Yesterday was the traditional “getting-the-Christmas-tree-day”. Every year a couple of weeks before Christmas we head out toward the east of Finland where the Better Half’s dad has a stretch of forest.
Typically this is a whole day event with a couple of extra things besides getting a tree, but the main part is about getting the tree. We’ll head into the forest, packed in warm clothes, carrying axe and saw and on the look-out for a good tree. And typically, it goes like this:
In the first five minutes looking we see a really good tree, but we decide to keep that in mind and check a bit further, since we’re only a few steps into the forest. We’ll be walking around the forest, through half a meter and more snow for 2,5-3 hours to find a good tree, but then after that we end up with the tree we found in the first five minutes and bring that home. Fail-save, set your clock to it.
This time, however, mum-in-law came along (bless her! :D ) and we took the first good tree and returned. It took them a whole of about 15 minutes, and I wasn’t even there, since I was lagging behind taking pictures.

It’s always a great experience, though, every year again, and especially this year when there really was a staggering amount of snow!

Me

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Grass

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm, on-camera flash (fill)

Sunset

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

For the people who haven’t figured it out yet, I’ll let you have another go at it… ;)

Bubbles

D700, ISO200, 1,5 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm macro

After today I’m going to take a little break. I’ll still write, of course, but my days won’t be so oblivious anymore, because She’s coming over for a visit (how stupid does that sound? My Better Half’s coming over for a visit).
And so, especially for Her, on the day of Her return, I dedicate an oblivious post to one of Her favorite items (and probably one of my biggest pet  peeves). The Double Bubble (aka Tupla Kupla) by one of Finland’s greatest designers Eero Aarnio. As a fashion item I think it’s a total “onding”. That’s Dutch for, literally translated, “unthing”, which is basically a very appropriate name, even in English :D
Sure, it’s a financial investment (or so they say), but you know what they say about monkeys and gold rings…
But being a photographer, I think I actually managed to do something interesting with it. A color gel and rotating goes a long way…

Tupla Kupla by Eero Aarnio, in Arno style

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm, off-camera SB800 with green gel

In between water and milk we’re doing something else.
For about a year now I’ve been working on this little project, which I call PMS. I have a good number of pictures already, and I hope to make this into an exhibition some time (soon?). So if anyone knows a nice gallery that isn’t afraid of going wildly abstract… Let me know.

Some of you know already, I’ll let the others you figure out what it is by themselves. Hint: it’s not pasta :D

Prints -as usual- available, and this little project is also to be seen on my website here.
I swear, a lambda print on huge size of one of these images would look absolutely fantastic (if I may say so myself).

PMS

D700, ISO200, 6 sec @ f/11, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB800 set to rear-sync

(apologies for the jpg compression artifacts, it’s merciless on reds).

Here’s another few with the drops, a few with water, and one with milk (ok, that’s not really a drop). It’s funny how milk seems to be so much thicker than water. You can really tell the difference between the drops.
I’ll do a few better ones with milk later, but I noticed there were some issues with the focus. This one turned out quite nicely, though, so consider this an intro ;)

Water drop

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/16, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB800

Drops

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB800

I’ve done a good number of posts on cross-processing. One thing is more suitable for cross-processing than the other. Yesterday I wrote about the water drops and I had a couple of pictures left that didn’t really come out all that well for the purpose we intended (trial and error, hit’n’miss, remember? :D ), but one of them actually turned out really interesting after cross processing.

See below the before and after.

Water spray

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/13, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB800

Water spray

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/13, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB800

It’s always nice to have a couple of photographer-friends over. You tend to do things you all like to do. We set up a little home studio and played around with probably one of the most cliché things in photography land (together with those birds on a wire ;) ). Neither one of us had these in our portfolio, and it was a lot of fun to do. Bit messy, too, though. And a typical case of hit’n’miss (more missth’n’hit in my case, anyway).

Water drops

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/13, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800

Water drop

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/13, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800

Water drop

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/13, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800

I mean, seriously!
Finnish people… How can you NOT like this? I mean… Look at it… LOOK AT IT!!
It’s beautiful!

Snowy landscape

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

Snowy landscape

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

Same shoot as the post from yesterday. This is a panorama stitched together from 5 images.
(The sky was totally weird that afternoon, can’t really put my finger on it, but it just looked odd).

Panorama

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm, 5 images stitched together in Photoshop (original file size 11955 x 2778 px)

Even with the white balance on daylight the originals came out totally blue. I had to do some serious color tweaking and desaturated the blues almost completely to get this look like a clean snowy landscape.

No no, that’s not a typo. When you go out in the “wilderness” to a silent place reasonably remote and away from direct civilization you tend to get more blivious to your environment.

A couple of weeks ago I took a friend out for a photoshoot and yesterday that same friend took me out for a photoshoot. I’d been in the area before, not that exact same spot, but that was years ago and in summer, and boy, do things look different in winter. Especially with the amount of snow we have at the moment. We walked through about 55cm of snow to get to places.
The place appears to be a woodpecker “sanctuary”. I vaguely remember that summer we were out there for a walk we saw one or two, but I didn’t realize that it actually was such a special place. Now we were further out and the first thing we heard when we got out of the car was the knocking on wood. Very hard to miss, really. It took a moment to locate where the sound came from, but surely, after a bit we noticed the little fellow. I already get a headache shaking my head a bit too violently, can’t even imagine doing that in -10°C in a frozen, with snow covered tree trunk. I wonder if that cushioning system they have in their heads is available for humans also…

Woodpecker

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm