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Archive for January, 2011

31.01.11 – Making a commitment to post daily is anything but easy. Sure, when you look back on all your posts there is a sense of pride. Some posts might be better than others and once you have a few under your belt… you can focus on the good ones ;) It’s still a challenge, even with WordPressPost a Day help, to come up with pictures and topics to write about.

I set my own challenge a week back to shoot only black and white pictures which has been… a challenge! There are plenty of ideas to choose from, trees, architecture, revisiting places I’ve focused on color, but it’s hard to ignore the color. The first day after my decision, Helsinki had one of the most beautiful sunrises I think I’ve ever seen. I tried taking black and white shots but luckily I took some color ones too ;) The sunset was killer also!

I think the idea which bothers me the most is the way I try to switch to a subject and then stick with it. I did something similar when I thought I would post only topics about my neighborhood. I had a couple of posts which were on topic but I kept finding I had better photos from the previous day which were of something completely different. What to do? Post pictures I didn’t care for to stay on topic or drop it and do whatever looks good?

I try to find a topic so the posts are less random and the overall blog has some consistency. I was having trouble finding color shots so I decided to give black and white a try. Where I think I went wrong is when I make the overall statement “I’m only going to shoot in black and white.” Then I get pigeon-holed and I’m missing the color.

Why did I start this blog in the first place! I wanted to have some fun, tap into some creativity and keep in touch with my family and friends back in the states. “Hey, checkout Finland through a foreigner’s eyes.” Since when did it become this obsession where I have to stick to topics. My favorite comments are when people say you have a nice way of writing which is more relaxed and inviting which is how I started. I think I need to relax with this stuff ;)

And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Here, have some color :) Sorry if I’m off topic (but I don’t think you mind) but I’m going to have fun with this blog again. I hope you enjoy Finland through my eyes.

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30.01.11 – Taking color out of the photo equation has me looking at lines. When I first started with black and white shots, I found myself focusing on trees and branches. I love the idea of chaos theory and patterns in nature. Why are the branches of some trees so beautiful and interesting to gaze at, like the stars in a clear night sky? Ok, I don’t have any books on Chaos Theory on my nightstand but dagnabbit if I don’t appreciate a nice tree.

When it comes to buildings and architecture, the lines are usually much simpler, which often helps create a strong vanishing point in the photograph. The rooftops of a streets buildings create strong lines converging in the distance. I’ve found a few buildings in Helsinki where the architects have tried to highlight the lines of a passageway to emphasize the vanishing point.

I’m not so happy with the results of trying to capture these lines. Trees are simple if you ask me. You just shoot a bunch of them and one or two shots will be sure to look good. Architecture is a lot harder to capture… especially when you are primarily using an iPhone as your main camera ;) I’ll keep trying to find some more examples in the near future.

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29.01.11 – This is not the first time I have ridden the Helsinki 6 tram [1] to the end of the line in Arabianranta, a fast growing residential area and home to the Arabia ceramics and glassware factory. Last time I went to the area, I spent my time outdoors walking along the waterline and taking in the frozen beauty of the Viikki natural reserve. My goal on this visit was to focus on the Arabia factory and what it held inside.

The Arabia ceramics factory has a long history in Finland, originally founded in 1873, and their tableware products and ttimeless design are highly appreciated at home as well as abroad. Although the factory is still an active production center for the Iittala Group, the current owner, the main building is also home to the Aalto University of Art and Design and the Arabia Museum as well as outlets and shops for some of Finland’s most popular and highly regarded brands; Iittala, Marimekko, Friskars, Finlayson, Pentik and Opa.

I spent some time walking through the Marimekko and Iittala shops taking in the all the patterns and color before heading to the Aralis Library, a branch of the Helsinki City Library, located on the same floor. Where the shops were busy with shoppers and bursting with color, the library was a quiet retreat with comfortable art deco chairs and the area was awash in soft light because the library is housed in a big glass roofed internal courtyard. I sat down for a while and checked out the other people in the library which was a nice mix of everything from university students working away at computers and notebooks to small children sprawling out on the floor with picture books. Everyone was coexisting in peace.

It wasn’t long before I realized I needed to get going. I was starting to fall asleep in my chair ;) I headed out and took a long walk along the waterline to freshen up and head home.

1. 8 Tram goes there too ;)

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28.01.11 – Still one of my favorite places, the train yard. I love the lines, the electrical cables and the rails. There’s something about all the chaos and then the underlying order. Yup, I’m probably over thinking it ;) I think these are some nice pictures though.

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Sure, I’m focusing on black and white right now but there’s a big world out there full of color. Here’s a great photo blog from a guy in Indonesia. The images speak for themselves but unless you speak Indonesian ;) I would suggest getting a translator extension (I use google translate on google chrome) because his writing is entertaining too.

Oleh-Oleh Desa Gunung Makmur Hah! Akhirnya bisa posting lagi…. :P Sebenarnya bukan males, cuma bahan untuk posting baru siap… Sahabat, Seminggu yang lalu, sore hari, saya di ajak seorang teman baik hati bernama Eko untuk mengunjungi rumah budhe-nya di Desa Gunung Makmur, 15-20 menit perjalanan dari kota Pelaihari. Awalnya desa ini dulu bernama Gunung Gundul, karena memang gersang dan hanya hutan belantara. Kemudian sekitar awal tahun 80-an, pemerintah mengadakan program … Read More

via PrimeEdges

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27.01.11 – Now that I’m playing with black and white photos I have so many different subjects to shoot. I’ve been taking pictures of trees, snow, parks, buildings, places. It makes it hard to choose a subject to post about but I really like these shots of people out and about in Helsinki. My favorite is the one in the middle of Max trying to escape as I try to get a shot of him.

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26.01.11 – It’s official! I’m loving the Hipstamatic in black and white. I’ve been using BlacKeys B+W film with the John S lens. Finding the right film and lens combination can be a challenge, that’s why I put together a Hipstamatic cheat sheet. I’m going to stick with this combo for a while before diving into something like BlacKeys Supergrain.

Most of the shots I have been taking are places I have visited often but the black and white is breathing a whole new life into the images. Much much fun!

On a side note, Emma’s gone old school and picked up a lo-fi Diana camera when she was with her mother in London. Wow, I have to find somewhere that develops film! She’s already shot one roll so hopefully she will be a guest poster in the very near future!

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