Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

Yellow autumn leaf on the ground, photo by Tom Woodward

Finland’s climate is notorious for skipping long intermediary periods of warmish spring and fall. Summer turns to… something else pretty quickly. That somefthing else usually happens in September, in Finnish literally “Month of Autumn” (syyskuu).

If you’re out and about in Finnish nature during late September throughout most of October, you might witness ruska. That’s a Finnish word for autumn colored foliage. In many places over the world, ruska puts up quite the show.

But due to the long, dark winter in Finland, ruska really is last call for enjoying nature. Unless you like stumbling around in the cold and dark. Which is totally okay, we’re not judging.

In any case, we went scouting Flickr’s community for some ruska goodness. This writer also pillaged his own archive if Instagram snapshots, for your enjoyment. So, whether you prefer the great outdoors in urban streetscapes or out in the middle of nowhere, we hope we can remind you to at least enjoy a few more strolls outside before the long grey dark sets in.

 

1. If you’re in luck puddles or lakes might remind you to look up at the trees.

 

 

2. Lapland is stunning during ruska.

 

3. But so are all the lush suburbs all around the country. This view is from a high-rise building in Vuosaari in Helsinki.

 

4. I prefer staying in my inner city hoods, around Kallio and Vallila. But not because of some pretense of hipness…

 

5. …but because it’s going to retain a sense of place when ruska is over and fall is at its worst.

 
 

 
 

6. To each their own. But the point is: nature lovers, don’t waste a minute of this.

 

7. Anyway, you can’t get this in the cities.

 

8. However, nothing will stop you from enjoying wild cloud formations wherever you can see the sky.

 

9. Seriously, these skies are quite something.

 
 

 
 

10. Let’s cut the BS though, we were talking about autumn colors, ruska.

 

11. Again, available wherever they haven’t cut down the trees.

 

12. Autumn colors are caused by the process during which chlorophyll levels decrease in leaves.

 

13. Chlorophyll, the bringer of greenery, and an essential component of photosynthesis, is replaced by cork cells as sunlight and wamth decreases.

 

14. Eventually leaves drop. Without photosynthesis, they’re redundant. So, unless you have matching facades, get your nice photos taken while the leaves haven’t yet fallen.

 
 

 
 

15. Eventually, the end result is this: naked trees, with leaves in a slowly decomposing brown mess.

 

16. Luckily, some trees stay green.

 

17. So, if you notice moments post August 15 that pass for summer, be mindful and savor them.

 

18. One week, you’ll be out and about and enjoying everything about your surroundings.

 

19. Then, it’ll suddenly get rainy, in a way that just feels chilling.

 

20. And before you know it, you’ll just forget to enjoy your everyday surroundings. Moving outdoors becomes a tiresome chore, one which requires preparation.

 
 

 
 

21. Sure, those August and September sunsets are quite something.

 

22. They almost make you appreciate the looming darkness.

 

23. But by early November, a handful of pretty sunsets are among the few outposts of sanity you’ll have left. In Helsinki, you’ll miss the show if you don’t leave work between 4 and 5 pm. Farther up north, any typical office gig will leave you out of daylight.

 

24. With my brain chemistry, only something like this furball can force me to leave the house while there’s light around noon on November weekends.

 

25. But of course, outdoorsy people will crawl the forests for some last edible berries or mushrooms.

 

26. Or they’ll be using their inexplicable energy, to take some last sips of whatever magic takes place at summer cottages.

 
 

 
 

27. Make no mistake, to take a photo like this, you’ll need to get our in the middle of nowhere and be prepared for the freezing cold as soon as you’re not in direct sunlight.

 

28. Here, a regular human just sees a weird big rock, maybe with some understanding that the ice age dragged it there. Outdoorsy folks probably measure it up as potential shelter or whatever.

