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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.




End of summer

Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Touit 2.8/12 – f/18, 1/5sec, ISO100, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Touit 2.8/12 – f/18, 1/5sec, ISO100, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

All good things will eventually come to an end, and so it is with the Finnish summer as well. The summer months are over and light will fade away slowly while making room for the descending darkness again. Although the autumn can be colorful in Finland, the light is getting scarce and the temperatures are decreasing as well. It's definitely a different photographic experience – one that can bite you on your fingers when the temperature goes below zero degrees (or 32 degrees of Fahrenheit).  

It always makes me a bit sad to see summer fade away. All the photographic possibilities of summertime are now gone and I find myself questioning "did I make a most out of it and can I be satisfied with for what I got"? As you already knew I wanted to document the summer of 2016 from our kids perspective, and while I did take quite a bit pictures (a lot more than I've shared here), there's always things that I missed. Some of them I realized already when they were happening, some of them came to mind only afterwards. To be honest, it's a painful experience to realize that you might have missed something important, or worse yet, you realize that your point of view for things you photographed could have been different all together. What I'm trying to say is that no matter how hard one tries to 'capture it all with a visionary photographic eye', it will always be a compromise in one way or another. And this incompleteness always hurts me as it seems that the real life and moments are escaping my viewfinder and vision. Even with the great Sony camera and all the fantastic Zeiss lenses I find myself standing here where the summer ends and feel incompetent – I'm sure some might remind me that 'they are just tools', and they would surely be right.

But for a counterweight I want to tell you a comforting story. Couple of years ago I was checking out the pictures my parents took when I was just a kid many many moons ago. Of course I've seen them loads of times before, but now I had the eye of the photographer and I was curious to see what and how they had photographed the life. They didn't have expensive cameras, excellent Zeiss-lenses or much of photographic eye either. In fact they used a cheap plastic 35mm film camera with various stock films of that time. No interchangeable lenses, just a one tiny built-in lens, approximately a size of my thumb finger (I've forgot the focal length and the maximum aperture). And the photographic vision? They didn't have any nor were they interested in things of photographic beauty, just documenting things whenever it happened to occur to them. And yet despise of all these compromises, they managed to make pictures that I find, at least for me, very meaningful and important. Pictures that tell something about me and my family's history – in an odd nonlinear way where many of the moments seem to be just random, but still convoying memories, relations and feelings of the past. I'm sure most of the pictures might have looked pretty mundane when they took them, but one shouldn't underestimate how the temporal distance will have affect on photographs we see. Looking at those shots today I see a different time and world that have vanished all together. It makes all the difference and reminds me that I'm probably doing something right I just cannot see it yet. With all the heart and work I've put on photographing the childhood of our kids it has to have meaningful significance later on – we just haven't told our stories yet and therefore we cannot relate to pictures until some time have past (years and decades). With all the good Sony/Zeiss stuff and enthusiasm they convoy to my work I'll be just fine, I just need to follow my heart and trust myself.

Now that the summer is officially gone, I'm trying to concentrate on some different stuff from now on. Not so much about the kids, but about autumn and the descending darkness.