Throwback Thursday

We all have these photos … throwback photos! Don’t we just… so many.

It’s described as ‘nostalgia-inducing pictures … from a different era of your life”.

I am posting my first #TB Thursday I am posting photos from old town Tallinn in Estonia , from 2014 I think ?

Colorful doors

I have come across so many doors while looking at my fellow bloggers posts. So I thought I would post few too. Here are some colorful doors 🙂 from Savannah, Georgia.

pink door
turquoise door
red door

Mid-week Monochrome #122

I have a soft spot for black and white photography, I was once again reminded about the importance of exposure, light. It is the key element in these photos.

This house in the corner of the street in Savannah appealed to me, with its tall arched windows and ornate ironwork balconies and fences. The peeling paint gives it a artitic feel that looks great in photos, well that’s my opinion anyway:-) With this first edit I tried to capture a old time feel to it. The two others are more clear and crisp with slightly different composition.

A house in Savanah – Black and white photography erases time from the equation.

“There’s something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.” 

Posted for Bren’s Mid-Week Monochrome and Leanne’s Monochrome Madness

Savannah – by the river

Talking about Belles, in the afternoon we rode the free Savannah Belles ferry on the Savannah River. The ferries sail a triangle between the Waving Girl Statue, the City Hall and Convention Center. The view wasn’t that great but at least we can say we were on the Savannah River. Also, we met a very nice Polish American couple from New Jersey on the ferry. I guessed their origins from his accent. However, it was the lady who did most of the talking and boy could she talk. After we parted, she walked back to us and gave us their email address in case we ever need a place to stay in New Jersey. Nice!

After the ferry we walked along the River Street enjoying its old warehouses with their shop, restaurants and bars. We had drinks at the Warehouse Bar & Grillissä and then we had to hurry back to the hotel for the complimentary cocktail hour. The evening was spent on the River Street again having dinner at the Vic’s By The River, where we had the pleasure of tasting Shrimp and Grits.

Couple extra facts: If you paint the front door of your home or business red in Savannah, Georgia, it means you have
paid it off and are the 100% owner.

Comgrats, paid it off and are the 100% owner.

Savannah has the McDonalds with walk-through window. There is a restaurant where you can get deep-fired peanut butter and chocolate chicken wings,

Charleston – Shem Rock Boardwalk

The lovely Shem Rock in town of Mt. Pleasant. Had a late lunch at Tavern & Table by the creek and prepared ourselves for the sunset. We walked along the Shem Creek Boardwalk, the boardwalk is a total of 2,200 feet long, it offers panoramic views of the marsh and Charleston Harbor to catch the glorious sunset.

The sunset was lovely changing colors depending were you looked, from warm tones to cooler ones the later it got from the sunset.

Charleston – Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge,

Later in the afternoon we drove over another spectacular bridge, Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, to Shem Rock in town of Mt. Pleasant. Had a late lunch at Tavern & Table by the creek and prepared ourselves for the sunset. We walked along the Shem Creek Boardwalk to catch the glorious sunset. I will post these photos in the nexrt post as this is already an overload of images.

The Arthur Ravenel Jnr Bridge was opened in 2005. The bridge, which stretches gracefully across the Cooper River. The bridge is the tallest structure in South Carolina and the longest stayed bridge in the area. It, connects the Mount Pleasant Towns to Charleston and was designed to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes, and hurricane winds, as well as incorporating two diamond-like concrete towers. With the sunset as a background the bridge looked great as did the sunset.


Because we only had one full day in Charleston, we had to get busy in the morning. Having booked a sightseeing tour the previous night, we had couple hours in the morning to cruise the city. First stop was Philadelphia Alley in the French Quarter, one of the beautiful historic alleys in Charleston. According to legend the alley was a popular place for duels, and it was once known as
Duelers Alley. Legend has it that that at least one dueling victim still haunts the alley. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any ghosts or anything paranormal. We saw a tranquil and beautiful alleyway with nice yards, cobblestone and old brick warehouses.

Our tour started at 11 am and what a wealth of information that was. I tried to jot down few notes of the most memorable things I heard but I must confess I missed most of it. Somehow, only interesting stories stick to my mind and not facts itself.

