#21: The crying of Lot 13

In the bitterly cold, dark Helsinki I visited a museum briefly, just before the closing time. The lady at the counter said I could enter for free and that I hadn’t much time. We had a small chat. Among other things the lady mentioned that she lived in a flat #13.

The exhibition brought into being a world bygone, a 1950s Helsinki of greased-up hair style and wooden house quarter labyrinths.

When I was leaving and putting my coat on, I became aware of one locker key missing. What is this? A plot with a hidden message to be communicated to me? Like the mysterious postal mail Trystero in Thomas Pynchon’s novella?

All of a sudden the lady came, put a small box in and left. What was there? Inverarity’s stamps?

#19: 426 steps to heaven

Today I rode my bike to the Malminkartano landfill hill. The stairs on the Eastern side is an excellent place for muscle-strength developing exercises. A heaven for keep-fit buffs!

I had my small Nikon D3100 with me. It’s so tiny (for a DSLR) that when riding faster back home on a bumby track, I thought the backpack had opened and the camera fallen off, as it was jumping up and down so lightly on my back. The D3100 body cost me a hundred and the Nikkor 18-135mm lens another hundred, second hand of course.

#14: Spying on tourists

No heat haze distoring the photos of the brave tourists visiting Kauppatori market square shore line in the mid-January -15° C. The sea was just about to freeze. Tomorrow there’ll be an ice cover in the bay.

I spotted the opportunity for this photo all of a sudden and had no time to change any settings. This was taken with 1/8000 sec, f/4.5, ISO1250, -1EV. A better choice would have been to scroll ISO down to 400 or so.

First he was to take the photo standing. Just when I entered his shadow, he kneeled down. I barely had time to imitate him and take the shot, when he was done with it and went away.

#13: Scenic Helsinki

At last a sunny afternoon! Well, I didn’t have time to see the sun itself, but a sunny afternoon also meant a nice, scenic sunset. I hasted to Helsinki Torni Ateljee Bar terrace and took my camera.

I started with taking a horizontal picture towards the point that would be the center of my panoramic image. I wanted to keep the darkness, so I underexposed –2 2/3 EV and the camera meter counted 1/200sec and f/3.5 at ISO1600. Because the lens didn’t have VR, I wanted to have a fast shutter speed and decided to settle on a big aperture even though it might mean some blurriness.

After that I set the camera in manual mode, so that every frame would use those same settings, and the lightness wouldn’t change between them. Then I took eight vertical photos, overlapping some 1/3 of each other.

The merge was done by opening Photoshop CS6, selecting File > Automate > Photomerge, and choosing these frames (see Adobe’s help page). Notice the tilt towards right – a tripod would’ve been useful.

I could have left it this way, but I wanted to apply traditional panorama format and cropped the image. Finally I added some part of sky to the upper left hand corner, and some part of the roof to the lower right hand corner. A tad of tone correction and sharpening. Done.

Or almost. After this I found myself annoyed with the curved horizon, and decided to do the merging again, this time with cylindrical mapping. Then, still some further editing and, long story short, the uppermost version.

#12: falling’s just another way to fly

Taking this I thought that a zoom lens would have been handy. I took this shot with a 35mm/1.8 prime lens, and my “foot zoom” wasn’t quick enough to back off one step as might have been needed. 

Followed the biker with my camera which made the background a bit fuzzy. A bit longer exposure time (1/200 sec) would’ve given it a nice, more blurry touch.