Process And Reflections

Hello, everyone. I hope you are all having a good start on the week. On Thursday, Lilli goes back to school. To third grade. She is getting so big. For a nine-year-old she sure is tall. After this year I will probably have to start hiding my shoes. Although I guess I get what is coming to me, after all those years I borrowed my own mother’s shoes and raided her closet. Haha

We did some back-to-school shopping last week and I’m glad because we probably missed the rush of all those last minute shoppers (I’m usually one of them, dragging my feet to the very last moment since I really don’t like shopping.) It was kind of peaceful and quiet, though, which I, who don’t particularly enjoy walking around in shops unless I already know beforehand what is needed, appreciated.

WideAngleCorrection

Today I thought I would share a little more of my process. In the latest photo challenge I mentioned my disappointment over my wide angle lens, but even so I just want to add that I do also love it because of its characteristics. Once nature starts bursting with autumn vibrance, I will get started on a photo project I began planning earlier this summer. And if all goes according to how I have envisioned it, the wide angle will see a lot more action.

WideAngleSkewed

Earlier this summer I decided to utilise my Instagram account, in addition to the blog, to try and promote my photography and document my journey. I read a few articles about it, but in the end decided that I will just apply the same method as when I edit my photos. Trial and error. Play around and have fun with it. I don’t know about you, but I found all that reading strangled my will. All those what-not-to-do’s and 15 Mistakes Photographers Make On Instagram articles. (That title is just an example.) I am not saying it wasn’t good advice; I am sure it is, and I do take some to heart. But for me, who is working on not worrying about making mistakes, it prodded too many nerves and thoughts like oh my goodness I am going to look ridiculous and fail completely.

PickASmallWish

I posted this photo on Instagram before the weekend, and I nearly fell backwards when I later that day checked in to find the likes rolling in. There are some amazing artists and photographers out there who get thousands, but to me who usually gets them on average within the thirty to fifty bracket, seeing over a hundred, then two hundred, and three–I didn’t know what to do with myself. But not only the likes. The comments. So many sweet and kind words. And then the features on accounts I myself love browsing. I couldn’t stop smiling. I thought what’s happening? What made this fleeting moment captured beside our little road so special it moved so many? And then I thought I’m moving people. I managed to reach through and I’m connecting. You see what I see.

So now I want to share with you some photos from that particular walk and how I came to pick that one photo over many, many others I loved.

Let’s start with a no-Photoshop version. The end-result actually contains two different Lightroom edits, so I’m sharing one of them. ❤

NoPhotoshop

It’s kind of funny because what I wanted was to capture the daisy only. One lone daisy stood in a sea of fading clover, but I couldn’t get low enough with my camera on the tripod where it was, so instead I picked it up. Afterward, I put it behind my ear since it felt like such a shame to throw such a steadfast little flower away when it had managed to push up among all those clovers. (And then I lost it when I let down my ponytail.)

AnotherToPonder

The second funny thing is that when I got home and uploaded all the photos, I noticed the focus was slightly off, so the daisy itself is out of focus, and only some of the leaves and one tall weed in focus. And only just. So at first I wasn’t going to pick it. My first choices were between the following (also without Photoshop edits):

MaybeThis

TheOtherChoice

I kept returning to that first one, though. The one I eventually chose. So I named it Pick A Wish. All that I felt and wanted was captured in that one brief moment, perfect or imperfect, it didn’t matter. The feeling is what matters. And maybe that’s why it has become so loved. The perfect imperfection. The fleeting yet precious moments of life.

ReachToCreate

OneOfThoseMoments

When I think about it, the best photos I take are the spontaneous ones. The ones that happen when I am out walking and stumble upon a sudden wish. Motions captured in the process, and not the initial motive that made me put my shoes on and go outside in the first place.

I used to write stories once. Hundreds of thousands of words. I made up a fantasy world and even started creating languages within that world. I still have it all here on my laptop. I imagined I would maybe one day, years from now, finish it all and give it out to see if the rest of the world would find my own secret and magical lands worth becoming lost in. And somehow I ended up with the camera back in my hands. Not where I thought I would be, but I am writing. Writing and sharing the magic I encounter. Sometimes it really does feel like I am in another world–an entirely different realm. Which, truthfully, Finland is to me. Something inside comes to life when I wander these roads and forests, and I am so grateful I get to share it and connect with you.

