Canterbury town centre is full of small street with medieval and gothic architecture, bustling with energy and inviting to surrounding coffee shops. I swear, I could spend my whole life drinking latte and reading books in cozy cafeterias, if was ever given that choice in exchange for a chance to visit them all.
It's been over two years since I visited Helsinki and captured these photos. It was a wonderful and confusing time in the middle of the last summer holidays in my life. Summer like this is never going to happen again. Tired and mesmerized I was walking around the streets of Helsinki radiant with the summer sun. I wandered and got lost many time to discover with surprise in how many places Helsinki remind me of Poland. The beauty of nature, soft leaves of birch trees lightly dancing in the soft sea breeze surrounding islands and peninsulas competing with the concrete proletarian blocks of flats and art-deco tenements. Overwhelmed with love and emotions I was not sure if I liked the city from the first sight but every day I was growing more fond of it.
A couple of weeks ago Yana from independent Russian magazine Bloomsbury Magazine found my photos on in my Flickr stream which I update these days way too rarely. I am proud to share that they got featured in the latest issue perhaps in a slightly different selection that this one. It reminded me how much I would like to visit Helsinki once again and that I never shared these photos on the blog. Now's the time:)
Sometimes it takes me a while longer to publish some photos than I would want to but juggling shooting, editing with full time job and all that time spent in commute in a city like London it gets a bit overwhelming. So here we go, a month after a trip to Greece, it’s time for me to publish the photos from there.
Despite the beauty surrounding me all around my time in Greece wasn’t very fruitful when it comes to photography, therefore shots I am sharing won’t be spectacular. Nonetheless, a spontaneous last-minute visit to Parga with my sister Agnieszka had a great impact on my creativity. Things have been piling up with work, photos and all the sphere of my life have been very confusing. So I needed to let the poison out. We drank amazing Greek wine, cried a lot, walked the lushy hills and narrow streets and lied in the sun. I slept a lot and enjoyed the food. It really helped me to relax, realize that not everything has to be in order and as long as I keep trying with little baby steps, my life is a work in progress.
And I think perhaps I did not manage to convey it through photography but a visit to Parga totally made me realize why ancient Greeks had a god for everything. When it rained, it was a thunder and it felt like Zeus was furious. Turquoise water of the seas waved along to Poseidon’s will. Trees were heavy with ripening citruses blessed with Demeter’s love and the wine was sweet as if it was prepared by Dionysus himself.
Some of you, who are with me from the beginning of the blog, may remember that the layout and the posts looked slightly different in the beginning. The layout was much more based on the tradiotional text-centered posts not photography. I was still figuring out stuff, I am still figuring out stuff about how to run a blog and how I want mine to look like.
In July I wrote a very lenghty post on my visit to Norway in summer 2014 mainly because I had lovely photos to share from that trip. It took me a few hours to put that text together and later I matched the photos to the story. That meant I didn’t choose the most interesting photos, these were all about light flickering through the trees and windows and a sweet scent of plants in Universitetets Botaniske Hage. They were about a heat of the summer wave cooled down by the drops of sea breeze. They were much about how Oslo felt than the facts from the guide book. And I was very disappointed that I never got to share them.
Soon I abandoned all the layout and started publishing my photosets as portfolio features. I wanted to share what I am the most proud of – photography. Text was always meant to be a secondary companion to the visual imagery of this blog. Ever since I started concentrating on photos and gave myself a space to breathe and write poorly, just to feature the photos, I started enjoying blogging much more. With lack of pressure in a limited sidebar space words started flowing better and I started feeling more confident and willing to share my thoughts. I became more hungry to share with you lenghty pieces of writing. However, my current form of publishing is good for photos and bad for words.
I am planning to change that. The more I publish the more I have a strong desire to share with you valuable content. The articles that I would like to read myself written in a style that would keep me coming back for more.
I have previously mentioned in my post Plans for 2016, that I am planning to redesign this layout. It’s a big that requires a lot of learning, time, attention and work but I find it essential to development of this blog, so that I can give you not only Photography but also Other Miracles that I promised to you.
Meanwhile, I am leaving you with my memories, how Norway felt. If you would like to know what I did there, feel free to read my post from July. Though you shell be warned, the photos featured there are not my finest work.
