All posts for the month September, 2010

Soo… the Better Half’s in Cambridge now, catching up on the Student Life again.
I went there with her, to make sure all her shoes made it there, because they didn’t fit in her suitcase 😀

Cambridge… Yeah… What can I say…?
I usually go to new places without any expectations, with an open mind. I tried that here, too. I knew it’s a place with a long history, lots of old architecture, etc. etc., but it still blew me away how much there really is. It’s beautiful. I have a whole lot of pictures from the place, but I haven’t yet processed them all. Will show some of that later.

In this post I just want to show that those Brits (at least those in Cambridge) are a bunch of silly people, no offense! *LOL*

Warning sign

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Warning sign

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Do leave a message if you need me to explain 😉

So this would be the guy’s world of oblivion, Day 12. But… This is really not oblivion, and it’s not really day 12 either, since I shot these already last month, but most of all: these just deserve a better name than a generic Day + number. Tomorrow will be Day 13 again, but first:

Word goes around in photography land that maybe one out of every thousand images is a great image.
There might be some truth in that, although among of every thousand images, I’m quite sure that there are a whole lot of good ones, at least I think that’d be the case with me. Now… that may sound very pompous, and oh yeah, I have sessions where everything just goes down the drain and I have to spend more time than I want trying to salvage things in Photoshop, but one thing I’ve learned down the line is that you can’t make a good picture out of a mediocre picture, no matter how good you are with Photoshop.

Earlier this year I did a few blog posts with pictures of our godson, and especially this one was one of those images that turned out (I think) really beautifully. Mommy came over with our godson when her husband was stuck somewhere in southern Europe right around the time the volcano in Iceland had erupted. It was one of those moments where I caught him just sitting there, or actually, not just sitting there, but trying to get rid of his diaper 😀 But anyway… I quickly did a couple of tweaks to the RAW file in PS, converted it to black and white, and gave mommy the prints home. She was all happy, and of course I was, too, that she was, and it’s now framed and hanging in their place, I’m proud to say 🙂

Now… mommy has a whole lot of mommy-friends and they all liked this picture so much that mommy arranged a mommies-day with me hanging around. I was dreading the day. I haven’t been around that many kids in that age group at the same time probably since I was that age, but it was a great experience. A very tiring one, too (respect to all the mommies for doing this on a daily basis!!).

I’m not the type of photographer who puts angels’ wings on a baby, or a little tiara on the head or tries to get a kid to laugh at the camera, which they seldom do at the right moment. I’m more for just letting the kids do their thing and catch them when they are happy doing what they are doing, and are naturally happy. It takes a lot more effort, a lot more time, and a lot more energy, and the outcome isn’t always 100% guaranteed, but the result is so much more rewarding when you do get the right shot.

And that leads me back to the line I started with.
“Remember it, and remember it well”, our teacher in RMSP said, “the good photographers know when NOT to take a shot.” Not saying I’m such a good photographer, but I NOT shot a lot of pictures that day 😀 I also DID shoot a good number of pictures; nowhere close to a thousand, which according to the line I started with pretty much downed my score of good images. But no… I did get a few really nice shots…

Of course our godson, but that’s not so difficult, because he just IS the cutest ever (I might be a tad bit biased 😉 )


D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm

But he wasn’t the only cute kid on the block this day…

1 in 1000 Portrait

D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

1 in 1000 Portrait

D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

1 in 1000 Portrait

D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

But what I didn’t realize, not until I got home and started processing the pictures, was that I really did get my 1 in 1000. I got about 10% good pictures out of the day’s session, which is a very good result, I think. But this was the best of the day, my 1 in 1000…

1 in 1000 Portrait

D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm

Thanks to mommy for organizing this day with all the mommy-friends. And thanks to the mommy-friends for bringing the kids! It was awesome!

I’d been meaning to go to this field already for quite awhile, but always something else came up and then the trip to England came and I still hadn’t gone. I expected everything to be gone by the time I got back from England, but much to my surprise everything was still there. But then the weather turned sour and I had to wait for almost another week still before I actually got to go. But there was a nice day in between all the rainy ones a couple of days ago (not the same day as the wedding 😉 ) and I waited for sunset to go and shoot.
The ground was a mess… sticky clay, especially after all the rain, but I guess they thrive well on that.

Summer on its way out…

Sunflowers at the end of summer

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/4.8, Nikkor 50mm

Sunflowers at the end of summer

D700, ISO200, 1/10 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Sunflowers at the end of summer

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/3, Tamron 90mm macro, on-camera (fill) flash

Ok, maybe some of these aren’t really oblivion, but I’ll keep on counting anyway, so I don’t have to put up two posts a day 😉

Or then… Maybe this is somewhat oblivion. Roaming the town in the middle of the night… Anyway… Not the perfect conditions, weather-wise, for shooting a full moon, as it was all hazy in the sky, but with some post-processing I did get this old-fashioned kind of feel to it, I think. It’s not an Ansel Adams, I know (we don’t have Yosemite in downtown Helsinki, sorry to say), but it’ll make-do (and no, those are not dead pixels, they are stars, the big bright one must be Jupiter, the rest I put in for good looks 😀 ).

Helsinki under the full moon

D700, ISO800, 20 sec @ f/19, Tamron 28-75mm

This was really Day 6, but I guess I can cheat a little bit here and there, right?

