industry

A proverb, I’m sure everyone has heard of. And I’m sure it comes in any translation.

The pot calling the kettle black.

Wikipedia explains it as follows: The phrase “The pot calling the kettle black” is an idiom used to claim that a person is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another.

By coincidence I ran into one of my images this morning on a website called Stockvault. They claim to be a website for free stock photography. I think most of you know my sentiments about “free” and “my work”.
The image referred to is one of my most recent underwater photography, so I was quite surprised to find it already “out there”. Upon closer investigation my image being on this website IS illegal: they downloaded it from 500px, saved it to their own server under a different name. But… they at least had the decency to credit the picture with my name and link back to 500px.
I’m still not happy with it being on their website, though, because I do not fancy my images being associated with free stock photography.

Anyway… While on the Stockvault website, I did a Google search on that particular image, and found it on another website still, a website called Smashingreaders. This is a website that basically copies content straight from other websites. So they don’t save it to their own servers, but “hotlink”.
Google shows a neat little thumbnail of my image in the search, but the ironic thing struck me when I went to check out the page. All of the page were images from Stockvault, replacing the hotlinked images with one image reading “The page you are browsing is stealing images from us!” with the Stockvault logo under it.

I couldn’t help but grinning about that.
Here’s a website, offering free stockphotography, stealing images from photography portfolio websites like 500px, then accusing other websites that do the same, of stealing THEIR images?
Yep… That’s a clear “pot”… “kettle” thing.

See below the screenshots:

Screenshot of the Stockvault and Smashingreader websites.

Left Stockvault, with my stolen image. Right Smashingreaders with Stockvault’s “stolen” images.

So following my post the other day (sorry for again interrupting the underwater series…) I had to give credit for Hihostels for taking the time to respond to my mail.
Here’s what they wrote:

Dear Mr XXXX,

Thank you for contacting us. Our advertisement could have been more informative.

Hostelling International Finland manages a network of around 50 hostels, all of them part of the global Hostelling International network, which is composed of around 4,000 hostels, in 90 countries. Hostelling International (HI) is a nonprofit federation of hostel organisations. HI works in close collaboration with 69 national hostel organisations, with its aim being to provide people with opportunities to visit new places and learn about different cultures and to promote understanding between cultures by offering safe and inexpensive hostel accommodation all over the world.

HI provides various volunteering programmes worldwide, here are few examples:

http://www.youth-hostel.si/anglesko/links-det.asp?id=1000&c=76&l=2014
http://www.youth-hostel.si/anglesko/links-det.asp?id=1028&c=77&l=2014

The hostels in Finland are run by many types of companies and other organisations, including independent owners and family businesses, municipalities, associations, foundations, schools and colleges, and student organisations. Most of the hostels are run by nonprofit organisations.

We did receive also other emails with the similar content as you and we have decided not to continue with the programme.

Kind regards

XXXX XXXXXX / Hostelling International Finland

This, of course still doesn’t justify asking people to work for free (I wonder how many hostels REALLY are run by non-profit organizations, but that’s a different story), fact is that they acknowledged the issue and acted upon the many mails that they got, and took down the ad.

Which can’t be said from the following one, I was made aware of by a fellow group member on LinkedIn.
Someone posted this ad on Craigslist (http://spacecoast.craigslist.org/crg/4634931134.html) (the emphasis in her mail was done by me, to point out a few things that were particularly stinging and stingy):

Craigslist ad

Craigslist ad for Photographer Needed (screenshot from Craigslist)

photographer needed

Hello!
I am looking for a photographer (amateur and aspiring photographers welcome!) to do a shoot with me for a set of lifestyle photos, either on the beach, or in town. I’m a singer-songwriter, musician, surfer, and world traveler, and I need to keep the photos on my social media fresh as I’m soon releasing an album and am gaining more followers and looking to partner with larger companies. I can not afford to pay, however, I’m happy to give photo credit on all photos taken and edited by you. Additionally, if I can take all of the raw photos that you do not wish to edit, I can edit them myself and use select photos, giving you photo credit, and myself edit credit. I am available this week to shoot. Please let me know if you are interested!

www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com
www.instagram.com/xxxxxxxx

So in that “boiling” moment I wrote her a very brief (rather blunt) email:

Excuse me, you’re a surfer and world traveler and you need to keep the photos on your social media fresh and that’s why you’re looking for a photographer who will shoot pictures for you for free, because you can’t pay?
And you want all the raw images?
And you will credit the photographer?