CloverMoment

In all honesty, I can take a thousand photos in one week, and majority of them around our farm and in close by forests. Yet I rarely feel I have seen it all. Do you have a place like that? One that can be rediscovered over and over without you tiring of it? I really hope you do. So far, I cannot think of anything that brings greater peace and happiness than being grateful for what is right here. Right now.

FadedJuniperReflections

JuniperTones

If you don’t have such a place–if one didn’t come to mind–then take a moment and think on what could be such a place. To someone else who has lived in this little village all their life, or maybe to someone who passes by on the bigger road beyond the fields, it may not look like much. So that one little corner of our world might not seem very special at a glance, but if we slow down and let ourselves be, I would be willing to bet we all find that one piece of magic somewhere close.

HazeBerryDreams
A few straying rays from the setting sun through branches and leaves can turn into a glowing dream if you squint your eyes.
JustFoliage
Weeds and foliage can appear as a golden fantasy land in a light breeze at dusk.

I stopped on my way back to the house to capture these roadside weeds, and as I hunched down another lone flower caught my eye. Like a shimmering bell. It seemed to, just like me, soak up the last light of this wonderful August evening.

BellDrop

I wish each and every one of you a great week. Much love. ❤

Star Of The Forest

Good evening you all. I just wanted to drop in to wish you all a wonderful weekend by giving you some flowers from around the farm and our forests, and to thank you for having joined me for these past few months. I cannot say how much this really means to me.

See you soon! ❤

OhYouDaisy
Oh, these daisies.
SomeKindOfViolets
Some kind of viola?
StarOfTheForest
The eternally ethereal beauty is the simplest. The Arctic Starflower. A true star of the forest to lead you even on the darkest of days.

The Passing Of Time

Transition, change, and the passing of time. For this week’s photo challenge I actually had just the spot in mind, but it wasn’t until today I gave my new-found project a bit of a break. And of course the clouds decided to rush on in. So I took a stroll through my photo library and found some other photos that will do just as well.

LingonberryFlowers

I am sure I have seen the Lingonberry flower on many occasions throughout my life, but it wasn’t until the other week, when I went for a walk after the rain to take photos along our little road that I noticed them. Actually acknowledged the Lingonberry bush blooms. So simple and so delicate. Just like most native flowers here in our part of the world. I really like that. And I love lingonberry jam with meatballs (or elk stew), mashed potatoes, and creamy brown sauce. In a couple of months, those quite sour but oh-so-delicious and healthy berries will have taken these flowers’ place.

BnW_Blowball

These Dandelion blowballs will soon be but a memory of another spring and early summer having passed. We are now in July already and I cannot grasp how fast the time simply flies. It reminds me of this quote my brother used to have on his DeviantArt account (I think it was DeviantArt): Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas.

MossCoveredRocks

MossyTree

There is something about moss that is very dear and special to me. Not only is it a recurring feature in both John Bauer’s and other old Swedish illustrators’ work, but it instills a sense of mystery and magic of those days of old. I remember when I took that photo of myself sitting on a mossy rock. I forgot to mention, then, that beneath all that moss were rolls of seemingly ancient, rusty barbed wire. I sat stiff as a bowstring while taking those photos, exercising great care not to shift my weight. I wonder which generation before us left it there?

FishboneBeardLichen

BeardLichen

I have both heard and read that the beard lichen only survives where the air is unpolluted and clean. With all these climate changes and chaotic articles about how we are living on borrowed time and destroying our world, I look at these lichen (and much else in nature) and I cannot help but think that nature has always been a master at adapting to change. If we cannot find a way, I have faith in that nature will. It would do us so much good to have a little faith, too. This magnificent world we live in is far less fragile than we seem to think it is. Or so I personally believe. That is not to say we should carry on with our destructive habits, and I do believe nature’s way of stabilising itself, regaining its balance, is potent enough and of such magnitude it could destroy us.

