Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking towards snow - and looking backwards

It seems that we will be getting a lot of snow early next week, on Monday and Tuesday. Can't wait!

Today it was colder, and during the night we had got a little bit of snow, about 1 mm, and frost as well. I went for a walk in the Luukki forests, going around three lakes (Mustlampi, Väärälampi and Halkolampi), enjoying the landscape which even a little of snow had changed.

Year 2011 was such a mixture of surprises and usual things that it is hard to say whether anything really happened, photography-wise.

Well, one thing is always the same, namely the fact that gear is what brings a lot of readers to this blog, at least in the statistical sense, as the top-3 postings for 2011 were all about gear: An informal comparison of Panasonic LX3 and LX5, Is Olympus XZ-1 finally the one? and Flickr vs. Google Plus - what is the deal?

Of these the first was personally important, as my LX3 broke in a thunderstorm and I bought the LX5 as a replacement. And I have been as happy as one can be with a piece of photography gear, with over 41,000 photographs taken with the LX5 so far.

There are some little things which I would like to be fixed on the LX5, but otherwise it is about perfect for my purposes, and even the jpeg quality at ISO 500 is good enough for me. Even though one or two stops better high-ISO performance would be welcome, it isn't really that important.

During the dark winter time the LX5 has been rather good in comparison to the LX3, as I have been able to take handheld photographs in situations where it just wasn't possible earlier. With the superb image stabilization of the LX5, I'm able to take reasonable sharp photographs at 0.5 second exposure.

There is one worrying thing with the LX5, though, and that is the occasional trouble with the zoom switch, which gets sometimes stuck in one position and won't operate normally. But this is happens only once in a while.

Anyway, I look forward to 2012, hoping for the best. As long as there is time for photography I think things will be all right...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wet winter

More and more water, it seems that the rainy season will never cease. Amazing really. The craving for snow is getting desperate...

But at least days are getting longer. At 5 h 52 min the day is six minutes longer than last week. Slowly but surely, towards sunny days.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


It is dark once again, raining, the dark ground absorbing all light. Water in lakes and rivers is near flood levels. Well, maybe this will change at some point.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ice and fire, sun and water

We went today to Luukki with children, spending time at the shore of Luukki lake, and then we warmed up by a fire. There wasn't much wind, which made it nice to be outside, and children had fun playing with the thin ice that had formed at the shore.

And it was sunny, the lake reflecting sunlight upwards, which felt really good, after so much darkness and rain. But rain will soon return.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After storm

This morning we got a little bit of rain, but the sky cleared up after noon. After seeing a movie with the children and doing some shopping I went for a long walk in the Luukki forests.

There were a lot fallen trees and branches, the result of the storm we had yesterday. I walked around Väärälampi lake and Halkolampi lake. At sunset there were some delicate colors in the sky, which I tried to capture in photographs.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sweeping the sky clean, falling trees

We got quite a storm today, wind speeds up to 30 m/s, in gusts. At the same time the sky became blue, the wind sweeping the clouds away, and it was sunny, which was a pleasure even though the sun is low near horizon even at noon.

The storm fell a lot of trees across roads and on top of buildings, causing damage. I don't remember having such a storm in December.

Many people were outside, walking, with cameras, recording signs of damage. Quite a show!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Playing, eating, walking

No snow at all for Christmas, but otherwise it has been good: children playing, happy with their presents, eating traditional Christmas dishes, slowing down.

Today it was good to go for a walk with the children, to the Luukki forests. The sky cleared up this morning, and at noon it was dry, excellent for walking. Little drops of ice fell from fir trees when the air warmed up, and it sounded like it would be raining in the forest.

Then the clouds hid the sun and the blue sky, and it started really to rain, getting dark. But those few sunny moments this morning, they were good.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Green tea for Christmas

Ten days ago there as an off-topic article at TOP, by Ctein, about tea. Here I found a recommendation for brewing tea: "How do I brew tea? I am like a total fan of the individual PIAO 1 infuser."

I searched the net for this piece of glassware, and found several sites selling it or a similar product. Finally I found a Finnish site selling a similar tea infuser, brand name Huang (if you can call it a brand), which looked good enough, machine-washable etc., and so I ordered it.

The Huang tea infuser arrived just in time for Christmas, and after a little bit of use, I must say that this is for sure a great way to brew tea. In appearance the infuser is exactly like the one in the Ctein article. I bought a package of flavored green tea as well, "China Green" imported by Nordqvist to Finland, which proved to be an excellent choice.

I'm not a big tea-drinker, but sometimes I get the urge for green tea, ever since I drank a lot of it while visiting Shanghai a few years ago. Now I once again remembered how good it can be to drink tea.

Maybe drinking tea was the reason why I had the energy to go for a walk outside, despite the wetness and the darkness. Snow is all gone now.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cleaning, shopping, walking, baking

Preparing for Christmas. I wonder why the children got a keen interest in cleaning up, and did a very good job of it also... Then there was shopping, and doing a little bit of baking as well, the children once again busy at it.

And we went also walking with the children, enjoying the last bit of the remaining snow. It was already raining, and the snow was disappearing fast.