It’s been end of March last year that we visited Dublin with Ivan and I only got to sit down and edit the photos recently. Perhaps it’s because during the entire trip it was so cold and my fingers were freezing off so I didn’t exactly take many good iconic shots of the Irish capital so I was postponing the edit. We decided to go very thrifty and practice the art of cheap travelling, so we booked a cheapest hostel which costed us 42€ for 3 nights and two people and over that three days we spent only 60€. I am a big and devoted fan of cheap travelling and my destinations are usually dictated with the price of the tickets more than anything else.
The close proximity to Dublin made it a perfect destination for a devoted cheap traveler such as myself but there are two things that I did not predict. First, at the end of March Ireland is very cold. Second, Dublin is expensive and so are the entry tickets to everywhere. So we walked back and forth along the beautiful little streets of Dublin seeking shelter in the Georgian interiors of National Library of Dublin and pubs along the Temple Bar. In the pouring rain we admired the buildings of Trinity College hiding our cameras from the water and following the paths of the Vikings. My dreamy collection of legendary Georgian photos never came to life.
The trip left me with more hunger for return and properly travel around the Irish country, because I feel like I have not seen enough, and a strong desire to equip myself with a warm cozy Arran sweater. I really wish to hike around rural Ireland soon and hope for the better weather instead. I got used to the milder climate of London but Dublin seemed to be much more like Glasgow. Gloomy weather, cheerful people and lots of ale. Next time I hope to take better photos too!
It has been nearly two years since the winter hike in the Scottish Highlands with my friends Will and Taru. We followed a route from Kings House to Kinlochleven which is part of the West Highland Way. So much has changed since then. It was the times when I was still shooting JPEG files and still used an old analog Pentacon lens with an adapter. My photos were too blurry and too warm but I still like coming back to them.
Whoever attempted landscape photography knows how difficult this craft is. It requires almost meditative patience, waiting for the perfect moment when the sun and the clouds align in the most cinematic way. I have not been blessed with a virtue of patience. What helps me to react quickly and take a snap of something that lasts a millisecond prevents me from being able to stand still and wait. It will take ages until I learn to tame my attention and be able to capture the beauty of outdoors.
Here, I am sharing with you some memories from the scenic walk through the valleys and hills of Glencoe Mountains. On the track we met dears, walked through piles of snow, jumped on stones and runt through forest admiring peaks of the mountains from afar.
Apparently, somewhere on the route one could see a peak of Ben Nevis in between the clouds. However, we didn’t know which one it was. But that we decided with Wilhelmiina that one day, before I graduate, together we will climb the peak of the highest mountain in Scotland.
One of the days in the middle of July me and my sister took off for a day trip for a day excursion from London. We wanted to take a break from the fast pace of the city life and enjoy some quality sister time. This was not a typical visit to the seaside. Eastbourne was windy with a stony beach.
We walked along the seaside with the wind enjoying the brightness of the day and all the green fields around. We walked filled with curiosity to see the famous cliffs of Beachy Head. We have been told that this is a place for suiciders. That was confusing. Truly a breathtaking view could be a place of choice to die but why necessarily a place of suicide? We were told ‘You will see.’.
When we reached the cliffs we saw an overwhelmingly beautiful view. We quickly forgot the dark warnings we were told before we set off for a trip. But as we walked along the coastline admiring the beauty, squinting our eyes to the ubiquitous brightness of the air, we noticed crosses along the cliff. One, another one, there kept appearing more and more of them. The landscape filled with the memories of the youth suicide. Our thoughts were filled with sadness when we discovered the commemorative stone in memory of young people who chose to die too early. I was speechless. As much as I admired the view, the memory of this place will always be filled with melancholia for the young people who would never see anything more beautiful than Beachy Head again.
“Despite the horror and the sorrow, I love our world. I want us all to live.”
Around a year ago I visited Glasgow in the middle of autumn. The world was embellished with the beautiful colours of the trees setting to sleep. The time when the leaves are falling used to be my favourite part of the year . If only I could spend more time outdoors to escape the darkness.
During that short visit in Scotland with my boyfriend Ivan, myself, my sister Agnieszka and her boyfriend Hugo, we decided to escape for a small half day hike to Campsies Glen. The climb was really easy, it took around 40 minutes to get to the top.