Hang on… How are you financing your surfing and your world traveling?

How about you grow a little respect for your fellow artist photographers?

This is the kind of email that usually doesn’t invoke the urge for responses, but apparently with some obtuse people it does.
This person either has a board of respectable size in front of her face, shielding her from the rest of the world, or then her response is a massive case of feeling guilt and trying to squirm out from whatever she’s trying by coming up with excuses. In any case, she was one of the obtuse people who responded. This morning I found this in my inbox (again, the emphasis in her mail was done by me, to point out a few things that were particularly stinging and stingy):

Actually, just a little note, I’m also a photographer. I’m also a musician, professional surf instructor, surf competition judge, a model, a videographer, a jeweler, artist and many other things. I often do trades with people. I travel to third world countries and work sometimes 120 hours a week, many of those hours in the sun and water teaching people to surf. In those cases, I make very little money considering the area I’m working in. I make just enough to get to the next place. Sometimes I use travel as a means to travel… from point A to point B… crew on a boat. I don’t need a lot to live. I require very little. And I never ask for a lot. But there are millions of photographers who WANT to work with people like myself so they can keep their own resumes fresh and up to date after time off, for a test shoot, etc. So don’t think that because you’re a ‘photographer’ you speak for everyone. I have almost 8,000 followers on my Instagram account alone, so for someone to shoot photos of me, they’re going to gain exposure. I wasn’t asking for a lot… It was a mutual trade.

So… Back to “boiling”, I guess.
there are millions of photographers who WANT to work with people like myself so they can keep their own resumes fresh and up to date“??? REALLY???
G-sus F. Christ!!
I happen to be a photographer and a professional PADI Dive Instructor, a model, an artist and many other things. Just like she claims to be. I don’t make very much money. I travel around the world. And I don’t need a lot to live either.

and work sometimes 120 hours a week, many of those hours in the sun and water teaching people to surf“??? Well, BOOO-FUCKING-HOOO! I bet 95% of your friends and family are thanking God and Mother Mary right now on their bare knees that it’s YOU who got that shitty job and not them. You have such a terrible life that you have to work in the sun and water to teach people how to surf, and I bet you hate it with your whole core, you poor soul!

I’ve been a freelancer for 50% of my life and I’ve worked 120 hours a week more than I care to remember. The past 6 months I’ve been working from 6am to 9pm every single day, 7 days a week, 3 days off during that time. And yes, my life as a dive instructor also involves a lot of sun and a lot of water. And I don’t make very much money with that, considering the area I’m working in. But do you hear me complain about it? Have you ever seen me write up an advertisement to ask people to do something for free? To get some FF-ing exposure?
You know what I complain about? I complain about people asking other people to work for free. Oh no… not for free. For a trade. For “exposure”. Did I mention respect somewhere?

*breathe, breathe*
Ok… It’s time I take a dive in a bit cooler waters.

To be continued, I’m quite sure.
(Note that I’m normally not such a hot-head, but some things just really tickle me. Disrespect (to our profession) is one of them.)

Edit to add:
I noticed that I received the questionable honor of a whole Facebook post for me alone on her Facebook page. She calls me a hater, wondering if my Life is so boring that I have to crush other people’s lives… Riiiiight 😀

Facebook post

Facebook post telling everyone I’m a hater 😉
Screenshot from Facebook

Edit to add (Sept. 20th):
I got two additional mails from her (to which I didn’t reply, obviously):

yes… let’s see what TFP means. duh, you’re an idiot. 

