Photographer and Nature

After a summer full of distractions (mainly in form of sun and heat), I finally got around to start a new photography project. In the course of that projet I went up to central-east Finland, a landscape that is at the heart of national romanticism (think Kalevala) and the birth of Finland as a nation.

My first stop was at a skiing resort that had just closed for the summer golf season and not yet opened for the winter season. Staying there already gave the illusion of yourself being the only living thing around – like being transported into an alternative reality that only consists of water, mountains and silence.

My plan had been to get up early on to the mountain and to make photographs from the surrounding landscape of lakes and islands. After first taking some wrong turns I finally made it up to the top. And there I found what is shown in the first part of the video above. This video tells two things. Firstly, it shows that I am not much of a videographer. Secondly though, it also shows that while I warmly love nature, she doesn’t always love me back. I actually first only took the video clip because there was virtually nothing else to do. Earlier, I have confessed my love of fog, mist and all things hazy. But as with sweets, too much of it makes you dizzy.

So there remained nothing else to do than waiting. It has been said that soldiers are bored 90% of the time and in the remaining 10% there is so much horrifying action they have hardly time to think. At times photographing in nature feels like that… Well, anyhow, the fog lifted somewhat after some time and I started shooting frantically:

2018-09-05-Tahko-0017View from Tahkovuori (Tahkomäki Panorama 180 Pub/Cafe)

Next, I moved on to another mountain, this time one that is actually mentioned in the Kalevala:

All the trees on Pisa-mountain,
Know I well in all their grandeur;
On the Horna-rock are fir-trees,
Fir-trees growing tall and slender;
Slender grow the trees on mountains.

It was still misty but I hoped that also there the mist would lighten up once I was on the mountain. Oh folly! Well, the second part of the video shows the views from Pisa mountain…

Luckily, in the beginning of September the mosquitoes are already mostly gone. Instead, we have the deer ked (Lipoptena cervi), which in Finland is specialized on moose blood. It is said you can tell that moose are close by when you meet this little suckers. If so, I must on my way up to the mountain have walked through hordes of moose without however, noticing any. The deer ked sometimes sucks on humans in error even though that is not productive to its procreation. But even if they seldom bite it is not very nice to have them crawl all over you (as often our fantasies are our worst enemy: the little bastards could start drilling into your skin). One even came hours later and back in my room out from my trousers.

When I finally made it up the mountain, the mist had turned into very dense fog – and that was it. I tried for a while to find any good motif or angle but finally gave up and went down the mountain again. When I finally got back to the car I was drenched in sweat. That was because I had ignored one of Murphy’s laws: if two paths lead up a mountain, the shorter one will be steeper.

Well there were two paths leading up to Pisa mountain and to say it freely after Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I–
I took the steeper one,
And that has made all the difference.

Still, and isn’t that strange, I came down that mountain a happier man. No photos and fairly exhausted I still had the feeling that there among the trees on Pisa mountain, among the rocks and the moss, yes even there among the deer keds that is where my soul belongs.


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