once you know what kind of photo you’re looking for, you can get those results by knowing when to get to the location. Also, sometimes waiting an extra few minutes can grant you a more interesting image.

Above: This photo was taken after sunset and early in the blue hour. This place has some amazing reflections, but I think that some clouds would have improved the image. Photography is amazing in that it allows for endless possibilities. Another reason to get out and do it again!

Above: A foggy morning and a different angle. Scouting an area can provide many different options for you, and it’s just the right conditions that you have to wait for, not usually the composition. A duck or two can’t hurt either.

Above: Another foggy cityscape.

Above: This image is a blend of two images. One of them was taken at sunset, the other about an hour later. If you keep your composition the same as time goes by, you can get quite creative with blending in Photoshop.

Above: Sometimes waking up at 4:30am can give you some interesting results. On the morning that I took this photo, there was an incredible atmosphere. The fog was concealing the tallest building, and it glowed like something out of a gloomy comic book scene. I used the boats to create a leading line towards the focal point. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Above: Just relaxing. Thought I’d try framing the building differently by using some more foreground elements etc.

That brings me to the end of this post. I definitely plan on doing a part two, as I’m still trying different angles in different conditions. Stay tuned for more and thanks for popping in!