I shot a wedding yesterday, beautiful couple and boy, were they lucky with the weather! It’d been raining pretty much the whole week. This sad, not just overcast but completely white in the sky kind of autumn weather, like it is again today. But yesterday… just out of the blue (weather forecast had it all wrong, of course, it was supposed to rain yesterday, too!): glorious, sunny day, blue sky, a bit hazy, but nice and warm until deep in the night (people sitting on terraces until well after midnight, that’s not normal in this time of year in this place).

The couple got married in Temppeliaukionkirkko, one of those must-see tourist attractions in Helsinki. A beautiful place, really, and it shows from the amount of buses with tourists that drive: On Friday I went scouting to see how the light was inside the church (on one of those cloudy, rainy days, mind you). I shot a series of images and stitched them together.


D700, ISO200, 0,5 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm; 9 images stitched together in Photoshop

So… On those lonely, sad days when I feel like I need that extra boost…
Sure, it’s said that chocolate does the thing only for girls, but owwell… I guess I’m very metrosexual when it comes to chocolate 😀

Chocolate on day 8

D700, ISO200, 6 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

I’m still waiting for that chocolasm. “They” say that chocolate releases endorphines into the brain, making it feel like a sexual experience, but it doesn’t really work on me. And believe me, I’ve eaten my share of chocolate. Maybe you really do have to be a woman for that.
Owwell… Let’s not go into the details. This blog is not the place for that kind of talk 😉

Those regular house-hold chores… Dreadful…
I really have to blow off some steam! ARGH!
And imagine: we have a dryer, but we (I in this case) don’t really use it save for the bed sheets. The rest we bring down to the dry-room in the house. It’s a separate room a few floors down in the apartment building we’re living in. And this really nice lady (yes, can you feel the sarcasm dripping off here? I invite you to fill in your own personal favorite here 😀 ***) in our house has taken a habit of putting up sticky-notes on our laundry if it’s been hanging there too long for her liking.
My last batch of laundry I hung up at around 2.30 or 3 am on Sunday night (yeah, I still have a problem with going to bed at a decent time) and I picked it up yesterday morning, Thursday, around 9am. So effectively it’s been hanging there for a good 3 days, which I think is a very reasonable time for laundry to dry. Sure it might’ve been dry in two days, but common! And she put up a sticky-note on the laundry reading something along the lines of “This has been hanging here now for 5 days. Who’s gonna fix this?” I know who does it, and I also know that she herself has the tendency to let her laundry hang there for 3-4 days.

So now I’m really suppressing the urge to write a seriously nasty note back about how she can’t count and pot-kettle kind of remarks. But… I’m counting to 10… no, make that 100… and I’m just doing my ironing, blowing off some steam, and when I run into her in the staircase I’m gonna act like a serious hypocrite and be all nice and scold her when I’m out of sight. And whine about it to my Better Half, who’s in a totally different time zone and can’t do anything about it anyway…

Blow off some steam

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm

*** You know what? Just for the heck of it… I’m gonna do a little contest: he or she who comes up with the most original nick name for this really nice lady gets a free 20x30cm print on fancy luster paper from any of the model/property released images in my portfolio (actual sizes may differ slightly, depending on the crop of the image). Go check to find the image of your choice. No obvious profanity, I’ll accept things like “deranged old hag” (so that’s now taken by me and can’t be used anymore), but that’s about as far as it goes, so nothing like ******* ****, if you get my drift. Too much profanity will be deleted, up to my discretion. Be original, be diplomatically correct. Leave suggestions in the comments. I’m the one picking the winner. No correspondence about that. No cash equivalent for the prize, copyright of the image of course stays with me. Everyone’s eligible. I’ll contact you on the email address you leave in the comments (visible to me) if you’ve won to get the address to ship the print to. Closing date is 3rd of October 2010, 23:59:59 SFT – Standard Finnish Time, so that gives you about 10 days to come up with something original 🙂
Any rules that are not stipulated in detail here, I’ll make up as we go and you accept the rules if you leave a comment, so don’t sue me 😉

So… No pizza, eh?
What am I supposed to eat then, grass?
Let’s go have some fast food… chop… chop… chop… This might be even faster than yesterday’s pasta 😀

Fast food

D700, ISO800, 1/90 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm


Et le dessert:

Fast food, le dessert

D700, ISO200, 1/4 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

That gives a whole new dimension to the term “fast food”, doesn’t it? It really doesn’t get much faster than this.
And remember: Bananas are for Monkeys! 😉

If you go in close enough, you can make everything look funny, weird, unrecognizable.
I’m a terrible cook. My Better Half would disagree, but really, I am. I guess I can make things. I can make most things if I have a book which spells it out for me like I’m a 4-year old. I’m an artist, but not with food. I have no clue what I can put together, and what not. I grew up learning to eat everything, and with my dad’s motto (who, by the way, learned how to bake the best cakes, breads and pies in his late sixties, so I’m not a completely lost cause) “there are no decorated curtains where it [the food] is going” I can and have put the weirdest things together and eaten it (patiently enduring wondering frowns from my Better Half). I’m all for easy. Pasta’s one of my favorites, especially with pesto. It takes about 8 minutes to boil the pasta, stir some pesto through, et voilà. All ready to eat. No fuzz, no trouble, quick and easy. Today I found a new pesto. Miles better than the one from the local store around the corner. And I had pasta with pesto. Yum.
For the pasta I went in really, really close.

Spaghetti on Day 5

D700, ISO200, 8 sec @ f8, Nikkor 50 mm + 12mm + 24mm + 36mm extension tubes

The other woman in my life luckily hasn’t left me. I think she loves me even more now… Oh, and I think she likes me better unshaven 😀

The other woman

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm, on-camera flash