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Tampere
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One year with Sony Alpha cameras and ZEISS E-mount lenses. Developing my own photographic eye in a in a scratch book manner. Hunting the stream of inspiration and sharing it through a popular blog platform.
This is what 'Days of Zeiss' is all about.

Journal

 

 

The attack of the flying ants

Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/4.0, 1/500sec, ISO400, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/4.0, 1/500sec, ISO400, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen


Like I wrote in previous post, we've been visiting grandpa and I've been trying to capture that 'childhood summer' where days are long and full of play with other kids. One day at grandpa's backyard it happened that air was suddenly filled with 'flying ants' like some of the kids described it. As an adult I knew that they were actually drone ants that take off at certain midsummer day in order to breed with ant queens that are seeking places for the new ant hives. This was, of course, a very exciting event, not only for the kids, but for me too, as there were quite a lot of them and being an unique moment it broke the usual order of things there - this only happens once in every summer. Pretty soon all the kids from there and neighborhood were catching them with butterfly nets and other tools they came up with. Girls were chasing them from the air and boys tried to track down where the original ant hives where.
 

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/8, 1/250sec, ISO400, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/8, 1/250sec, ISO400, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen


I would like to believe that the memories of childhood summers are made of these kind of unique events that somehow break the normal order and suddenly bring everyone together. And while I've taken a lot of general pictures of Aura in the summer, these are exactly the events I want to capture in this summer since they also exemplify new things that come with her new stage in development. She is no longer just a small girl in a sand pit that does sand cakes, but now being a four years old she starts to participate in children groups and plays - which brings new dynamics and possibilities for photography as well.

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/8, 1/160sec, ISO400, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/8, 1/160sec, ISO400, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen


When we all spotted the flying ants I was armed just with the Loxia 2/35 mounted in my A7. At first I was a bit nervous as I thought it would difficult to follow the kids with a manual focus lens. But I knew right away that this would be one unique moment of this summer and I didn't have time to go back inside the house for another lens. Instead I decided to shoot everything with f/8 and f/4 so that I wouldn't miss the focus at least too much. The Loxia 2/35 provided to be an excellent choice as the 35mm focal length fits perfectly for this kind of reportage approach and it also made me realize once again how there is something very nice about the Loxia's rendering - it's not the most flawless or technically perfect lens in Zeiss's catalogue, but somehow it provides pictures that are often very well balanced regarding the global contrast and sharpness. Using rather small apertures, like for example f/8, for these kind of shots was also refreshing side step from the current 'wide-open & shallow-depth-of-field' trend and I have to say that actually prefer the deeper depth of field here. Might have to do this more often.
 

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/8, 1/100sec, ISO400, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/8, 1/100sec, ISO400, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen


After an hour the boys finally located couple of ant hives near the rock and the mystery of flying ants was kind of solved. All in all it was quite a short event even though the drone ants kept of flying in the air for that evening, and the next day they were all gone. I would like to think that these kind of small moments represents ingredients of which the memories are made of. And because of that the small things are sometimes the most meaningful ones. No need to say I'm happy that we all happened to be there when the 'flying ants attacked' and I managed to capture it for our family album for years to come.
 

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/4.0, 1/400sec, ISO400, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/35 – f/4.0, 1/400sec, ISO400, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen