2019 – A Year of Photography

2019 was an experimental year for me and my photography. I tried to break away from the rocky shores (which didn’t always work), and force myself to take a vacation from my comfort zone. What I found was a place of mystery, full of new things to figure out and to learn from. I tried my hand at portrait photography, shooting with Polaroid cameras, longer focal lengths and finally got my hands on my first full frame camera. I don’t know if 2019 was better than 2018, but it was certainly full of new and rewarding experiences . Below are some photos of mine taken from last year.

LANDSCAPES

Above: I’ve taken many photos of this local treasure and don’t see myself stopping any time soon. So unique and so close to home.

Above: I really enjoyed the winter last year. These waves of untouched snow along the shores change in a unique manner throughout the season. I put myself in the picture to add a bit of the human element and extra interest to the scene.

Above: The journey and moment behind this picture was just as rewarding as the photo itself. Being alone on an island in the middle of nowhere at 3 am and watching the northern lights was a special moment for me from last year.

Above: Another highlight for me from last year. Probably one of the most difficult photoshoots I’ve ever done and also one of the luckiest shots I’ve ever taken. Getting two strikes of lighting within a single 30 second exposure and having them be in a compositionally suitable place had me smiling the whole way home. I was soaked, riddled with mosquito bites and happier than ever.

Above: I rarely do sunset photos during the summer due to the very late time of the sun setting, but occasionally I’ll go out in search of treating myself to one of these.

Above: Kontiolahti has some great places for foggy forest photos. I spent a great deal of time last year walking in the woods and hoping to expand on my photographic knowledge by trying longer focal lengths. It was a good experience to try something new, and it’s been good for me to fail in order to grow.

Above: I always get excited when the lakes start to thaw, since a huge amount of my photography makes use of reflections in the water.

Above: Another photo using a longer focal length on a foggy morning in Kontiolahti.

Above: I used two different lights to create this image. A camping lantern for the foreground and a powerful torch to light up the trees in the background. I hope to create more photos using this style in the future.

Above: A more heavily edited landscape from Joensuu.

Above: Another one with the northern lights.

Above: As winter approaches, one can find some interesting formations of ice along the shore. Couldn’t resist getting this one.

Above: An icy sunset near the end of 2019.

Above: One thing that I did quite frequently in 2019 was to add myself into the picture. I did this to add a bit more story to my images and I also think it makes the landscapes more personal in a way.

Above: I was out one night doing my usual rocky shore photography, but decided to change the plan and instead focus on photographing the moonrise. I really enjoyed the halo-like effect coming up from behind the treetops.

Above: This one was taken with a longer focal length from the top of a hill in Kontiolahti. I noticed a tree that stood out from everything else in the scene and decided to use it within the frame. The fact that it was misty and snowing at the same time also added some nice texture to the overall image.

CITYSCAPES

Above: 2019 wasn’t a year of cityscapes, but I’m fairly happy with this one. In this case I needed to do a five minute exposure to get the effect that I was looking for.

Above: Another one of Joensuu at night.

Above: The same place as the first one but from another angle and on a different night.

PORTRAITS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: 2019 was also a year that I decided to start exploring flash and portrait photography. I did a lot of work with Rosa Summanen and am pleased with what was created. Many different ideas were used and I’m excited to try new ones in the future with a variety of people. You can follow Rosa here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rosesummanen/

POLAROID

Above: Polaroid cameras can be fun, but also frustrating at times. For the most part though, I found the feedback of using the cameras quite addictive. When it works it’s rewarding and creative, but when it fails it feels cheap and gimmicky.

FOOD & PRODUCT

Above: I spent some time in 2019 working on food and product photography. I think that having a broader base of skills is important, so I wanted to introduce myself to this side of photography too.

OTHER

Above: Autumn is my favourite season of the year here in Finland. The colours never cease to impress.

Above: Birch on a dark and foggy autumn morning.

Above: An image from the forest floor.

 

Above: Sunset illuminating a branch.

Above: Another closeup.

Above: This was one hell of a snowy and winding morning. I took cover under a tree in order to capture this moment without having the lens covered in snow. The skier in the image must have been really determined that day 🙂

Above: A foggy scene from the local park.

Above: Another snowy image taken in the center of Joensuu on an incredibly snowy day.