Whatever that means…

And:

But the way, I’ve had more than 50 replies of people wanting to shoot with me to update their portfolios, and people in photography school needing people to work with to try things, and people who just enjoy taking photos! So regardless of how fucking retarded you are, I’m able to bring some exposure to some great photographers.

I guess we have to congratulate her. So she still has millions minus more than 50 photographers that haven’t contacted her. She’ll have a crapload of emails in her inbox soon, I’m sure.
And “hater”? Typical case of pot, kettle, this… Not?

I’m contemplating sending her a mail in which I tell her that she failed to mention how many emails she received along the lines of the one that I sent her. But to that she of course will respond “None, you fucking retard!” 😀

My Better Half bought me a GoPro Hero3+ for my birthday (that’s already a while ago, but a lot has happened in the past months).
I tried videography with my D800, but I must honestly admit it is not my thing. It’s too bulky and too much of a hassle, and really, my heart’s not in it. I’m a still photographer.
But with the GoPro things are very good, very easy, not a hassle and especially now that I’m diving so much, the GoPro is quick and easy to take a long.

But there we ran into the problem. On land the GoPro is fabulous. Fantastic colors. But in the water, as soon as you get below 3-4 meters everything turns blue.
I’m kind of at a loss that GoPro themselves doesn’t supply the necessary filters with this. They supply the craziest things as accessories with the little camera, and Hero3(+) comes by default in a waterproof housing. So you’d think that the good people at GoPro made this thing to go under water.
But…
Blue…
I started Googling red filters for GoPro. A couple of hits came out of that, but the one that stood out for me was the PolarPro link.
I was a bit hesitant at first, but decided to go for the Switchblade, which is a combination of red filter and macro filter.

And see here. The difference is remarkable.

The video above was a quick test just for the sake of showing the difference with filter and without filter. It was shot at about 5 meters depth.
It works really great between about 4-15 meters. When you go deeper, the effect of the loss of light will be heavier, and the red filter won’t be able to compensate as much as it would at shallower depths. The compensation will stay closer to the camera and further away the blue will still come out.
But nonetheless, it really works wonders.

Being a photographer, and having much experience with macro photography, I must say that the macro filter doesn’t do much for me personally. There is a slight difference, but just slightly. Close focusing will still render the video out of focus.
Now when I go out with the GoPro I will just leave both the red filter AND macro filter on. It doesn’t make much of a difference anyway.

Customer service
Initially getting the package was quite an operation.
I’m at the moment located in quite a remote location and having the package sent over proved to be quite a challenge. The postal service in this place is marginal at best, and delivery of anything seems to be subject to the mood of the post man. So when, after a month, I still hadn’t received the package, I contacted PolarPro and asked them about it. Since I hadn’t received a tracking number, I had no way of tracing the package myself. But they could, and I was told that the package had been stuck in customs.
But no worries, they would resend a new package with DHL, and it should arrive in 5 days (“yeah, right”, I thought). And indeed, 5 days later the package arrived. I had to pay some taxes and duties, but I had my package.
And I was eager to try. The next day I wanted to give it a try, and to my (unpleasant) surprise I found that the filter did not fit the Hero3+. The package read SwitchBlade 3+, and I ordered it from the Hero3+ accessory section of the website, but after inquiring again with PolarPro we found out that this really was the filter for the Hero3, which has a slightly different case around the lens. It’s still unclear how this mistake occurred, but the great people at PolarPro did not hesitate to send a new package, again with DHL, and sure enough 5 days later the new package arrived. And this one did fit.

PolarPro requested I return the other filter, which in any other case I would happily do, but like I mentioned before, the location I’m in is quite limited with its services, and right now even the ferries to and from the island are mostly out of service (until further notice). It would cost me two days and about 200US$ (excluding sending the package) to get to a location to return the package from.
I wrote PolarPro a mail and explained this to them. I told them if it was possible they would just charge my credit card for the extra filter (it was only 60US$), because that would be way cheaper for me in the end.

I promptly received a mail back from them telling me to never mind, it was ok. No need to worry about anything, no need to pay or return anything, and thank you for shopping with us.