Charleston has over 400 churches, the most of any city in the USA, of quite few different denominations. Reason for the multitude is that early on if you rounded up seven or more people, you could start your own church and build on the land the city gave you.
Charleston is full of iron gates, fences, etc. Iron works on your house were the marks of wealth. They don’t let you forget the bricks made in Boone Hall Plantation that a lot of old houses are made of. Four million bricks were made at Boone Hall yearly during slavery. One of the saddest places was Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where Dylan Roof committed his heinous mass murder few years back. Roof killed nine people after the service but left one person alive, so the person could tell others that this sick person wanted to start a race war. He was given the death penalty and because of the forgiveness of the church and the city, no race war was started, or any violence was instigated.

Luckily for all of us the city of Charleston is very well preserved, and the Preservation Society of Charleston will keep it that way. If the house is 75 years old or older it can not be torn down or as they like to say here: Cannot be taken down by hand of people, only by hand of god. And not just houses are preserved but cobblestones, sidewalks, lamppost and old stepping-stones to
help you to cling on carriages. And you can’t renovate your old house by yourself. You have to have it inspected by the Society, that will also decide who can do the renovations. Also, tall buildings are not allowed. A certain church steeple sets the height limit.
Because of the aforementioned rules historic Charleston is and will stay a very beautiful place to visit.

The tour took us through the famous Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. My first sight was two cadets halfway running. It looked funny. At some point they were almost walking and then they speeded up once again. I just thought that they we in a hurry to get to the class. Then our guide told us that the freshman cadets or so-called gutter rats are not allowed to walk on the sidewalk, and they were not allowed to walk at all, but they have to do double time. Citadel was all male college until 1995 when Shannon Faulkner was able to enroll after a successful lawsuit. The suit alleged that the Citadel, which received state money, was “denying her equal protection under the Constitution”. The reception for her was not the best when she entered and she had to be escorted to Citadel by United States Marshals. During the so called “hell week” Faulkner suffered a heat stroke and eventually dropped out citing emotional and psychological abuse and physical exhaustion. However, she won the lawsuit and now women comprise approximately 9% of the Corps.

Another historical tidbit that stuck to my mind was the story of single houses in Charleston. During colonial times the inhabitants found out that traditional rowhouses did not work out because they were storing heat and the summers in South Carolina coastline and hot and humid. The idea for single houses was copied from the Caribbeans. Single houses were constructed to according to direction of the southernly winds that are blowing in the area. The houses are well-suited to long, narrow lots which were laid out in early Charleston. Although not a part of the earliest single houses, later buildings had two- and three-story porches,
known locally as piazzas, added. Houses had hospitality doors. They were social signs for neighbors and friends. If the porch door was propped open, it meant that the family inside was ready for you. If the door was shut – stay away.

In front of the Museum of Charleston we saw the replica of submarine H.L Hunley, that the South used in the Civil War. Hunley looked very small, but guide told us that the replica is, surprisingly enough, actually too tall. The replica was made before they found the actual submarine in 1995 and the boat was not lifted up from the sea until 2000. I know people were shorter and smaller in those days, but it was amazing they were able to fit eight men into it. And the boat only had oxygen for 2 hours. What is more amazing how they were able to find men to go into that death trap in the first place. And not only one crew. During two test rides 13 out of 16 men perished and during the only actual war mission all 8 died. During the only mission they were able to sink USS Housatonic with its crew of 155 men. Only 5 of those 155 died, so H.L. Hunley killed 21 of they own and only 5 of Northern troops.

Charleston was famous for its slave trade. 48 per cent of the slaves came through and was sold in Charleston and that comes to total of 250 000 slaves. The biggest slave plantation was Magnolia. Nine of the wealthiest persons of the colonies lived in Charleston area. The first shot of the American Civil War was shot by and cannon from Fort Johnson to Fort Sumter in 1861.

The bus tour lasted only 90 minutes we had plenty of time to drive around the historic downtown. First stop was Waterfront Park and the famous Pineapple Fountain. Afterwards we learnt that the Pineapple Fountain was only built in 1990 but to us it looked like it belonged and had been there for ages. Pineapple represents hospitality. American sailors would place the pineapple outside of their door to show that they had safely returned. In Charleston the woman hung the pineapple from the door to show that her husband had returned. Maybe to show the other gentlemen callers not to bother for the time being?

After Pineapple Fountain we took a nice break in the White Point Garden in The Battery and droveby the Rainbow Row.

