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.

PORTRAITS:

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.

– Lauri on Instagram

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.

– Aila on Instagram –

– Lenore on Instagram –

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 🙂

– Rosa on Instagram –

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 🙂

– Iwona on Instagram –

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.

 

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

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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! 🙂