I packed my tried and true Hasselblad camera kits into my backpack, put on my warmest winter clothes, and headed to Kintulammi, a nature reserve in the middle of Finland.
Winter days were short and the mercury had dropped below minus 25 degrees centigrade (-13F). In those conditions there was no sound, no movement and no colors. Naked trees against white snow were the only elements I could work with. What a perfect day for black and white photography!
In the middle of the day, the sun broke through the overcast creating an Christmas-like lighting. I stopped by a small cabin, made a fire outside, and cooked some food and a cup of warm coffee. The park rangers make both the cabins and firewood available free of charge for anybody who wants to hike in the reserve. The general public’s right allows anyone to roam the countryside, forage, fish with a line and rod, and enjoy the recreational use of any natural areas anywhere in Finland — regardless of their ownership. Such things make Finland a unique place for nature lovers and those who want to enjoy wilderness.
In the afternoon, shadows took over and direct light disappeared making everything soft and misty. I changed to a faster film to capture the last rays of the day. As always, it amazed me how well my eyes had adapted to the diminishing light. It is only when I metered it properly that I realised how dark it already was.
Eventually, I ran out of light. I took the last pictures, put my cameras back into my backpack, and headed to the parking spot. My car was the only one there, covered in frost and frozen solid. I was relieved when it started up, and soon it pushed warm air against my face. This was a good day!