 

29. Personally, I prefer everyday scenes like these, and muttering about things like ugly elevated highway bridges.

 

30. Luckily I can get dramatic shots like this one just a fifteen minute walk away from my house.

 

31. Again, with the clouds.

 
 

 
 

32. And I much prefer to spend the silver hour on my way home.

 

33. When darkness falls, I want to be real close to home.

 

34. This is the kind of nature sightings I like in fall: old NYC style taxis with campaign stickers for Dick Nixon.

 

35. Anyway, time to head out before everything looks like this.

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more stories about super Suomi

 

Thomas Nybergh is a writer and producer for Ink Tank Media in Helsinki. He’s really into topics like information security, but he writes about anything. Occasionally, Thomas gets around to sharing photos on Instagram.

Thomas also co-hosts and produces a podcast based on Very Finnish Problems, the social media sensation.




Title image by Tom Woodward

The post Ruska relief: 35 stunning photos of Finland’s autumn colors appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Kathleen Harris

Helsinki experienced massive growth after it became Finland’s capital in 1812. As the new economic and cultural center, its population exploded, architecture grew quickly, and technology flourished. But what did it look like? Let’s take a stroll through 19th century Helsinki, courtesy of the Helsinki City Museum’s vast database of photos from the late 1800s.

 

 

Market Square and Market Hall, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum / Saxelin Carl Otto

 

Kiosk in Esplanadi, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Helsinki’s first public transportation, the omnibus, 1889. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

A pair of cyclists, circa 1880. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Unveiling the memorial of J.L. Runeberg, Finland’s national poet, in Esplanade Park, 1885. Photo: Helsinki City Museum / Hjertzell Fritz

 

Fish market at the Market Square, 1885. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Rowing in Kaivopuisto, circa 1870. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Group photo at a school for Swedish-speaking girls, 1886. Photo: Helsinki City Museum / Nyblin Daniel

 

Sitting outdoors, 1888. Photo: Helsinki City Museum / Rosenbröijer A. E.

 

Studio photo of the Gebhard family at the coffee table, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

A diver at the old town waterworks construction site, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Family ski day, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Members of the amateur photography club, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum / Saxelin Carl Otto

 

G.W. Sohlberg workers on the roof of the factory, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

A walk by the sea on Seurasaari, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Studio photo of a woman dressed as a sailor, 1890. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Vappu celebration at Kaisaniemi, 1892. Photo: Helsinki City Museum / Wasastjerna Nils

 

Polytechnic Institute (later Helsinki University of Technology) Mechanical Engineering students playing cards, 1893. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Market Square, 1895. Photo: Helsinki City Museum / Saxelin Carl Otto

 

Father and son sitting on a bench in Kaivopuisto, 1897. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Father and daughter sitting in Kaivopuisto, 1897. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

Russian ice cream salesman in front of Ateneum, 1898. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

 

A much less crowded Aleksanterinkatu, 1899. Photo: Helsinki City Museum

The post Everyday life in the capital: 19th century Helsinki, in pics appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

Midsummer sunset in Finnish lake landscape

When Finnish summer weather disappoints, there’s always pictures and the internet. We were contacted by young photographer Markus Watkins, whom we interviewed earlier this year, about his fun collection of summery activities shot taken in winter landscapes.

Markus wanted to share another set of his with our readers. Since the sky is grey at the time of writing, we can’t think of a single reason why we should turn down this set.

Scroll down for Markus’ dreamlike lakeside shots featuring the legendary Finnish midsummer almost-sunset.

We also suggest you read our interview, if you’re not already familiar with Markus’ work. Yon can also follow Markus on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more super stories


The post Isn’t it too dreamy? Save your rainy day with stunning photos of Finnish lakeside midsummer sunsets appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

Midsummer sunset in Finnish lake landscape

When Finnish summer weather disappoints, there’s always pictures and the internet. We were contacted by young photographer Markus Watkins, whom we interviewed earlier this year, about his fun collection of summery activities shot in winter landscapes.

Markus wanted to share another set of his with our readers. Since the sky is grey at the time of writing, we can’t think of a single reason why we should turn down this set.

Scroll down for Markus’ dreamlike lakeside shots featuring the legendary Finnish midsummer almost-sunset.

