Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Fence, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Andreas wrote a long comment on the posting on blogosphere, and one of his points got me started on writing a longer reply, so I'm posting it here. This was the point: "Speaking of persistence, I don't know anyone who posts at such a frantic speed, not even David Ziser."

I must admit that I have a tendency towards persistence. Using a mechanical metaphora, I'm not a high-powered gas engine, I'm a diesel that gets a lot of mileage.

As an example, going back to writing, some years ago I got interested in writing book reviews. I wrote well over 100 of them. Most of them are available on the net in Finnish. I even wrote a few in English, although these were done hastily.

I only stopped when a new editor said that the book reviews do not fit the profile of the publications. (Although perhaps I was at that point already a bit tired of doing the reviews.)

So, I'm not yet sure where my limits are related to photography, or how long the interest will last this time around. But I guess I have done photography (at least snapshots) for almost 30 years, so I believe this interest is not something which will ever completely leave me.

Returning to photography, I was today thinking about something I quoted in the blogosphere posting: "Somehow the commonplace seems so banal to us, yet will seem almost exotic to others."

I feel this is very much so. However, not everything is interesting. And some things are interesting only due to personal history. But I think there are very many things in photography which can cross cultural and national borders, and in fact gain additional potential and complexity when doing so.

Two days ago I was browsing my family photos from the spring and summer. Then I was taking photos with the Ixus 400, a point-and-shoot with noise often visible even at ISO 100, and no real manual controls. But the photos were nice, and some of them moved me close to tears (expressions on the childrens' faces when they were handling live young frogs at the summer cottage, for example). But I'm not sure whether "outsiders" would have a similar reaction.

Another thing I was thinking about is the crossing of borders within a country. I grew up on a farm 500 km north of here in a sparsely populated village. (Note that the population density in Finland is 16 people per square km.) It was quite a change to move to the capital city region with over 500,000 residents and a completely different culture. I'm very much a provincial who moved to a city. (What is the right term? - apple knocker, countryman, hick, peasant, rube.)

My farm background is probably a reason for my interest in landscapes. And also one reason why I might have a bit different view of the city than most of those living here.

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