To Be In The Moment

Hello darling friends and readers! Sunday is here and I’m wondering where the weekend went. I said to myself on Friday that I would spend my weekend outside, preferably taking some nature walks with Loke, maybe even visit Sammallahdenmäki again. I imagine it’s so beautiful right now — all that moss and lichen crawling over the ancient burial grounds beneath a vibrant canopy. Lilli wanted to go into Lappi to play with her friends, so I thought it was a brilliant plan.

And then the rain came.

sunlit-rain

On Friday afternoon, Jay sent me a message from the fields to alert me to big droplets falling from sunlit skies. Even if his visions and opinions of what is a great photo don’t always match mine, it makes me really happy that he has taken such a big interest. At times it has seemed he doesn’t even notice, but he really does. He just isn’t the kind of person to verbalise or even show it very often. I tend to forget, but then it’s all the more precious when I remember. Do you know what I mean?

I sat in the doorway again to shoot. This zoom lens is amazing, but I have also noticed that I have gotten a little lazy with moving around. When I can get to my targets by a mere twist of my wrist my feet stay in one spot. No change of angle, no circling the scene — this hit me as I sat on those steps. But my camera isn’t waterproof, nor does the lens repel water droplets, so I wondered once again how other photographers manage to capture all these wonderful rainy moments. I gave the old umbrella in our foyer a skeptical glance. I already knew I am far from steady with my hands, so to balance an umbrella while keeping the camera still seemed so daunting, but I did give it a try.

What I thought I would do, then, this weekend, since I have been stuck inside, was to gather some of my rain photos and blog about it. And then I remembered I didn’t join the Weekly Photo Challenge last week. So I looked up the prompt, and when I saw pedestrian, I knew my time had come to finally share my photos from VanhaRauma. Conveniently — or meant to be? — I was in Rauma on Friday, too. I had my camera with me and got a few captures of Vanha Rauma dressed in autumn’s golden autumn tones.

park-bench-vanha-rauma

I love these little “coincidences”. Twists of fate. I release a wish and, suddenly, out of nowhere, there it is. Like the mushrooms I talked about with some friends on Thursday, how I seem to find mostly soggy or frayed specimens. For the longest time I wanted to find and capture a round little fly amanita (fly mushroom in Swedish) without much luck. And then I found one only a few steps from where I parked my car in town! The last place I would have expected to find one.

park-mushroom-vanha-rauma

I can’t even recall how many times in my life I seem to have stumbled into these moments. Let it go, let the pieces fall as they may. Give up the search and whatever I sought has been found. Even blog posts, now that I think about it. They hardly ever turn out according to plan, and most of the time when I make an outline in my head I can’t even begin. So I open up a draft and just write. That is when it all comes together. Maybe not always with the greatest coherence or a neat, red line.

architecture-vanha-rauma

Yesterday morning I was so tired I could hardly open my eyes, but I went straight to work on editing once the coffee was ready. As I sat there, I wrote in my journal if I start the day with housework, creativity suffers. If I start the day with creativity, housework suffers. This is something I have thought about a lot lately. The state of this place slowly falls into mess and disorganisation, and I think right, time to get on top of it again. Once I put my mind to it, I am efficient. But as the floors shine, the sofas are free of clothes, and the countertops in the kitchen sparkle, my camera and my computer stand untouched. There is no mud on my shoes to tell the story of long walks through the forest.

rowan-of-vanha-rauma

Anything that requires a plan, an outline, a well thought out step-by-step schedule swallows all those things needed for my artistry. Ideas and inspiration fade into the background. My entire creative process suffers. I have yet to find the balance, and I sometimes wonder if it is even possible. Just like with those moments when things just happen because I let them go, I know that when I try too hard, look too closely, I go blind. I lose my sense of touch. That feeling and emotion goes numb.

kuninkaankatu-vanha-rauma

Ever since this spring, when I visited Sammallahdenmäki (a UNESCO World Heritage site and Bronze Age burial ground on the outskirts of Lappi), I got the idea to take you on a walk through Vanha Rauma. Another World Heritage site. I thought I would do it during Rauman Pitsiviikko — an annual culture event. Pitsi translates to lace, and this event came about from the making of bobbin lace. It was once a big thing here, and I think it still might be. During Pitsiviikko there are people and markets everywhere, from all parts of Finland. I couldn’t think of a more perfect opportunity to capture the beating heart of Finnish history and culture mingling. I painted up a mental plan in my head of what types of photos I would take and got really excited about it. It seems as though I completed it so beautifully in my head that when Rauman Pitsiviikko rolled around, I had nothing left to draw from, and in the end I went without my camera.

