Adventures of a father and a photographer. Tales about the mystery and excitement of family travel.

tiistai 14. marraskuuta 2017

Finland, Finland, Finland

Finland isn't probably the first country in people's mind when they are making the vacation plans. When they think about Finland - if they ever do - it must be like in the Monty Python song. But the first things probably in their minds are sauna, winter and Northern lights. As a Finn, I can tell you, it's not always like that. But sometimes, life in Finland is about those three things.

I live in the Northern part of Finland, in the countryside. In the middle of nowhere, you could say. We have an outdoor sauna, too. Now, you may be thinking about something like this, but it's just a little hut in the backyard, takes hours to heat up, but we like it. It's very relaxing to sit in there, without phone, internet, TV or even radio.

A few days ago I was sitting in the sauna minding my own business (read: trying desperately to think ways I could get somebody to buy my photos). It was already winter, and there was a little snow on the ground. The night was chilly, but not freezing. Quite nice for us Finns.

All of a sudden, my son ran to the sauna shouting: Daddy, daddy! I got alarmed, maybe something had happened at the house! I grabbed my bathrobe and ran to the boy. He was pointing to the sky. Northern lights! he shouted with enthusiasm.

And indeed! The Aurora Borealis was all over the sky! The flames were extremely bright and not even the moonlight could dim them. Usually, you cannot see the lights if the moon is bright. But now the whole sky was on fire. The flames were of all sizes and colors.

I was watching the show in awe when I noticed my wife had joined me. She asked, what was I doing here without my camera. I told her that I was just enjoying the show. She said: Don't just stand there with your mouth open, get your camera now! You can't see this kind of Aurora every night!

She was right! I ran to the house, got my camera, the fisheye lens and a tripod. I set the camera on manual, aperture to 8 and shutter speed to eight seconds. Then I started to shoot the sky like a maniac. I ran around the yard in my bath robe with the camera and tripod and took as many photos as I could. If the neighbors saw me, they must have confirmed their doubts: I was completely insane.

But on that night, it was just like in the Finnish tourism brochure, winter, sauna and the Northern lights.

Walimex Pro 8mm f3.5 Fisheye lens

This lens is most likely the same as the Samyang 8mm fisheye lens with another label. There seems to be quite a lot of them around with different labels. I found it cheap in Italy and I must say it's quite a lens for it's price.

I love the way you can get creative with the fisheye. If you focus nearly to infinity and set the aperture to 11, you can get pretty sharp pictures, if you got enough light. And even in the dimmer situations, the lens performs beautifully.

The lens is always in my camera bag. There are countless possibilities for that kind of lens.

You can read more about the lens here.
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