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:

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! 🙂

 

 

 

February 2019 – Photography

February marked the beginning of my journey into portrait photography. I spent a lot of my free time watching videos about lighting and shadows, trying to understand what I would need in order to start practicing. At the end of the month I bought myself a couple of softboxes and a strobe light. I figured that it would be a good idea to expand my skill base as a photographer, and having some extra lighting equipment could become handy in the future as I could also use it for product photography etc.

I have just started playing with basics and have only tried the lighting on myself at the moment. I will however also be looking for some poor sucke… I mean, people to help me develop my skills and techniques as I practice.

Below are a couple of images from my first venture into this field of photography. Not the best photos, but hopefully I can look back on these as a memory and will be able to take note of how I have progressed. If anyone has any tips or helpful advice they’d like to share, please feel free to send me a message.

Another cool thing that I managed to do was to get my hands on some old lenses. They were both fairly inexpensive and work great on my modern DSLR. I used the 50mm (from the early 80s), to create the portraits above.

Above: Nikon 50mm 1.8 Series E on the left, Nikkor 135mm 2.8 on the right.

Another cool (literally cool), moment from February was when I went out into the night to visit my favourite local mini-island ”Voiluoto”. The air was frosty and the treetops were snowy. I took the opportunity to use myself and my camping lantern to create an image out on the frozen lake, with the island in the background.

Above: ”FROSTY NIGHT”. Me sitting on the lake with Voiluoto in the background. My favourite image of the month.

Above: ”VISITOR”. Experimenting with light in the wait of the night.

Another image from February was from when I visited Kuopio for some business but had a little extra time to check out the Puijo tower. I have been there before but never with a camera in hand. The weather and time of day weren’t the best, but one can get some quite interesting shots from the tower. I enjoyed the big stretches of forest across the land, so I decided to take a pic.

Above: Treetops from above. Puijo tower, Kuopio.

I was also doing a photography assignment in Feb, and it included taking photos of food. I took this extra one for myself.

Above: Berries, yogurt, chocolate etc. Another nice thing about food photography is that you get to eat the stuff while you do the editing. You know, to give you a more in-depth connection to the project 😉

So that was the month. I haven’t done much landscape photography for a while now, but I’m still hoping to get some nice nature-based images as soon as the inspiration and right location are found. I’m am very happy to have new challenges ahead and hope to keep them coming. Photography has grown from a hobby into something that I crave to excel at. A lifelong journey of learning and producing images that I can hopefully look back on with a nostalgic smile.

Have you tried something new or want to try something new in photography? Feel free to swing me a text via social media (InstagramTwitterFacebook), and tell me about your photography. I’m always happy to meet new people in the field and to learn and chat about new ideas.

Otherwise, hope that you had a great February and see you out there in the snow! 🙂