Boing Boing reader Toni Ahvenainen shared this wonderful photo in our Flickr Pool, "In the sun: Season of Summer Light, Week 31, Saturday."
It doesn't happen very often to me, but I love the moment when camera cease to exist merely as 'a reproduction machine of what I see' and the aesthetic qualities particular to photography, such as black silhouettes and exaggerated field of perspective, starts to draw the world. I took this image about a week ago when Finland had one of the most warm summer week in 50 years. Amazing heat which makes me smile! It was about 30 degrees of Celsius and over 20 at nights every day (85 and 70 at Fahrenheit scale respectively). On top of that our bedroom measured almost 30 degrees at night (85 at Fahrenheit scale), which made our sleeping difficult. The particular reason why I like this image, besides its graphical qualities, is that it captures so nicely the heat of that special week and Aura bathing in the sun and water. One of my own favorites, for sure.
Succeeding with this image led me to think about the process. As I've already told you, I find photographing at beach difficult. There is hard light coming everywhere and no cover from it. There are people everywhere, which makes background controlling impossible. My subject runs back and forth and I can't see thing in LCD because of bright light. In the end I have to choose the composition and expose largely by guessing. Later on I realized that it is exactly these difficult conditions that pushes me outside of my comfort zone and makes me try something different. I cannot rely on very well repeated ideas inside my head and instead of those I have to come up with something else – even if it ultimately makes me feel insecure. That hole of uncertainty is also the place where new ideas are born. Idea of this particular image (Aura as a silhouette against the bright sky and clouds) came to me partially by accident. I saw a peak of it at the LCD when I was moving around and suddenly it all came to together in the middle of difficult circumstances. Instead of fighting against hard light I realized I should embrace it and let the brightness shine through the lens. As usual, I also needed a bit of luck to get that posture when Aura is just stepping out of the water. When we came home I had to transfer the pictures immediately to see if my frame as it looked on a camera LCD. It was and I was happy to have that swimming photograph of our summer 2014.
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