February. Already?!

Blogroll, Helsinki, Picture a day

In case you were wondering why I have not posted anything for way too long (sorry), THIS is why:

miu_4916miu_4921miu_4949

Seriously, one gets so little inspiration from the absolute lack of light. Somehow I have been fighting the past weeks on autopilot, and as of February I feel I might… might finally be ready for bigger transformation. Another kick: as a matter of fact, today I received a new batch of business cards arrived today, with the new kitty/geometric logo.

viz_back.pngviz_front.png

I’m pleased with the result.

So. The idleness and lameness aside, I’ve been putting on weight, doing some artwork and writing up PhD related stuff. Finally I have some sense of direction I believe. Maybe my research is relevant after all…

I cannot even go for walks to get inspiration, and I’m not the kind of studio photographer (babies, budoir, nudes, meh, I’m not into staged photography. I hate when I can totally tell how unnatural the pose or the situation is), or the stalking kind taking pictures of people sipping their coffees or performing their acts. I need more spontaneity, more light (duh) and more life. I was thinking I might like to sneak into a closed world in its own terms, like, a factory or another kind of institution, seemingly independent on whatever is going on outside. The truth is, nobody likes photographers spying on them, or observing their work or casual movements, and the last thing I want to cause as a photographer is to upset people.

I cannot say my recent attempts to be photographically productive have been successful. Today, for example, I took a walk around the Töölönlahti bay to Kaisaniemi park. People were – with the exception of drunkards – rushing from building to building/vehicle, striving to spend as little time in transit or outside as possible. But then I saw the beautifully lit greenhouse of the botanical garden in Kaisaniemi:

miu_4948miu_4926miu_4943miu_4930

Nowhere near as interesting as an average botanical garden around Helsinki, but in the overall dimmed grayness the old greenhouses were shining far around. Next time I’m in Österbotten, and that shall be quite soon, I will take pictures of mink or fox farms and those huuuuge greenhouses shining like lighthouses. They contrast amazingly with the snow… should there be snow.

In order to compensate (at least on the paper) for my photo- and bloglaziness I already planned two and three halves of travels for this year. Some in Europe, some possibly beyond, depends on circumstances. No matter how much I disappoint my mummy, I think I will be going to Romania, to Transylvania and Danube delta to be precise. I have been wanting to go for ages, and I feel this could be the sort of a cultural holiday I need. And yes. Transfăgărășan road, aka another Ceaușescu’s mad projects, is indeed on the list.

What else is left to say? Keep calm and… huh huh… hope for the sun! Meanwhile, spend times with those who have you dear.

(frozen, drity ground compilation)

 

Winter.

Creations, Helsinki, nature, Picture a day, Winter frolics

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?

miu_4758miu_4760

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.

miu_4775

I’m particularly fond of the following picture. Eeeeeeeeghh!!

miu_4776miu_4780miu_4789miu_4791miu_4794miu_4795miu_4797miu_4798

Everything was fluffy and beautiful. Bikes, trees, trash along the paths, fences, rails. Everything.

miu_4815

The best thing is that apart from minor exposure etc. corrections no photohandling was needed.

miu_4841miu_4844miu_4845

Some views across the half-frozen sea…

miu_4824miu_4855miu_4859

Those pastel colours!!

miu_4868

Obviously we tried to avoid the crowds.

miu_4862miu_4889miu_4881miu_4894

A little peninsula.

miu_4887miu_4902

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.

15992049_10101137275639330_1028715198_o15991753_10101134888438300_1661875247_o.jpg16106294_10101137275709190_1767243178_o

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Grey hair.

Blogroll, Finland, Picture a day, Winter frolics

Yep, found my first grey hair. Or maybe it was not grey but really, really light and almost transparent. That happens all the time during the summer, but in the darkest time of the year?

Somehow it made feel pretty hot. Or maybe I’m just changing colour for winter like the arctic fox.

We are now heading toward the fourth Sunday of advent. I’m feeling blessed (for all of us) and full of peace (and chocolate). Darkness has taken over my life and most of the time I’m working on autopilot. Maybe that made me so happy re: the grey blond hair..? Today I’ve been fighting a full-moon migraine and consequent speech and cognitive impairment, and put myself through what can only be regarded as pure masochism: a pre-Christmas visit to IKEA. It was for a good cause, but… seriously, how many people are buying kitchens on a weekday morning before Christmas? More than you think.

Also, we celebrated Finland’s 99th Birthday last week.

