The Joy of Seeing

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The business of photography is often, actually, hard work. We landscape photographers also like to highlight the long hikes, the heavy backpacks with gear, the early hours, the long hours and so on. Does this make our work miserable? No, not at all. Often, it is a bliss.

Today I spent the day at the Komio Nature Reserve in Tavastia, Finland. The area is little known, but good for hiking on eskers and exploring other glacial landscape features like small kettle lakes. My favorite spot there, however, is a small lake with the name Luutalammi. In 1933 the water level in the lake had been, for agricultural reasons, lowered by a meter. In 2003, when the Nature Reserve had been founded, the water level was raised back. In the 70 years inbetween new trees had grown on the shore and they then died off when flooded. This gives Luutalammi a frame of dead trees. I would love to call this poetically a sunken forest, but it is a bit too mundane for that: mostly the former trees are now bare, broken sticks. Like this:

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Still, these former trees give the little lake a wild and mysterious look. As the water in the lake is both dark and clear (it is technically a marsh lake) it makes a perfect mirror for the sky. And I just can't get enough of watching the constant interplay between the sky, the waves and these sticks. And this is what I did for almost a day.

Some of the sticks are like drawn into the water.

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Some of them seem to kiss the sky.

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But then, there are also waterlilies. Ah, the waterlilies. I can't really explain what draws me to me them. But for me their leaves (at least while not eaten by the insects) have one of the most perfect forms in nature.

They start out as pure and fragile forms under water.

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Then, once emerged, they join the dance with the waves and the sky.

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Or simply rest on the surface in perfect harmony.

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But they also got to play with the sticks.

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I don't know yet whether any of these photos will make it into my portfolio. They are too new to say. But I can say, that watching and seeing the interplay of natural elements and their constant change filled me with a simple, exuberant joy. The joy of seeing.

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