Lake Pikku-Kukkanen

We had an amazing weekend to capture, clouds and reflections.

These are taken at lake Pikku-Kukkanen (Small flower) I was able to capture beautiful reflections on the lake and there were two swans further away, so I really missed noth having my camera with me. In the first shot the exposure was low so the clouds came out really dark. I like the intensity of the atmosphere.

Reflectiond on Lake Pikku-Kukkanen in Nastola, Finland
Lake PIKKU-Kukkanen

Lake Iso-Kukkanen

We had an amazing weekend to capture, clouds, mist and rainbows as the weather was mostly cloudy, but few moments of light. I happened to be in those to capture some beauty. Most are taken by mobile phone, because, well it was so cloudy when we left, and I thought that there would be nothing to photograph. How wrong I was! I usually have my camera with me, once again a great reminder that, Ritva, keep it with you, you never know what you can see.

These are taken at lake Iso-Kukkanen (Big flower) I was able to capture beautiful reflections on the lake.

Reflectiond on Lake Iso-Kukkanen in Nastola, Finland
Lake Iso-Kukkanen

Lakeview

I often go to this lake as it near my summer house, this year the water level is very low. That is what I went to see, but I did also find beautiful reflection on the lake. The weather was cold, this year the autumn turned on like somebody had turned a switch on. From high twenties to temperatures near ten celsius is huge drop. Despite the that, it’s still a pretty place.

Usually the water level is where the dock starts, at this time you certainly should not dive in the water at the end of the dock.

Sparganium gramineum, in finnish it is called Siimapalpakko, is a floating-leaved aquatic plant , which is found in Northern Europe. The species is a very relaxed, genuine aquatic plant, with a meter-long stem and coiled leaves and floating leaves. In deep and clear waters, the species’ growth forms a sheltered spawning ground for fish, and its seeds are food for at least some ducks. In the Nordic countries, the plant has been used as livestock feed.

Country roads

I like driving these old winding roads at the countryside.

country road

“An old road always looks richer and more beautiful than a new road because old roads have memories!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

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52 Frames: Week 34: Peace!

Through the hustle and bustle or the humdrum everyday lives we lead and see around us, we come across small moments in time that make us stop, take a deep breath and slow down. We’d like to see you capture a moment of Peace ☮ this week.

Have a little think about any places or scenes that calm you down or center you – a tranquil lake setting, a walk through a wooded path with a close one or something close to home like your grandpa taking his afternoon siesta. It’s all about the image evoking a feeling of serenity, calm and tranquility.

August Sunset at the countryside, this was my choice this week

The idea doesn’t necessarily need to be minimalistic , all that matters is whether the viewer understands the point of view and story your photo ought to be showing. The lighting and overall color tone of the scene will be important too, so please spare a thought for those aspects too.

There are tons of places, people and scenes that can convey this purest of emotions; so as we usually say, take a few deep breaths, center yourself and take your shot.

Peaceful moment at the beach

I have been at my summer house. One word, that can be said about the place is that it is peaceful. Hardly any neighbors, no traffic sounds. Silence, if you do not take to account the natures sounds. I took shot of this tail of the sunset ( aiming the camera towards northwest) the colors towards west were so vibrant, even if the moment was peaceful the colors would not convey that. So I turned towards the more muted tones. I had several ideas for this week, but did not get anything done towards making them become reality, planning is not enough. I hope this shot still shows peace.

The shots below show the vibrancy of the sunset and even if it was peaceful the colors do somehow tell the story, or what so you think? The blues in the last shot say it better, no ?

Peaceful moment at the lake

52 Frames: Week 33: Water!

Water – just like us humans, comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and even colors. It’s universal and something that is absolutely essential to life on this planet. We hope you’re inspired enough to make the most of the topic.

If you have follwes me for a long time, you should know I love the sea, lakes and all water views, I take lots of photos of photos of them. I have also come into a habit of taking shots of water bottles in restaurants and cafes

You could, of course, go with a classic landscape / seascape bringing a sense of majesty to your image or perhaps go with a more down-to-earth shot of kids having a pool party

the turquise sea in Australia
water
Sea in Florida

Maybe a shot showing off your technical chops with water droplet macro photography is more your style. Why not showcase the immense power of water crashing against a shoreline or go entirely the other way and take a serene shot of tranquil and still waters in a long-exposure image?

