Tuesday, 29 December 2009


A few pictures taken over x-mas period:

Monday, 21 December 2009

Christmas coming

I ordered a christmas present for myself. It will not arrive in time for x-mas, but anyhow. My previous snowcamo-outfit has mysteriously disappeared somewhere in the past years. In fact, it might be even a good thing that it's gone, because it most likely had shrunk over the years, at least at the waist. So, now there is a new one coming in the mail. Nice to head out to our little trip in january when the gear is in order.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Pictures after a long break

We took a trip to visit relatives out west. I went along to watch a kids floorball tournament, managed to take a few pictures also:

Thursday, 10 December 2009


My second shift after a long time off from work and I'm feeling that what Jon Lajoies video is all about is not such an bad idea after all:

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


I could feel the silence this morning, the grayness of the fog muted the last sounds away. It felt good.
I took a few hours walk-about this morning. Took down the hide and brought it home to dry and wait for some minor adjustments.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Sunset cranes

I promised to post a couple of pictures from yesterdays swamp meet and write a few thoughts on cranes. Let's start with the pictures:
The first picture gives an idea on how hopeless our situation was for photography. With the cranes at such a distance from us there was not much hope of getting the type of pictures that I was aiming for. The picture was taken with a 400mm lens and has not been blown up at all.

The second one I feel is beautiful in its own way, with a purple shade of the sunset and a flock of cranes flying towards the camera. A sight like that causes a photographers mind to start racing and heart to pound with excitement. Will the cranes land close or just fly by? If they land, how will they be situated in relation to the hide, will the background give maximum effect to the pictures and so on. The list of thoughts racing thru a naturephotographers mind looking at a sight like that one is almost endless. Yesterday they flew right by us.

It has been interesting to notice how differently cranes act at the swamp compared to when they are at fields nearby. A flock of cranes on a field could not care less if I walk to the edge of the field to take pictures. At the swamp, the slightest sight of a photographer at the edge of the swamp causes the flock to move farther away and at the swamp the distances in question are much greater from the beginning. Cranes landing on a field do circle the area before they land, but very seldom change their decision to land, even if they do spot a human somewhere close to the field. At the swamp the birds will pull up immediately if they spot any movement at their intended landingsite, as was the case with our group yesterday. Once landed, a few birds will keep their head up at all times, monitoring the surroundings. If any movement is seen, the entire flock will know about it immediately, most often resulting in having all the birds look first at what is happening and then the entire flock rising to their wings. It would be rather easy to take note of which fields are used by cranes during the ongoing fall migration and then pick out a suitable ditch at the edge of the field and lay there under camonetting taking pictures. I just don't feel that it would be the same. Difficult and challenging way of getting it is what makes a good picture all the more valuable for me personally. Besides, my goal at the moment is to capture life in the swamps in pictures, so I can't really go take them in some field, can I?

Friday, 11 September 2009


It went just as I feared it would, the cranes fooled us. Three photographers sitting around in the "west wing extension" of the hide and the cranes were nowhere to be seen. Or to be precise, we saw them. They flew right past us or then they were out in the distance. A small flock was approaching with intensions of landing close to the hide, but two birds at the edge of the flock caught a glimpse of us and right in the middle of their landing turn called out a warning. This resulted in the entire flock banking hard to the left and flying away. The cranes disappeared behind the small patch of forrest close to the hide.

As a desperate last ditch effort we decided to try and take a look at the other side of the patch of forrest, if the cranes would have landed close enough to the trees for a few pictures from behind the bushes. There were quite a few birds visible on the other side of the forrestpatch. The only problem was that they were resting at the far end of the swamp from us. Disappointed, we were heading back towards the hide and the gear we left behind, when we saw a much larger flock heading towards us. We took a quick sprint of about 60 meters in the swamp, trying to get under the cover of the trees. The cranes flew right past us and landed with the rest of their kind at the furthermost corner of the swamp. As the evening grew darker, we picked up our gear from the hide and headed back to the city.

