Yes it has been a while since the last update but now it’s more time for a fresh picture.
I used the beginning of the vacation for a first (think about that) shooting this year, and returned to a familiar and close-by location.
Even though not a masterpiece, it is at least a good beginning of the summer holidays.
Not often have I take the liberty to show images here on the blog that are something different other than the usual landscapes. Every now and then though I take images during a trip which I find so inspiring that I find them worth sharing, even though they are not, well, landscapes in the traditional sense. These are some of those.
A belated honeymoon to the beautiful city of Vienna offered these possibilities. While I focused for the majority of time on the vintage architecture I also played around a bit with street photography, which I am not very familiar with but surely had fun doing it.
Once I read someone quoting that Vienna is a feast for street photography, something that I, even after this rather short visit, can subscribe to.
Whilst a huge part of the images is of more private nature I do have a nice collection of images from this trip together, which I will publish in two or three posts.
It was time for another road trip to the north and with it we had the chance for more exploration of the northern landscapes of Norway. For this trip a visit of some not-yet explored areas was planned: the most northern places in Norway and Europe.
Aside one visit to the Finmark area two years ago , the majority of our visits to Norway took us into the Tröms area or the Lofoten, which was the most south that we have gotten so far. The road trip though led us again mainly through the Finnmark.
We began our trip just behind the Finnish/Norwegian border in Skibotn up to the northern spot on the European continent, the Nordkapp . I find the wide open landscapes in this area to be very visually appealing and the resulting images reflect this in more streamlined and simpler compositions.
To capture these wide open spaces, I focused on creating panoramic images exclusively, something that I haven’t been doing for quite a while. It seemed though necessary as I had not the feeling I couldn’t capture the feel and atmosphere of the landscapes in a single frame. Looking back at the resulting images it proves me right.
My approach to photographing landscapes has changed quite a bit during the last two or so years as I have grown accustomed to the fact that the experience of being in a place is far more satisfying than the act collecting as many images as possible. Also I started to learn to deal with whatever the weather conditions are at the moment and stopped hoping or waiting for the right light. Right can mean a lot of things, and I think when it looks great, the light is simply is right.
During the short stint at these locations, many views have been left un-explored but I have the distinct feeling that this wasn’t my the last visit around there.
It has been indeed a bit silent here on the blog, but I can assure you that I haven not been completely in holiday-mode. I had the chance for some nice landscape photography up in the very north of Norway as well as exploring some slightly unusual terrain, at least for me that is. But the latter will remains a little tease until the final sighting and processing of the images.
When not being out and photographing or some tweaking/re-designing and writing for my recently launched personal blog I had the chance again to contribute a fresh guest article to the german photography blog Kwerfeldein.
In that article I am introducing my Mänty Sketches project and share a few thoughts on the idea and the process behind the project and naturally some images.
More updates to come in the near future but now I invite you over to Kwerfeldein and hope you enjoy the article.
Most of the snow in this area had finally given in, accepted that it’s time for Spring to get into business and melted away. The conditions are about to get better and I start to get back into the business myself again and keep my blogs running again.
Before continuing with fresh material, it’s time to publish and put a lid on the Mänty Sketches Project, if only for the next few months.
Before I get caught up with writing, I’d rather present you the last few images for the project.
For more images from this series feel free to visit the gallery.
The sea, the coast, rocks and mountains are surely my favourite subjects in the landscape and luckily all of these can be easily photographed in Norway. I quickly learned this during my first, and admittedly very short, visit to Norway three years ago. Ever since I have returned to different parts of the country at least once or twice a year for a more or less extended photographic journey.
During this year though I haven’t had a chance for a real photographic journey in general and specifically for a visit to Norway whatsoever . A few weeks ago though, a work trip though brought me to the city of Narvik for something along the lines of 36 hours.
Since the nature of this trip, was purely a work related (that is, if one can actually call that what I’m doing as work, but that’s of course a totally different story), the chance to pursue landscape photography was very small one to begin with. To reduce luggage I in fact didn’t even bothered to take my gear with me. The thought of carrying a 10 kilogram backpack (plus tripod of course) while already being aware that I most likely wouldn’t have a chance for serious photography, wasn’t so nice and motivating after all.