Splash in a glass 3

Don’t feel restricted by needing an external location either – you can get epic water shots inside your home too. Try getting a creative still life shot by using water as a prism. Or use it to enhance a portrait or with food photography.

The possibilities are boundless. 💦

The shimmering sea
Water and juice

ISO: There’s a lack of light – so remember to adjust your ISO settings appropriately, the higher you go, the more digital noise you will encounter.

Long Exposure: To compensate for the lack of light, long exposures work well for getting sharp images of static subjects like cityscapes and smoothening water ripples. Anything under 1/125 you want to rest your camera on a hard surface or tripod.

Light Shaping: Use lights to shape the exposure – you can isolate your subjects more easily since the background will most likely be darker due to the absence of ambient daylight.

Shoot Manual Mode: Consider shooting in Manual mode to correctly adjust parameters to get your desired exposures.

White Balance: Artificial light in urban areas can add different color casts to your image. See if adjusting the white balance can add more depth to your image.

52 Frames: Week 32: Night Photography!

it’s Night Photography this week.

This was last weeks challenge, but here I am posting about it now. I have several night shots that I like, but not being able to use them. And as I was visiting relatives at this time I was not able to go and take photos during night time. On our drive home I took this shot of the moon, think about it from a moving car, not too bad, slightly painternly look it has, but all and all, I am rather happy with it.

Somewhere in Southern Finland on the road home, this moon lit the way for us

The thing about not having that sun around, is that everything is darker! In order to get more light to your sensor, you’ll want to slap that camera onto a tripod. or rest it on a flat surface, and set your shutter speeds to lower settings, like multiple seconds, and the night scenes in front of you will come alive!

Taking shots, illumination of neon signs or street lights lend a completely different look and feel to the very same location than if it were shot in daylight.

Hong Kong night life

Ever taken portraits at night of a subject lit by a storefront window? Not all night shots need to be taken outside the house – some very creative shots can be taken inside too. Have a think on that!

Shop keeper in Nice

Get creative with light painting or try and capture the moon- night time is just magical for photography. 

If you live in a part of the world where the 🌞 is still up when most other places are much darker, that’s cool too.

Summer evening

TIPS:

  • ISO: There’s a lack of light – so remember to adjust your ISO settings appropriately, the higher you go, the more digital noise you will encounter.
  • Long Exposure: To compensate for the lack of light, long exposures work well for getting sharp images of static subjects like cityscapes and smoothening water ripples. Anything under 1/125 you want to rest your camera on a hard surface or tripod.
  • Light Shaping: Use lights to shape the exposure – you can isolate your subjects more easily since the background will most likely be darker due to the absence of ambient daylight.
  • Shoot Manual Mode: Consider shooting in Manual mode to correctly adjust parameters to get your desired exposures.
  • White Balance: Artificial light in urban areas can add different color casts to your image. See if adjusting the white balance can add more depth to your image.

52 Frames: Week 31: Choose Color!

Look around and we’ll see something we take for granted – color. Our wonderful world is filled with it, so this week we’re asking you to Choose A Color. Make that color the theme and inspiration behind your image. Colors evoke moods and feelings – how you choose to compose and use them is what will guide the viewer through the image.

Choosing to focus on a single color in particular is both creative and good use of light, contrast and saturation is what can make or break an image. Pick a color and make it the dominant and outstanding and leave no doubt about which color you wanted to make the main point of your shot.

I am having huge problems with my computer, so much that I need to buy a new one, so these are old shots that I have here already used in my previous posts over the years. I am not able to access my computer files, or additional hard drives to add photos or load new ones from the camera disk. I am able to access the internet for now, so I am using these here this week.

