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:

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:

 

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 🙂

 

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

 

 

 

 

A Night with the Lights – Part II

The mission was simple… to see and photograph the northern lights once again. I wanted to get to the most convenient place I knew which also had a low level of light pollution and faced the north. I decided to visit a summer cottage and take a boat from there to an island close by. Once I reached the island at about 5 p.m., I scouted the north-facing shore for possible photo and camping options. Things were looking good, and the shore had some awesome rocky puddles running along it. I found a place to put my tent, and found my main composition area for some photography. It was quiet, peaceful and a great way to start the evening.

Above: Scouting by boat for a photography/camping location. It can be difficult to choose and settle on a location sometimes since one often tends to ask a lot of ”What if?”, questions when it comes to creating an image. The other locations were great too, but I think that they will be useful for future use instead.

Above: A bad, but idea-giving photo of my nature hotel for the night.

The main photography location for the night was good, but I also had a few other backup plans as well (including a composition with two trees in it). Time was also now starting to run out, and the last thing I wanted to do was to be out there in the dark like some lost idiot scrambling for compositions. It can work, but I personally don’t enjoy rushing things that way. The sunset was coming soon. I took a moment to rest and enjoy it this time, as I usually plan to shoot around, or just after sunset. However, that didn’t stop me from taking a pic or two :). I couldn’t resist.

Above: What a sunset it was! Not a good composition, but I took a photo regardless. Too much fiery sky to resist.

Above: Shortly after sunset. I ended up taking this shot in the place that I had planned to use for my main northern lights photo, just so that I wouldn’t end up leaving without any decent shots from the trip. I actually quite like how it turned out, although the sunset was unfortunately a bit too much off to the left. Moving the composition was also not an option as there wasn’t anything else in the area that I found to be suitable.

After taking the photo shown above, I spent the rest of the night waiting in my tent, drifting in and out of sleep in anticipation of my potential sky-bound guest. I sent my alarm for 2 a.m.-one hour before the northern lights were expected to show. Regular check ups were in order via the front of my tent (AKA ”tentavision”.), and to much of my delight the guest had decided to arrive early (around 1.30 a.m.). It was time to get shooting!

Above: The picture above was actually a ”Plan B photo”, but I enjoy it more than the one I had set up to be my main photo. It almost seems like the trees were enjoying the view as much as I was. I think of the big tree as a parent along with the smaller child tree. A memorable moment for sure.

Above: This was when the aurora seemed to be at its most active, twisting and flying around wildly in the sky. The position of it at this time wasn’t suitable for any of my planned compositions, so I just took a simple shot of the sky. The northern lights weren’t as active as they were the second time I saw them, but it was nevertheless still amazing as always!

Above: This was the photo that I had planned for as my main photo for the night. I’m quite happy with it, but I still prefer the one with the trees in it. By now it was already around 3.30 a.m., and I was starting to get tired regardless of the amount of coffee I drank. I stuck around for a couple more hours in hopes of getting more good shots, but it seemed as though the show was over and it was time to leave this island and head back to the summer cottage.

Above: One more photo to show the last of the aurora. The visibility continued to dip as the sun began to rise.

The rest of the morning involved taking an amazingly surreal boat trip in the dark back to the summer cottage. I was way too tired to take photos of this journey back, but it was a good way to end the trip. I eventually arrived back at around 5.30 a.m., and went straight to bed. I think that the short trip was worth it and I recommend that others take the time to go and watch the northern lights from time to time (or include it as part of a holiday somewhere up north). It really removes one from the bubble of daily life and can give one the indescribable feeling of connecting with something greater than ourselves. Nature and its therapeutic quality has been good to me once again, and the pictures are a special bonus. I hope that you enjoyed them.

Anyways, have a great autumn and remember the keep an eye on the weather! I think that the next show could be on the 26th/27th of September, so go have a walk and a look to the north :). See you out there!

 

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

 

 

 

August 2019 – Photography

This last August was alright for me in terms of my photography. The inspiration is coming back, and I think it has a lot to do with the change of weather and some new, fresh ideas coming to mind. I’ve found that the summer is great for spending time outdoors and for planning future compositions. Even though the weather hasn’t personally been ideal for me, I find it often pays off to do a bit of planning for future shoots. Anyways, here are some of my photos from August.

