Summer 2012: Gdynia and Gdansk

I have too many unorganized photos from last year, so maybe it is a good thing I don’t feel inspired to take more this year. Some memories, dating back almost exactly one year. My first stop on my trip to Poland. People told me that Gdynia is nothing special and I should go to Gdansk instead; somehow I still have several beautiful and interesting pictures from Gdynia and only the two last ones from Gdansk. Apparently I find the banality and dullness more inspiring.

Sun setting on the roofs of Gdynia.

Sun setting on the roofs of Gdynia.

My hotel in Gdynia.

My hotel in Gdynia.

gdynia_oldvessel

Blue skies and iron, part 1.

Blue sky and iron, part 1.

Blue sky and iron, part 2.

Blue sky and iron, part 2.

I found the market hall in Gdynia too late...

I found the market hall in Gdynia too late…

... but there was still someone!

… but there was still someone to sell me strawberries, putting some extra on top!

Sun playing with the guns in Gdynia.

Sun playing with the guns in Gdynia.

Sea side painter in Gdynia.

Sea side painter in Gdynia.

A cute and tired beggar in Gdansk.

A beggar in Gdansk.

Drinking coffee and eating charlotka in old Gdansk. Admiring the view through a spiderweb.

Drinking coffee and eating charlotka in old Gdansk. Admiring the view through a spiderweb (the spider didn’t need to be hungry either).

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Time passes and the seasons change faster and faster the older I get

I was almost hibernating for half a year, but some pictures from October, November and December 2012 prove that I still used my camera to document my life. I would like to add here that they are nothing special, but then it would sound like the rest of my pictures actually are special. And it sounds stupid to be sorry for oneself, so I try to ignore the banality of my everyday life and make the most of it. So here is my life as it was towards the end of year 2012.

I got a visitor in November. And yes, that is nettle on my window sill, I used to add it for bread, but past winter it died.

I got a visitor in October. And yes, that is nettle on my window sill, I used to add it for self-baked bread, but past winter it died.

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The unusually warm November woke up a butterfly in my parents house.

The unusually warm November woke up a butterfly in my parents house.

A proof of how warm and sunny and green it was in November! But the shadows were growing taller...

A proof of how warm and sunny and green it was in November! But the shadows were growing taller…

The green was eventually replaced by grayness.

The green was eventually replaced by grayness. Some might claim that the settings of my camera were off, but I kinda like the artificial brightness, because, damn, it was bright! That’s why I took these pictures.

The white speckle between the gray branches is a swan.

The white speckle between the gray branches is a swan.

The sun made soap bubbles out of air.

The sun made soap bubbles out of air.

Grayness and fog of the last November I spent in this flat.

Grayness and fog of the last November I spent in this flat. And I can admit it now: I love my plants, especially my yucca is so photogenic!

My new street in December.

My new street in December.

Exploring my new neighborhood and admiring the snow and how the city lights colored the sky.

Exploring my new neighborhood and admiring the snow and how the city lights colored the sky.

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Holiday pictures taken while working

A workshop in Italy, two main themes of pictures:

1) The sea. Always important for both holidays and for work. It looks quite similar wherever you are.

2) The colorful houses, with clothes drying on the balcony. Always interesting for a person living in a country with so many restrictions as Finland, where you are not allowed to spoil anyone’s view by hanging colorful things, such as clothes or flowers, on your balcony.

There were couple of occasions when I really wanted to take pictures of people, but unfortunately they were always facing me and I didn’t dare to.

The sun was sinking into the Mediterranean Sea around 7pm.

Another almost postcard picture, I waited forever to get one without people, but after all, I found the one with people more interesting.

Very organized and beautiful formation of different types of boats in the harbor.

Splash! A view down from the castle of Lerici.

Mediterranean Sea seen from Portovenere.

The castle in Portovenere.

Walking tour in the bushes of some island outside of Portovenere.

On that island, there was really nothing else to take pictures of than the plants (but I do like the brightness of the whiteness here).

Painted wall.

The picture I like the best from the trip: the cat of the hotel I was staying, I was in a hurry taking the picture because I thought the cat was running away, so I had no time to change any settings of my camera though it was already getting dark. I like the gray and foggy look of it, a stray cat wondering the abandoned streets by night.

