Summer in March

We Finns love Saunas, partly because they work as a sanctuary for the ever quiet Finns to speak about their feelings, worries and other issues, however we are also attracted by these “human ovens” because of one simple thing : Warmth. Yes, if you haven’t lived your whole life out of the reach of media coverage and information on my beloved native land, you probably are well aware that  Finland isn’t found on Google searches made with keywords such as; hot climate, warm climate,  beach holiday destination. Nay, Finland is only given a short time of warmth during the year and this period of time is usually referred to as Summer. Since this so called “summer” usually starts around late May in Finland, I have never before in my life had to ask myself the question in the morning ” shorts or slacks?”

Apparently Europe (or mainland Europe to be precise) gets a head start on the Summer and believe it or not I am not complaining! It’s a pleasant change to see on the thermometer a “+” instead of a ” – ” in front of the 20 degrees.  Waking up to the sunlight blazing through my dark blue curtains, I cannot but feel that it’s a sign from mother nature saying to me ” get up and go out you lazy kid!” (somehow I always hear that with the voice of Howard’s mom from The Big Bang Theory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaeY8N4T7Do ) . The fact of having +20 degrees, sun and plenty of free-time on my hands has lead to me making some small urban ventures within the area of Berlin.

One of these Indiana Jones- like ventures took me even so far as a couple of kilometers from my home in Schöneberg. Initially I had great plans for this particular day, but probably due to the pleasantly shining sun taking away all of my energy, I stepped out of the S-Bahn already at Yorckstrasse, a relatively nearby stop on the trainline, and decided to continue my day by walking around the area of Kreuzberg, in search of something cool to see or capture onto the memory card in my camera.

I walked for roughly an hour without seeing anything worthy of taking my camera out of my backpack and gathering attention by being the ever stereotypical tourist taking pictures of seemingly non-enthusiastic objects.  Even though, I thoroughly enjoy the whole city of Berlin and especially Kreuzberg, as one foot went in front of the other for another kilometer, I began to think  if today I couldn’t actually find anything that would spike my enthusiasm for taking photos. Just as the 7th kid in line for a soda from a 6-pack I too started to realise that I might not get what I wanted today.

As I continued to walk, still with a smile on my face ( partly thanks to a new mixtape going through on my player), I saw a large shadow on the pavement in front of me. I glanced to my right and realised that there was a rather large hill with some sort of monument on top of it. Water ran from top to bottom and everywhere I looked, there were people chilling and enjoying the weather. This was a place I too wanted to relax at and took out my camera and headed up hill.

I walked straight up to the monument ( to be honest I was too excited about the nice view and the weather to pay any attention to what was written on the monument)  and took my time to take in the sights, after which I  started to slowly descent back  from the top to the street level. I followed the water running down the hill, in order to see whether I could take some pictures of these “waterfalls” in the midst of Berlin. I was able to capture some simplistic but satisfying enough moments to quench my thirst for pictures. I can only imagine how touristy I must have looked, as I nearly went in the water in effort to get a better photo.

Having taken photos of the same spots by the water for nearly half an hour I decided to call it quits and perhaps  start to navigate back to my humble home in Schöneberg. I packed my stuff, hopped happily down the tarmac leading down the hill and decided to make one more necessary detour before treating my photoshop with some new photos: enjoying a Kebab at Mehringdamm.

Here are some of the pictures from that day, rather repetitive but hey, I did say I spent nearly half an hour at the same spots.

IamJPR                    IamJPR27                           IamJPR                          IamJPR

IamJPR                                     IamJPR

Advertisements

The Best of Both Worlds

Image

Having originally created this blog to help promote myself, so as to have a better chance of “sticking out of the crowd” whilst applying for marketing/advertising internships (yeah, I know a blog or such isn’t really original, but its the content that matters right? ), I felt it was due time to finally create an advert of myself.

The rather (hopefully) obvious purpose of the picture is to showcase the two sides of me: the hard worker and the fun loving jester, at the same time questioning the necessity to compromise in hiring a worker who is only one or the other. Now, I know the settings for the picture aren’t probably the best ones, but I hope you can overlook that, since I do not have a studio at hand at the moment where to take professional photos, neither do I have a personal assistant (other than my trusty companion Mr. Self-timer) who would devote his/her time to take photos of me. Furthermore, I know the photo is very “homey” as in amateur stuff, but if it made you even smile a bit then I’m already happy with it!

