I was born in Helsinki, Finland 1968. The family moved to small village of Kihniö soon after. I grew up there and went to school there for nine years. I went to high school in Parkano 1985-87. Then I spent a year in the army. After that I studied years and years in Tampere University of Technology. I finally graduated in 1997 as M.Sc of software engineer and industrial economics. I started to work in IT distribution company during my studies and ended up spending 19 years in that company – first as an employee and later we made a MBO. Finally May 2008 we sold the company and I thought to have less busy time. Soon I have started a new job in a software company and that is taking my time still.
I live in Pispala, Tampere with my family.
I started photographing about 20 years ago. My first camera was Olympus IS-1000, super-zoom compact of that time. I spent a year in US early 90’s and I thought I was taking a lot of photos – it was about 30 rolls of film in one year. That is not too much compared to digital age, today I can take that one thousand photos during a weekend – but not too many of them are good anyway.
I purchased my first SLR, Minolta Dynax 7 with two kit lenses, late 90’s. It was eye-opening experience to see all the apertures, shutter speeds etc. in action. Then 2001 I could afford purchasing a very good camera. It was Canon EOS-1V and a load of lenses. I’m not using that film body any more, but I still have all the lenses and they work as a charm. After that I have purchased a few digital bodies, now I’m using couple of EOS 1’s. For my purposes they are almost too good, but I decided a long ago, that it is better to blame myself for bad photos, not the gear.
I joined local photo club, Tampere Photographic Society, at 2002. Despite all the stories about not too dynamic photo clubs, for me it has been useful. Sharing thoughts, analyzing photos, going to photo trips with other enthusiasts has been the best part of that.
Some years ago I was mostly photographing nature. I enjoyed early crispy autumn mornings in wild. But then work took it is toll as well as the children – I just had no time for that any more. I was travelling quite a lot because of my work. And the holidays were mostly used for travelling with family. I started to bring my tourist camera – EOS 1 and couple of lenses – more or less everywhere. As you see in the photo gallery, most of my photos are taken from those trips. Recently I have had a luxury to get away just to photograph. With family it is hard to steel some time to shoot. When you are there for purpose, it is totally different – all the time in the world to walk around and see all the angles.
I hardly ever shoot anything arranged. Instead, I look for sights and things around. For that kind of photography flash is not applicable – virtually all of my photos are taken in ambient lightning. Typically I don’t like to photograph people as main feature either. I have more photos about the people as you see on my web site, but I’m very cautious showing them. These days of internet it seems too easy to share all the photos to everybody, I really don’t want people to find themselves big and clear from my site. I’m also easily annoyed when people click-click-click photos, when I’m standing in front – I don’t want to do the same.
Some time ago I got feedback from a person that I had no contact for couple of years. He went see the photo gallery and sent my very interesting feedback – putting in the words something that I have been thinking when photographing. I was very pleased that this person saw my intentions.
Typically I try to make photos as simple as possible. Somebody might say that they are simplified to be boring – and I realize that it is true quite often. By doing photos simple, I try to make scenes peaceful and find aesthetic sides of things. When taking a photo, most of time is spent waiting for the moment, when the view is clear of anything extra, like people and cars. Also I usually find myself watching the edges of the photo and adjusting the angle or zooming in just a little bit more to get rid of distracting elements on the edges. The lenses I use most are 70-200 and 28-300 – and I’m using more the long end of the zoom with both of them. As a consequence, most of my photos are tightly cropped and show details instead of wide views.
If possible, I go to photograph early in the morning, late in the evening or at night, partly because it is less crowded. Also the lightning is usually better. Because of the dim light I use tripod a lot. The best part of it is that when you start to set up a tripod and quite big camera on top of it at strange times, local people almost always come to see and chat. Quite often there is no common language, but that is not a problem. Some people tell other places where to go. This is something that you can’t get blinking iPhone flash in crowds in the middle of the day.
I try to compose photos in camera and adjust the exposure to correct level. I have no problem adjusting later in Lightroom or Photoshop, though. Usually I add some vibrance and contrast in Lightroom and fine tune the composition. These days I don’t need Photoshop that much, but I use it to adjust the vertical lines. And if there is need to go to Photoshop, I usually do the sharpening there using high pass filter and add contrast with soft light blending. And to be consistent, I sometimes clone out items from photos to make them cleaner and simpler.