Soaking Up The Beauty Of Early Winter Light

Hello my dearest friends and readers. I woke up at 04:30 this morning. As I sat on the toilet, eyes grainy with sleep, I thought that I would put on some coffee, do a blog post, and then go back to bed. Haha, I don’t know why I get these ideas when I am dead tired, but ever since I uploaded the photos I took yesterday to my computer I have been eager to share them. So I sat down with a cup of hot coffee and got to work. Ever since Wednesday I have felt under the weather, like I am getting sick, and everything takes a hundred times longer than usual, so just before seven o’clock I had only one photo left to save when this awful nausea hit me. I really slid down in my chair and couldn’t move, afraid I would throw up. I just stared at that save-box and thought just think up a name for the photo and save it, then go to bed.

I did and I slept till 11:00! And now I’m here again to photo bomb you. 😉

soft-winter-light-over-fields

I mentioned in my last post that I barely lifted my camera for the past few weeks. After my confession to Jay, talking with my friend, and telling you all about it, I felt light as a feather. It really is true what is said about sharing our burdens and relieving the weight of it. Yet this felt more like throwing it off completely and suddenly it seemed like the walls around me were torn down and I could run out in whichever direction I chose. It’s just incredible how we with our thoughts and perceptions can either create a suffocating prison for ourselves, or a vast wonderland of endless possibilities. And all it takes is a little honesty — with ourselves and others. Just wow. Don’t you think?

So yesterday I spent over two hours outside. First, I took Loke for a walk along our little road that leads toward the neighbours and our mailbox. Jay drove past me at one point to get Lilli from Lappi — she had stayed behind after school to play with some friends. I like having Loke with me, but he gets so impatient if I linger too long to take photos, and since he is still so young and doesn’t always stay by my side, I keep him on a leash. So very often I find myself consumed in taking a specific shot and suddenly my arm flies out when he decides we have been still for too long. I can get so irritated with him at those times, even if I understand how boring it must be for him to sniff around the same scents for too long. He knows when I am ready to move along, and instantly starts skipping in joy that we are finally leaving whatever little cramped space I squeezed myself into to get my photos. Haha

magical-light-over-our-house

more-soft-light-over-fields

I love how gentle the light is right now. It’s kind of perfect when I think about it, because when the snow comes, that light dances off the thousands of shimmering crystals covering the lands and I can’t imagine how blinding it would be if the sun stood as high in the sky as it does during summer. Although it can be blinding all the same — you can even get a tan! Which makes me think of what I have heard growing up, about depression hitting us so hard here in this part of the world during these darker months. Yet if I at any time felt weary, it was during spring and high summer. I wondered earlier this year if it’s because all my depots get depleted during the darker months, but then another blogger mentioned how hard and cold the light is in spring, and I have always been sensitive to strong light conditions. I get headaches, bone-weary, lose motivation — I feel like a zombie. But maybe it isn’t just that the light is too harsh. What if the fact that I am outside more during autumn and winter as opposed to spring and summer, and with the help of the reflection off the snow, it is enough anyway? Apparently we don’t get the vitamin D humans need up here in the Nordic countries, but what if we are evolved in such a way to either soak up the vitamin D easier, or maybe we just don’t need as much. And I have heard so many stories from others who suffer spring depression as well, so maybe it’s just a myth? I find this all so very interesting. What do you think?

tomte-marschall-torch-holder

We were at a birthday party recently, and afterwards we stopped by the shop to pick up some milk. Jay disappeared for a moment and when I finally saw him coming toward me, he had this quirky smile on his face and two of these tomtar in his arms. They have holders for marschaller, torch like candles that look like a really big tea light candle. Jay thought they would look great in the opening of the spruce hedge to our yard, and I agree. They look so adorable sitting there. ❤

jay-coming-to-talk

I actually went out twice yesterday. My fingers are so incredibly sensitive to cold and moisture these days, and they turn corpse-pale and I lose all sensation in them, so I can’t be out for too long at a time or it becomes extremely painful. Not all fingers are affected actually, only some. It’s so strange to see a couple of my fingers look so totally yellow-white next to the ones not affected, and it’s not the entire finger, either, only from the second or last joint down to the tip. My mother has the same problem.

