White nights

IMGP7303The strawberry season may be long gone in England, but in Finland it’s just beginning. My father has finally given up growing them – the field is overgrown with weeds (=there rather nice flowers), but few persistant berries are still ripening. All of these photos have been taken with my trusty old 50mm manual focus lens and most with the lowest aperture setting – I keep loving that hazy look it gives to photos. My eyes were a bit tired here, so rather than on the berries, the focus is on the edge of the cup. None of these pictures are particularly dramatic – my holiday so far has been spent quietly, with the strawberry picking being the highlight…
IMGP7285Harebells are one of my favourite summer flowers. I remember pressing them between books as a kid, and being eternally disappointed that they don’t keep the blue colour when they dry.
IMGP7279 – Kopio
IMGP7288Two roses. The top one is a common Japanese rose – my parents’ garden being the one place where it barely survives, as opposed to growing rampantly all over. The bottom one is special. My father dug it from the garden of her parents’ estate about 15 years ago and planted it in their garden. It grows slowly but persistently, blossoming in July. It is as tender as the Japanese rose is bold and bright.
IMGP7253Ruislinnun laulu korvissani,
tähkäpäiden päällä täysi kuu;
kesä-yön on onni omanani,
kaskisavuun laaksot verhouu.
En ma iloitse, en sure, huokaa;
mutta metsän tummuus mulle tuokaa,
puunto pilven, johon päivä hukkuu,
siinto vaaran tuulisen, mi nukkuu,
tuoksut vanamon ja varjot veen;
niistä sydämeni laulun teen.

Sulle laulan neiti, kesäheinä,
sydämeni suuri hiljaisuus,
uskontoni, soipa säveleinä,
tammenlehvä-seppel vehryt, uus.
En ma enää aja virvatulta,
onpa kädessäni onnen kulta;
pienentyy mun ympär’ elon piiri;
aika seisoo, nukkuu tuuliviiri;
edessäni hämäräinen tie
tuntemattomahan tupaan vie.

Eino Leino: Nocturne 1903
(Approximate translation here.)


2 thoughts on “White nights

  1. Thanks! The secret to this set is very simple – it’s all in the lens. I used an ancient 50mm Pentax MF wide open (Af 1.8), and shot from the closest distance possible. None of the other lenses I own create the same sort of blurry, hazy look. Some photographers really hate this lens, but I do love the results! Rest is just picking the right light (all pictures here were shot late in the evening) and the right angle – and about going close enough. If you have a DSLR, buy a 50mm lens, and a book about exposure and then just practice till you find out what tricks work for you.

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