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Autumn at the cemetery

Yesterday I had to take some documents to the agency responsible for renting the apartments owned by the city. It was quite an experience: the people in line with me considered themselves so fortunate for getting an apartment that I felt like I wasn’t really in need of one of the cheap apartments. They also represented the not-so-fortunate of the population, emigrants, uneducated, people with not-too-healthy habits… On the background one of the officials kept telling someone on the phone that it doesn’t help to call to the agency every day… After this I felt more privileged, for both my new apartment and my ”higher class” status. However, this episode had little to do with the following photos; the agency was close by the largest and oldest (?) cemetery in Helsinki, Hietalahti, which I had never visited although I have for more than ten years thought about doing so. So, after I had spent the past week in Italy, 20 degrees warmer than here, I appreciated the cool brisk autumn air and the smell of moist earth more than usually.

I would be happy to rest under the yellow trees.

In the cemetery I ran into a man, judged by his outfit (blue adidas jogging suit) to belong to the same lower class than the people in the rental agency, who told me that I had a beautiful autumn-look. More than the compliment, I was pleased by the not-so-common Finnish tradition of talking to strangers on the street.

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One day one year ago

Okay, I know this is getting boring; the idea of diary is to update what is going on in my life now. But nothing is really going on and I’m only inspired by my work, not taking pictures. So here is what happened one year ago, in October, when the light was so beautiful in the morning that I decided to take my camera for a walk. Last autumn was quite rainy and cloudy, like this year so far, so the rarity of the occasion made the light even more precious. The air was colder than now, as one can see from the foggy breath, and there was no leaves in the trees – or only yellow ones – the trees are still almost all green. The autumn will come so quickly, just one month and the greenness will be gone (and do I need to say I will love it?)

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Destruction

My fascination with light and broken glass continues: this was taken last autumn, about a year ago. The school where I went to when I was 7- and 8-years-old was destroyed.

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Missing the whiteness

My fascination with light has broken loose: now is the turn for the light as it manifested itself last February and March.

Broken glass, ice and fading sunlight – my three favorite elements.

A close up of the broken glass. This is taken from the famous Casino in Kulosaari.

The pale moon.

Getting tired and cold as the sun was setting.

Oh, the beauty of emptiness!

The silhouette of Helsinki in the horizon.

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May light

I’ve been busy with preparing to workshops and writing grant applications and as the weather has been quite cloudy, there has not been many occasions to take pictures with nice light. Okay, yesterday was a bright day, but I visited practically the same places as last weekend. In addition, I watched a documentary on cinema. It claimed that the Scandinavians invented the ”the cinema of light” because of the magnificent light we have here. Yes, it’s true – when we have the light. So here’s a reminder from last spring.

In April or May I visited the newly annexed territory of Helsinki, the easternmost part of the capital: Landbo. There were also a friend and dogs and some birds and signs of nature waking up but I just wanted to remember this, not the crappy pictures.

One morning walk in Mustikkamaa beach, no one else was there to witness the wonderful light.

Okay, I couldn’t decide which one of these to choose…

… one more: a close up!

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Hobbies

Last weekend I went to swim in the open air swimming pool in the Olympic Stadium. There are some cute but old racks for bicycles, I’m afraid they will remove them soon and replace them with something new and boring.

I also went to the Hietaniemi fleamarket because the weather was so sunny and nice (no pictures, nothing bought) and to eat in Fanny, where I sat outside and where it was not so sunny and warm.

I finished my Helsinki-tour with the Helsinki Street photography echibition in Laboratory (didn’t take any pictures of the pictures).

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Cat houses, famous and not

I’m always at least one week late in updating, so here’s last week’s story:

I went to eat lunch in Kipsari and walked past the unknown (at least to me) cat house in Helsinki.

A close up of one of the gate holders.

In July, I visited Riga and saw their famous cat house.

The building was too high to take a nice picture of the cats on top of it.

I also saw the infamous cat house in Riga.

I had no food for him, just the stupid camera.

I was a bit surprised to run into a cat house in Tallinn, by chance, there was nothing of it in the tourist guide.

This is not a cat, I think.

It was not a cat house, but a zoo for animal statues!

This was a bit earlier in Wroclaw. Live cats in a yard, with my shitty camera not working too well in evening light.

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