You want customer service?
This is it.
This is the kind of customer service any company can set as an example.
This is the kind of customer service I haven’t received in a very long time.

Thank you, PolarPro!

This morning I was surprised by an email in my inbox from the Associate Creative Director of Yahoo Singapore.
That was awesome!
She wrote me a mail saying that they recently came across an image of mine on Flickr and they “would very much like to feature it in a Facebook and Twitter post going live next Monday, and hope that you will give us permission to do so. The post will appear on the following pages:

  • https://www.facebook.com/yahoosingaporenewsroom
  • https://www.facebook.com/yahoomalaysia
  • https://www.facebook.com/yahoophilippines
  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yahoo-Vietnam/50203816661
  • https://www.facebook.com/YahooIndonesia
  • https://twitter.com/YahooSG
  • https://twitter.com/Yahoo_MY
  • https://twitter.com/Yahoo_ID
  • https://twitter.com/YahooPH


And with it there would be a funny text, and they “will add “© Arno Enzerink on Flickr” as an image credit. However, we would first need a copy of this image without the watermark.”
And “The Yahoo and Flickr teams are honoured to have you as part of the Flickr community, and your contribution would be sincerely appreciated.”

My “contribution” would be sincerely appreciated.
I bet it would.

The moment I read this, I instantly was reminded of this precious reply Mr White gave to a large multi-million dollar entertainment agency who contacted him and wanted to use his music for free because they “didn’t have a budget for music”.
You can read about that here: http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2013/11/06/whitey

I kindly thanked the Associate Creative Director for her inquiry and told her for the use of the image in the places she indicated the fee would be US$175 and that I would provide them with an unwatermarked image and an EULA when I had received the payment.

I gotta give it to her, she wasn’t as blunt as the example in Mr White’s case.
She kindly thanked me for my prompt response and she “totally understand that you need to charge for this, since you also run an image library, but we’ll have to pass this time I’m afraid”.

She understands that I need to charge for this, since I also run an image library.
REALLY?
Does that mean that people who DON’T run an image library should NOT be compensated for their work?
I know that there are plenty of people out there who would jump a hole through the roof if they were to be contacted by Yahoo with the question if they could use their image, and that for my “no” there will be 1,000 “yes”s.
And I won’t deny that I’m honored that they contacted me (regardless of the fact that the image in question was far from my best, but it was funny, yes). But here comes in the whole misconception again that people should he happy for just the exposure and the credit.
It doesn’t work like that.
Yahoo is a famous, multi-billion dollar company. They should not abuse the power of their name to get people to do stuff for free for them.
THEIR services aren’t for free. They make money.
I have to pay my bills as well, so why shouldn’t they pay for MY services?
And also… I can’t even really claim credit for this, since I just pressed the shutter. This little piece of art was made by one of the great people in the kitchen of Camiguin Action Geckos in the Philippines.

Anyway…
They were going to put up my image wishing everyone a happy Monday next week.
Well… I’ll put up my image here – for free-, and I’ll wish you all a very happy Friday, and a magnificent weekend!

Breakfast of Kings

D800, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

I have the privilege of living in a place where I can see all kinds of cool stuff happening from my balcony.
A couple of weeks there was the weekend festival, with Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, Darude, and a lot of other famous artists. I was lying in the hammock on the balcony enjoying the light shows and the music at no charge.
Another thing that happens all the time if the weather’s right, is parachute jumps. Either solo or tandem, the guys always land in the grass right next to the building. Paragliding they do off the same field, and there are two guys that always come with this kind of cart with a parachute attached to it and take off and land from the same field.
In winter they’re board surfing either in the snow on the field or on the ice of the sea a bit further.

Hot air balloons don’t take off from exactly the field out front, but from a bit further east. I can see them when they are fully filled with air and about to take off.
And of course then they come over here.
I caught this one a bit too late. I just came home from a shooting and it had passed already. But I manage to capture it still quite nicely (albeit with a 300mm + 2x + 1.4x extender).

