Post 51 of 52

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. In honor of that fact, I ventured out into the darkness and made some images amongst the glowing lights of the city.  To do this, a new tripod purchase was necessary. No matter how cold the temperatures may feel, you are not “freezing” enough to stand perfectly still and capture a clear image at a low ISO (I tried to deny this reality for months).

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Shooting in low ISO is new to me, but I had such a great time capturing the whirling lights of the trams and vehicles. The city was still surprisingly busy, being the last couple days before Christmas. Traffic was significant, by Finland standards. More fun than capturing the images was finding new angles to shoot from. With my new Gorillapod, I can capture images from perspectives which were not achievable before now. Plus there is the added bonus of cracking vlog jokes with my husband and doing my best Casey Neistat impersonation. Where is my Boosted Board?

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As my muse, the holiday lights keep the city bright. Although I have not technically seen the sun this week, and have not felt the warmth of its rays in months, twinkling lights keep spirits bright. This is one thing Helsinki does beautifully! With the downtown area in nearly uniform white lights, the streets feel all the more magical during this special time of year.

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This season marks my third holiday in a row here in Helsinki. To be honest, I did not know if I would stay here this long. To be even more honest, I do not know if I will endure this third winter. It is true Finns have an incredible sense of survival, even against all odds. Yet, I am not a native, and my discipline has been challenged this year. Since moving, I have found gratitude to be a critical lifeline.

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Counting blessings and maintaining personal practices and hobbies are crucial. Thus, I am beyond grateful for these images. My new tripod allows me to continue to feel the joy of creating content even when conditions are not ideal. So unless the temperatures turn too cold to keep my camera on, I will continue to capture the night.

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xx – nasty trash

Post 47 of 52

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Last Saturday, Helsinki Metro opened its brand new metro line extending from the city center into the large suburban area of Espoo. This has been a long-awaited moment for locals after a year of delays in construction. Commuters finally get to enjoy the new and beautiful underground line.

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In true Nordic fashion, the visual design did not go without deep consideration. As you can see from the abundance of content I have this week. there was a lot to look at. My husband and I began with a morning ride to the very last stop and checking out each station on the way back to the city center.

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Each metro station had its own unique appearance, and these images are simply my favorite moments captured. What I failed to capture, but thoroughly enjoyed, was the number of families, photographers, and interested locals out and about riding the new transportation.

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At one point I turned to my husband and said, “This is one of my top favorite days in Finland, ever!” As a suburban kid, metros, subway lines, and general urban transportation still fascinates me and ignites magic movement into any city. Although, Finns do not feel this same giddy sensation about local transportation. A normal commute, at rush hour, would usually consist of a full ride and not a single sound. Everyone tends to keep to themselves or maintain whispers of a conversation. No smiles, chit chat, or excessive expressions.

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In stark contrast to that stereotype, the metro grand opening was a happy affair. A family event none the less, and one that left smiles on faces of all ages. Crowds dressed in all orange to commemorate the moment. No groups appear in this particular collection of images, but it is still a memory I will cherish of the Finnish people. Knowing the citizens of Helsinki and Espoo do truly enjoy their community amenities, and it is something of a celebration to participate in this collective experience.

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I hope you enjoyed these images as much as I enjoyed making them. To any travelers, locals, or modern marvels, the Helsinki Metro is a must see! Not only will you get a break from the frequent cold and winter winds, but it is a unique way to explore a more intimate part of the city’s veins.

xx – nasty trash