I'll post a picture of two here tomorrow with a few more thoughts on cranes and photographing them.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Scouting trip to the tower

I went for a quick trip to the birdtower at the edge of the swamp. I wanted to see if the cranes were still in the area and if so, where. My big mouth had got me into trouble again, I had bragged to Jussi that I could get him "close enough" to cranes for a pictureshoot.

As always, the pride goeth before the fall. The cranes that landed at the swamp (a few hundred) seemed to be enjoying themselves at the northwest corner of the swamp area. Distance between the nearest birds and my hide was about 600 meters. Not good. Now I'm faced with a tough choice of moving the hide, putting up another temporary one, or just hoping that the cranes will move closer in the couple of days we have before our photo outing. I really need to know where they are going to land in order to be at the right place when they arrive. Trying to crawl close enough is tough at best and hopeless most of the time.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Cranes, cranes and ever more cranes

Our photographer meet at the swamp never came about as one by one everybody cancelled. I had reserved the afternoon and evening for being out in the wild, so I decided to head out on my own. I didn't do the walk-about as planned for the meeting, but opted to head straight for the hide instead.

As I was unpacking my gear at the hide, a flock of a few cranes decided head away leaving me quite alone at the swamp. When I had all my gear set up I sat down, had a cup of coffee, ate a few sandwiches and just enjoyed the silence. Then I could hear a few crane calls from far away. Moments later the sound came closer and a flock of about ten cranes landed close to the hide. The cranes were going about their business and calling out every few minutes. As the evening progressed more and more calls sounded as more cranes landed. The cranes came in in mostly small groups but sometimes as a flock of 20 or 30 birds at once. Just before sunset there were so many birds around that the calls seemed to be continuous and coming from every possible direction.

As I was waiting for something to happen, I decided to take a "selfportrait".
I guess it tells something about the nature of my hobby:
I took this one with 70-300/5.6 zoom lens, with the focal length at 200mm. Posted her just as proof that nature photography does not always require those long lenses that cost a fortune:
Small groups like this one kept coming in all thru the evening:
At times the airspace over the hide was rather crowded:
Some groups arrived in nice, neat formations:
Just a pic of a few cranes feeding and one keeping watch:
A crane pic loaded with photographic cliches:
A "feelings pic" from underneath the camonetting:

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


I went out for a quick visit to the swamp this morning. I put up the extension to the hide in preparation for our photographers meeting on saturday. A warm, sunny morning was ideal for a quick walk-about in the boonies. Along the way I managed to take a few snapshots:

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Progress or is it?

"Year in the swamp: sunken dreams" -project moves along, or does it? While I was ill and delirious from a high fever, I came up with an idea for the project. Yesterday I took the first steps at making that idea turn into reality. Getting a complete picture of the entire area is not as simple as one would imagine, but not at all impossible. The cost is one thing to consider, the technical implementation another. Both have problems to be solved and I have to do a balancing act between the two. If cost would not be a factor, the technical side would be easy to accomplish. The lower I try to keep the cost, the harder the technical side becomes. Interest consideration at its best or worst, however one wants to look at it.

When my fever had come down, I also looked into how to complete the entire project. After a very brief study of the matter it became clear that self-published is the only way to go. The publishers' only interest is in making a profit and the markets for a book of this type are so small that there is no way it would be of interest to a publishing company. Lucky for me, self publishing has become easy in recent years and even rather cheap to a certain extent.