Hot air balloon

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 300mm, 2x TC + 1.4x TC

Last Friday I came back from a lunch with friends, which ran quite a bit longer than expected.
I got into Kamppi on my way home, and saw the tail of The Winyls performing on stage. Must admit that I’d never heard of them before, but the performance was excellent.
There was a massive crowd gathered around the stage, and no way I would be able to get some decent pictures of that. I only had the camera with the 50mm on, but then…
Waitasec… Hanging down from my shoulder was the 300mm I borrowed from my Buddy Don. Just waiting to be unpacked and slammed on.
I ran over to the sound booth, batted my eyelashes at the guard standing on the booth and he allowed me to get up and shoot a few frames off the sound booth. Nice!

Excellent stuff, great atmosphere! Head on over to their Facebook page and listen to some of their stuff.
https://www.facebook.com/thewinylsband

They Winyls

D800, ISO1600, 1/500 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 300mm

They Winyls

D800, ISO1600, 1/500 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 300mm

They Winyls

D800, ISO1600, 1/500 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 300mm

Another dive with camera.
This was actually a “coincidental” “fun” dive.
I could do a little background story, bare with me, because I will be spewing A LOT of frustration.

Before I left to the Philippines I had lunch/coffee with a Dive Intructor friend of mine, whom I asked for advise and tips on what to do and what to get. She gave me plenty of useful tips and advise, pretty much all of which I took to heart, save for 1 thing: do NOT buy anything that has MARES on it. She did stipulate that it was her personal opinion, and she also heard about people who had only good to say about them.
With that in mind I did buy several things with Mares on it.
1) a mask
2) a dive computer (Matrix)
3) a knife
4) a BCD
5) fins and boots

With good hopes and a good mood I took off to the Philippines to start my Dive Master course.

First few dives… The mask. Brand new. It bubbled worse than a Japanese Jacuzzi and upon going deeper than 6 or so meters it started leaking water in from the seams where the glass is attached to the plastic frame. My first experience with the solid quality of Mares.
I thought it may have just been bad luck, getting a Monday Morning Mask. It happens every now and again, and I’m fine with that.

