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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.




The unexpected

Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Batis 2/25 – f/2.0, 1/5000sec, ISO100, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Batis 2/25 – f/2.0, 1/5000sec, ISO100, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Summers tend to get the most of my photographic attention for the reasons I've already described many times earlier: it's the time of year when there's a bit more freedom for the life itself and while the kids are still young I feel it's important for me to document (and create) the imagery of their childhood – after all this kind of body of work will probably present the most influential photographs I will create in my life and I want to do it in right way.

This definitely requires some planning. For example before this summer I tried to recognize some 'themes' that I might want to capture during the summer months: Aura and Meri spending summer time with their friends and other kids, swimming at lakes, all the small trips, all important relatives like grannies and grandpas, small moments between, daily routines, fortunes and misfortunes, etc.. But of course planning isn't enough as one also needs to work for it, and for this summer I carried my Sony/Zeiss setup everywhere all the time since I didn't want to miss anything that might turn out to be important. And to be honest, at times, this was definitely a lot of work and required quite a bit of attention for three months.

All this planning and work – and yet still I feel it's the unexpected situations where I create my best pictures. For example, I took today's picture while we were visiting Aura's and Meri's great grandparents at their summer cottage. It was a warm and sunny day at the lake and we were playing outside as it suddenly started raining heavily out from nowhere. Aura wanted to run to a dock to see how the raindrops would draw circles to the lake surface. Out of the habit I grabbed my camera and whatever was attached to it (this time it was the Zeiss Batis 2/25) and followed her to the shore. I only snapped one or two pictures of that moment, but for some reason I love the result as it captures perfectly that unexpected moment, Aura's reaction and also some sceneries around us.

I feel it's really 'the unexpected' that I work for when carrying my camera everywhere and taking pictures even after it gets tiring. And I feel that I really don't have any other means to lure it forth than the work through thousands of single captures and hope for it to come out. Of course visiting different places and participating to different events help as it naturally sensitize one's eyes for unusual elements and such, but I feel one cannot cheat it by only shooting when there is something exciting happening. One can of course see this as a burden of heavy work, but I would recommend to see it other way around: if you just put enough work to your photography the successful shots, those which will stand out of the rest in one way or another, will eventually come. And I firmly believe that these shots, no matter what there is or why you particularly like them, somehow exemplify your photographic eye and inner vision. Studying these shots with your heart will likely take your photography to another and more personal level where the usual cultural motifs and themes will be laid to rest and your photography will be guided more profoundly by your own emotions and taste. It's the gift of 'the unexpected': to be able to see past the surface and to become more conscious what you personally like in photography.