Frost on ice


Last Saturday we woke up to a cold and crispy autumn morning with cloudless skies. The weather was so nice, that the camera had to get an outing with the boys. The ditches around the fields had frozen over during the night, catching leaves, air bubbles and whatnot in the process. The simple beauty of autumn.

ait bubbles captured in ice

birch leaves captured in ice

barbell with weights at CrossFit gym

Seeing what we ignore

As a photographer a great deal of time should be constantly spent training the eye and mind to see things that others ignore and pass by without a thought. A quote from Scott Berkun’s Mindfire illustrates the challenge in this very well:

For most knowledge-worker types, life is an abstraction. We move things around we can’t hold in our hands, and we get paid for doing dull things for dull people we never meet and never know.

The challenge as an adult, once you’ve found your way and settled down, is to undo indifference. That’s where happiness is: in paying attention in the ways we did when things were new, and we were young enough not to judge. We all have that voice in our heads that whispers, “This is cool” or “This is different” or even “Wait—what is this? Let’s see,” but it’s pounded into submission by the stodgy, stronger, rational adult voice we’ve used to get the external things we covet so dearly.

Unfortunately it is all too easy to forget to look around with an open mind and let ourselves experience childish joy in discovering new things or seeing things in a new way. As a photographer who is always looking to improve my vision and storytelling, undoing indifference and slowing down is something I need to do much more often.

In fact, I’ve found that lately picking up the camera is in many ways too much of a chore. Much of it is because I feel that so many of the photographs I currently take are just new versions of the same old. I really need to challenge myself bye slowing down and thinking of new perspectives.

small flames

Burning down a house

Whenever we at the fire department get a chance to burn down a house that would otherwise be torn down, we jump at the opportunity. Burning a real building and exercising technique on how to move and put out structural fires is always better when the location real.

Admittedly, we held the exercise two months ago so these pictures have been a long time coming. This time I also had a GoPro attached to my helmet shooting video footage from inside the structure. Editing that will probably take another two months knowing me ;)

BTW, if there is any interest for any of these images as a wallpaper, give me a shout and I’ll see what I can do.

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1978 chevrolet corvette detail

May Day / Vappu

Fire truck, ambulance and spectators

May Day (or Vappu in Finnish) is a bank holiday in Finland and traditionally a day spent at picnics, watching parades and listening to political speeches. For a long time there hasn’t been anything going on in our town with everyone going to the nearest city to experience the crowds. This year however the local businesses organized some activities in what passes for our town square (a piece of dirt in the center of town that is owned by too many different parties).

1978 chevrolet corvette detail

helmet and harley davidson detail

I was there showing the colors of the fire department. Luckily we managed to avoid hearing any political speeches, but we did have to endure some karaoke. Some historic cars and modern bikes came to be shown in addition to the vendors.

charlie chaplin impersonator

And one of our local characters, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator made an appearance. As he always does when a crowd gathers in town.

kontio sisu, an old truck, detail