isokirkkokatu-goto-restaurant-vanha-rauma

beauty-salon-vanha-rauma

On both occasions from where these photos are taken I had no plan, no goal. I did want to take some self-portraits and dressed for the occasion, but once I wandered among these buildings that thought vanished.

cafe-sali-vanha-rauma
My favourite café. The staff is so lovely and they have a very tasty selection of cakes, cookies and coffee breads.

symmetry-vanha-rauma

I may be a big lover of nature, but Old Rauma is very special. I have mixed emotions about Stockholm, but I love walking through Old Town and along the canals. Old buildings and architecture like this gives me a feeling of hovering in-between now and then. I imagine horses and carriages, market stalls, gentlemen in long coats and hats, ladies in their dresses and timeless hairdo’s. There is something about street musicians that always adds to this magic. Unfortunately none were seen on this day.

tullin-kaffe-vanha-rauma

cobble-stone-foliage-details-vanha-rauma

 

 

 

Sometimes I wish I could go on these adventures with all things required packed into the car. My camera gear, my laptop, and do my blog posts on moving foot, so to speak. It is when I am in the moment that the impressions of my experiences and senses have most vibrance. They are fresh in my mind and the emotion that goes with it alive.

walking-the-outskirts-vanha-rauma

vibrant-vines-vanha-rauman-kellari

autumn-glow-vanha-rauma

On these days I thought how cozy it would have been to at the end of my photo walk go to my favourite café. To sit there with a cup of coffee and my laptop to go through the photos, then write about it. Still surrounded by the sights and smells.

So, with all this said, I think the definition of pedestrian according to the dictionary is so strange. Boring, tedious, uninspired, uncreative, unimaginative, monotonous. Being a pedestrian is anything and everything but lifeless or uneventful. Being the pedestrian in the moment, no matter the scenery, is to me one of the best parts of any journey. Planning and speedy results are to me dull. But then I didn’t always see it that way. Once I wanted to get to my destination fast and without delay. And of course I still find my way back to drumming my fingertips and drawing deep sighs, checking my wrist watch and wanting time to speed up.

Luckily, these days I do have my camera. I can and even want to capture these moments. Prolong them. Enhance them. Immortalise them. And I think that it is all there in the light and shadows, the tones and stilled movement, even if I can’t always remember every aspect of what it was truly like.

Now, my dears, I would like to wish you a wonderful remainder of this Sunday, and a good week ahead. Much love. ❤

 

 

Layered Perspective

Hey everyone! It feels like I haven’t participated in the Weekly Photo Challenge for ages, when in reality I skipped only one. They took that break, too, and to be honest, I did check out the challenge before this and just couldn’t figure out what to do. Even in the midst of creativity exists moments of fogginess.

For this week’s challenge, as I put together the images for my initial idea, another one struck me, and instead of getting torn between which one to choose, I decided to do both. By comparison to my usual posts, it’ll be much less of a photo bomb either way. Haha

layered-age-of-tree-stump-above

While on a photo walk yesterday, I wandered through a clearing, and at first I didn’t take much notice of these stumps. I had the 55-250 mm lens mounted, as well, and was searching for mushrooms and a spot where to take some self-portraits. On my way back, I switched to my wide angle (10-18 mm) to capture the forests around me for my next blog post. It’s funny that it never occurred to me to take photos directly from above. But then, when I remembered this week’s photo challenge, instantly my eyes scanned the clearing to finally stop on these stumps.

I was very little when I heard that these ring formations you see when a tree has been cut tell the story of their age. I didn’t count them, but if I make a wild guess — around sixty, maybe? What do you think?

layered-age-of-tree-stump-angle

I find it so fascinating how trees, unlike us, grow their skin layer by layer, instead of shedding the dead cells as new forms. But then they need all those fibres to drink and nourish them so that they may grow into the tall and magnificent pines they once were.

layered-aged-wood-and-lichen

Just like with driftwood, the longer the wood lies exposed to the elements’ able and artful hands, the more defined the texture in these signs of age becomes. And another life form might even make a home on its surface.