Think landscapes of rolling green hills, or food shots of red chilli peppers or the all encompassing golden color at sunset – there’s a noticeable dominant color there and that’s what we’re looking for.

orange
Green
  • Composition: Compose your shot so there’s no doubt as to which color you’re trying to use. Think about any emotions or moods your photo can evoke and bring that to the forefront. You could use a lot of negative space to direct interest to your subject or go in full-tilt and fill the frame
  • Lighting: Lighting and shadows add depth to an image and can change an image dramatically. An underlit and underexposed image brings to mind a different mood than a bright, well-lit one.
  • White Balance: . Using and adjusting white balance while taking your photos will be valuable
  • Contrast: If there are multiple colors and shades in your image, ensure that there’s one that’s visibly up front and recognizable – it contrasts and stands out from the other shades and tone of the image.
  • Post-processing: Feel free to go nuts with post-processing and editing to render some cool color effects. But remember, less is more.
Blue

Traveling Crete #9

Some atmosphere photos from Chania and buildings at the Venetian harbor. The first set I took with my mobile and the other with my camera where I was able to adjust the settings and zoom better and was able to get more moody shots.

Traveling Crete #8

This post is all about the first sunset we saw in Chania at the Venetian harbour, it was so lovely that we later in the week came back for an other one. Well we came for dinner too and shopping, walking in the small alleys in old town. The first set I took with my mobile and the other with my camera where I was able to adjust the settings and zoom better and was able to get more moody shots.

Crete sunset a Venetian harbour.

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Traveling Crete #7

Our first visit to Chania it is a breathtaking city on the north-west coast of the island of Crete. The city is historically significant In the town of Chania, ancient Greek, Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman buildings coexist in the landscape of the city. We visited the Virgin Mary Metropolitan Church, on our way to the Venetian Harbour, “It is worth walking and watching, and at sunset you can get some really nice shot. Those I will share in the next post.

Traveling Crete #6

Papadiana is a lovely small village located 60 km south of Chania and close to the village of Sougia. With few inhabitants (population 14 as I found out as I googled the area) that deal mostly with agriculture, Papadiana has traditional architecture with stone houses and narrow streets.

It is surrounded by lush greenery and wild mountainsides. Most vegetation comprises of olive groves that give pure virgin oil, for which Crete is famous.

We drove through this small village and noticed a sign on the side of the road, Old mill, we took the turn and found this idyllic place at the end of this gravel road. When we saw the mill it it had a 1860 A.C. sign on it.,

flowing stream

Tree roots

Traveling Crete #5

Although Crete isn’t the homeland of oranges and lemons, citrus fruits play a huge role in the Cretan diet. If I saw many olive trees I did see some orange and lemon trees as well. Ancient Greeks used to believe that the Earth goddess, Gaia, gave citrus fruits as a gift to Zeus and Hera on their wedding.

The special microclimate in the area of Chania, as well as the abundant water available from the Cretan White Mountains, contribute to the growth of juicy oranges. I heard said that…

an Orange

“In fact, these oranges are among the most delicious in the world.”

Orange trees
Fresh oranges

Orange and Olive tree
Trees in Crete

Midsummer

it is that time of the year again, the amount of light we get, the longest day passed, but we are now celebrating midsummer here in Finland, lot’s of people are driving to countryside to enjoy the this festive season, to be bitten by mosquitos, but some may choose to stay in the cities. Well we came to our summer house to enjoy the light nights and warm summer days that the forecast has promised us for this weekend.

moonlit midsummer night

I am still coughing my brains out, tired from lack of sleep as soon as I try to lay my head on the pillow, well in my case at the moment pillows you can say bye bye to sleep. So I haven’t had any energy to post anything. But for midsummer I have to do something to celebrate, I took these at out last visit, it was full moon time, I never got around to posting them, so here is some beauty from one of my favorite places. Beautiful Finnish countryside in the summer.

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Traveling Crete #4

The small village of Sougia in the south-west of Crete has managed to remain unaffected by the growth of tourism in Crete. It is still a peaceful haven, with a long beach, we stopped there for a while and had lunch at a one of the beach side taverns.