We also suggest you read our interview, if you’re not already familiar with Markus’ work. You can also follow Markus on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more super stories


The post Isn’t it dreamy? Save your rainy day with stunning photos of Finnish lakeside midsummer sunsets appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

Over-eager nationalism is hardly known for its great outcomes. So, it’s hardly surprising that some of the world’s sharpest minds have had less than flattering things to say about provincialism, flag waving and fanatic patriotism.

Let’s take a look at their wise words.

 

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

— Voltaire

 

“Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it….”

— George Bernard Shaw

“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

— Arthur Schopenhauer

 

“Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, and ages, it is the rule.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

 

“Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”

— Oscar Wilde

 

“Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.”

— Albert Einstein

 

“People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one”

— Banksy

“National boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space. Fanatical ethnic or religious or national chauvinisms are a little difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.”

— Carl Sagan

“National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same.”

— Umberto Eco

Title photo credit: Walt Jabsco

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more super stories




The post 9 of the world’s greatest thinkers on the stupidity of nationalism appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

asian child holding chinese flag
 

Over-eager nationalism is hardly known for its great outcomes. So, it’s hardly surprising that some of the world’s sharpest minds have had less than flattering things to say about provincialism, flag waving and fanatic patriotism.

Let’s have a look below.

 

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

— Voltaire

 

“Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it….”

— George Bernard Shaw


 

“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

— Arthur Schopenhauer

 

“Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, and ages, it is the rule.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

 

“Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”

— Oscar Wilde

 

“Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.”

— Albert Einstein

 

“People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one”

— Banksy
 


“National boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space. Fanatical ethnic or religious or national chauvinisms are a little difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.”

— Carl Sagan
 

“National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same.”

— Umberto Eco

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more super stories




The post 9 of the world’s greatest thinkers on the evils of nationalism appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

Northern lights in Helsinki

Due to long winters and rainy summers, it’s not unusual for someone with the warm, yet reserved Finnish mentality to spend a lot of time being annoyed about things. If you sit down and listen to Finns you’ll probably come across more than a few pet peeves.

To help you prepare, we’ve collected a list of common gripes. If you’re hanging out with Finns, you could do worse than to make bingo cards with these.

 

 

1. The weather

What’s there to like about Finnish weather, most of the time? It keeps you from enjoying the gorgeous surroundings.

 

2. Sweden

Our western neighbor is seen as some kind of annoying big brother figure. Then there is the Swedish national hockey team, which deserves a special level of loathing.

 

3. Russia

For obvious reasons, Finland has a complicated relationship with the great oligarchy of the East. Most annoying: that grumpy bear is a vital trading partner. Infuriating.

 

4. Smalltalk and unsolicited sociability

It’s not uncommon for Finns to hurry into their flats in apartment blocks as to not have to make the choice of whether to greet a neighbor or not.

 

 

5. Wolves

Many “suburban” Finns live in what’s essentially utter wilderness. Still, they remain shocked and appalled by the occasional wolf. If a wolf is spotted, panic and hunting mania ensues.

 

6. Themselves

Let’s face it: if most people suck, you probably suck.  A popular source of communal self-loathing (‘myötähäpeä‘) is the English language. Finnish, as fascinating as it is, is a weird affair, and Finnish speakers tend to default to a slightly quirky pronunciation of Finnish. Despite great passive language skills and vocabulary, thanks to subtitled tv, Finns tend to think they’re the only ones who default to speaking English with a distinct accent.

 

7. Sobriety

This is one of those cases where young people these are way saner than even gen X:ers. However, you can still run into situations in Finland where people consider you a buzzkill if you don’t drink. In some circles, even vegans aren’t as annoying as non-drinkers. Doesn’t matter if you’ve discovered that you tend to ruin your life if you touch alcohol, you’ll find out who your true friends are after you decide it’s time to dry up.

 

8. Neighbors

The typical Finnish agricultural landscape of disparate homesteads, rather than villages, is due to a relatively recent land reform. However, many Finns remember their roots in these landscapes and have taken to heart an attitude of Finns just being unable to bear too many people. This makes the idealized version of Finnish life a bizarre version of suburbia, highways and strip malls in the wilderness.

 


 

9. Politicians

If you’re popular for some reason, for example through some general purpose celebrity, don’t make the mistake of turning to politics. People will loathe you and move on to idealizing the police and military.