Monday, 24 August 2009

A morning walk-about

After being stuck inside for so long, it was great to get out into the wild this morning. I walked about the swamp area without much aim, just looking at the sights, enjoying the peace and quiet and taking a few pictures. I stopped by at the hide to have a snackbreak. The hide was still tightly in place, the camonetting had not come loose and even the rain had stayed outside. I got to spend the morning outside and even managed to get a few pictures for the book project, mainly plants and insects this time, since the fall migration of birds is not on yet. Here are the "blog pictures" of the day:

Saturday, 22 August 2009

A burning sensation inside

For the past two weeks I have had a burning feeling inside me. I've been like an animal in a cage, restless and irritated. Earlier today I could no longer control myself when I saw something dark hovering over the sun lighted flowerbed behind our kitchen window. I grabbed my camera and rushed outside. It was time to do something about that burning I was feeling. At the corner of our garage, next to the flowerbed, I crouched, aimed and shot. I rushed behind the next cover, changed position, aimed and shot. I seeked different angles. Shot some more. Slowly I could feel myself getting closer to harmony. A few more pictures and I felt tranquility setting in. I put my camera down and just watched as the admiral butterfly sailed on:

Friday, 14 August 2009

Feeling ill

I've been sick for the last couple of days. I even went to see a doctor. I was told that I had a normal cold and not the swine kind that everyone's been so hype about lately. Nice to know.

Sunday, 9 August 2009


Some time ago I promised the kids I'd take them fishing. Today was the day that we went. After a few coincidences our departure was delayed quite a bit, so that we didn't have much time to spend at the lake. The girls really enjoyed every moment and we agreed to go again in the near future.
A few pictures:
And the necessary evidence photo to prove that Susanna proved her fishing abilities on her first time out:

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Rasberries and bugs II

I had received more orders for the morning, so I went to the supermarket. After getting the shopping done, I headed out to pick rasberries. As allways, I had my camera with me. I left my backpack and camera at the edge of the rasberrybush, close enough to be grabbed on short notice if something interesting came into view. I took a few insect pictures. Here's one:
I had also promised another nature photographer a picture of my WK. This is what it looks like:
There were loads of rasberries. A couple of hours in the bush, and I had gathered just short of a bucketfull. There would have been plenty more to pick, but I ran out of time since I had to head of towards home to pick up the girls from daycare and get myself ready for nightshift at work. If there will be many more years like this one with wild berries, our family will need to invest in another freezer.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A morning in the woods

After getting up in the morning, I did as I was told and cleaned the house. After vacuuming the last dustball away, I grabbed my backpack, a bucket and berrypicker and headed to the woods. Before lunchtime I had picked a bucket of blueberries and as I walked about, I found a great spot for rasberries. I'll have to go back in the next couple of days. I kept practicing taking pictures of insects. I obviously need the practice, since most of todays pictures turned out lousy. I seemed to keep making mistakes with focusing. The problem was a gray cloudy day in rather thick terrain, I didn't have much light to work with. I was concentrating on depth and did not take note of the extending shuttertimes as I had my camera set on AV. The end result was a lot of motion blur and obviously shaken pictures.
Along the way I snapped a picture of a fairytale forrest:
Here is a example of the days bugshots:

Not exactly what I was hoping for, I like the composition, but it would be much better if the spider would be completely in focus. I was planning to go out to the swamp this evening, but the dull gray weather does not make me feel like heading out. I think I'll just wait for a day with better light.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Rasberries and bugs

My idea was to go pick blueberries. At first I had trouble getting myself started in the morning and once I got into the bush, I decided to concentrate on rasberries for a couple of hours and leave the blueberries for another day. While picking berries, I also practiced taking pictures of bugs, since I'll have to start taking closeups for my project sometime in the near future among a lot of other things.
The days pictures:

Friday, 24 July 2009


I had to drop by at work to take care of something in the morning. I got the job done and was heading back home at around 10 a.m. At 10:30 I was on my way to the wilderness. I picked a bucketfull of blueberries and half a bucket of cloudberries. For my photoproject I took a few pictures while I was picking berries:
My butterflyspot didn't let me down:
A slightly different shot of a pine cone:
This butterfly seemed to love my backpack:
The osprey came to check me as I walked towards the nesting tree:
There appeared to be some birds in the nest:

All in all, a nice day and a good trip.