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

torstai 17. elokuuta 2017

City boy and controlled burn

In the Northern part of Finland, where I live, the farmers still use a traditional farming method called controlled burn. I'm no farmer, I'm originally a city boy, but I think it's all about burning the dead plants on the fields in the springtime to create natural fertilization for the new plants.

Actually, people seem to be obsessed with the burning. Every year, when the first signs of green are visible through the snow, the farmers rush to the fields, pour enormous amounts of gasoline on the fields and set them on fire. I've called the fire department a couple of times when my neighbour's barn house is in flames.

Last summer it started again. I was walking my dog in the backyard when I noticed flames and smoke pilars on the fields nearby. I threw the dog inside and told my wife I was going to go to the end of the driveway to shoot a couple of photos. I took my faithful 24mm Canon lens and the 40mm lens just to make sure, in case the flames would be a little further away.

When I got to the end of the driveway, I put the tripod by the field and took some test photos. I noticed that the flames were a lot further than I thought. There was a beautiful sunset on the photos but I couldn't see the flames or smoke at all. The 40mm lens didn't help either.

I decided to get a bit closer. I walked by the fields, I didn't want to mess the beautiful straight furrows my neighbor had plowed. The Northern Finland is a very flat area and sometimes you forget, how vast the fields are. The smoke and the flames just didn't get any closer, no matter how long I walked.

Finally I gave up. There was a tiny barn house nearby and I decided to take some barns-and-fields photos. The sunset was beautiful, anyway. I took the photos with the 24mm and the 40mm and they turned out ok.

It was time to get back. I looked back and noticed my home was a tiny spot in the horizon. Now I didn't care about the furrows. I just rushed back straight through the fields. Warm bed was a lot more tempting than photographic art!

They have vast fields in the Northern Finland. And vast fields require vast ditches. All of a sudden there was one in front of me. It was pretty dark and I didn't know if I could get to the other side of it with dry clothes. There was no other option than to follow the ditch and hope it would get a little bit narrower later. Luckily, after about 15 minutes of walking, the ditch turned right and formed a place where I could jump over. I found a Tarzan in me and jumped as far as I could. I got to the other side with dry clothes and dry camera gear.

After the ditch I only had to cross another field and I found a road. A paved road! A road to home! I was saved!

At home my family was fast asleep. My adventure had lasted two hours! Next time I have this brilliant idea to immortalize traditional Finnish agriculture methods, I'll take with me the longest lens I have, an extender and a car!

Canon EF 24mm f2.8 STM

A couple of words about the lens I was using on my adventure: the 24mm pancake lens for crop sensor cameras by Canon. I bought the lens at a web shop when I was in Australia a couple of years ago. The price was a little bit over 100 euros. I already had the 40mm sibling of the lens and I loved it.

When the lens finally arrived, I took some landscape photos with it and fell in love immediately.The lens is very fast and very sharp for the price. And it's tiny! Somebody said it turns the DSLR to a point-and-shoot camera. That might just be correct, but in a good way. You get great photos and you don't have to carry heavy lenses around. I never leave the house without the lens!

More details about the lens can be found here: Canon EF-S 24mm F2.8 STM

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