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.

Loore in Haapsalu

Loore Martma is starting a new concert tour this spring called “Kuue kodu kontserdid” (“Concerts in six homes”) and asked me and my wife to help her with the poster. The idea was that I would take some photos of her and my wife would design the poster.

Because she had a concert coming up in Haapsalu, which is a very beautiful town, we decided to take the pictures there. Originally we wanted to have the picture be about travelling and trains but we were unable to find the perfect setting to do that. Fortunately we still got a lot of inspiration from the railway museum in Haapsalu.

Because the concerts take place in May, we wanted them to have a warm, almost summer like feeling. Thankfully, the weather was really good. The sun was even a little bit too intense, making it a little difficult to get nice soft light. In the end though, we got some very lovely pictures and ended up with a really pretty poster.

Assistant and design: Eva Krustok
Styling: Annika Vaher / Annimari Vintage
MUAH: Kaija Paalberg

After picking the best image Eva did the final poster design, which turned out marvelously. Both me and her are very happy with the end result and Loore was too.

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.

Allan Vainola & Unenäopüüdjad

While I expect to have a smaller international interest in my blog now that I live in Estonia and this post will likely be more interesting for Estonians, I will keep writing this blog in English for now. I just like continuity…

There was another wonderful concert in my home town this week and I was very happy to be invited as the photographer for the venue. The band playing was called Allan Vainola & Unenäopüüdjad (Dreamcatchers). They are a mostly acoustic group that makes very interesting music with a specific retro feel.

The event was made more special by the fact, that I have been a long time fan of Allan Vainola’s music and have actually attended this group’s concert before. It was more than 5 years ago in Tartu and I have quite fond memories of getting together with a group of people I had met through the fan forums of Sõpruse Puiestee (another band Vainola is in) and going to a warm acoustic concert in the Tartu University Cafe.  So many memories were brought back…

The lighting was quite dark and intimate as was the overall feeling in the hall. While it looked very nice and proper, it made it quite difficult to get nice shots. I had to be very subtle in my movements as to not disturb the people enjoying the show. I couldn’t get very close as well, so I had to use a longer 100 mm lens, which was hard to keep stable in the dark. At times I had to bump up the ISO to 3200 to manage a shutter speed of 1/100 and even then, the more active moments on stage got blurred out.

Luckily I did manage to get a few nice shots of the performers and the venue so the concert organizer seemed happy.

Loore Martma “Maa aeg”

Last evening I had the wonderful opportunity to go to a concert in my hometown of Keila. Since it is a small town, there are not many such events and it is seldom that I am actually interested in going. The concert I attended was “Maa aeg” (“Earth time”) by Loore Martma.

It was a very enjoyable experience. The concert was acoustic and intimate. Not many people were able to attend but those who did, seemed to really enjoy it. Suffice it to say, there were a lot of people gathering around Loore after the concert, asking for autographs and expressing their happiness.

Loore had been giving concerts for about a month and I hadn’t seen many photos of her concerts. Most were made with a phone, so I jumped at the opportunity to bring my camera. I love photographing musicians.

Since the concert was acoustic and quiet, I decided early on that I would not move around and would take as few photos as possible. Although my camera has no mirror, the shutter still makes a noticeable sound. I remembered a choir concert in University of Tartu where the photographer had a very loud mirror click every time he took a photo. It annoyed me to no end… I didn’t want to be that guy.

Because of these constraints, I could not take photos in too many different angles. I only had 2 prime lenses with me – a 50 mm f1.8 and a 100 mm f2.8, that had manual focus. This limited the variety of shots I could take anyway. I ended up with about 16 shots, with a final selection of 10 (6 of which you see here) and I hope I succeeded in not annoying anyone in the audience. At least Loore seemed to like the photos.