Although there was this common recommendation not to travel to Lapland we… we decided to do it anyways. At the end of the day, we felt much safer in a cabin in the fells than in a flat in the capital region. Opportunities for meeting others were very limited and even more limited for those who injured their knees on the first day and were then unable to part-take in any decent winter activities.
Except from walking short distances and visiting a reindeer farm.
And yes, the (real) North remains what it has been for me since the first day I set my tired foot there (Kiruna, a.d. 2012). I have never been calmer and happier anywhere else. Maybe one day you will find me herding reindeer and spending evenings drinking black coffee and chewing on reindeer jerkies.
I admit this is – photography-wise – nothing overly original, after all these are basically cracks in the ice and some random snowy/shadowy arrangement, but I just wanted to take pictures of something that is not a toddler so bad…
Other than that, ice cracks mean that the spring is on its way. Finnish spring though, so dripping water, melting snow and more sunshine.
Is nearly over and it has been the best year of 2021 so far! I have been reasonably busy, partly buried in snow and enjoying those moments between Instagramable walks, fun outings and inspirational meetings. In fact, I met someone last week, and I think that this experience may change my life. The little one keeps amazing me – recently through being so independent and spending her first night without parents.
And then some really bizarre things happened to flowers and plants forgotten outside at the mercy of Finnish winter.
We have snow. In fact we have had snow for about a week now and it has been a gamechanger for the winter. Not only does this feel like a real winter now, but
everything becomes cleaner
everything sounds cleaner
everything feels cleaner
everything feels hopeful
there is suddenly more light everywhere
kids (and adults alike) get easily entertained outside
everything has a beautiful outline.
Yes, a beautiful, contrasting outline, giving all objects outside an extra dimension. Suddenly dark objects are visible in dark as well, and a fresh layer of snow changes the view outside into a 2D black-and-white block-print during those dimmed gray days (ahh). Of course I have no pictures of snow-covered anything just yet, instead, I’m waiting for that crisp new snow layer in order to get concrete images for the actual block-print.
So yeah, I just wanted to post about how pretty the outlines created by fresh snow are and I did not even post any actual photos of snow or related art material.
I post quite regularly – towards the end of the month. I suspect it has something with the moon phase (or some other phase)? Well indeed I tend to have more creative energy . Or maybe it is the press and the details of the end of the month (and hence that I’m most productive under pressure). Who knows.
Greetings from the darkness, anyways! But despite it being November, aka the dullest month of the year, there is a lot of colours and life out there. Juxtaposed against grayness of rotting leaves, bare ground and misty dim, the colour is out there and it indeed is pretty.
I’ve been keeping a diary for some time now – for various reasons. It has helped me to focus and stay sharp; also, it is a habit that I have been able to keep. The problem is that it has kept me from sharing myself online, which I think is a pity. Not that my visitor numbers would be high, I just thought I could peeking out again. So hello!
I have been properly activating myself, signing up for a lot of voluntary activities that I do not burn for (that was the idea) and trying to get busy with art again although a certain someone has been successfully stopping me from it. I have been rather grateful lately – for health, for material wealth, for wisdom and… for the fact that I have been able to avoid ways of living that would destroy me in the long run. Also, for the skills I have been developing in the past years – patience, fatigue resistance and humbleness.
And I think that Dry February is absolute bullsh*t – everybody who feel like they should take part in it might like to look at their alcohol consuming habits and other life choices in general. But the whole challenge made me think about my identity, my presence, my visibility.
I’m afraid I will never make it into the news – I’m not an exceptional scientist (in fact, I do not want to work in research), I don’t take drugs or drink and I don’t think I will need to recover from dependency on these, I don’t live in a country exotic enough to my compatriots and because I ignore social media I remain invisible to most people (including my peers). My health troubles have prevented me from achieving what I had imagined, but they are not interesting or serious enough. My art is breakthrough in its honesty, that is, how little I depend on Photoshop and general augmentation and instead rely on tangible media. My life is not drastically minimalist or zero-waste, my taste is somehow different but not crazy enough. I’m not exceptionally anything, but I’m exceptional. And I feel good about that.
Living near greenery calms one down – the peace and calming colours bring down the blood pressure, monotonous sounds soothes the busy and stressed mind and the overall abundance of non-man-made stimuli inspire the mind.
Also, I love skiing and running, picking berries, avoiding idiots, grilling marshmallows and taking pictures, so the general proximity of nature works pretty well for me!
As I advertised last time, we spent a week in Lapland. And it was quite nice, although for some reasons hard to comprehend not as nice as I would wish. Now, I actually did not take that many pictures, because I find carrying a DSLR on ski trips awkward. Also… how many pictures of snowy landscapes does one actually fancy looking at in April?
Not that much of azure-blue skies, more silvery beige tones. Nah, I absolutely adore Lapland, but after a long and particularly gray winter I’m not that thrilled any more.
On a more spring-like note, a few shots from the short walks around parks and nature reserves in Helsinki area. As you can see, I got a bit carried away by moss...
Do expect more photos tonight or tomorrow. So long, m’friends!
February is almost over and I haven’t been updating the website as much as I promised. Partly due to the lack of events, dull weather and general photopportunities, partly due to those events I have no name nor an excuse for.
So we went to Turku/Åbo, took care of some research-related business, visited some museums and took pictures. Of grey, nearly empty Turku. I’m particularly fond of how this mosaic turned out, the orange hopeful corner… so, how was your February?
We had exactly 3 days of winter last week. Winter meaning minus degrees, snow and sun; after that it quickly turned back to good old liminal grey nonsense.
On one of these days I took a feel-good walk to the cemetery and paid tribute to the frozen cherubs.
On another day I had some business in Malmi. I wish there was something more exciting to take pictures of. Maybe some other time?
However, during the weekend we were meeting some friends on Suomenlinna. And that’s why this post will probably take you like 2 hours to load – I cannot resist taking AND uploading all the pictures. According to hardcore Suomenlinna locals such days are scarce and should be enjoyed fully. So we did that.
I don’t think these photographs need any comments: we took the ferry to the island and walked around and drank coffee and bubbly. The light was soft and warm and everything was so fluffy from frost.
I’m particularly fond of the following picture. Eeeeeeeeghh!!
Everything was fluffy and beautiful. Bikes, trees, trash along the paths, fences, rails. Everything.
The best thing is that apart from minor exposure etc. corrections no photohandling was needed.
Some views across the half-frozen sea…
Those pastel colours!!
Obviously we tried to avoid the crowds.
A little peninsula.
Isn’t that wonderful? It was. A few days later the temperatures climbed above zero and all the beauty was gone. So I resorted to books, emails, articles and sketchbook.