Jay was away on a business trip a couple of weeks ago, and when he came home he had gotten me a new lens for my camera! It’s this amazing little lens; a 50mm with the smallest f-number at 1.8. I used that for all the photos in this post. But what I love the most about it are the beautiful close-ups it produces. Right behind Jay in the last photo, between those two buildings are a few red currant bushes, and when I first tested the lens I took a few photos of them at sunset. So the reason I went back outside was to get some more, because they just looked so beautiful and I only got a couple of good ones the first time. I’m still trying to get a hang of the focus on the new lens — it is a little trickier than I am used to.

red-currants-in-sunset-depth-of-field

magical-sunset-and-depth-of-field

dead-plant-in-magical-light

colourful-lichen-and-branches

I have also finally started collecting photos to put up on a page called Printler. It’s a Swedish-founded online photo print shop, and it’s for photographers as well. Best of all — they recently went international. I wrote them earlier this year to ask if I could sign up to sell my photos, and they told me that so long as I have a Swedish ID number, I can, which I have. But I wasn’t sure how it would work with taxes and in practice, since I live in Finland. They also told me then that they would launch outside of Sweden this autumn, so in the end I decided to wait. Meanwhile I considered the fact that as a non-professional photographer without a business registration number, you get 30% of the profits, as opposed to up to 50%. If I have understood it correctly. I thought about this for months, and now I have decided that I will sign up. I follow this wonderful blogger and photographer, Jonna Jinton, whom I know some of you also follow, and after having read how stressful and time consuming it can be to have a web shop and handle all packaging and postage yourself, I think that any reduced profit (if there even is any, considering I’d have to pay for the prints, postage and handling if I had my own web shop anyway) is more than worth my own peace of mind. Printler handles all of that. The only thing I have to do is take photos and upload them to my own personal gallery. That’s it. I think it’s a great option to start with.

jay-in-soft-light

soft-light-on-old-barn

After creeping around in the bushes to get my close-ups of the berries, I took a walk down behind the farm. I mentioned we had workers digging around in our fields to put down new electricity cables, and I think that, too, kept me from taking my beloved photo walks around the farm. I’m not as strict with requiring my privacy when I photograph these days, but it still felt awkward to have strangers driving and walking back and forth in our private safe haven. Especially with all the noise from the machines.

digger-on-the-road

muddy-trenches

pipe-for-wires

I was so shocked when I walked around the orange digger to find a huge trench cutting through our little road. It made me realise how long it has been since I last walked this way.

trailer-full-of-muck

But this digging is done by Jay and his father. Instead of paying hundreds of euros for labour to dig down the pipe through which the fiber cable for our new internet connection will go, Jay decided to do it himself. He and his father also know what lies beneath the earth around here, so they know precisely where it’s safe to dig and where not to. I don’t know if I mentioned that the workers cut through a cable that shut down electricity to parts of our farm, including the heating system that brings the hot water from the barn to our house. On a Friday afternoon. Luckily it wasn’t so cold then, and one of the workers managed to patch it up till we could get an electrician to repair it.

logs-and-magical-light

winter-apple-in-soft-light

The sun played peek-a-boo all of yesterday, so I am very glad I went out twice and stayed for so long. I got to capture so much beauty from the softness of these early winter evenings. In fact, it isn’t really only in the evening the light is like this — it is an all day blessing. From early morning till early sunset. Actual winter sunsets are something from another realm. I will make sure to capture some of those moments, too, and share with you. Especially when the frost or the snow stays from dawn till dusk.

maple-seed-pods-in-soft-winter-light

magical-bokeh-and-branches

magical-bokeh-and-spruce-branches

Now we have to get ready for town. Lilli is going to stay with her grandmother till tomorrow, which she reminded me of when I told her we are going into the forest this weekend to collect some things for Christmas decoration crafting. Haha I finished scraping off glue and sanded off some paint yesterday from the wooden panelling around the closet in our new bedroom. (Yes, I am still at it! Haha) I accidentally smeared green paint onto them when I painted the walls several weeks ago. So, hopefully, I will get the last painting job done tomorrow before Lilli comes back, and then I’ll get started on the guest room. Just as long as it all gets done before the 23rd of December, when my parents and my sister come over for Christmas! ❤

Haha, another long post! I will leave you now, though, and wish you a wonderful Friday and weekend. Many hugs and much, much love.