The first part of the path goes along a little forest and a river and the second part continues in the open hill. The views are really pleasant and I would recommend it to anyone who would want to unwind for a bit.
Throughout our walk we joked around trying to follow the footsteps of a mythical creature Haggis. The wild haggis’s left and right legs are of different lengths, allowing it to run quickly around the steep mountains, but only in one direction. Haggis lives exclusively in Scottish Highlands.
They say there are two varieties of haggis, one with longer left legs and the other with longer right legs. The ones with left legs longer can run clockwise around a mountain while the latter can run anticlockwise. We never found Haggis, but we truly enjoyed the beautiful last hike of the year and the colours in the air.
Two days ago Daylight Saving Time finished and once again we entered into the days of the never ending night. Soon we will be leaving to school and work in the darkness and coming back in the darkness. All the remaining light will shine on the world in the time when we are locked inside four walls. Ever since I remember, I have very ambivalent feelings about fall. There is no other more beautiful season than autumn when the earth is covered with the blankets of rusty leaves, preparing to fall asleep. In the same time the infinite darkness is always taking the joy away as I rarely have time to admire these beautiful brown landscapes in the daylight.
The darkness was especially difficult to cope with back in the times when I studied in Glasgow. My night owl sleeping habits and getting up around 11 am did not help much with getting more sun. In extreme cases, there were days when I saw only as much as 2 or 4 hours of sunlight. Perhaps this has led me to noticing beauty in street lights reflected from soaking wet streets, dying in the ambience of the dark night.
When you’re coming back home tired, walking through the darkness in the coat drenched with rain, it can’t get much worse than this. Lift your head up a notice the beauty of thousands of colourful lights dancing in the rain.
Last summer I have been on a wonderful trip to Georgia. After a crazy ride with marshrutka with a tipsy driver who shared a strong sweet home made wine with all the passengers of the bus, we arrived at Tbilisi. The trip was a week long but all my photographs have been captured during practically only one day. All the frames were still virgin with the magical impression that only seeing things for the first time in the colorful sun can give.
We were wandering around the little streets of Tbilisi sweating in the midday heat with eyes wide open and fascinated with the foreign architecture and confusing clash of poverty and wealth. Old buildings, no matter whether they belonged to the rich or the poor, were democraticaly ornamented with eastern patterns.
At some point I noticed that my vintage 50mm f1.8 Pentacon lens was wobbly and when I tried to focus to infinity a part of the ring stayed in my hand. My lens was missing and the lens was dying and I had no substitute. I was hoping to find some flee market that would sell some old zenit lens fitting my m42 mount for the adapter ring but after entire day of searching I realized how naive my expectations were. In the same time underneath my skin I knew this might be my only chance to capture the beauty of Tbilisi.
Just after the lens literally fell apart in my hands I stumbled upon a hidden photography shop.
Without thinking twice I walked in and approached middle aged owner of the shop, trying to explain in simple English what I need. With broken English, words from Russian mixed with Polish, he manged to understand that I need a new lens. I got invited to the back of the shop which looked as if it has stopped in time around thirty years ago. The room was covered in half darkness with the dim light coming from the old light stands pointed at the pale old grey backdrop. Shelves were filled with old dusty books about physics of photography and composition as I managed to decipher with my basic knowledge of cyrillic. The photographer invited me in and opened a big metal mysteriously looking cupboard. The content of it exceeded my expectations and my eyes opened wide, big like vinyls. The cupboard contained 20 maybe 30 different vintage cameras like Leica, old Nikons, Pentaxes, classic Russian Zenits along with all kinds of analog lenses of various sizes and adapters. The owner seemed not to know how obsolete his gear was and how big would be the collector value of all that treasure, had he tried to sell it over the UK eBay. Or maybe he did. Because he offered to sell me one of the vintage 50mm f3.5 lenses for $150. I had to politely decline the offer as first of all I did not have that kind of money on me and secondly for 150$ I could buy a much better digital lens that would be specially designed for my camera and would not require an adapter.
Even though we did not seal the deal in the end, I have seen something I will never forget. I still have the sight of a dark photography studio still and frozen in time. I hope you will enjoy photos taken on the last magical day of my beloved Pentacon lens. After all my photography style originated from it.