Something Meaningful

In one of my very first posts when I started this blog, I wrote how I have always loved drawing. I also used to sing a lot, and when I was practicing Celine Dion-tunes my dad would yell from upstairs who is strangling the cat? (Even if we did not have one at that point in time, huh.) When I didn’t sing or draw I would find something else. I remember I got out my mother’s old painting books and colours and painted the landscapes I saw on the pages. I painted on cardboard boxes or the covers of drawing pads, since we couldn’t afford anything else.

LeafyWindow

Artsy things. Anything to do with creating something beautiful is something I have always loved doing. I asked myself in my journal a few days ago what it is I love so much about photography. I thought of when I studied to become a makeup artist in Australia, back in 2003. That was about the same thing. To capture beauty–there is so much of it in this world–and bring it forward. Anything that fascinates me–any subject, object or composition of several–colours, light, dark, angles–which to me holds a sense of wonder I want to capture. And interpret–translate into a medium with which I want to say, “This is how I see our world. Look how wonderful it is.”

TheOldSauna

And yesterday, as I came out of the barn after helping Jay with building some shelves, I looked at the piled tree trunks out there. Some of it is used to make wood chips, which we burn to heat up the house and our water. And some of it just sits there. I stood there and gazed at it all, wandered closer and suddenly I had an aspen trunk in my arms and carried it away to what used to be a horse wagon shed.

Wheelbarrel

These days we keep various tools and gardening equipment in that building. With that tool there, resting on the wheelbarrow, I removed the bark from the aspen. I told Jay about an idea I had, earlier that day, and he found a tool I could use. I don’t know the name of it, but it has been on this farm for at least a few generations.

It took me quite some time to peel the bark, and by the time I was done my entire body ached. The result was so worth it, though.

PeeledAspenTrunk

PeeledAspen

And today I got another trunk and peeled the bark off. A birch this time. The most fascinating patterns are hidden beneath the bark, and together with the scratch marks from the peeling tool, it looks incredible.

TreeTrunks

BirchBark

BirchUpClose

These piles of birch and aspen are now off-limits–they are now mine. I am going to create something out of it.

A couple of days ago Jay told me there will be no more saplings to plant this year. I have waited and waited so I can get out there again. But apparently this entire country has run out of saplings. I cannot even believe how that is possible. I talked to Jay about growing our own. Gather pine and spruce cones and just grow them ourselves. But we need thousands. That is a lot of work. Not to mention I have no idea where to keep them, especially over winter. I haven’t abandoned the idea just yet. I know nothing about growing trees, either, but the great thing about not knowing something is the opportunity you get to learn it.

FairytaleForest

In the meantime, I will be spending a lot of time working on those aspens and birches. Finland celebrates one hundred years this year, by the way, and for this there has been a drive to plant trees. I wondered if that was why we have run out, but Jay says it is because we are cutting down more forest than normally here and so we have to plant more than usual. Either way, my longing for planting trees has met a sad ending for now, but I can do something with a few of the ones we have taken that is more symbolic and meaningful than burning.

I am so incredibly exhausted I have to go to bed, but I felt I wanted to let you know why I am and will be a little absent. During the weekend I will pop in again to take part in the Weekly Photo Challenge, but for now I hope you have all had a great week so far and I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead. ❤

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Photography – A Beginner’s Journey

Good morning, everyone! Or, well, it was morning and then I took Loke for a walk and suddenly it was nearly lunch time. Whenever I decide to go exploring I end up losing track of time, especially if I have a camera with me. This time I brought my phone, though, because my camera has caught dust on the sensor again. After last night’s adventure down by the river, almost four hundred photos (and manual settings practice) later, I came home to find most of them in such poor quality I wanted to cry. Not only because of dust, though, but because I simply do not understand my camera yet.

Let me tell you a silly story. This is me in a nutshell–was me. After the hike with my daughter in 2015, I was super excited to see the results of the photos I took. A few photos I had taken of the sky while playing around with manual settings had dots in them. I assumed I had dust on my lens and cleaned it, took some photos, and… no go. Still those pesky dots. So I cleaned again and again, but it didn’t help. So I changed to the lens that came with my camera when I first bought it in 2011 or -12 and… still dots! I jumped online, looked around, a little sloppily I might add, because I was already in full-blown panic.

And then I gave up.

I honestly thought I had broken my camera somehow, or the lens, or both. The feeling was a hopeless and helpless one.

So here is the silly part, the me-in-a-nutshell part–I wanted but didn’t dare to take my gear to a photography shop to get it checked out because I was too afraid I would be laughed back out. That they would ask me how I managed to break it. That they would dismiss me as an amateur and tell me to find another hobby.

After that I lost heart. I would still take my camera with me–sometimes–but I had convinced myself I didn’t have what it takes. The joy I felt rarely returned. I stuck to the presets. Point and shoot. All the while berating myself for investing so much money in something I wasn’t qualified to use.

Even as I write this I want to shake my head at my former self. But I remember the journey still–from there to here. It’s so easy for me to look at all the ways my thinking patterns limited my entire life. I guess it both is and isn’t silly–do you know what I mean?

Tomorrow I am taking my camera to a photography shop in Rauma to get some help. I have bought a kit and read instructions on how to clean the sensor, and I have done so now on a few occasions, but I am in this for real now. And with my scatter-brain I need to see someone else do this in front of me, together with me, so I can learn.

The thing is, I want to take breathtaking photos. I want to create unforgettable images–transform the images and visions I have in my mind, in my soul into actual artwork. And I want them on my wall. Heck, I would love it if you wanted them on your wall, too. But, hey–one step at a time. First I have to want to put them on my wall, right?

In light of that (or lack thereof, hah), I am going to present you with some raw material from this learning experience of mine. These are but a few from my three-hour session by the river yesterday evening. Enjoy! And thank you so much for reading. See you soon!

Lapinjoki – Lappi River

A Shed In The Sunset

Unidentified Flying Objects

MehSunset

Attempting Spot Removal

…and other things!

EmbraceSunset_01

EmbraceSunset_02

Now You See Me

NowYouSeeMe
After a lot of editing.

Now You Don’t

Sort Of

NowYouDon't