Posted by

I'm Lotta. I live on a farm in southwestern Finland among oats, wheat, and swaying pines. With photography and words I show the journey toward building my life-long dream of telling inspirational and unforgettable stories through images. I am so glad you are here to share this experience. <3

8 thoughts on “Soaking Up The Beauty Of Early Winter Light

  1. Hi Lotta , ( and Hi Fernando and Pamela )
    Good that you slept until 11:00 and caught up on a bit of sleep, 04:30 in the morning is waaay to early 😉 but still good that you got extra blog work done.
    It is a good time to enjoy days outside , I’ve just come indoors from being out all day, the light is disappearing and shortly there will be some frost again 🙂 , you mention about the strong light , I always have a pair of polarized sunglasses with me when I’m outside, winter or summer, they really do help and I think with them on you get to see extra detail in clouds and reflections etc., my dad even has a polarized filter for his camera lens to cut out reflection .
    I see you have a picture of me 😉 .. oh its a Tomtar he he, cool ! , although in England they are usually called Garden Gnomes or sometimes in the north we always called them Tomtens when I was growing up, like the title of the best childrens book ever “The Tomten and the Fox” by Astrid Lindgren the one with paintings by Harald Wiberg , my favorite book as a child.
    Keep your fingers warm when your out walking get a really good pair of gloves , I used to have a girlfriend who’s fingers did exactly the same, They called it Rayauld’s syndrome , restricted blood to some fingers I don’t know if this is the same as yours, but she kept them warm and kept “wiggling the fingers” in cold weather to keep the blood flowing.
    Great news that we will be able to buy some of pictures, I hope you will be able to post instructions about how to do this in the future, I’ve had a very quick look on Printler but couldn’t find yours, it was a very quick look though as I’m heading out to do nightshift now, 😦
    Hope you all have a really great week.
    P.S. Fernando and Pamela , I’m so addicted to chocolate also, I have some with a touch of sea salt and caramel in it, lovely 😉 , have you ever tried this ? I recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, Astrid Lindgren!! How I adooore her stories. It was actually through one of her filmatesized stories I heard the ancient nordic herding call for the first time! Ronja Rövardotter – Ronja the Robber’s Daughter. I watched that movie over and over when I was a child. I understand her stories and the illustrations for them easily become favourites. Wonderful paintings by Harald Wiberg, too. ❤️

      After reading your comment and what you said about a girlfriend of yours, I have actually reminded myself to move my fingers and it helps! I too easily am consumed in photographing though, so I had to leave the forest today before I was finished with my work because I lost track of time when I took a break to take some photos. Haha But thank you so much for the advice! I’ll look up those sunglasses, too, and that filter you mentioned your father is using! That was so interesting to hear – what does he photograph?

      Oh, and about Printler. I haven’t uploaded anything yet, I am still collecting photos that I hope will be up to their standards. Once I am approved I will be allowed to upload whatever I want, but first I have to be approved. I forgot to mention this. Once I have a gallery there I will make a post about it and provide a link. It made me so happy that you went to check it out though! They have many great artists, some which I follow on Instagram. 😊

      And how amazing to be outside all day. It really is so beautiful right now, and so magical when the frost and the first snow arrives. Do you get much snow where you live?

      I hope you are having a good week so far, Ian! And thank you so much for your lovely comment. Many hugs. ❤️

      P.S. Sea salt and caramel is lovely in chocolate!

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      1. Hi Lotta, Hope you are well thank you for your reply (Tak)
        I’m really pleased you like Astrid Lindgrens stories, still my favorites, so cool about Ronya as well, does Lille like them too ? or do todays children prefer something more modern ?
        My Father was a keen mountaineer and hill walker when he was younger, so all his Photographs were landscapes and mountain scenes in northern England, Scotland and the Alps he used a Nikormat and Nikon 35mm film cameras with Agfa film and made little film slides that were viewed with a light projector ( talk about old fashioned 😉 ) he more or less stopped taking photos when he became to old for hill climbing but in the last few years he’s bought a three quarter size digital camera for taking “snaps” . I am looking forward to seeing your pictures on Printler as well , when the link is done. 🙂
        Unfortunately we don’t seem to get much snow these days, the last two winters we have gone through without any snow ! just frost, I don’t know if it is global warming or they had just been freaky mild, or even just that everything seemed better in childhood, but when I was a child, I remember it snowing every winter and it layed on the Fells from November onwards,(we never had the amount that you have tho’) I know it was true because we used to watch the RAC rally every November in the Forests and it was always in snow! you can still see the pictures from then. But this winter is looking more normal, as its been frosty for a long time now and just ‘feels’ like a proper winter, I put the winter tyres on my pick up truck three weeks ago to be ready
        It really is so easy to loose track of time when out, I always do as well , I only notice when it starts going dark 😉 he he 🙂
        hope you all have a good weekend

