I’ve always had a strange interest towards Canada, as if I knew that I’d really like it, even when I hadn’t yet been there nor met a single Canadian. This Autumn I happened to get the chance to take some time off, so I decided to finally tick this country off my bucket list. And I am happy that I did. The three weeks spent on both coasts were beyond great. I did my best to document some of my trip, with my freshly bought GoPro. I manage to gather a good amount of footage, but as all of you who’ve ever dabbled with editing know, it takes a nice chunk of time to actually get the editing done (well at least for me heh). Nevertheless, now I finally managed to finish the 1st part of (hopefully) a more extensive video series, which I also thought I’d share here. So here you go. The short intro to my trip to the land of the maple syrup and Hockey.
This spring I’ve noticed that I haven’t been that faithful to my beloved camera, having neglected it during my thesis writing process. Now that my studies are finally over, I can once again focus on my other interests, such as photography.
A couple of months ago, my “not so trustworthy” work companion resigned i.e. my computer died on me, leaving me not only deprived of Photoshop, but it also left me in a problematic situation where I had to write the rest of my thesis on a laptop smaller than most women’s purses. This is one of the reasons why updates on this site have been scarce during the past months, but I am working on correcting this void of pictures and text here. Starting today.
Now, for many when I say I am from Finland, the image in their mind is that I live here among Penguins, Eskimos and other characters related to cold snowy scenery. Many are even disappointed when I, like the mythbuster, bust their images and stories about Finland, unraveling the country to be a fairly normal European state. Especially Helsinki feels like any other seaside city. For some reason though, I have been more “camera shy” here than I have in other places, not taking my camera out as easily as in some other cities. Today as I toured the busy marketplaces in Helsinki, I noticed that I had far less of an edge to take pictures. Why? Because there were tons of tourists taking pictures as well, thus no one really noticed that I snapped a few “hipshots” of random objects ( which are usually the most interesting to me).
It is no secret that Helsinki is not as busy, pedestrian-wise, as Berlin, where I could easily take pictures about anything, since everyone was doing this, but try taking a picture in mid-March at an intersection in midtown Helsinki: You will get noticed. Sure many at this point say that “so what if you get noticed?”, well, there is some culture aspect of myself, which makes me at times want to blend in with the masses, not on purpose, but that’s how many feel in Finland “don’t stick out of the crowd” “just follow the others” “do what others do”. The only way to get rid of a mindset like that is to act against it. Sure, it might be at first difficult for some, easy for others, but in general we should all learn to live not fearing what others think of us.
Again, this is perhaps just me being me, but I thought I’d share my 2 cents alongside a couple of nice photos that I randomly took during my walk in the city today.
I couldn’t decide which one of the traffic light pictures was best, so I made a compromise and put both up. Feel free to tell me your opinion, whether colours are in or are two gradients enough to make a picture.
This post was due already a couple a weeks ago, but because of technical difficulties, a lengthy post that I wrote on a cold October night never saw the light of day i.e. never made its way onto the world wide web. Sometimes my life feels rather hectic, even though when observing from a far, it isn’t, perhaps it is just my own mind that makes everything so difficult and complicated in my small world, but at times I feel that I need to unwind.
I often clear my head by going for long walks during chilly autumn nights, thinking about the past, present and future. One evening as I headed out, a scarf around my neck, a beanie on my head and a camera in my hand, I reminisced about a lot of things as I took deep breaths of the fresh air outside. It’s funny how climate can bring to our mind our own past sometimes, as if those things had happened just yesterday.
As I walked in my local park, that had gone silent for the winter, inhabited now only by small bunnies running mindlessly through the leaf covered scene, I remembered how I always linked autumn to anticipating something. I remember how as a small kid I waited eagerly for the leaves to fall and the colder weathers to come, because with cold weather came ice and with ice came ice hockey. Even though I have had periods in my life when hockey hasn’t been that important, as a kid it was. Partly because that was where all of your friends also were, on the ice. Only now as I’m a bit older I’ve noticed that in fact my oldest and most trustworthy friends were indeed my line mates as I was 6 or 7. Some of my friends continued to play hockey, I didn’t, I moved onto skiing, downhill that is.
When I started to ski and film my friends for snowboard videos and stuff (LINK), I got into new fun circles for which I am to this day still damn grateful. Every autumn as the weather started to get colder, we watched ,nearly non-stop, the webcam of our local ski center, to see if the snow-cannons had started to paint the slopes white, and when they did start to cover the hill with what was more Ice than snow, we headed to the center to film something. Waiting for the ski season to start was for a long time a part of my autumn, but that changed once I moved to Helsinki, and especially now that I live in Berlin.
Sure,I could have continued to ski in Helsinki, but it would’ve been way too much of a hassle to travel to the nearby towns, with public transport, not to mention not having the familiar faces of my “crew” there. As if by accident my road started to lead back to my former hobby, although this time to the rafters. A good friend of mine started to lure me into going to see the hockey matches in Helsinki, needless to say it didn’t take long for me to be hooked again to ice hockey. As the hockey season starts usually around September, this “spectator sport” started to be the new thing that I awaited to begin during autumns, we even went to see my team’s (IFK Helsinki) training matches in August, because at times it felt that the season couldn’t come quick enough. Needless to say, I haven’t been to IFK’s games in a while having moved to Berlin.
I have tried to follow both my team’s games and the local Berlin team’s games here, but it hasn’t felt the same. I do still watch the Finnish league (and the NHL , if they didn’t have a lockout season), but nowadays I’ve noticed I enjoy spending a lot of time with my camera. Even on that cold October night, as I was kicking the maple leaf piles with my feet in the empty park, I had my Sony with me. I perhaps lacked the anticipation of something “seasonal” but I have a continuous hobby now, which is surprisingly chill and allows me to clear my head as well. Dwelling through the park, snapping photos and enjoying the lack of noises is just bliss at times. That night I spent a good few hours walking around, stopping now and again to sit on a bench to observe the wild life that had still stayed in the park for the upcoming winter.
I believe Nietzsche once said ” All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” and I do believe he is on to something there, since at least for me, when I walk alone in the evenings I am able to clear my head of the less useful thoughts and focus on the good ones, which is something that for me is hard to do at times when surrounded by people. I might have walked out that night out of the door, with a big stressful mess of different thoughts, but returned with a much calmer mind and even a couple of nice photos, all thanks to a “sleeping” park and a late evening walk. I also know now that I do not need to have anything to anticipate during the autumn anymore, sure skiing would be fun, but in the end, taking pictures or writing nonsense isn’t a bad hobby either, and you can do it anytime of the year.