Stockholm in August

Picture of Nordens Ljus in Stockholm

We had our vacation near the end of August this year and decided to go to Stockholm for a few days. We moved from Sweden back to Estonia close to a year ago and it seemed like a good time to head back to see our friends and eat our favorite morotsmuffins.

Eva sitting on a staircase
Ivo checking his phone

The trip was incredible fun. The weather was very good (especially our first day in Stockholm) and we managed to go through most of the places we wanted to see. We’d seen most of the sights in Stockholm during the four years we’d lived in Västerås so we were more interested in the many lovely shops that we had started to miss. My favorite is the always fun Sci-Fi Bokhandeln, which is a bookstore dedicated to everything geeky.

We had arranged to meet a bunch of our friends in the evening at Mälarpaviljongen which is a lovely garden/bar/cafe/shop on the shore of Lake Mäleren. Part of the place was actually ON Lake Mälaren floating on barges connected by bridges. It was very lovely and everyone seemed to have fun.

View towards Lake Mälaren
The green queen flyer

After a few drinks we headed to a burger restaurant called Gnarly. The burgers were very tasty and we chatted until late in the evening when most had to take the bus to Västerås. We had a nice walk through Stockholm at night and stayed with our friend Mehmet, who had helped organize the evening.

All in all it was a great trip. Both me and Eva took many pictures with our phones and the Sony NEX 5n and enjoyed every minute.

It was quite sad to leave again as Sweden still has a special place in our hearts but the trip was definitely what we needed this summer. Thank you to all the friends who met us in Stockholm and we hope to see you all again soon.

Ivo looking at Hulk

Summer full of pictures

This summer has been quite full of photography for me. I thought about making a separate post for each photo shoot but ended deciding against it. Most of the pictures I took were not really for me but for the people themselves and are memories of special moments. I was just able to help them out by giving them a digital representation of those moments.

It’s been a lovely summer and I l earned a lot about photography. Each shoot has been different and given me new challenges but I also learned something about myself during the whole thing. I figured out that I don’t want to work as a photographer.

Every time I have taken pictures for others it has been great and I love hearing that the people liked the pictures but it has also been quite stressful. Photography is difficult work and I am nowhere near the level of a professional who can deliver a consistently good product. I feel like I am in over my head most of the time and while I know that’s what learning is like, I don’t want to learn how to become a professional photographer. I just like to take pictures – especially of people.

I feel that it’s time that I take a little step back and figure out where I should take this skill from here on out. I have a few shoots that I have already planned to do with friends for the rest of the summer and I am looking forward to them. After that, I won’t be taking on much more projects until I have figured out where I want to go with my photography and how I want to get there.

Thank you to all of my friends who have given me a chance to take photos of them and have helped me work on my craft.

Vaiko Eplik singing

Vaiko Eplik with a guitar
Portrait of a woman

Portrait of a woman

Woman from the back

Paar seljatagant

Sirgi in Kadriorg

Sirgi was visiting Tallinn and we decided to use the sunny evening to do a little photoshoot in Kadriorg. I felt like going with film this time as it had been a long time since I shot on film. I chose Portra 400 (I had it at home – a lower ISO would have been better for the sunny weather) and used my trusty Olympus OM-1 with a 50 mm f1.8 lens. Eva came and helped with many of the poses and a reflector.

Working with analog photography is so much more difficult than digital. I feel like I am making a lot of progress taking pictures overall. Going back to film is a real slap in the face – you have still much to learn son. I was struggling with framing because of my glasses and more than once forgot to check the exposure meter. Even my focus was off on a few shots. I am so used to automatic exposure and a large LCD screen.

Regardless, Sirgi was a great model and we did still get some lovely shots. I especially love the final right one.



Late night Tallinn

I got an impulsive idea yesterday evening to go and take some photos under the street lights. I asked my Facebook friends if anyone would like to model and Sirgi was interested.

I thought it would be a good test for both the camera and my own abilities and it really was. There was little to no light that would fall nicely on the subjects face and my ISO was up around 1600-3200 with shutter speeds getting quite critical for handheld. Next time, bring a tripod!

Nonetheless, we got quite nice shots and I got yet another bunch of valuable experience. If I would try these kinds of shots again, I would try to have an assistant with me with a reflector and I would definitely bring a tripod. There are really cool locations in Tallinn that look especially good at night so I would be interested in doing this again sometimes.



Jim Ashilevi “Kehade mets”

Yesterday Jim Ashilevi presented his new book “Kehade mets” in a bookstore in Tallinn. I was quite excited about the book and so was Eva so we decided to go. The presentation itself was really fun. Jim had a dialogue with his friend and fellow writer Sass Henno and took questions from the audience. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed and the discussion was a lot of fun while exploring many of the topics from the book to a more detail.

Unfortunately I have not had time to go through the whole book as of yet but I am very much enjoying it. It is one of these books that I can very comfortably recommend to pretty much anyone. I may go into a bit more detail when I finish the book but for now, just go and read it. Anyway… the point I am trying to make is – I took some pictures and want to share them with you.