Above: The local wolf mascot.

Above: Another fine art image created from various photos taken in Joensuu. Model: Rosa Summanen.

Above: When near a lake or big open space, the snow can sometimes completely conceal everything in the distance. It’s quite surreal at times.

Above: Another stormy photo. This was a crazy night for me.

Above: A springtime sunset in Joensuu.

Above: Getting creative while waiting for darkness.

Above: Cooling off after a shoot.

Above: Getting creative with led lights during twilight.

Above: A cold and misty morning in Joensuu, Finland.

Above: A more intimate scene with contrasting colours.

Above: Shapes of ice on a rocky shore.

That was it for 2019! This was a collection of my favourite images from the year. There were many days and nights when I was unsuccessful, but being out in nature or battling with a learning process in the studio was a reward within itself. I hope that you all had a great 2019 and I wish you all the best for 2020. Thank you all for the support and feedback.

See you out there and enjoy your year ahead!

 

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

 

September & October 2019 – Photography

For the past two months or so I’ve been trying something different, choosing longer focal lengths and exploring new places. This has taught me a few things and has been interesting, but I’m not sure yet if it fits my style of photography. I do however believe it’s good to try new things and that I will create some great images in the future with longer focal lengths once I find some more suitable locations. I spent a lot of time these last few months looking for unique-looking trees with some character to them. I found a few, but the conditions haven’t yet been best for the photos. Maybe next year 🙂 Anyways, below are some of my latest images.

Above: A moody scene of some birch on a misty morning. I took this photo purely because of the bright, yellow leaves and the almost mystic appearance of the moody and fading forest.

Settings: 1/50 at f8, ISO 400, 300mm.

Above: Another misty scene. This photo was shot from a fair distance away using a 300mm lens. I was looking for details alongside a hill of trees and found this one tree to stick out in an interesting way. I find the warmer colours of the tree to compliment the coldness of the fog.

Settings: 1/60 at f8, ISO 200, 300mm.

Above: Droplets on a leaf. I often forget that it’s good to sometimes just look down and see what interesting things are going on around my feet 🙂

Settings: 1/200 at f8, ISO 400, 60mm.

Above: A panorama of some fog and forest. The fog this year hasn’t been as thick as last year, so I wasn’t able to get the shots that I had planned for. I still quite enjoy this image and like its cinematic quality.

Settings: 1/15 at f8, ISO 100, 300mm.

Above: More birch. These are really amazing to photograph during the autumn and the colours really ”pop”.

Settings: 1/25 at f11, ISO 200, 135mm.

Above: The moon rising above some trees in Joensuu. The light had a really cool halo effect. Definitely not something that I usually shoot, but interesting nonetheless.

Settings: 30sec at f8, ISO 400, 18mm.

Above: I was on the top of a hill when I took this one. The snow was coming down like crazy, and if you look closely you can see it raining down. I set the shutter speed as to not overpower the scene with the snow, but to give it a more subtle and textural style. The mist in the scene was a nice bonus.

Settings: 1/6 at f13, ISO 50, 300mm.

Above: I can only take so many pictures of trees and other things before I return to a rocky lake shore. This is still one of my favourite things to photograph, and I hope to do some more of these as the winter approaches and the shores change and freeze over.

Settings: 30sec at f16, ISO 100, 20mm.

That was it for the last two months! Not nearly as good as last year, but I’m still glad that I got out there and tried some new things. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the autumn and the winter to come!

See you out there in the cold 🙂

 

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July 2019 – Photography

This summer has been a bit slow for me in terms of photography. Although the season has many unique and interesting weather conditions, I found myself staying up late for the midnight sunsets only a handful of times. July was definitely not my best month for photos, but it was still a blast to be outdoors and enjoy the heat, sauna and swimming. Autumn is around the corner and I have a feeling that it will inspire me once again to create some interesting images. Below are a few photos from July.

Above: I spent a fews days at the summer cottage again this year. This is a simple shot of the moon over the lake.

Above: Another of my favourite local island ”Voiluoto”, here in Joensuu.

Above: Summer is great for swimming. Another simple shot on a summer night.

Above: I was in Helsinki this July for a week or so, and finally decided to visit this monument dedicated to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. If you visit this site, make sure to go underneath it and grab a shot. Interesting.