Editing and playing around with this photo gave me a nice break from my daily routine of writing applications to companies in the hope of finding an internship abroad(not in Finland) in the area of Marketing/Advertising/PR, where I could start working in late July after my last semester here in Berlin.  

Do tell your opinion on the “advert”; what could have been done differently, where to improve on when creating my next adverts? Good tips on internship possibilities are also obviously more than welcome!

Me and my “best friend”

Last night I was again bored. Running around within the four walls of my room, without a destination.
I decided to make use of this “extra energy” that I had and enjoy the company of my camera in the form of a short walk around the borough of Schöneberg.

As often with my trips, this one got extended as well and went quickly from being a short walk around the corner to a full blown sightseeing tour, spending two full hours walking around Berlin to the beat of some fresh drum’n’bass songs.

Luckily, at least the weather was on my side this time and I didn’t have to seek cover from rain or snow. I played a lot with the shutter of my camera to make some use of my walk, other than the obvious health benefit of walking for kilometers at a good pace. Mr. Self-timer was also with me during this random tour of Berlin and it makes me wonder if I’ve gotten too used to using a self-timer, when I even tell passing by pedestrian that I do not require assistance whilst taking photos, as they offer to take a picture of me. Perhaps it’s just the simple fact that I don’t trust them to do a good job ( as if I was a professional, right…).

Having come home around midnight, I was already able to edit some of the shots, but left most of them for today, since I was a tad tired and didn’t have the energy to focus on editing. At least now I can say that I’ve seen the “siegessäule” statue up-close, since before yesterday I hadn’t had the energy to drag myself to take pictures of it.

Here are a couple from last night the rest and much more can be found in the IamMoments section.

IamJPR         IamJPR          IamJPR

Groceries

“I’m back!” as if to try and be some sort of movie hero, I shouted these much used words as I entered the 20 square meter room, that is my home here in Berlin for the next months to be. Even though there is only one hour time difference between the cold up north (Finland) and Germany, I still had a strange feeling of “jetlag”, falling to my bed trying to sleep for half an hour, only to realise that my attempt was a failed one.

Today I had the pleasure (strange but yes) of enjoying a flight operated by AirBerlin, a company stuck in an intersection of sorts; not being able to decide whether to turn to being a low-fare airline or premium one. On the flight of this confused airline, I was able to enjoy the “comfyish” seats and non-advertising atmosphere (not to mention having a full 3 seats to myself, being apparently too scary for anyone to sit next to). And wait there’s more! I had even the possibility of choosing my meal! Yes, I could choose the “hotdogish” creation or what I presume was an apple muffin. Now, I know, I know, I shouldn’t be complaining about the snacks, but what I’m saying is that even though the airline was nice and all, it did not quite fulfill my culinary needs, so to speak. Lucky for me I have truly wonderful roommates who suggested that they would make “Flammkuchen” a German/French specialty, which I had once before tried in Strasbourg, the runner-up capital of the EU. Needless to say, I almost cried tears of joy, receiving this kind of a welcome immediately after being back here for only a couple of minutes!

The meal was in short: superb! I had a smile on my face once again and got just the start for my second round of Germany that I needed!  Being smart and all, I quickly realised that I would probably need to eat something in the morning as well, as my digestive system surely would break down every inch of the previously enjoyed delightful meal during the night, leaving my stomach rather empty. For those who don’t know, it might be good to point out that Sunday in Germany, is not a day to do your shopping. All major grocery stores, kwik-e-mart’s and you name its’ are closed, geschlossen, as the all too familiar sign says on many store doors. However, as with any major law, this one also has a loophole. Apparently IF a store is located within a railway station it may stay open even on a Sunday (somebody correct me on this if you know better). As if I was carrying a lucky rabbit’s foot in my pocket, my surprisingly good luck seemed to have no end to it. There was a local grocery store, within walking distance of my home, and more importantly within an inner city railway station. I decided to make use of this trip, by taking with me my trusty companion, my camera, in hopes of snapping some random photos on my way to the store.