Sougia beach

In front of the village lies a lovely quiet long beach with coarse sand and crystal clear deep water. The beach starts from the small harbor of Sougia (west) at exit of Lissos Gorge and stretches to the east for 1.5km. This part of the long beach is not organized. Instead, the beach in front of the village offers umbrellas, showers, sports and a lifeguard tower. Along the beach there are plenty of tamarisk trees where you can find shade.

Dock at Sougia
Greece, Crete, seaside village beach of Sougia

Moussaka was the dish I tasted here, and it was very good. I tasted it in an other place later and I have to say this was so much tastier.

Recipe for Moussaka: Components 3-4 aubergines 3 potatoes (optional) 0.7 kg of ground lamb or beef 1-2 onions around a glass of red wine 400 g tomatoes from cans or 5 larger grated fresh tomatoes olive oil Spices: ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of oregano ½ teaspoon of ground cloves, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar (or mix for moussaka) Bechamel sauce: 600 milk 85 g flour 85 g butter salt pepper, 25 g of grated hard cheese (eg Greek kefalotiri or Italian equivalent) 1 egg

This is going to be the one of many posts, so sorry 🙂 beforehand for the nearly same named posts.

Traveling Crete #3

Do olives grow in Crete?

Common trees in Crete are the tamarisk , oak-, chestnut-, pine-, cypress– and the evergreen plane tree (Platanus ). It is quite often found in the village squares, offering its shade to people. A huge plane tree, or platanos in Greek, can be seen at Topolia village in west Crete “Monument of Nature” after a day on the road we did not go to see it but we did stop in the village. I will post some photos of it later.

Mousoura

It is believed that 55 to 65 percent of the cultivated land on Crete is given over to olive groves, which contain approximately 30 million trees, so that the groves cover one-fifth to one-quarter of the island. And I felt it, I am surprisingly allergic to the bloom of Olive trees and at the end of May early June there was still some in bloom.

Hill or mountainsides in Crete

This is going to be the one of many posts, so sorry 🙂 beforehand for the nearly same named posts.

Traveling Crete #2

On the mountain roads we on more than one occasion ran into these goats with bells on their necks letting us know they were there. So this post is dedicated to the goats we saw 🙂

A Cretan mountain goats with a bell around its neck standing alone mountainside.

Shepherding is one of the oldest proffesion in Crete. Bells for sheep and goats were used all over Greece and Crete of course. 

The bells were the pride of the shepherd and they were used to monitor the sheeps and goats. The quality of each bell as well as their combination was very important so that the flock will sound harmonious.

Goat by the side of the road.

The Cretan bells are hammered bells with thin sheet metal and consequently have a low weight. In addition, they are plated with bronze and bronze which protects them from seawater. 

The sounds of sheep-bells allow sheperds to know whether an animal is grazing, drinking water, or trying to get away from something or even to locate animals that have been lost.

a small sample of the sound of the bells
Goat and a bell

All traditional hand-made sheep bells sound different.  These goats below we saw at Anatolikos Selinos.

This is going to be the one of many posts, so sorry 🙂 beforehand for the nearly same named posts.

Traveling Crete #1

After our trip as well as having back up issues, which are now solved, I got a summer flu. Not happy about it, it certainly has me tired.

I still am now aiming to get some pictures published. I will try to cover as much as I can, in the end I did not take all that many photos as I would usually take, but still I was able to capture some beautiful places and things. The flowers bloomed as it was early summer, the hills and trees were still green. I had not many expectations beforehand so I was nicely surprised of what this island had to offer.

Mountain views from Mousoura.

The first picture above is from Mousoura area, at least that is what came as the location in my mobile photos, I took shot with my camera and also with the mobile so I would have the locations to remember. The village in these photos, if I remember correctly, is mountain village Lakkoi surrounded by the beautiful mountains of that area

Greece, Crete, mountain village Lakkoi

This is going to be the one of many posts, so sorry 🙂 beforehand for the nearly same named posts.

My oh my…

Thank you all my blogger friends who have been with me for years, I truly appreciate you and am inspired by you. A BIG thank you to all my new one I am up to 1999 followers as of now, one short of 2000. Nice to have here. I have been doing this for years and my aim has never been to search or do things that would create a huge following. I just do my thing post photos, sometimes I might even say something 🙂 I is my photo journal, diary of sorts of things I see and experience.