Above: A few Polaroid photos from around Joensuu using my SX-70.

Above: My portraits for the month 🙂 One of my family members recently got a dog, so I spent a bit of time in the yard with this little dude and snapped a few. I’m still editing a lot of photos from my previous shoots with Rosa Summanen, so I will probably add more of those to my website when they are ready.

 

That was it for July. I think that autumn will bring the weather conditions that I crave and I hope to get some great shots once again. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer and get some great photos!

 

See you out there at the lake!

 

June 2019 – Photography

Summer is here and so are the amazing colours that come with it. The days feel long due to the sun only setting around 11pm, so staying awake until late is crucial if one enjoys the golden hour style of photography. I managed to get a few nice landscapes and did a couple of fun portrait shoots again with Rosa. I also got a chance to visit Helsinki and to use my classic Polaroid Sx-70, which is always an intriguing and unique experience in my opinion. Below are my photos from June.

LANDSCAPES:

Above: Late night sunset somewhere over Lake Kapustaselkä.

Above: I don’t usually post photos that I’ve taken during the middle of the day since I find the colours around sunset to be more pleasing, but I thought I’d add this one just to show what the nature looks like on a sunny day here in Finland.

Above: This photo was taken before sunset somewhere on Lake Kapustaselkä.

POLAROID:

Above: I’ve really been enjoying my Polaroid Sx-70 recently. Using this old instant camera from 1974 has given me a reason to approach my photography in a different manner, and every shot feels in a way like a gamble. The photos develop in around 10-15 minutes, and you never know exactly what you’re going to get. I’m constantly looking for an excuse to use it despite the cost of each photo, which works out to around 2-3€ per photo.

PORTRAITS:

I had a really fun shoot with Rosa Summanen at the beginning of June. The weather was great and so were the flowers, giving us a good chance to get outdoors and get creative with the colours. Below are some photos from the shoot. Please go and check out Rosa Summanen’s Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/rosesummanen/

Above: Photos from shoot with Rosa Summanen. Joensuu, Finland.

 

So that was it for June. Not so much to show this month, but it was fun and rewarding as usual. Hope that you all have a great summer!

 

See you out there in the bushes 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2019 – Photography

The weather is getting warmer and the nights shorter here in Finland. This month was quite rewarding, I captured my first good lighting photo and continued to develop my skills in my home studio. Below are some photos from May 2019.

Landscapes/Nature:

Above: The last bit of snow sits on an island in early May.

Above: Back to the rocks! I was happy to get back to the water in May and create some fine art landscapes. I also finally got a polarising filter after all of these years and had a chance to familiarise myself with it throughout the month. Quite a handy tool in my opinion.

Above: A plain and simple photo of an island after sunset and well into the blue hour. It’s amazing how still and quiet things get at night when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.

Above: A long exposure captures two lighting strikes in one scene. I am proud of this image, and spent many hours in the storm in order to capture this amazing moment. I got home soaking wet and riddled with mosquito bites, but with a big smile on my face 🙂 This was a single 30 second exposure at f8.

Above: Another photo from the stormy night. This is combination of 4 images put together, so not as genuine as the previous image.

Above: Some photos with the human element.

Above: Another simple shot of some green trees in Joensuu. Crazy how quickly the scenery changes around this time of the year.

That was it for the nature photos from May. I will be having many late nights in June and I hope to capture some amazing summer scenes and moments.

Portraits:

Rosa was back as my model this month to help me out with these portraits. It was an interesting month for and I’m continuing to learn more about light and how to use it.

Above: This shoot took a bit of prep. I basically had to go around town and pick up stray branches off the ground to use for the shoot. I’m sure a few people thought I was a madman carrying these branches through the city, but I think it was worth it and added an extra dimension to these portraits. I might do a separate blog about this shoot once I’ve edited more of the photos.

Above: Experimenting with mixed lighting.

Above: A photo from a more simplistic black & white shoot with Rosa. More to come in the future.

That was it for May in terms of portrait photography. I will add more photos from these shoots to my website and social media in the future once they have been edited.

You can see more of Rosa Summanen here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rosesummanen/

 

Hope you enjoyed my work from this month and hope that you all have a great summer!

See you out there!