The Dive Computer, a Mares Matrix, required some custom settings, and a piece of software called Dive Organizer to transfer and log the dives from Matrix to laptop. Came with a USB cable and all. I did the custom settings in both Dive Organizer and Matrix (and noticed when I went through the log book that the dive computer had THREE logged dives already in the process. Typically one dive would be for testing purposes, but *should* be deleted before the dive computer would go in the box for sales. I contacted the store where I bought it, who didn’t know how that was possible).
I had my first two dives logged, and I wanted to transfer them to my laptop. I fired up the laptop, the Dive Organizer, plugged in the USB and Matrix and tried several times to have the Dive Organizer find the computer, all of which failed.
I gave up.
I went for another two dives the next day. The second dive, just before the safety stop (short and blunt for you non-divers: this is a built-in routine with every dive to allow your body to get re-accustomed to the shallower depths and allow the gasses that (may) have accumulated in your body at deeper depths to escape) at 5 meters the Matrix died without any form of warning. I had to stay on 5 meters for 3 minutes, so all I could do was hope that my guestimate of 5 meters and my 1-mississippi 2-mississippi 3-mississippi was slow enough for the 3 minutes to pass.
I contacted the shop where I bought the Matrix, and Mares support straight. I was in contact with Mares Nordic, which was a very good experience and all looked very promising. The contact person at Mares Nordic, whom I had told exactly what the problem was with my Matrix, was going to be in touch with Mares Philippines and he was talking about them getting a new Matrix to the location where I was and then I could return the faulty one to the store I bought it from after I came back from my trip.
Then I received a mail from someone at -apparently- Mares Philippines. Few words more than “Hi, I need more details.” and the signature.
I asked the person kindly what information he had received from my contact at Mares Nordic and what additional information he needed from me. No reply. I asked with the contact person from Mares Nordic. No reply. Two days pass. Nothing. I send another mail to Mares Nordic asking what the status is on the issue of my Matrix. No reply. A few days pass.
Then I get a mail from another person at Mares Philippines. No Hi, no introduction, nothing. Only “Contact the General Manager [name here] of the Philippines.” No contact info, no email address, nothing. So I write a mail back asking about a phone number or an email address. I send it, and then I started thinking… WTF?? It’s not MY job to contact the General Manager to solve an issue. It’s not MY job to try to get in touch with someone in upperlevel management to try to get a solution for a faulty instrument or to have it replaced. I indicated a problem to the source where I was initially sent, and it’s THEIR job to make sure this is fixed. And I’m most certainly not going to call a General Manager in the Philippines or Australia (or wherever Mares Asia is located) with my Finnish phone and boost my phone bill to astronomical heights on top of a 500€ malfunctioning device! I got seriously annoyed.
I sent a mail to both the store where I bought the Matrix (who have been totally patient and understanding all the way, kudos for that!) with a CC to Mares Nordic explaining the situation and uttering my frustration with the way Mares is handling this. I get a prompt mail back from the store where I bought the Matrix, with apologies and the promise that we will in any case fix it when I get back from my trip. I of course do understand that THEY can’t do anything from Finland as long as I’m here. The shopkeeper told me he had also been in touch with Mares, but I guess not very successfully either. And not a single word from Mares.
A few days pass… Then I get a mail from Mares: “we haven’t heard from you in 48 hours. If we don’t hear from you in 72 hours, we will assume your issue has been resolved and we will close your ticket.”
G-sus FF-ing Crisp. I reply to the mail, more and more frustrated, saying bluntly that me waiting for a reply/solution from THEIR end doesn’t entitle them to close a ticket, just because THEY are so slow.
I get an automated reply: “I’m on holiday until the 3rd of July. Please contact me again after that.”
%#&/”(?)!&#)/=!#%!!!
I reply again to the first mail, even more frustrated and even more bluntly, saying that if they want to have things solved, they better not forward mails to people who are on holiday, or they should get their logistics better sorted out.
It’s been almost a week now, and I haven’t heard anything from them anymore. I guess that means they’ve assumed my issue has been resolved and they have closed the ticket. Dammit.
Anyway… The Matrix… I let the battery drain completely, and was able to recharge it. The dives seem to log with the correct information, but -I tried once or twice after that- when I hook it up to the computer or charger, all the custom information I set, like time, date, second time, etc. is erased and factory reset. According to the manual it should manage 2 weeks of standby time or 10 hours of diving. I manage max 6 hours of diving before I have to recharge. It’s a piece of junk. And I will not recommend ANYone to get one of these. Aside from all the problems I’ve had with this thing, I would not get a computer you’d have to recharge after 10 hours of diving. It may just happen that you’re on a liveaboard or somewhere remote where there’s no electricity and you’re stuck with an empty diving computer after 10 dives. That kinda sucks.

I also got a knife from Mares.
The other day we were on a dive in a sanctuary where fishing is prohibited. I brought my knife so I could legally vandalize stuff 😀 Cut up fishing cages and let the fish out. Destroying stuff with permission and saving the environment. That’s fun. A few days later we went to a second sanctuary and I wanted to do the same thing. I had strapped the knife in its sheath around my right lower leg, checked if it was clipped in tight, which it was and went for the dive. We didn’t encounter any cages on this dive, so I didn’t need the knife. I came back to the boat after an hour or so, I got back on the boat and found the sheath empty. My 60€ knife lost somewhere along the way, because the clip didn’t hold. I didn’t hook behind anything, didn’t do anything funny or stupid underway… It had *just* slipped out.

So… Now the reason for the coincidental fun dive…
We went back to search for the knife. And I took my camera. Made that a fun dive on the way.
We didn’t find the knife, but I got some really good pictures.

