Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The birch tree in winter

Two weeks ago I used a line from Robert Frost's poem Birches as the title of a posting: "I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree". And even though this poem is not too difficult to read, I wanted to look at a Finnish translation.

Finally I found a translation in a collection of American poems edited (and translated) by Ville Repo. And indeed, my impression of this poem was strengthened when reading the translation; it is powerful and deep. But it is also different, an interpretation.

For those who know Finnish, here is the end of the poem, translated by Ville Repo, from the book Tähtien väri: valikoima amerikkalaista runoutta (WSOY, 1992; ISBN 951018408X):

Tahtoisin nousta mustat oksat latvaan
valkoisen rungon, kohti taivasta,
kunnes puu taipuisi ja minut
laskisi maahan. Mennä, palata
tekisi hyvää. Aivan kelvollinen
olisi osa koivujen keinuttajan.

What I wonder is - compared to the difference in reading a poem in various languages - how much difference is there how we look at photographs? Has language anything to do with it?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Only moving does it have a soul

End of November, and still no snow. It has been good for commuting by bicycle, though. This morning there were some icy patches on the way, but mostly it was dry and safe to ride the bicycle.

My bicycle commute takes almost 1 1/2 hours (more during the winter), and 1-3 days each week is already plenty of exercise.

I have still summer tires on, although I have a good pair of studded winter tires for the bicycle: 240 studs in the front and 106 in the back. This works well on ice; it is often better on the bicycle than walking with ordinary shoes.

This year I'm not sure if I'll change the tires. Have to see. I have had some falls off the bicycle during the winter season - it is almost inevitable. And if we get snow it would be great to go cross-country skiing during the weekends.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Whirl in a dark unnumberable blur

Start of week. Hurry. Blur. Thoughts can't be stopped. Can a camera see when a photographer can't?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Five drops of water

Today was a wet day. We went walking with the children to Kaitalampi lake in Luukki, and had a nice time, but then it started to rain in earnest and we had to return.

I have been thinking about photography competitions recently. I feel that most competitions are in a dead end, being nothing else than a venue for making money: for the sponsors, for the organizers, or for someone else. Thus, whatever is awarded prices has to look like it would be worth some money, and thus it needs to be overly strong, it needs to shout "Look at me!"

So, what gets noticed in the competitions will have no subtlety, no originality, there won't be anything which would be really new. Just more of the same, but shouting even stronger than before.

But maybe it is just the dark autumn which makes me feel so sad.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


We went today to Luukki forests with all the children, spending almost two hours there. The daughters played indians, but there were no cowboys: everyone else who we encountered on the path was some other kind of indian, and the daughters tried to hide beside the path behind the trees and rocks. That didn't work too well as they forgot to stop talking...

A night walk in Helsinki

Yesterday we had the Christmas party in our company. While walking there, I look some photographs of the night scenery in Helsinki.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

All sources and well-springs of power

Nothing to it: a hasty day, photographs hastly taken, and posting this in a hurry.

Update: On Friday we are having a Christmas party in our company, and thus there will be no posting.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A wind went with their paws

Andreas got me thinking about gloves for holding the camera when it gets cold. He referred to the best thing there is, namely Roeckl Karun 3406-440 gloves. Looking at the specs I must agree that these are serious gloves, no doubt about it. Maybe a bit overkill, but who cares?

Currently I'm using thin gloves which are meant for cross-country skiing. They work ok above -5 °C, but after that one has to have something warmer. And because of the tiny buttons of the LX5, thick gloves are not so good.

I made some searches to find out whether Roeckl gloves are available to try out here in Finland. There seems to be at least one shop, but it is for horse riders. And another site referred to gloves for riding the bicycle. Well, I guess there is nothing else to do that to go shopping at some point.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

But all you see is night

Once again, a dark day, and wet. I went out for a walk late, and even though the clouds reflected the city lights, it was still rather dark.

The first photograph above gave me a surprise when I viewed it on the iMac: there is a big ball in the middle of the pond, on top of the wet ice. It was so dark that I didn't see it when taking the photograph. Some children must have lost the ball, and there is no way to recover it as the ice is so thin.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blurred, in sharp relief

Today was a wet day, and a day of listening, a day of discussion. An intensive day. But when I got home it was dark, and raining. While sitting in the car, and going for a walk, I tried to capture some colors, what there was.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A sheet of blue

Today I went for a walk to the Luukki forests with my eldest daughter. We walked for more than two hours, enjoying the frosty landscape, deep blue sky, and the bright sunshine.

It was an excellent day for exploring the forests and lakes. Some of the smaller lakes had a thin covering of ice, which had been forming during the cold night. When we started out, the temperature was -5 °C, and when we came back, it was -2 °C.