Very often in post-processing I play around with layers. I either merge one or more photos with different Lightroom edits, then use various blending options; or I use filters and other fun things in Photoshop to get the result I want. Or both. How much or little I do depends on the quality of the photo — as in, how well I managed to get the settings right as I shot them, haha. A good quality photo with sharp focus where it was intended and not too overexposed or underexposed is so much more gratifying to work with. But I would still say I can fix an underexposed photo better than an overexposed one where all the colours have been washed out. I am actually developing a habit of purposely shooting certain photos underexposed, too.

While editing the next photo below, I wanted to enhance the texture seen through the droplets, and it took me a few tries, but I was so happy and excited about the result I felt it would be so perfect for today’s challenge. Not only because of how the natural layer and magnifying effects of the water, but also because of how many different layers, filters, and other tweaks I worked with to enhance that texture.

non-layered-original-exposure-leaf
Original, unedited. / ISO 400, 250 mm, f7.1, 1/200 sec.

layered-photoshopped-exposure-leaf

Isn’t autumn just so beautiful? To walk through nature right now is both incredibly peaceful and invograting at the same time.

Have a most wonderful Thursday, dear friends and folk, and I’ll be back as soon as I can with more photos from yesterday’s walk. Much love. ❤

Barley’s Beauty

I think most of us have seen a golden field of grain in the wind. Those magnificent waves rolling across hills in the setting sun. I don’t know about you, but it is among one of the most beautiful things I know. So much life. A soulful composition.

In my previous post I showed you some photos from my morning down by one of our barley fields. I can’t say exactly what it is about them that is so special. Maybe it’s those long whiskers covered in dew drops, the sun weaving through the trunks in the forest behind me, climbing above the tree tops. And then magic comes to life–a shimmer of gold and crystal light. Soft tones spoken among the sharp and jagged yet flowing structure.

I just love the artfulness in these fields. I hope you like it, too.

I wish you a lovely Sunday evening. Much love. ❤

structure-barley

structure-barley-daisies

structure-barley-daisy

structure-wheat
This is wheat, but I loved the contrast between the structure of it and the softness of the birch created by shallow depth of field. And that light. ❤

Light The Gateway To Times Of Old

Light. This is my one true love and obsession, and I think many (if not all to some extent) photographers always have light in the back or forefront of their mind when they aim their lenses. Without it, what is there to capture? The presence of light, the strength and angle at which it hits the world around us is what decides what we see. How we see it. Take any scene or object and the light will dramatically affect and change the image reflected back at us.

AugustMagicalGateway

AugustMistyRoad

I drive and walk on these roads on a daily basis. Before I picked my camera back up, it didn’t really occur to me how different these very same fields, forests and the scenery they are a part of can look. At least I didn’t consider it on a conscious level.

AugustPineMagic

AugustPineGlow

I have these distinct memories from when I was younger. We lived in Helsingborg, which is on the western coast of Sweden. It was autumn and it had just rained. I walked along the pavement with my mother’s camera–I was on my way to a place where these big, old beeches grew. The clouds were grey in the sky above, it wasn’t daylight, not quite dark either, but the yellow-orange light from the street lanterns shimmered across the wet asfalt. A soft mist clung to the air around me and as I write I can feel it, smell the fallen leaves that sometimes stuck to my shoes when I wandered across a pile amassed by the wind. I even remember what clothes I wore. Black comfy pants, a blue, shiny jacket way too big for me, and those flat-bottom skater shoes. I think they were blue, too, and made out of leather.

And all this is connected to that sombre mood of one autumn evening from almost twenty years ago. That is how strongly that particular light permeates my entire being. I have throughout the years been thrown back to that day on many occasions. Every single time I encounter the same light conditions.

AugustForestHut

Low light, dimmed light, or those few stray pillars finding their way through crevices in obstructions–this stops time for me. Shadows blending with areas of light. It is like opening a book and reading the most captivating and mysterious story. I can’t tear my eyes away and my entire being is filled with wonder.

AugustPillarFields

AugustRowanGlow

I find all our four seasons very special and enchanting in their own way. This summer, however, as wonderful as it has been with warmth after our long winters, I have been getting exhausted by the long days and short nights. Light may be my muse, and even though it is so much softer during high summer than in other places in the world where I have lived, I still feel myself breathing out now that autumn is on its way. And with it I can feel my creativity returning.

AugustWebGlow

August can be very different. The air can feel like gods of old are breathing heat and moisture on your face. It can also be a soft and subtle warmth. But with the days growing shorter and the nights longer, there is respite. And the mornings and evenings seem to open gateways to other realms, older times.

