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:

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 🙂

 

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!

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.