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Before nature you can be yourself
As you stand before nature you can be yourself, just the way you are. Nature doesn’t make demands or ask us for anything, but it has a lot to offer. Its only wish is that we all show it the respect it deserves.
Photography allows me to show my respect and appreciation for nature. Taking photos is important because tomorrow no place is exactly the same anymore. Change is the only constant.
When did you last visit a nature trail or a hiking area in your neighbourhood?
I have to admit, I don’t go as often as I should. However, this photography project allows me to see some of the most beautiful nature routes Finland has to offer and lets me enjoy some fresh outdoor air. What could be more wonderful?
Kanta-Häme’s fantastic nature with its forests, lakes and trails deserves to be discovered and seen in a completely new way. It deserves to be experienced, and that’s exactly what Digitrail is all about. I’m honoured to be involved in the Digitrail project; to be able to photograph and capture the beautiful landscapes and details of Kanta-Häme with my camera!
Each site I’ve visited has nature trails that take up dozens of kilometres, and each of them is unique. Each area has its own characteristics and themes which should be reflected in the images in some way.
So far, I have taken winter pictures at Aulanko and Evo, and I look forward to the spring when I can see these places and many other areas in a new light!
I have done photography for years, but in the last couple of years this hobby has really taken off and now it’s also become my second job. I’ve practised many aspects of photography very seriously, and taking pictures just keeps getting more and more rewarding! None of my efforts has gone to waste.
For my part, everything started at the beginning of January after I received a surprise invitation in my e-mail to tender for a nature photography project. I was flabbergasted, and then even more so when I learnt that I had been chosen for this project!
I got the job through my Kätteni Jäljillä blog, which pretty amazing, right? The one and a half years I had been blogging and the time I had spent practising photography diligently and in a goal-oriented way had not been wasted.
The visual aspect and aesthetics play a major role in this project. My tasks include taking photographs along nature routes and in nature areas and of course processing the images.
I can work at my own pace and when it suits me, and the deadlines for delivering images are agreed separately. This is my dream job, but also something I could never have imagined! Life really is full of surprises.
On nature photography
Nature photography is easy as such; you go out and take some photos. However, if you want your pictures to be interesting, you must be able to look at nature more closely, with a new set of eyes and from different perspectives. You’re only held back by your own imagination. At first, it may seem that there’s absolutely nothing to take pictures of, but if that’s the case, try lying flat on the ground or pointing your camera upwards. How about now, see anything interesting?
You can either look at the big picture or focus your attention on small things. In the spring and autumn, especially, when all the tiny details aren’t covered by a blanket of snow, there are so many things you can photograph. And in the winter, too, frost can create some extraordinary scenes, in the form of snowflakes, for instance. You just need to know where to look.
At the feet of Aulanko’s huge trees, one feels very small but somehow also safe. The historical nature around you embraces you like an old friend and bids you welcome. How can you not help but smile just then?
The history of Aulanko provides a lot of interesting stories as well. When taking photos at Aulanko, we were accompanied by some freezing February weather and as well as the afternoon sun, which caused everything to glimmer beautifully!
Aulanko offers a myriad wonderful subjects and locations for photography, so there’s still a lot of things to shoot in the spring and autumn. The nature conservation area hosts a lot of different species of plants and animals, and studying them makes the time absolutely fly by. There’s also plenty of more fast-paced activities to enjoy all year round, and the vast range of activities is bound to offer something for everyone!
We had the opportunity to try fatbikes between photoshoots, and I have to say we had a blast! The world of activities was introduced to us by Jyri Reinikka from Aulanko Outdoors (shown on the left), who also served as our second model. So thank you, Jyri!
Evo’s hiking area is also a great place to explore! The weather was really lovely during the photoshoot and one could say typical of this year’s February weather: sunny but cold. But the coldness didn’t matter, and the camera also survived the conditions without problems.
We had black pot coffee made over a campfire at the Sorsakolu lean-to, and drank it from a kuksa, a traditional birch burl cup, and it tasted delicious!
I can’t wait to get back to Evo to take some more pictures! Moving around will also be much easier when there’s no snow. In the winter, we couldn’t get to all the great places since there was so much snow and the distances were long.
Evo’s guide and model was Mika Soramäki, known to many from the Erätulilla programme, and he knows the area like the back of his hand. So thanks to him as well!
I would like to thank all the people working on the Digitrail project, and my contact person Heidi Kerkola, in particular! It’s an honour to be part of this.
Have a really good and sunny rest of the spring, and remember to enjoy the outdoors! <3
Best regards Anna Järvenpää,
Nature photographer of the Digitrail project