AugustBirchGlow

AugustFlowerBokeh

Light’s magic is what moves me. Light–in the many forms it comes–is what ignites the connection to these beautiful and wondrous lands I live in.

Faded Memories

This past Thursday we went for a drive to an old house left to the touch of the elements for a long, long time. Jay’s great grandmother was born there and even though it is run down and falling apart, somehow I found it the most charming place I have visited in a long time.

SprucedUp

AppleTreeGardens

DogBisquitWindow

BeyondTheShrubs

DoorwayBlues

To get here we drove through the forest on a small road–you know the ones that basically have two tracks and grass growing in the middle?

ForestRoads

And all along this road sat only one other house. In better condition, but apart from the lawn around the house partially mowed it appeared uninhabited. The windows were boarded up. Perhaps to save them from being broken, like all the windows at Jay’s great grandmother’s childhood home are.

Jay told me about this place when I was in Sweden recently. He messaged me some photos and I knew instantly I wanted to see it for myself. I hope we will go back there again.

WhisperingRooms

FirePlaceMemories

ElementalRooms

CeramicsAndOvens

After we were done exploring, we went back to Jay’s uncle and his wife to have coffee. Jay’s uncle is actually a photographer himself and he took some great photos of Lilli during her naming ceremony, among other occasions.

It was a windy but beautiful evening, so I took the opportunity to walk around by myself after Jay’s uncle showed us his grape vines and green house. (I would love to get my very own green house where I can grow herbs and vegetables.)

ElementalShed

WindyOutside

WindyFocus

WindAcrossTheField

I have mentioned–a while ago now–that I love trees. My favourite tree is the aspen tree, and apparently it’s considered a pest around here. It spreads easily and isn’t worth much, according to Jay. Well, I think it is very beautiful–especially the ones with that signifying lichen growing on them. I think it is the only tree that gets them, but I don’t know why.

AspenLichen

BurnedLichenBranches

Road trips to remote places left to nature’s own laws are among my favourite things. And it was so nice to get to do one with Jay, too, since he usually isn’t up for it. He did seem to enjoy himself just as much as the rest of us, so maybe there will be more in the future. I hope so.

This post was in response to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. Thank you so much for reading, and I wish you a lovely Sunday evening. ❤

The Depth In Fields

Living on a farm surrounded by fields, this week’s photo challenge instantly made me think of the endless options to capturing these vast and somewhat flat canvases in a photo. My biggest struggle here when it comes to bringing what I see with my eyes into the image is: where do I focus and from what angle? While we can do amazing things to our images in post-processing with Lightroom and Photoshop, it cannot (in my opinion) compare to what our eyes can take in and the images they produce in our minds as we stand there and just gaze.

VintageFields_HalfStep_sml

I often stop to aim my camera at the fields–especially this time of the year as they begin to turn golden–only to end up deleting the capture straight away because it just falls flat. Do you know what I mean? In all honesty, that happens a lot when I want to capture landscapes. I got that wide angle lens, for example, that I had been wanting to get for so long, and yet somehow I can’t help but feel disappointed by how it pushes my vision into the background. I do get to capture the wide spectrum, but what my eyes see–the magic in certain elements that makes what I see so wonderful–trails off into the distance.

VintageFields_PowerLines_sml

I have three lenses, but I am shooting mostly with my Tamron 90mm macro at the moment. As a result, I am moving around a lot, but I do get what I want with it. And while I have started wishing for a lens with wider zoom options, I think this way the challenges I meet are good for my creativity. To not have too many options forces me to come up with solutions and puts me in situations I might not have ended up in if I could just reach for another lens.

VintageFields_HS_PowerLines_sml

So instead of being sad for not managing to capture the wonderful beauty of the fields the way I envisioned to begin with, I focused on the contrast between sharpness and blur created when using the smallest f-stop on my macro lens. All the images in this post are shot at f2.8. And I am honestly so very happy with the results.

VintageFields_Rows_sml

I absolutely love the effects and textures I can achieve in post-processing. Truthfully, even without any editing at all many photos turn out great. I just find it so much fun to play around with them, especially when I have gotten my settings just right. The glow, the shimmer and sparkle, or the filtering effects of swaying foliage or leaves in the nearest foreground. Together with that one area of focus, I get to translate the magic I feel–even if it turned out differently than I first imagined.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all a great Friday and a wonderful weekend. Much love. ❤

Unusual Moments

Yesterday afternoon I took a drive up along Ångermanälven. The plan was aimless driving and spontaneous images. Usually when I want a photo trip like that I go alone. Somehow I feel more free to do those spur-of-the-moment stops, and get lost in my own little world when I do not have to keep others in mind. Seeing as this holiday in Sweden is soon coming to an end–we leave on Sunday night to drive to Stockholm and the ferry–I also wanted to make the most out of these last days.