Later in the afternoon we drove over another spectacular bridge, Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, to Shem Rock in town of Mt. Pleasant. Had a late lunch at Tavern & Table by the creek and prepared ourselves for the sunset. We walked along the Shem Creek Boardwalk to catch the glorious sunset. I will post these photos in the nexrt post as this is already an overload of images.

The Palmer Home (Pink House) in historic Charleston is one of the Holy City’s most iconic mansions, frequently photographed and often depicted in paintings of the grand homes along the Battery. Built between 1847 and 1849 by John Ravenel, a wealthy merchant and president of the South Carolina Railroad Company, the home remained in the Ravenel family until 1953.

On the way back to the hotel we visited the city center once again. The center was very easy to navigate even in the dark without the navigator because it has been built into a grid. Naturally because it was off-season the traffic wasn’t bad either. Sometimes the one-way streets caught us off-guard but the clear grid saved us.

St. Augustine

Unfortunately we got to the town center after 5PM so we did not have much light time to take photos of the buildings, also there were so many people around that getting a shot was a challege. This is clearly a tourist area with lots of shops and restaurants and bars in these old buildings.

The 29th Annual Nights of Lights was still going on so the there were plenty of lights. Our stop in was quick, one night only so we did not see all that much of the city. We ended the evening looking at the moot at Castillo de San Marcos

You can’t stay in in St. Augustine without visiting the Castillo de San Marcos, “St. Mark’s Castle”. It is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. The construction started in 1672 and finished in 1695. The fortress is made of coquina stones.
The fort was declared a National Monument in 1924, and it was deactivated in 1933 after 251 years of continuous military possession.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

Hardly a day goes by without checking out a lighthouse. So, before going into the historic city of St.Augustine we hit the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The climb to the top was exactly 219 steps. The view was spectacular.

The first lighthouse or should we call it a watchtower was built in 1589 by the Spanish colonials. Sturdier structure replaced the wooden tower in 1737 and it was made or coquina (shell rock) and wood. The current lighthouse was finished in 1874.

Lighthouse Keepers house was worth visiting, also, with its historic displays. It was early January so the Christmas decorations were still there, not really my thing, so they limited a bit of what I photographing as I did not want seasonal photos.

We were told that you could get the best shot of the lighthouse from the pier, unfortunately due to the backlite the shots from the pier did not turnout the best, but I understand that during an other time of the day that would have been the case.

My husband Mara Sillanmäki provided most text

Winter Solstice

With the winter solstice, and these citylights I am now starting Christmas preparations and I take this opportunity to

I wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

I want to thank you all who have taken the time to look at my photos, press like and I really appreciate all the encouraging comments I’ve gotten this year.

These I took yesterday when doing my last minute shopping. The cobblestone streets in Helsinki with the rain made it hard to get really great shots of the season lights in the city from a moving car, but I ended up with moody, artistic shots and with a little help from the editing they came out OK.

Street Photography in Helsinki

The November streets look, well what they look like. This is what it looked liked on a November afternoon and and early evening (between 3pm -6pm) I haven’t taken the camera out since then. But I thought I would share some fresh photos today.

Some season lights were already adding light to the bleakness of this time of year. The boy looking at the display window while his parents were in line to get into the store was a nice pop of colors as was the Cartier window display with the reflecting lights from the street.

We had the first snow on Friday last week, so obviously these were taken prior to that. The snow will melt but for few days it will give us a little bit more light.

Views from around the Helsinki railway station, and Aleksanterinkatu.

Helsinki – Keskuskatu and the corner of Mannerheimtie

Colorful window display

Visiting Cafe’s

I have not been taking many photos lately, last weekend I made an exception as I went to Helsinki.

I was even too lazy to take my camera, just my mobile. Here are some street photographs. These are focused on cafe’s that all seemed to be full, we had to wait over 40 minutes to get our coffee 🙂 That time we spent people watching

My favorite image is the header.

Beautiful in Black and White 11

Moving Up and down, I’ve also linked this to CBWC

using your feet to climb up the mountain


Escalator and lots of reflections

Traveling Crete #10

Some atmosphere photos from Chania old town lanes and the harbor area from an other perspective


I am currently on my vacation here are few shots from my trip, but I will come back to this topic when I get back home. Oh by the way I am in Crete 😊


52 Frames: Week 19: Architecture !

We’re shooting Architecture this week. Go out to places and shoot structures that we might not pay enough attention to – the sleek glass façade of a modern skyscraper, or maybe something with an art-deco frontage from decades earlier. Architecture isn’t all about the outsides alone, there are many places with magnificent interiors from churches and temples to a modern airport lounge.