Thank you for joining me on my journey!

Heartfelt thanks!

Traveling Crete

I am back from my short vacation in Crete. I have some issues with ma back-up storage. So I have not been able save or even go through all my photos. I was rather good, I only pressed the shutter 701 times during the trip on my camera and some on my mobile 🙂

The week went by fast, we rented a car for three days so we got to see more than the beaches and tourist areas. I am going to post here one shot that I really like. It was on top of a hill in corner of the road leading up to the mountains.

Coffee break under the tree

This is going to be the first of many posts, so sorry 🙂 beforehand for the nearly same named posts.

Holiday

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 😊

Ravine

52 Frames: Week 22: Everything In Focus!

We’ve all seen wonderful images where a particular subject is in focus and the rest of the image is soft, so our eyes are drawn to the main element. This week, we want to see Everything In Focus. This is where your choices of subject, composition, lens selection and depth of field all come together to give us sharp images front to back.

Took this in Crete, it is from the entry to the Samariá Gorge. The gorge is situated in the National park of Samaria, in the White Mountains in West Crete. This majestuous gorge is considered one of the great attractions of Crete. It was created by a small river running between the White Mountains (Lefká Óri) and Mt. Volakias.
I took some with f/22, but as I did not have a tripod, the are a bit shaky. I think this is a sweet spot for these shot f/14

Samariá Gorge
  • Stability: Use a tripod or some sort of support to eliminate any chance of camera shake.
  • Shutter Speed: A high enough shutter speed to freeze any motion in your shot will get rid of blurs caused by movement.
  • Depth Of Field: Focusing to infinity at the highest aperture (f/22) isn’t always the best choice. Picks an aperture that’s at the sweet spot of your lens – usually a few stops below the max.
  • Focus Point: Try focusing at different points – one third of the way in or half the way in and see which gives better results.
  • Focus Mode: Single will usually be a better choice than continuous. Also, consider using manual focus to get sharp images.
  • Live View: Use live view and zoom in to your focus point to see if it’s sharp enough and lock in your focus.

Summer house season has started

Life once again has changed, I have once again time to pursue my hobbies. My fixed term ended after a yea, so I find myself unemployed, and at my age getting new position is not a given. Well now I hopefully will be able to comment and participate more in the wonderful world of blogging 🙂 as I have been rather absent on that regard lately. I do look though and read post but have been rather silent. It might change.

We started our summer house / cottage season later than ever, middle of May. Usually we are there already in April, but this spring has been so cold and we had so much snow that there was no point going there. But last weekend we did go and you could see the green take over the bleakness in your eyes. I am loving it. The light is wonderful. I took these setting sun shot at 23.30 at night. The moon on the other side of the house and the setting sun on the side.

Saturday was nice, warm and sunny, but the clouds and cold wind greeted us on Sunday, but it was time to head home anyways.

Almost midnight sunset

April Saturday

I am so waiting for spring and summer that I drove to this small shop in the countryside that this lady keeps in her barn and home to buy linen clothing which is so nice to wear. Natural fabric and bright colors are the items she brings from Italy to her shop. I did not need anything but I did end up buying a green linen dress, a fuchsia linen tunic, necklace, and scarf to match the colors of the tops I brought. I cannot wait to wear them.

That what I wrote above is why I took these photos on our way there, I mean come on, April and the day was as wintery as it could be, it snowed several times during the day. Well, new snow is the death of the old snow as a Finnish saying goes.

on a hill looking down
Flooding ditches
snow covered field in April under grey skies
trees on a hill

Peru-Cusco

This week we’ve has new snow, lot’s of it, slush, and rain. It has been cold and I am so over winter and snow. Busy week at work and I have not taken any new photos

Then my son shared these…

Travel fever, that is what I have… I have not taken these photos, only edited. My son is traveling in Peru and he shared them from Cusco, often spelled Cuzco is a city in southeastern Peru near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It looks so beautiful…

Sunset

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. Don`t miss so many of them.” – Jo Walton