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 26 of 52

For some of you, it may have not been apparent the summer solstice just passed. For many of you, it may not ever register when a solstice occurs, but in Finland, it is the ultimate celebration of the season. The sun is visiting for the longest period of time all year, and it is the climax of the year for most civilians. From a photography perspective, that means you have to wait till about 10:00 pm for golden hour content.

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I have enjoyed living here and celebrating this special occasion. Mostly, because it is always a contradiction to what it should be. It should be sunny, warm, and absolute euphoria in the air. In reality, my memories oh Juhannus (Midsummer in Finnish) are anything but! Grey skies, chilled temperatures, and multiple layers of clothing tend to pass the day.

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Another story about Finnish Juhannus is the empty city streets. Everyone packs up around Thursday and by Friday evening the city is left with only unknowing tourists and younger people living by the dusk light and catching a glimpse of a local bonfire. Although I did not get to make my ultimate midsummer photo, these sunset streets sure kept things entertaining until midnight.

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 The final image was that last on my SD card. It was the last image I took, just before turning off my camera and soaking it all in. The midnight sun, the beginning of summer and the end of spring. It is bittersweet to think about the days getting shorter again, but we will leave that thought for a future post. Until then, hyvää juhannusta!

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xx – nasty trash