I hope you all had fun with this week’s photo challenge. It’s so great how it makes us stop and think, to contemplate life around us from different perspectives. Later this evening or tomorrow I am going to have a peek at what you have come up with. For now, I wish you all a cozy Sunday. Thank you so much for reading. ❤

Roadside Treasures

Hello, everyone. I sat here this morning and looked outside my window. I looked at the dew still resting in the arms of branches, balancing on the tips of leaves on a small maple. Every once in a while the sun broke through the clouds and it was like a symphony of light and brilliance as the drops danced. A glitter of reflection. Nature is so generous like that. It doesn’t really matter where I am. I don’t have to travel to faraway lands, I do not need to gaze at the horizon and wish and wonder what adventures await me there.

LushGateway

A short moment, but a passing wind of light rain swept across the fields. How beautiful it is when rain falls as the sun watches and lights up every drop–thousands upon thousands–as they rush to the ground.

DelicateFairyStar

I sat in our kitchen yesterday morning for the longest time. The house so silent, resting now in summer. As the cold sets in, the wooden timber in the walls creaks and cracks as it shifts and draws into itself to huddle against the northern winds. In spring, it’s the same, but instead it stretches after a long, hard winter, and finally exhales a breath of relief. It is still, possibly reveling in the warmth once more.

JuniperBrilliance

I sat there all alone for so long, but not once did I feel lonely. Just around the corner, Loke would stretch at times, sigh, and go back to sleep. The tick-tock of the clock, the hum of the refrigerator in tune with the birds chattering amongst themselves leaking through the walls. I could see the road from across the fields, but the sound of cars barely reaches over the distance. And most likely majority of the people were still in their beds or just waking up from Midsummer festivities.

FieryDreamsAmongTheClouds

It hit me, then, how much I adore these quiet moments. A slow morning when suddenly I just sync with everything around me. I took it all in and noted my gratefulness, listened to the scritch-scribble-sctrach as my pen followed the lines, danced along to this subtle morning symphony. I am happy. I am at peace. I feel content–right here, right now.

ReflectedPerspective

Later in the day, once the rain let up, I took my camera and walked along the road that leads from our house. I don’t know exactly how long the road is, but I walked along between a hundred and two hundred meters of it and found so many treasures.

DewyFurball

DewyBlowball

SimplePleasures

In the evening, while marvelling at this simple beauty nestling just outside our door, I read a post on Instagram by one of the many amazing photographers I follow there. Forrest Winants Smith / @lostintheforest. He asked what gets us outside? What makes us appreciate the outdoors? I have mentioned this before, in Shaped By Thousands Of Years. I said, then, that these fields of ours, while beautiful in their own way, could not compare to the mountain vistas of the High Coast. The thing is, though, that they can–this is our beloved nature, too. The same magic rests here.

RoadsideTreasures

GlowingSkies

The spirit of nature isn’t exclusive to towering mountain ranges and sloping valleys, nor does it hide in only specific places. Nature is everywhere, and its wisdom speaks to my soul wherever I may be. Whenever. I just have to stop and listen and it will open me up to all the aspects. Along this little roadside I find perspective. In these simple treasures I find wonder.

HiddenTreasures

OurHomeOurHaven

Dandelions And Bees

Hi, everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely Sunday. The sun keeps on gracing us with its presence and we just got back inside from grilling in the garden. I just love that crackling and sizzling accompanied by a symphony of bird song in the background.

Earlier, I was outside getting some shots of an information pamphlet but got distracted by bees collecting nectar from the dandelions. I have been reading that photography book, too, and diligently following the examples. The book is Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. It’s excellent, and I am so impressed by how easy it is to understand. I honestly feel I am making progress! And I can honestly say I have not used automatic settings, which I am kind of a little ridiculously proud of.

However… I found a lot of dirt speckles and a piece of hair stuck inside the lens I use the most, and I can’t for the life of me get it out. How much it affects the functionality of the lens or the quality of the photos I take, though, I wouldn’t know! Haha

And, seriously, I am so happy and thankful so many of you liked the post from the latest Weekly Photo Challenge. It made me all giddy. Here are a few of the photos I took earlier–with a little wild editing effects added in Lightroom.

Wishing you all a continued happy Sunday. See you soon!

PurpleChrome_Bee

BurnedDandelion

WhispyDream_Dandelion