Notes on Finland as promised…Going on holiday and taking my favourite camera along can quickly turn into a photographic journey where you’re always in the right place at the right time. As a photographer, I love looking at great imagery. We all do. It’s what inspired most of us to pick up our own cameras and it’s one of the main things that continues to inspire us as we evolve as artists and image technicians throughout our lives.
I’ve taken my work and style further by incorporating a very tasteful element of HDR into my imagery. I’m not talking the kind of HDR that gets a bad rap, so much of which is overdone and just looks, well, you know…kind of “off”. There is also a time and place when doing HDR photography has its benefits. This is where ‘street’ style photography is perfect and I hope to work at it more as I found it can be liberating.
HDR photography can be a bit polarizing in terms of personal tastes. It's like opera and sushi – you either love it or hate it. All I can say is that personally, for me, I prefer the look HDR gives. Maybe because it’s my first experience with HDR, or maybe because I just feel comfortable with it.
When hectic times occurred, I would have to really boil down my priorities to the essentials. I succeeded in clinging to what I was really committed to, but that was because I made choices and, again, didn’t try to do so much.
Making a painter’s resolution is my new creativity in life besides my passion for travel photojournalism (I still have many other photo stories on Finland to blog in due course). I want to spend more time critically assessing my compositions before picking up a brush. I want to sketch an idea, play with color options, and think it through — really enjoying (and not hurrying) through the process. Artists tend to be a friendly, supportive, caring group of people, generally happy for other artist's successes, and concerned about the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. There are many artists and art organizations doing great things in the world and we need to support one another. The world needs more artists.
My Photo Essay entitled Hokkaido Sapporo 北海道札幌《雪白世界之旅》Published in LianheZaobao 联合早报 Special Travel Edition Dated 18 January 2019
A very happy start to a great weekend! My photo essay under pen name 蓝天游 on Hokkaido Sapporo 北海道札幌《雪白世界之旅》is published in today's special travel edition LianheZaobao 联合早报旅游版 dated 18 January 2019! 感谢、感恩! Thrilled to see it being featured nationwide in print! THANK YOU VERY MUCH !
In December, I spent almost two weeks staying in Finland in my best attempts to experience it like a local. If you travel as much as I do and you are giant homebody on the inside like me, you really value unpacking your suitcase for weeks and tossing your crap absolutely everywhere. I like to think of myself as almost a turtle traveler – I like to take it as slow and mellow as possible. What’s the rush? You’ll miss the best bits.
Winter in Finland consists mainly of silence, darkness and stillness, making it the ideal environment for inner journeys. Days are short and the sun stays low on the horizon. Shades of white, black and grey dominate the monotone landscapes, long blue moments preceding the dark.
One of the most beautiful places I visited was the Töölönlahti Bay in Finland. Footpaths meander through trees along the waterside; within minutes you leave the city behind and nature envelops you. The bays were frozen over and snow glittered crisply in the sunshine. There is a walking path going around the Töölönlahti Bay and I love walking around to listen to pure nothing. This is what many of the locals do as well. To listen to the serene silence in Finland. Walking through parks in Finland was mesmerizing from the very first moment. No sound of cars in the distance, no birds chirping or wind whistling through the high trees near the frozen lakes. Only me, the stillness and our breaths that stopped for a while in awe. That’s the silence in Finland.
I used to blog pretty regularly and I really enjoy looking back through my old archives of posts. I felt that I did not blog a lot last year due to many other commitments. During my Finland winter trip, I’ve done quite a lot of self-reflection. I promised myself that I will blog more in 2019 and in a meaningful way. I reminded myself why I started this path years ago and I wish that I could continue pursuing this passion outside of a professional job.
It is wise for each of us, from time to time, to stop and evaluate our lives as we seek to make the most of them. The start of a calendar year provides an opportunity to look back at the decisions that shaped our lives during the past year and gives us an extra push to make adjustments for the next one. Every new January represents a natural opportunity to evaluate the direction of our lives, adjust course if necessary, adopt new habits, or make healthy changes.
I can’t say that I’m perfect or that I’ve achieved my ideal self, because there’s still so much I’ve to work on. I also think that becoming a better person is an on-going goal to be worked on, and there’s never a real end point to reach. Someone once told me that this isn’t about making yourself liked by others — it’s about becoming someone you truly love and adore, which will in turn attract the right people and opportunities into my life. I’m always grateful to that person who told me that because it reasonates so much with me.