Above: Macro photography is not something that I’ve paid attention to in the past, but I figured that I might give it a try occasionally from now on. My photos usually focus on a larger area or subject, but I feel that it’s good to try news things with photography and to sometimes just leave the old comfort zone for a while. I think that landscape photography will always be my main passion, however I do also enjoy trying new things for both fun and the experience.

Above: I was walking home one evening and I came across this amazingly orange branch along the side of the road. The glow, detail and flow of the branch attracted me to it. Golden hour is a great time if you’re looking for small patches of light amongst your surroundings. The colour is usually great too.

Above: A misty morning here in Joensuu at my favourite local spot ”Kuhasalo”. The mist on this particular morning was great, but not thick enough for foggy forest photography etc. I think that the mist worked in this situation since the background is so far away. I’m hoping for some thicker fog to roll in soon :).

Above: ”Joen Yö”, is a special night for the locals here in Joensuu. In this photo, the recently-completed large wooden building was lit up with an interesting and creative lighting arrangement. I took the opportunity to create a cityscape photo from this celebratory night.

Above: Another one from a different night, but at a different angle and earlier time.

Above: Early morning sunrise in Joensuu.

Above: A few random Polaroid photos from August :). The one with the car was in Helsinki. Speed holes?

Above: My last photo from August. I went camping on some random island in hopes of capturing the northern lights once again. I was lucky enough to see them, but it was only at 2 or 3 a.m., so technically those images are for September :). I will also upload the aurora photos to a separate post. This sunset was however a reward in itself, and it was a great way to spend the last evening of the month. I think that next year I will be camping a lot more.

So that was it for August. I hope you all had a great summer and that you have an amazingly rewarding autumn! I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to the change of colour in the landscape, the moody weather and the starry/occasionally aurora-filled night skies. There should hopefully be some great photo opportunities ahead.

See you at the lake or in the forest!

 

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! 🙂

 

 

 

March 2019 – Photography

March. Yeah, March was quite snowy. I spent more time indoors developing my portrait photography than being out in the snow. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but I’m sure that when the lakes thaw and some water starts to show I’ll be back out there doing my usual business. I think that things are slowly starting to improve in the ”studio”, as well. I also got my hands on an old Polaroid in March, but there were unfortunately some problems with the camera so I will post photos from that as soon as it’s fixed. Anyways, here are a few photos from last month.

Above: A self portrait. The man behind the camera etc. I just wanted to take a simple photo of myself in the usual ”photography outfit”. My great grandfather bought this jacket for me many years ago. It’s a bit beat up, but has served me well in my ventures.

Above: Sometimes in winter when the snow is coming down and you’re outdoors in a wide open area, the landscape in the background can really seem to disappear. It almost gives one the feeling of living in a dream or walking through the clouds.

Above: Taken at the end of March, this photo show the city of Joensuu sitting along the river shortly after sunset. I want to take this photo again once the river has thawed, as I believe it will look better then with all the reflections in the water etc.

Above: There was one particular day in March when the snow was coming down like crazy and the wind was blowing like mad. This photo is from the centre of Joensuu of that day. Who needs fog when you have a ”mini-blizzard”, to create atmosphere in your images? 🙂

Above: This one was actually taken in summer, 2018. I wanted to show the similarities between the seasons here in Finland. No, not really. It’s another one from the stormy day. Too late now for April Fool’s jokes…

Above: Also on the above-mentioned day. For this photo I needed to find a tree to shelter myself while I took the shot. I found this really interesting tree in the distance and waited for someone to get into the frame before taking the shot. I must give credit this person for their awesome skiing skills, as the wind was really howling out there in the open. What a champ!

Above: An ugly puddle on a dirt road. I stopped and took a snapshot as I found the tree in the reflection to be of interest. Soon it will be full of leaves and the scenery will come to life again. Good times and late nights.

Above: Rosa has helped me a lot with starting my journey into portrait photography. I’m now able to start developing my own style and to start creating images that focus on my own personal perspective of the human being. I want to create art with this side of my photography, but also want to be able and equipped with the know-how to do commercial style work if necessary. There were more photos of Rosa that I took in March but I have not edited them yet, so they will be added at a later stage when they are ready.

Go check out Rosa (Rosa Summanen), via the link below:

— Instagram: Rosa Summanen —

Hope you all had a good March and enjoy the spring! Or as some of you like to call it with air quotes ”spring”.

See you out there 🙂

 

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! 🙂