Portraits, Polaroids and a Bit of the Usual
This year started off with me heading into more unfamiliar territory in terms of my photographic/visual development. I started working more often with people than with lakes (turns out they are quite different), and bouncing ideas around with others has been great fun. Time spent learning new sides of photography takes time away from the already familiar landscapes, but I believe that I must continue to explore in order to grow and maximise my creative toolkit. The goal for the future is to strike a good balance of exploring the less familiar and striving to perfect the familiar.
Thank you to everyone that has been following, taking part in and appreciating my work. I hope to create some great images this year and I wish you all the best during these strange and difficult times. Below are some images from the first few months of this year.
After deciding that I wanted to further explore portrait photography, I posted a notice on Facebook calling for collaborations. I was really surprised with the amount of interest that I received and I’m happy to keep moving forward with this.
Above: I was really glad to have Lauri on board for this project because of his great character. The image on the left was a quick Polaroid photo taken at the end of the shoot using studio strobes. The image on the right was created by shooting through a sheet of wet glass and then blending those images in Photoshop with other various images of Joensuu at night. A fun, interesting process that I will be using again in the future.
Above: This was my second idea for the shoot, and one that I am very happy with. Lauri was great at getting into the right vibe for this, and it all came together very nicely in the end. I have used this technique before, shooting firstly the base image and then adding the smoke later in post production. I generally take photos of burning incense and composite them into the image accordingly. Even though I’m against smoking, I can’t help but acknowledge its visual impact and additional story-telling qualities that it brings to the plate.
Above: Aila (model), & Lenore (makeup artist), were the first people that I chose to work with for these projects. The idea was to do something simple, subtle and to make use of hanging fabric in some way or another. I think that the theme suited Aila well and I’m really happy with how these turned out. Lenore did a great job with the hair and makeup – a whole other side of this world that I know little about but was appreciative of. Every detail counts, I believe.
The image on the left was the base idea, while the image on the right was secondary. I personally prefer the second due to the variety of shades and shapes in the cloth. The warmer tones on the model and cooler tones of the fabric help to separate the subject from the surroundings and to create a nice balance of colour throughout the image.
Above: Another image using the second idea. A small change of expression and overall colour makes a world of difference in my opinion. Almost as though the second version would be of someone you know, and the first one of a complete stranger.
Above: Messing around with studio lights and a Polaroid camera. I believe it’s good to mess around as it could lead to greater ideas down the road.
Above: I decided to create a new profile picture by incorporating my photography and graphic design skills into the image. I came up with this as I thought it would accurately represent my new-found interest in Polaroid cameras, as well as strobe lights with coloured filters/gels attached. It’s most likely just a phase, but I’m going to run with it while it’s fresh and exciting.
Above: A random self portrait.
Above: Rosa is back again and did an awesome job with this one. This image pushed my skills in a very different direction and I really enjoyed creating it. It involved the use of many images and techniques. I will definitely do more of these heavily-edited images in order to develop my skills further, and perhaps I will also post a separate blog showcasing the process etc. Fun.
Above: Polaroids of Rosa using studio lights and a powerful hairdryer 🙂
Above: Iwona was great to work with and the shoot was very rewarding with many different options to choose from. The shoot started off traditionally with a more natural colour palette, but then it slowly developed into something really moody and mysterious. This image was my personal favourite.
Above: A few more of Iwona. The image on the left was my initial favourite, and was the first photo that I edited from the shoot. It ”pops”, more than the first image and many prefer this version. The image on the right lacks the mysteriousness in my opinion, but the arms being in the frame with slightly-reflective black table are nice additions.
Above: Yes, more Polaroids 🙂
LANDSCAPES, CITYSCAPES & OTHER:
I’ve had a slower start to this year in terms of landscape photography, but I believe it will pick up as the year progresses. The previous winter was not what I had expected, and although I made many plans to do wintery landscapes, I ultimately ended up being disappointed with the conditions after spending time on location. When this happens, I either leave or stick around and force myself to make the best of it. Sometimes it works (even ending up better than the original idea), and other times not so much. A bit of a gamble, but in my eyes it’s always better to go out anyways.
Above: An amazing moment as these stormy rain clouds drifted rapidly by during a sunset. I found a few rocky friends (as usual), and did my best to quickly get a composition together before the clouds passed.
Above: Another rocky sunset. Two images of the same place, but on different evenings. The icy layers in the water can either work by adding interest and seasonal context to and image, or they can be distracting and overwhelming to the eyes. Can be tricky, but at that point I was just happy to be outdoors. Conditions can make such a big difference.
Above: Took this one while waiting for the sunset. Amazing what interesting details one can find in the ice.
Above: A time-blended, spring cityscape of Joensuu. I really can’t get enough of the golden/blue-hour cityscapes from this river (Pielisjoki). During this time of the year (April), the evening sun hits the windows and creates some incredible lighting effects.
Above: Polaroids of Joensuu. I find the temperature to play a great role in the outcome of the images. The photo on the far left was taken in cold weather and placed directly into my pocket after exposure, which didn’t seem to sufficiently warm it. I like it though in some ways, and that’s just the thing about Polaroids – It’s risky and surprising, disappointing and rewarding (for me at least).
Above: One of the few local churches, glowing along the riverside during a blue hour. Although there is a possible lack in foreground interest, I found the clouds worked well in leading the eyes to the church. Taken on the way home from another shoot at the lake.
That was all for now! I’m still busy editing images from these various shoots and planning new ones as well. The current global situation will surely change my approach towards many projects, but I’m still going to make the best of it. Maybe it’s time to try still life, macro or some other indoor photography?
I hope that you all manage to make the best of these difficult times and find different ways to manage your creativity. One could take it as an opportunity to learn.
See you out there! Or maybe not for a while 🙂
Above: Extra image. My camera was taking photos as the wind blew the tripod over. Thankfully nothing broke. Fail -> win? Nah.
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