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

torstai 24. toukokuuta 2018

Candle Night In Tallinn

Each year, on the 25th of March the people of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, light candles on the freedom square to commemorate the victims of the Soviet deportations. Although it was a terrible thing, the candle lit square is a very beautiful sight.

I was able to participate the night the other year. I went there with my camera and my tripod to get some night shots, but I had no idea what was waiting for me.

There were twenty thousand candles lit on the square. They were organized in the shape of the Estonian map. But the candles weren't the most impressive thing that night. When I got out of the tram and entered the square, it was almost totally silent there. There were quite a lot of people there and you'd expect to hear a lot of noise. But, it was almost like at a cemetery on a dark winter night. You could see the people, but you couldn't hear them.

The event was very emotional. I took some photos with my 24mm lens, but couldn't quite capture the feeling. I walked away from the square to find a place to change the lens to my Walimex fisheye. I soon found a park bench I could use as a temporary holder for my equipment.

When I was fiddling with my camera, a man came out from the darkness. He was an elderly man walking slowly. He stopped by me and greeted me with a subtle voice. I greeted him back and told him with my very limited Estonian that I'm a Finn and unfortunately can't speak his language very well.

My lack of language skills didn't seem to bother him. He was starting to tell me how he used to work in Finland as a young man. He compared the Estonians and Finns and how we should really be more close because of our origins. He told me that too often the Estonians don't think too much of the Finnish tourists crowding the old town of Tallinn. I tried to answer him with my poor Estonian and told him that many times the Finns too look the Estonians down their nose and that's wrong. We agreed that this kind of events show us that we really should live as one.

There we were, two strangers from different countries, of different generations, speaking different languages, but still united in front of this beautiful memorial.

Minox Digital Classic Camera Leica M3

I've always had a soft spot for the old Leica cameras. Unfortunately, I don't own one, but I got a miniature model of one by Minox. The factory is famous for it's miniature cameras used in the cold war era. One of them was used in James Bond films, too. The factory created miniature replicas of some of the classic cameras in the history of photography. Mine is a Leica M3.

It's quite a funny little toy. Basically it's a tiny Chinese digital camera with a Minox lens, but it certainly turns heads when you use it in street photography. Attach it to a tripod and you might get a few laughs. The picture quality isn't really that good, but it's really a fun gadget to use. You can even get a replica of a Leica flash for it.

Read more about the little beast here.

You can read more about my fisheye lens I used on the memorial night here.

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