To my father, nature and the outdoors has a different meaning. He loves it, but he would rather pick mushrooms or fish or take some sausages to grill. Do things. Not sit in a car and wait for someone to pick random routes based on a feeling. And once the purpose of the trip is fulfilled, he goes home. So when he wanted to come along, too, I was surprised. My mother is a little more like me–she sees beyond a forest, beyond the trees and lakes and mountains. Colours and light, magical moments–she gets them, too. But she still laughs at me when I suddenly dive down and fall into the strangest positions to capture whatever catches my eye.

So off we went. Lilli, my mother, my father, Loke and I. We were out for over four hours and not once did I feel restrained from following whichever wonder that grabbed me. And we all enjoyed those hours.

I usually fill up my posts with lots of photos. Today, I am only sharing one. And perhaps not the most usual subject, either.

I wish you all a lovely Saturday. ❤

UnusualFeathers

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. ❤

Focusing Through A Storm

This week’s photo challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. I have mentioned before how much I love these challenges because of how they light up my brain and make ideas whoosh on in. Yesterday I only got one idea, but sometimes that is all it takes. One spark. One shot. Every day life is full of let-downs but also opportunities, and what matters is which one you latch on to. The choices you make. The chances you take. We have to find and nurture that one glowing ember and keep on moving toward our goals, toward our dreams. Do it in spite of how everything else seems to be working against you.

 

DanceToTheSunset

Yesterday I felt like I stepped out onto a battlefield and into the wild storm of past ghosts and spectral voices with only a fragile whisper to challenge them, and I want to tell you about it. In honour of today’s post, I have left all photos unedited, except for the very last one in this post.

Two nights ago at sunset the light was so incredibly gorgeous. I shouted out to Jay and Lilli: Shoes on, let’s go, we’re going outside to jump around like crazy in the sunset! And we did. Except Jay kind of just stood there, while Lilli, Loke and I ran around like we had ants in our pants.

I had my camera set up and took so many photos. When I got inside, though, and uploaded them I wanted to cry. Noise noise noise. Grainy colours. That was all I could focus on.

DanceToTheSunset_Cropped

The lens I shoot with the most is the one that came with my camera, an EFS 18-55 mm–a rather basic lens. I was in to Rauma some time ago to inquire about wide angle lenses, which I have read are great for landscape photography. The lady in the shop confirmed this, let me try one, and told me this little 18-55 mm I have definitely won’t do the job.

This lens has been a trusty companion throughout all these years, though, and I haven’t ever been disappointed. Not until the night I uploaded those sunset photos. All of yesterday I was so bummed out about it. It has to be the lens, I said to Jay. I am doing everything right. I am following the instructions and I am getting the hang of ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and the light metering. It has to be the lens. Right?

Is it? Maybe I am just not good enough.

Around midnight, when the sun had climbed behind the horizon, the mist arrived. Yes! Woohoo! I took my macro lens, knowing it certainly isn’t ideal for landscape, and went outside for another round. I spent most of that time staring at a spider web to figure out how to capture it. Only the faintest breeze danced along with the mist, and while I couldn’t feel it, the spider web swaying ever so slightly was proof enough.

WebInTheMist

PowerlinesInTheMist
I chose to focus on these shots littered with dust speckles.

BirchInMist

I told Jay: That’s it. I’m done. Nothing good comes out of this. I didn’t even bother trying to remove the speckles because they are absolutely everywhere.

I didn’t let it go, though. Figuring out what the problem was so I could fix it compelled me to keep trying. I sat down yesterday to scour my photography book that I ordered a few weeks ago. Apparently, the sharpest and most vivid-coloured images are created at between f8 and f11. Because of the shape of the lenses. And I had used f22 as we danced to the sunset. So yesterday evening I forced myself to give it another try.

My heart really wasn’t in it but, as always, energy filled every fiber of my body once the trees gathered around.

CareToDance
Care to dance?