And enjoyed the views from the Tähtitorni (Observatory Park).

miu_4426

And then the temperature dropped to -9°C, the car suspension broke and the sun came out again! My persistent cough and vitamin D deficit were also quite pleased with the overall situation. Minus the broken spring.

Isn’t Finland absolutely magical?

miu_4492miu_4476miu_4486

It is.

miu_4522miu_4500

 

Alvar Aalto’s House.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Picture a day

… for those who are interested in Aalto´s architecture, do take a look at my recent blog post on Helsinki100 – I visited his house in Munkkiniemi. It was surprisingly cosy. The best moment was taking a peek on the balcony. The guide opened the doors, I took a step outside, had a look and took one more step… and suddenly got blown by icecold wind and pseudosnow. Bless my 38°C mascara.

Nature vs. Nurture.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Winter frolics

… or how was it? I never noticed this tree in Kamppi, a place which I pass many times every week. Looks quite nice in contrast to the sunshine (for real)-illuminated sky. I mean, the tree is located at one of the busiest spots in Helsinki, thousands of people and hundreds of buses pass by every day, and it just stands there peacefully and bears whatever we pass onto it.

miu_4199miu_4208

… just like the people closest to us, right?

As you can see, the snow is gone, long live the snowy frosty weather. Together with the snow, my better half departed for an adventure and he took some of my worries with him. There is much to do still, apply for grants, meet VIPs, ingratiate myself with gatekeepers, visit more Swedish speaking areas, take pictures of whatever I have made lately…

… sorry but due to certain circumstances, or certain people using this blog as their stalking platform, I cannot share more at this point. But I shall, I’ve used this platform for 10 years and no lack of respect shall change this 😉

miu_4225miu_4221miu_4219

^ our beloved apartment building. For another several months at least. The picture is taken yesterday, note the winter sky contrasting those miniature apples (I always wondered whether they are edible…).

An hour and about 1000 steps later:

miu_4258miu_4252miu_4256

This is the official Christmas street of Finland, and an unofficial and accidental tram no. 4 – and the legendary Stockmann department store clock. I mean yeah, it is Christmasy, yet nothing I’d blog about… oh oops!

Another part of the Christmas street is the shop window scene at Stockmann. I have no idea what was in the window this year, all I could see was… blue and black silhouettes.

miu_4245

Oh and may your Advent Sunday be blessed! Cannot wait to be with the loved ones, nothing can beat a family get-together, watch the little and elder ones alike… And for those curious about our humble season decorations, do not despair, they will be documented once there is daylight.

Cheers to good life!

(not with this glass though, found downtown, abandoned yet still shining)

Winter frolics. Part 1.

Blogroll, Comments, Creations, Lifestyle, Likes, Winter frolics

I thought I would start a series on winter symbols, signs reminding me of Christmas approaching, wintery ways of obtaining vitamins, happiness and something to look forward to during the cold and slow-paced season…

Well here is the first one:

vidlickynadatle

Do you wonder what this is? It is quite simple really. If you ever bought a pack of dried dates, chances are that the pack came with a complimentary fork. “Fork”. Plastic, blunt, sticky and unbelievably flimsy, bending in clear arches once it touches the date skin. No living person has ever used it for eating dates (or for anything really?) yet they have been a part of since 1935 (I made that up). I’m sure that the original kind was made out of wood (or similar) and was actually quite nifty, unlike its modern offspring.

I guess this is yet another thing we keep doing “just because”, with no rationing behind…

Is it OK if I don’t want to write anything for the moment?

Architecture, Blogroll, Doors of Helsinki, Helsinki

Partly because I don’t know what to say, partly because it’s pretty late, yet I cannot go to bed without posting some pictures which are safe and somehow pleasant to look at. I guarantee that they won’t make you jealous or feel bad about your life, your figure or your purpose in life. Nor will they force my life into your face. Nor will they make you feel sorry for the less fortunate ones. A few days ago I caught a sunny afternoon for once, so I grasp the opportunity and drove to Lammassaari… and walked and listened to birds and cracking ice and the humming of the cars bringing their drivers back home from work.

The second par of this post is way more concrete. Way more tangible. Way more Helsinki. I took a walk around the city centre and took picture of doors and gates. I tried to grasp the art-nouveau feel of Helsinki, the one really hard to explain to visitors acquainted with the French/Central European version of this style. Sometimes (read: often) the art-nouveau mixes with romanticism and revival of Finnish mythology, typical for late 19th century, so please excuse me not being consistent in my focus – but the walk was great. Weather, light and cars parked in front of some of the unique gates not that much.