Mood and Meaning

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As promised I wanted to come back to the topic of mood and meaning in landscape or nature photography. It is a complex topic, but let’s try.

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Nominated again

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Birch Cubism I, 2017

This is just a short note that again one of my works, Birch Cubism I, has won a nomination at the Black & White Spider Awards in the category Nature/Professionals.

Like the last time, it is a picture that doesn’t quite fit into the genre landscape photography – and, interestingly, the Black & White Spider Awards don’t make a distinction between nature and landscape photography, either. Instead they distinguish between categories “Nature” and “Wildlife”, which kind of leaves cityscapes (often counted as landscapes) to seek for another home.

Maybe this seems like not such an important topic. My work so far has also stretched from architecture to abstract to nature to landscape. There is no rule that binds a photographer and certain photographs to a single genre. Still, as a photographer one is often required (for marketing and other purposes) to summarize what one’s work is all about. “Whatever interests me” is in that context not perceived as a good answer. Therefore, this question kind of keeps popping up in my mind. But more on that later.

Again, there has been overall excellent work among the submissions so check it out! These competitions are a good place to see what is state-of-the-art in photography and they do show what other people are working with.

Returning

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Alder and Kalliosaarenluoto, 2017

There are a few places and views to which I am drawn over and over again. And as I keep taking photos of the same scenery, it feels like I am trying to do a kind of 36 views of Mt Fuji. Which I am not. At least not consciously. So why am I returning? After having thought about this for a while, I think I might have an answer. And one, that in a way surprised myself.

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In Praise of Shadows

2017-10-05-Koppernäs-0010.jpgHere in Finland we know about darkness. After all, in parts of the country the sun doesn’t rise for weeks on end. Even in the south of the country, we have on average only 29 hours of sunshine per month in December. Ok, “south” is relative here.  Helsinki lies at about 60° latitude, the same as southern Greenland or Kenai in Alaska. No wonder then that many around here suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) coming from light deficiency or simply loath the onset of the season of constant twilight. But not all darkness is created equal and I do think darkness has its upside. Especially also for photographers.

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Plasticity

2014-09-Pukala-0067.jpgEvery now and then I come over a photograph where I think “this is perfect”. Some photos by Edward Weston, for example. When I then afterwards try to analyze why I reacted this way I realize that this has to do with a certain way to treat the photographic subject. What I also realize is that the approach is just opposite to mine. And that, I think, is worth a thought or two.

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