visual diary – esoteric Tallinn

Our apartment in Tallinn was opposite of one of the many beautiful orthodox churches. Sitting on the deep window sills was one of my favourite moments of the morning. It was lovely to start the day with a quiet, private moment with our new best friend Nikolai.

I was often accompanied by a cup of fresh coffee, the daily paper and my holiday book (the very funny The Worst Date Ever by Jane Bussmann). The summer clouds and people passed by like in a film.

Our last night we actually went to visit the church. It was open to tourists and undergoing some major renovations, but the details visible were still very beautiful. There was a quiet, otherworldly atmosphere inside filled with the lovely scent of the beeswax candles lingering.

We couldn't have asked for better (and quieter) neighbours really.

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visual diary – Tallinn

A day after arriving back home we were on the road again. Well, actually on water, as we took the ferry across to spend few days in Tallinn, Estonia. The trip across the bay is pretty quick, less than 2 hours, and Tallinn is such a beautiful city. Especially in the summer. Whilst waiting for my sister to join the party I snapped a photo in the ferry terminal as the light sifting in was so lovely.

Tallinn is a very popular holiday destination these days. Not so much about 15 years ago when we first visited, but it still has an amazing architecture and the people are so lovely. We stayed in the Old Town and rented an apartment this time. It was a great choice and brilliant location. Everything in the city centre is within walking distance, but feeling like really being part of the city was certainly better than staying in a hotel.

Every corner you turn brings out something interesting to look at or touch. The Old Town has a very medieval architecture, but the city itself has some amazing buildings still standing and inhabited from all eras. And if you ever think about renting a place be it for one night or couple of weeks we can certainly recommend the Old House! The apartment we stayed in was gorgeous and the service perfect.

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Summer 2009 – visual diary introductions

Whilst on my holiday in Finland my sister asked me why I take photographs. This is a question I often have to think about and answer. There are actually many long and winding answers to this particular question I can reel out according to the situation/person asking, but talking to my sister about her own passions and thinking about it now a week later I have a different kind of clarity about the whole subject. Since I was 12 years old I have been writing a diary, on and off, by hand. I could say taking photographs is somehow my visual diary, among the so many other reasons I have for why I do it. The need to record, document, remember – to have the ability to go back and look – or read- again what I had been trying to say seems always to be at the core of any kind of answer I give to people. It's about what I saw and about trying to understand what is going on around me. Answers that often come retrospectively, by returning to something a while later, to try and make sense of it all.

Therefore, I'm going to blog my holiday photos a little differently than usual this year. Partly because I have been thinking (obviously too much) about photography again, but also because I wanted to share this visual diary with you, too. So in short, the plan is to blog more often, but with less photos. :) This year I spent a week and a half in my native Finland and had a short break with my family in Tallinn, Estonia. The weather was super, the pace of life coma-inducingly relaxing (just what I needed!) and I had a chance to meet friends, at times in quite surprising circumstances. The blueberries are in season in Finland and we had to walk less than 5 minutes from my parents' place to go pick some this week. Life is so different compared to London. But in a good way. I hope you enjoy sharing these memories with me.

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strange pilgrims

This weekend is one of my rare free weekends this summer and funnily enough I had a big itch to get out there and do some good old fashioned street photography today. It has been such a long time, although I have been taking a lot of photos these past months. Just that it's not been on the streets of London. So, it was time to get my hands dirty again!

The London Pride parade was on today, but I decided to steer clear this year. I was not in the mood for crowds, especially as the week-long heatwave London has been baking in is finally coming to an end. Today was a lovely summer day and I caught the first bus across the river and started off around St Paul's.

It's not like I could avoid the crowds, but at least I had some room to manoeuvre to catch strange moments with the tourists. It was lovely to be out there today with my camera and just be. The freedom of not shooting for anyone but me was really lovely to remember and experience again.

It was also just lovely to amble around my favourite parts of London and try to get… lost in one word. I managed to cover some new ground around Barbican, so even though I started off in a default place I am still sticking to the plan of steering clear of old familiar hunting grounds.

Having shot a lot professionally these past months has made me look at composition in a new way. It's one of the things that actually I've improved upon. And there is something happening automatically now with my "eye" and the thinking process in the split second of seeing something and lifting the camera up to capture the photo. I am more efficient and economical somehow in the process of taking photographs. I wonder if that makes sense. :D

There were some lovely minimalist moments going on all around me today. I loved the box on the bag as well with this lady for example. She didn't look too happy having to wait for her ride to come and pick her and those quite heavy boxes up today though.

Nice minimalist moments all around me indeed. I love the red flowers in the background in this. :) I was out with my 50mm prime lens today. It was hard, and come to think of it I would have probably shot less economically if I'd brought something else with me. But the lens is the lightest to carry and was so easy to handle so I don't regret bringing it along today at all.

Barbican is one of my favourite places in London. The architecture is so ugly that it is fascinating, and there are always weird corners to go around and get lost in the place. The layout of the area and the very urban feel to the place makes a great backdrop for some interesting photos, too. Don't you think?

Different kind of eye contact in this one compared to the photo above! That dog (and the lead) really makes this for me, although I was initially going for that bright red hair on that woman to set off the telephone boxes. See, it's not only people now who are suspicious about me, it's the pets as well! :D

There are 30 of these "Play Me I'm Yours" pianos around London at the moment to celebrate the City of London Festival and I've been dying to see them in action. This one at Paternoster Square, right next to St Paul's Cathedral, was given a good seeing to by the lady in the middle. She roped all these tourists in to sing along with her, too which they gladly did!

My walk ended up at Liverpool Street Station and before going home I managed to capture this lovely lady texting (I presume) on her mobile in the middle of the hustle and bustle. All and all it was a lovely day out, weather and photography-wise.

For now I think the next photographs in this blog will be from my holiday to Finland and Estonia in a few weeks time. I'm not shooting another wedding again until towards the end of July, so hopefully I'll have some more street photography time as well for you. Hope you enjoyed these photos and are having a lovely summer! <3

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