Old medieval church and new built modern Library in Kirkkonummi, Finland

The church and Fyyri library (2020) were reconciled with the help of building materials and so that the reading room and café opened towards the church. A large glass wall visually connects the church into the library.
Kirkkonummi’s medieval stone church is located in the center of Kirkkonummi. The exact time of construction is unknown, but work apparently began in the 15th century. Kirkkonummi Church is named after St. Michael the Archangel.

Originally, the Church was small. In addition to stone, brick was used as the material. In the 18th century, the church began to expand, and in the mid-19th century it was transformed into its present form as a cruciform church. The church bell tower was built in 1824.

Window detail of the library

It’s not just all about shots of buildings either – things like bridges and underpasses, tall radio masts, dams, windmills can all be amazing subjects. There’s also a lot of character in structures that are old or run-down: wabi-sabi is a concept that explores beauty in the imperfect and that ties in very well with many different kinds of structures.

old and new in color

Find an archway or opening you can use to frame a shot. Or use the architecture to create leading lines, symmetry, and repetition of shapes. Take your time, scope out your composition – maybe walk around a bit, looking for a nice perspective and shooting angles that work. A little bit of thought will make for some compelling and creative architecture images.

Day trip to Porvoo

OLD Porvoo town

Visiting old town Porvoo is always a treat, it is such a picturesque place to visit.

it might be cold but to enjoy coffee outside is very tempting


This shipyard in Helsinki is on standstill due to the Russian war attack going on in Ukraine. We went for lunch to a restaurant in front of it and obviously I took some photos, it is not the prettiest sight but it is a nice photo opportunity even though the window and the plex glass windshield outside.

There were these two boat restaurants waiting for the summer season to open their doors in the foreground.

I’m walking

I’m walking, I’m walking, walking in sunshine.

Helsinki seaside on a sunny day with the mist rising in the back and taking over the sunny sidewalks soon after these photos were taken.

High contrast

Contrast is what makes photography interesting.

— Conrad Hall

Original colors, do notice the red car 🙂

By merely increasing or decreasing the amount of contrast in any area we can move the observer through the painting or photograph.

Black and while high contrast image.

Cable Factory

It has been a busy week at work, spring is arriving with speed as light time is about 40 min longer every week. It was such a joy to wake up today and the sun was already lighting the woods at the back of our house.

The situation in the world is unfortunately causing anxiety, as we share a long border with Russia. So much information, so many variables and really how much can you take in. I tend to work my daily thoughts in dreams and at the moment, it feels like I am combining what I watch on tv, even as light television shows about home fix shows, to war, and my daily life. So I can say lots of things are happening in my head.

So not to be too messed up, here are very structural photos 🙂 of buildings and interiors from Kaapelitehdas (cable factory) in Helsinki.

GLASS COURTYARD at Cable Factory

Orange car

Out of nowhere, I suddenly found this photo on my phone of an orange car in front of an orange canopy, I have taken this in Miami few years back, I don’t remember posting it. A it is a square I must have posted in Instagram. I wish I had taken some time to edit. it.

How to survive November 2021 Day 7

I took a train to Helsinki for the first time in nearly two years, for some reason I’ve gone by car for some time now. I saw a dear friend for lunch, whom I haven’t seen in a long time.

I also did my best to capture green. I could have taken a photo of the train, that would have been absolutely too easy. It turns out that Helsinki has lots of green roofs.

The lounge area had nice green chairs. And the plants…

Our favorite month, November! This year we’ll get rid of gray by painting the month in green. Lepis from Parallel lines has hosted this challenge for years, I have been part of it for several years too, feel free to join us 🙂

Kaivokatu in Helsinki

Open your world to a green November and enjoy your creativity. How you do it is free as long as it’s green!

Green roofs

Autumn in the city

I took my husband to the doctor and during his visit I took some autumn color shots from the city. The flu season has started after being almost nonexistent during Covid, my husband had it and now I am sick first time in three years. I had forgotten how it feels. Not nice.

Well anyway, I am giving you an overload of fall photos, bear with me, soon it will be dark and gloomy.

Random shots of September 5

No words, no explanations. Just random shots of September.

Karan hallit / industrial area in Kera