Naturally though, I didn’t come totally un-equipped and took my Ricoh GXR with me. In Narvik itself I had no transportation available and the only chance I actually had to take at least some pictures was during a quick walk to the harbour just before breakfast. The outcome of those images isn’t worth mentioning in fact.
Things were a bit different on the way back though. Whilst the trip to Narvik led us first through heavy snowstorms and later for the greater part through the dark, the way back to Finland on the other side was a rather smooth ride in the bus in nice morning light in mountains. Since this was the only chance I had to do at least some photography during trip, I spent some time taking pictures out of the driving bus. This is surely something a lot different from my usual way of working.
The result is this little series of images, which I find interesting since they are of a slightly more playful character, a tad out-of-the-usual. At the same time they are taken from an angle I am usually not able to take images of. The slighty higher seating position provided often a better viewpoint (often over the tree line) than I would be able to work off would I have been working with my tripod from ground level.
Somehow I do enjoy the more documentary feel of the images, which somehow is supported by occasional reflections in the windows.
To me it feels that landscape photography is something that one really needs to actually want to do. It requires passion and ever so often, a lot of time. While I’m not lacking the passion, I am severely lacking time to pursue my photography. Sometimes small projects like these help to see a silver lining on the horizon and that soon more photographic opportunities will come up.
It had been crazy busy around here and time for writing and processing images for fresh posts are a rare bonus at the moment. I did find some time to update at least my other blog every now and then and to finally fix the ever-so-often crashing iMac of mine. Which in fact is yet another reason for the lack of updates around here.
All these external issues aside I managed to find some time to participate in one of Olaf Bathke’s hangouts. We had some fun discussing different aspects of planning and organizing a photographic trip. With me were of course Olaf Bathke as well as Rainer Mirau and we did discuss several software tools and of course camera bags ;-).
So if you are speak or understand german I would like to invite you over to the recorded video over on YouTube or on Google+ and have a look.
The coldest days of winter are long over by now and the sub-freezing temperatures are long forgotten, the beginning of February though had been very cold time. In fact, on one those days we had the pleasure of having the coldest spot in Finland just here. I’m not sure about the exact temperature, but it was something in the vicinity of minus 32 degrees celsius.
It was on a day like that, on a Sunday, when after a long period, available time and beautiful weather conditions came together. Moments like these have become a luxury but one simply has to wait, and eventually things just work out.
I grabbed my bag and decided to go out an work primarily on my Mänty Sketches project. Since I already had an image and location in mind I knew where to go to. It was in fact so easy, it almost took the fun out of it. But on the other hand in conditions like this you don’t want to aimlessly run around and look for something to photograph either. After warming up the motor of the car, I finally head out to my planned location to take the image.
The only few kilometers of distance to my planned location led me over the motorway where the glowing tree tops along the river caught my eye. From my experience it’s usually best to stay focused and stick to the plan, but this view was just too nice to ignore and I decided to take advantage of this. I take the next exit of the motorway and get back to the same vantage point on the bridge over the mainly frozen river.
In temperatures like this, live-view (which I am now using almost exclusively) proves to be very useful. Not only does it make composing the image easier, it also prevents the breath to immediately freeze on the camera. This happened to me a lot on my previous camera models during winter time. Another positive side-effect is that by utilizing live-view, especially in a magnified view (5x or 10x), it is most obvious when the camera stops shaking.
After all I am standing on a bridge here and it is interesting to notice, that even though (or maybe even because of) I have the camera on a tripod, how much vibration is introduced on the camera by trucks crossing the bridge. The amount of vibration of a bridge is somewhat scary and really makes one trust into the construction of these things. This kind of camera shake, ruined an similar photograph of mine almost exactly a year ago. Then it was though the vibration of my shaking legs on another, very light bridge.
Usually I shy away of images within the city but I am rather satisfied that this time I didn’t. I get a few interesting compositions before continuing with my trip to my planned location and get the images that I have planned.