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  2. hello lotta, I understand that feeling of extreme tiredness, even bones weigh, I have read about this, and there are many factors to consider, from the type of food, contraceptive hormones, to atmospheric changes, weather, solar radiation, and alteration of the terrestrial poles, and the electro-magnetic contamination, as radio electric signals of cellular telephones and wifi … there are many things in this subject that fit me, because here in Chile it is happening the same, it is a very serious subject, as to know inform.

    I fully understand that feeling that you describe, how thoughts can stifle you, and how the walls fall on us. you have to be brave to be honest with yourself, not to fall into the “fantasy” of self-deception, or with the parasitic vampire of “depression”, to live in “equilibrium”, that perception is not intellectual, it is ” self-awareness “, for that it is required to have” maturity and balance “. there are many people who walk through the life of very intelligent, mature, and twist their titles or position in the illusory social scale, but you observe them better in their lives, and they are true immature children of kindergarten, but with a mask of ” resolved adults “, they only learned” a script “, in the theater of life.

    These electric torches are very beautiful, and they look spectacular in a place like where you live, in the darkness of the night. the lights of autumn and winter, its sunrises and sunsets have a special magic, I personally love those seasons, and personally, I prefer the cold, the suffocating heat drowns me, ha ha ha … I was going to say something about that , but it is a very local phrase from where I live, you would not understand me, but it is the idea, the gnome looks charming, the challenge would be to photograph a real one, ha ha ha …

    wow, that new lens has very good effects of the close-ups, I liked the photos made with this lens. the cold has that unpleasant, that if you do not protect yourself well, the skin of the face and hands are very affected. We really do not settle for anything, huh ?, Ha ha ha, I hope that (printler), it goes well, little by little you have to try.

    Are you serious? Who is Jonna Jinton? I had never heard of her, the first time in my life that I heard that name, ha ha ha ha … (understand irony).

    It will be very good the remodeling of that room you are painting, you have very good taste, and are you already planning the Christmas dinner ?, but if we are almost halfway through November, ha ha ha … everything step by step, no accelerate, ha ha ha …

    Have a nice weekend with you family, a big hug from a distance, Fernando.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you mix insightfulness and humour very well, I was both so interested when reading your comment and then I was laughing. I just love your comments, and sometimes I just don’t know how to reply because there is so much depth. I am ever so grateful, though, and I sometkmes end up thinking about something you have said much later. I have heard about these electromagnetic fields and how it affects us – I read somewhere that even the sunflares/sun storms (the ones that cause aurora borealis / northern lights) have some sort of impact on us too, although I can’t remember what it was. I also have read the gravity pull of the moon can affect us as well. I find all these things so very fascinating!

      I’m so glad you like the new lens, too! It has become my new favourite and I keep it on my camera all the time now.

      And yes, it -would- be an extraordinary experience to capture a real tomte on photo! Maybe I will some day. Haha

      Thank you so much for yout well-wishes and your wonderfully interesting words. I hope you are having a lovely week! Many hugs. ❤️

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  3. Oooh, the new lens is yummy. I know it is weird to say something you can’t possibly eat is yummy….but it is, just the same. Looking at photos taken with this lens is like eating fine chocolate, or some other smooth delicious thing.

    …If you know what I mean.
    I hope I don’t sound crazy.
    Well…at least not too crazy. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hello pamela, if it is “crazy”, because I am a “addicted chocolate”, especially in the cold and rainy days of winter, but now where I live, southern hemisphere, it is hot with demons, and the heat produces abstinence from chocolates, but do not worry, this analogy of the chocolate you make, I share and understand 100%, ha ha ha ha .. greetings, fernando.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Haha, I just loved your word for my lens and that you get the same enjoyment out of looking at the photos taken with it as you do when eating chocolate… Well, it has to be the best compliment, ever. 😃 I am still smiling as much now as I did when I first read your comment. Thank you, Pamela! And whatever crazy it could have been, it’s my kind of crazy. I think “delicious” in my mind when I see a photo that grabs me, so we must be operating on similar wave length. 😉 Many hugs my dear.

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