Porcupine pufferfish

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/3.5, Tamron 90mm, Ikelight DS161 strobe

Banded pipefish

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/3.8, Tamron 90mm, Ikelight DS161 strobe

Transparent Salt and Pepper Shrimp

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/4.2, Tamron 90mm, Ikelight DS161 strobe

Moray eel

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/3.5, Tamron 90mm, Ikelight DS161 strobe

Frogfish

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

Frogfish

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/3.5, Tamron 90mm, Ikelight DS161 strobe

Seahorse

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/3.8, Tamron 90mm, Ikelight DS161 strobe

Seahorse

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

Octopus

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

Octopus

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

Octopus

D800 (in Ikelight underwater housing), ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

Oh… And then… Tomorrow (day 23)… I will get EVEN more frustrated, because the zippers of BOTH my weight pockets of the Mares BCD will break. Next thing I’m awaiting to break are the boots and fins.
But I’m done with Mares already. I will exchange everything I have from Mares into something else.
It’s a pile of junk and no one really should buy it.
Things would’ve been less frustrating if support had been better, but that just added hurt to insult.
I’m not quite sure how this company is still in business.

 

It’s a season everyone is looking forward to. Especially when you live in a country like Finland, where you’re digging your Life through 5-6 months of snow every year. And that’s Southern Finland (let’s not start about going up north).
And yeah… Finally, after many, many months it really does look like spring’s on its way (save for the snow that’s coming down as I write this).

Spring always comes with surprises. The worst part of the snow melting is all the dog poop that is surfacing and accompanying it the foul smell of it. I could go all into detail and describe to you the gooey… but no, I won’t.
A little colorful flower, which has had the power to withstand the weight of the snow that’s been piled up for way too long, and is now breaking the surface of the snow like the hand of a zombie trying to get out of the soil.
Cars that have disappeared under piles of snow with the winter ongoing, and the snow plows shoving all the snow off the street to the side.
And yeah… It can thus happen, that that big pile of snow looks exactly like… well… a big pile of snow. And a snow plow doesn’t really feel the difference when it piles up more snow, and maybe pushes it a bit further off the street and a bit further toward the pavement.

And yeah… If you happen to be the owner of such a car, and you don’t use your car during winter, then it could just happen that your car actually DOES disappear under said pile of snow.
And yeah… If the snow then melts, and your car happened to have been disguised as a pile of snow, you might just be in for a nasty surprise when the snow melts and your car peeks it’s battered head out of the snow…

Demolished mini van

Demolished mini van

Demolished mini van

Demolished mini van

… I of course got my portion of HDR and cross-processing. This really was an exceptional trip 🙂

Buoy hanging on an old shed

D800, ISO400, 1/1000 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 70-200mm. Cross-processed in Photoshop.

Old weathered truck standing in the grass near Sommarøy, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

Old weathered truck standing in the grass near Sommarøy, Norway

Combination of HDR and cross-processing in Photoshop.

Old weathered Ford Cortina standing in the grass near Sommarøy, Norway

Left: D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11. Middle: D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/4. Nikkor 14-24mm.

Old weathered Ford Cortina standing in the grass near Sommarøy, Norway

Combination of HDR and cross-processing in Photoshop.

Scouting, driving around the area, stopping the car, getting out of the car, getting into the car, driving, stopping the car, getting out of the car, getting into the car, driving… It’s the thing you typically do only with your fellow photographers. You do that with your spouse and inevitably you’ll get to see a lot of rolling eyes and the “*sighs* NOT AGAIN??”-looks 😉
And even then there were beautiful scenes we missed, because of possible life-threatening situations we might’ve faced had we stopped (or leaned too far over the edge).

Icicles hanging from the rocks in beautiful shapes

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 14-24mm

Icicles hanging from a rock in Sommarøy, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm

Waterfall flowing down into a small downstream river

D800, ISO100, 15 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm + Singh-Ray VariND

Shack on a little island in Sommarøy, Norway, with a small ligh

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 70-200mm

Fishermen town of Koppangen, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

Islands in the sea around Sommarøy, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm, 4 images stitched in Photoshop

View towards Cathedral from Sommarøy, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/8, 8 images stitched in Photoshop