As I walked in the misty outdoors, which climate wise reminded me more of mid-May in Finland, I could not help but think to myself at times, “where are the people?”. Berlin, a city of more than 3.4 Million people should be buzzing with pedestrians. Still on many streets there wasn’t a single soul in sight. Having spent the last couple of weeks in a Finnish town of 20.000 inhabitants, it was almost funny how similar some streets of Berlin seemed to be to those of Jämsä (The town), in the sense that there were no cars or people moving on them. Frankly told though, the lack of people didn’t really bother me much. I had my earphones on and was clicking my camera to the beat, trying to get at least one decent shot to have fun with on photoshop later on.

After a purposely done detour, I finally put down my camera and headed to the store, where apparently all the people that I was previously wondering about had found their way as well. Happy with my simple choices of a water bottle and some quark for the morning, I went on my merry way and headed home. To my displeasure, I was sad to notice that most of the pictures I had taken were harshly out of focus or otherwise blurred due to possibly the rain that had blessed me with its presence. After playing with photoshop for a while, I managed to “save” a couple of photos which, although are not nearly in the category of great, can be at least looked upon, without having a “frowny face”.

If someone actually had the energy to read through all of that, I tip my beanie/hat off to you, simultaneously chanting “hazaa!hazaa!hazaa!” to magnify this gesture of gratitude. That’s all for now and if you have some opinions on the photos or on life, do share!

IamJPR        IamJPR

The Bar Queue

Time and time again I find myself holding my camera, snapping photos at a speed rate similar to the words coming out of a used car salesman’s mouth when he’s trying to close a sale. Not to mention the objects which I capture onto my memory card are often not understood by my friends. For instance, I can totally understand why my friends look at me weird when walking on the street and I suddenly stop and take photos of a simple trashcan…for a seemingly long time.

Last weekend I happened to be visiting my friends in a rather typical Finnish city, Tampere, where most of my childhood friends have flocked in numbers. This being a “leisure” trip, the plan was to relax and possibly also take pictures of the city, seeing that the weather was damn nice (especially for Finland!). Alas, as the weekend proceeded to go on, the memory card of my camera remained hungry for photos, waiting to be fed…

It wasn’t until the final moments of my weekend getaway, when my photo deprived card was able to have something worthy of saving onto it. As we were waiting in line to get into a local establishment filled with fun loving people and (supposedly) good music, I glanced at an old (apparently functional) factory, which had the perfect lighting to it and as if to add the cherry on top of the cake, the moon was shining bright! I decided to let the “fun” wait for just a short while more and started taking pictures. My focus at the time wasn’t up to normal levels, however I shot multiple pictures of the area, hoping that some of them would actually turn out to look good, even when looked upon the next morning.

Almost a week after my trip to Tampere, Finland’s Manchester, I was finally able to look at my pictures and see to my delight that some of the pictures were actually surprisingly nice! Well, that is, at least in my opinion.

Opinions tend to differ and I’d gladly hear your opinion on the pictures. What could have been done differently while shooting or editing? ( Though this time around when playing in photoshop, I had to surrender to the fact that I couldn’t improve the originals, thus leaving them rather untouched).

IamJPR             IamJPR               IamJPR

These pics might be the last concerning Finland to be uploaded for a while (or not), since on Sunday I’ll be returning to the city that does sleep, but not for long and where curry wursts are more common in the hands of street dwellers than cell-phones (well at least during lunch time), yes my dear friends I am talking about Berlin. Luckily I still have a lot of free-time on my hands before my classes continue, so I am able to devote a little bit more time to this hobby of mine and maybe capture some parts of Berlin I haven’t yet ventured into.

 

 

Time in Finland

For the last 10 or so days,  I have spent my “semester break” in my native surroundings… the woods. The ,at times, hectic life in a big city has switched to a rather calm and slow paced everyday life, which is a nice change for a while.

The time spent here in the midst of the snow filled landscape, has provided me the opportunity to draft CVs, applications and spend a lot of time with my beloved camera & photoshop combination.  So far I’ve done all the major Finnish “things to do”: Sauna, Skiing, Cross-country skiing and all sort of other activities one can do in a snowy environment. I’ve enjoyed my stay up north, but am still happy to be returning to Berlin soon, for at least a semesters worth of studies.

Do go check out my new photos which I’ve uploaded onto the moments page!

IamJPR