April 2019 – Photography

April was a bit of a mixed bag. The lakes have been thawing nicely and I have managed to get out into the nature, but in the end there were only one or two landscape photos that I thought were useable. It’s that time of the year where the scenery is mostly brown and patches of snow scatter the landscapes. Sure, these moments should ideally be used as a means to stir ones creative juices, but the photos that I have taken in the forest or by the lake just haven’t stood out for me enough. The rest of my photography time was spent developing my portrait skills in the ”studio” (my lounge), taking cityscapes or trying out older vintage cameras. April was an interesting and greatly rewarding month for me. Below are some of my photos from April 2019.

 

Above: Joensuu’s local wolf-dude statue caked in snow. A snapshot from an early morning walk.

Above: ”Pielisjoki”. Our local river that runs through the city was one of the first places that I noticed had thawed. This is a panorama of one of my favourite spots for a cityscape photo. I’m a sucker for reflections.

Above: This April I got my hands on an old Polaroid SX-70 from around 1974. I’ve wanted one of these cameras for a very long time now, and I finally decided to get it. I like the idea of having any instant camera for taking photos that focus on family, friends and other personal details that could one day serve as memories. The physicality of using a Polaroid has a unique feeling to it, and reminds me that not everything needs to be perfect or predictable when creating an image. I hope to do a full blog with more of these Polaroid photos.

Above: Rosa Summanen was back again in April to help me out with my journey into portraiture. This image above is a photo from a simple, red-themed shoot. As someone who has relied mostly on natural lighting for my landscape photography, learning how to manipulate and control the light has given me goosebumps. It’s been great to develop my skills and I’m now starting to feel more confident with this side of photography.

Above: Another one from the red-themed shoot.

Above: Experimenting a bit using a combination of flash and continuous lighting.

Above: A soft and muted lake scene at golden hour in Joensuu.

Above: My only decent sunset photo of April. Being back in the nature and enjoying moments like these have reminded me of what brought me into photography in the first place. Can’t wait to do more.

Above: I’m really happy with this image. I did another shoot with Rosa for this one, but this time we went with a noir-style theme. The smoke was added afterwards with Photoshop, and was created with another photo of burning incense that I took separately. I definitely want to do a separate blog post detailing the whole shoot, as there were many interesting images, many of which I’m still busy editing. The photo above was definitely one of my favourites, and I was really happy to have it featured on the Fstoppers Instagram feed.

That was it for April! I hope you enjoyed the photos and please go and check out more of Rosa’s modelling skills here on Instagram.

Have a great May! 🙂

 

 

 

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.

 

December 2018 – Photography

For me, December wasn’t a good month for landscape photography due to the almost constant overcast weather, but I did manage to practice my product photography and get out into the snow a few times regardless. This year was however incredible, and I’m sure I’ll make a separate post to cover that. I’m also hoping that the sky will clear as the weather gets colder in January, as I plan to take full advantage of the starry nights.

Hope that you all had a great festive season!

Below are some photos from December.

Above: As the lakes begin to freeze, plates of ice lay along the shores here in Joensuu. The sunset was a great bonus and came unexpectedly. The wait was worth it.

Above: I should have probably gone out more despite the grey skies, but I thought I’d take some time to improve on my item/product photography. These knives are awesome. Handmade locally.

Above: Another knife photo.

Above: Not the most exciting shot, but I just think that snowy treetops are ace.

That was it from December. Not much, but always better than nothing. Can’t wait to see what this new year brings, as I have much to experiment with and new ideas to try.

Have a good January!

November 2018 – Photography

November was okay for me in terms of photography. The weather was mostly grey, and I wasn’t able to get out as much as usual. It was however interesting to see the change in the landscapes as the temperature began to drop, slowly freezing the lake water and producing some interesting shapes of ice.

Above: My favourite place to shoot in Joensuu. Kuhasalo offers many interesting things to photograph, this island being one of them. This photo was taken on one of those typical overcast days.

Above: The shores have started to freeze, and when the sun is visible it can create a nice contrast between hot and cold.

Above: Ice formations over some rocks in the water.

Above: Curves of ice along the shores of Lake Pyhäselkä.

 

So that was it for this month. Nothing like October, but I’m hoping that we get some clearer skies here now in December. This transitional time when the water freezes up can be quite interesting, and I’m hoping to make the best of it.

 

Have a good December!

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 🙂