Thirty-something Below Zero

March 8, 2012 ☼ ArticlePhotography

The coldest days of winter are long over by now and the sub-freezing temperatures are long forgotten, the beginning of February though had been very cold time. In fact, on one those days we had the pleasure of having the coldest spot in Finland just here. I’m not sure about the exact temperature, but it was something in the vicinity of minus 32 degrees celsius.

It was on a day like that, on a Sunday, when after a long period, available time and beautiful weather conditions came together. Moments like these have become a luxury but one simply has to wait, and eventually things just work out.

I grabbed my bag and decided to go out an work primarily on my Mänty Sketches project. Since I already had an image and location in mind I knew where to go to. It was in fact so easy, it almost took the fun out of it. But on the other hand in conditions like this you don’t want to aimlessly run around and look for something to photograph either. After warming up the motor of the car, I finally head out to my planned location to take the image.

The only few kilometers of distance to my planned location led me over the motorway where the glowing tree tops along the river caught my eye. From my experience it’s usually best to stay focused and stick to the plan, but this view was just too nice to ignore and I decided to take advantage of this. I take the next exit of the motorway and get back to the same vantage point on the bridge over the mainly frozen river.

In temperatures like this, live-view (which I am now using almost exclusively) proves to be very useful. Not only does it make composing the image easier, it also prevents the breath to immediately freeze on the camera. This happened to me a lot on my previous camera models during winter time. Another positive side-effect is that by utilizing live-view, especially in a magnified view (5x or 10x), it is most obvious when the camera stops shaking.

After all I am standing on a bridge here and it is interesting to notice, that even though (or maybe even because of) I have the camera on a tripod, how much vibration is introduced on the camera by trucks crossing the bridge. The amount of vibration of a bridge is somewhat scary and really makes one trust into the construction of these things. This kind of camera shake, ruined an similar photograph of mine almost exactly a year ago. Then it was though the vibration of my shaking legs on another, very light bridge.


Usually I shy away of images within the city but I am rather satisfied that this time I didn’t. I get a few interesting compositions before continuing with my trip to my planned location and get the images that I have planned.

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