Alive again

This autumn had been hard. The year before, it had snowed a lot in Helsinki in November, but none of this this year: rain was all we got, and not a small measure of it. Particularly irritating were the sunny days during the week, when all weekends were cloudy and rainy. That allowed me to edit a lot of pictures, but the spirits were definitely not high in this period. Viaporin kekri was an interesting event, but it was as gloomy as the whole period. The festival’s motto, “end of light, beginning of darkness”, seemed particularly accurate.

But then, a few weeks later, surprisingly, the weather forecast promised “some light” during daytime, on a weekend. I readied my gear and set sail to Suomenlinna (my favourite place in Helsinki).

There, I was treated with a lovely sunset. Not one with an extravagant explosion of colours, but the subtle yellow hue over the horizon was strangely reassuring: there was still light in the world.

One week later, the sun showed up again; and I realized that, if November was the “end of light”, December was definitely the renewal of it. Snow had come, gone, and come again, sticking to the branches… it was beautiful! I was not prepared for it, it was on the morrow of my dive into modern art at Kiasma, but it was also too good an opportunity to pass.

Suomenlinna and Kiasma were the first outings with my new lens, a 24-70mm f/2.8, a formidable piece of glass whose potential I still can’t completely fathom. This time I went to Seurasaari and tried to use the wide aperture and long focal to my advantage, creating sparkling bokehs with really round dots.

There was much less snow there than in Konala, but still the atmosphere was very wintry. When I arrived, I spotted some waterfowls by the shore. Usually, those birds are shy and flee when you approach. Not in Seurasaari. There, the Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) came to me, hoping I would have some food to give them. I had nothing for them, but I lied down on the rocks and started to take pictures. The proximity was extreme, but I had to be quick, for when they realized they wouldn’t get anything, they left.

Canada goose (Branta canadensis)

Canada goose

As a side note, please don’t give bread to ducks: it’s not their natural food, it facilitates the spread of duck fleas and spurs eutrophication.

That day, sunset was one of those extravagant explosions of colours, to my delight. I felt alive.

Helsinki has been my place in the world for quite some time now.


Follow me on Facebook for more wonders from Finland, at Samuel Bloch – Eiwar Photography

Bird inventory

12 thoughts on “Alive again

  1. The way Canada goose, mallard duck and swan approach in half frozen lake, they seem hungry because of lack of fish or vegetation. I am guilty of feeding them with bread for I didn’t know it’s impact. What is the best feed to offer the little food deprived birds then.

    Liked by 1 person

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