DanceWithATree

Something funny happened. There I was, running up and down our little forest road, dancing and jumping and curtseying in front of a tree, asking for a dance, and out of nowhere a neighbour came walking toward me with their dog. Good evening! You get to be in my photo shoot, I said. He laughed, and then I started talking to the dog. I was so shocked that I just kept babbling, and I can’t remember what I said or much of what he said. I do remember that their dog is about to have puppies and is going away for several weeks.

Besides achieving to be bitten by mosquitoes about fifty times and getting actual ants up my skirt, I felt nothing came out of that photo shoot. I couldn’t see anything else but what I was already looking for. Faults. I felt like I was met by failure at every turn.

But then an e-mail arrived–The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. Focus, it told me, and I read the post. All my woes were pushed aside as I got the idea to log in to my iCloud and look through my older photos, from almost two years ago.

RamvikOldSawMill
Ramvik’s old saw mill, about 30 kilometers from Härnösand, Sweden. It shut down in the 1950’s, or thereabouts. Autumn 2015.
MirroredLakeCopse
On my way to school one morning, I had to stop to take photos. Late autumn 2015.
MistAndFrost
This mist was enchanting.
MistyMountains
I stayed there for a long while, entranced by the spectacular play of light and colour across a frosty morning landscape.
SunriseFog
The mist got so thick I could hardly see as I drove on. But then the sun came through and I had to stop. Right in the middle of the road. Luckily, no other cars came. And all these photos were shot with my 18-55 mm lens.
BlurryBubbas
Loke isn’t in focus, but I love this shot. Shot with my Tamron 90mm macro lens.
OutOfFocusBubbas
Also with the Tamron macro lens.

 

 

One of the most important things I have learned so far on my journey has been to get to know and understand myself. One big part of me is my tendency to strive for perfection. It is a tough one, but I am trying to learn to see and use it as a great tool and asset instead of an obstacle. Weaving it together with my creativity and artistic sides when I also have a tendency to obsess, not let things go and go with the flow, however, is probably one of my biggest challenges. This is getting to the heart of it, this is where I break it or make it.

So far I have shared so many photos with you, majority taken with that 18-55 mm lens. Close-ups or landscapes. In all kinds of light and settings. So why did I suddenly lose my head over those sunset photos? Why could I not see how great they are? Well, I engaged the old me, focused on the mistakes, the faults, the failures. I didn’t see the whole picture, I didn’t remember I am on a journey. I expected too much of myself, too soon. In turn I missed out on all the things I did achieve. That I kept going in spite of feeling failure all the way down into my frozen toes. I didn’t give up–in spite of everything, I kept grabbing at opportunities.

Sometimes, even when we are convinced we are getting nowhere, deeper processes are at work. We need to trust in those, let go and cut ourselves some slack. I know it can seem impossible at times, but I dare to promise you that even when you cannot feel the wind it is there. Step back, look for signs. They are all around you, and within. And keep going, no matter what. You will get there.

MakeAWish
Arctic Starflower / Skogsstjärna / These are among the simplest yet most beautiful flowers I know.

 

My Bubbas – Loke

Good evening, everyone! I am a little late with the photo challenge this week, but there is no time like the present, right? I hope you all had fun with this one–I sure did. I shot in several different places, both in Sweden and here in Finland (and it is so so good to be home, honestly), before I settled.

A friend can mean and be many things. If I think about what or with whom I can simply share space with, well, a lot comes to mind. The forest, for one–a tree. I love trees. I can lean on it and just watch the world around me. Or I can close my eyes and merely breathe it all in.

I wanted to do a photo shoot with a very good friend of mine in Sweden, but after my climb up Skule mountain and spending five hours trekking all over the top to take photos, and after the way down (close to 11 p.m.), I hardly moved the next day. My muscles ached and my knees were like jelly.

While getting some photos of our old apple tree earlier this evening–the buds are just now blooming–my dog, Loke, kept watching me and gave a little whine from time to time, wanting to be part of the action. I had him clipped to the walking line so he wouldn’t rush around the legs of the tripod. I stopped and we watched each other. He had that hopeful look on his face: can I join you now? And so it was decided. My beautiful Loke. Ever eager, ever so loyal–until my partner starts digging around in the doggy treats, of course. Haha

I hope you are all having a great week so far. Until next time, then, I give you my bubbas, who turned three at the end of May.

Take care, and see you soon!

LokeSitting

LokeSmellsFlowers
Just like Ferdinand in that cartoon, who just wants to sniff the flowers. Except this is a rare moment for Loke. He was such a cooperative model in spite of wanting to take off, full speed. ❤