 


 

10. Being successful

The law of Jante has to be one of the most dreadful properties of small Nordic societies – don’t think you’re special or better than us. Or rather, don’t make us think you think you’re better than us. If you have ambitions, leave for whatever passes as cities in Finland.

 

Now, here’s the thing: if you’re a Finn, our list probably left out some vital object of your annoyance and hate. To tell us just how much you loathe us for missing these important facts, let your rage flow into the comment section below.

 

Title photo by Title credits.

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more super stories




The post Pet peeves: 10 things Finns love to hate appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

Finnish photographer Valtteri Mulkahainen's iconic shot of "dancing" bear cubs

 
A few years ago, Mr. Valtteri Mulkahainen of Sotkamo hit the news in Finland and globally, as his pictures of “dancing” bear cubs in the Suomussalmi forests captured the imagination of nature friendly people everywhere. We wanted to feature Valtteri in our series on Finnish photography, so we’ve caught up with him in a short interview on wolves, using camera gear in the extreme, iPhone killing cold… and Pokémon Go.

Valtteri’s pictures are available for purchase and licensing on the 500px photography community.

 

 

1. How did you create an interest for photography and was nature always the main subject?

“About 7-8 years ago, I graduated from training biathletics and I had a lot of free time in the summer, while on vacation. I found in the closet a small camera and started taking pictures of nature. That kickstarted my passion for photography. Although I am quite proficient in photographing of wild animals, I usually prefer nature shots. Right, I really love photographing in taiga centers, such as the Martinselkonen wildlife center.”

 


 

2. How do your cameras hold up with Finnish winter conditions?

“This depends on the camera. I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II. The most severe frost at which I’ve used it was -35 C. The manual says that taking photos is not recommended below -25. Normally, I keep the in a bag, into which I always put it back right after shooting. When I return home, I also try to be careful about letting my equipment slowly acclimate to the inside heat to avoid condensation.

 


 

3. Your most famous photos feature bears, but a few years ago, you stated an interest in wolves too. How did that develop and do you have any advice for people interested in photographing wild animals, safety related or otherwise?

“I haven’t managed to take a pictures of wolves. I went several times, right to the center of the taiga. The wolf a very cautious animal, catching one on camera remains on my to-do list.

Wild animals are afraid of people and have the good sense to avoid coming close to humans or settlements. That’s why I really recommend to anyone interested to come over and visit Finnish taiga centers to photograph wildlife. These centers can provide instruction on how to take pictures of animals. Photography usually happens in small, designated shelters in the forest, so it’s safe.”

 


 

4. Your previous interviews say you’re a gym/PE teacher by trade. Do you have thoughts on or any experience with using hobbies like photography or gadget trends like Pokemon go to get young people to move around more in their surroundings?

“I work as a teacher of physical education and health at a school in the village of Sotkamo. I think the use of gadgets and games like Pokémon in schools is an interesting idea. Any young person who’d get excited about moving around in the wilderness could very easily find out information about wild animals and learn more about them and their habitats, diets etc.”

 


 

Title photo by Valtteri Mulkahainen.

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more super stories




The post Dancing bears and mirror lakes: Valtteri Mulkahainen’s spectactular photos of Finnish nature appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

Finnish photographer Valtteri Mulkahainen's iconic shot of "dancing" bear cubs

 
A few years ago, Mr. Valtteri Mulkahainen of Sotkamo hit the news in Finland and globally, as his pictures of “dancing” bear cubs in the Suomussalmi forests captured the imagination of nature friendly people everywhere. We wanted to feature Valtteri in our series on Finnish photography, so we’ve caught up with him in a short interview on wolves, using camera gear in the extreme, iPhone killing cold… and Pokémon Go.

Valtteri’s pictures are available for purchase and licensing on the 500px photography community.

 

 

1. How did you create an interest for photography and was nature always the main subject?

“About 7-8 years ago, I graduated from training biathletics and I had a lot of free time in the summer, while on vacation. I found in the closet a small camera and started taking pictures of nature. That kickstarted my passion for photography. Although I am quite proficient in photographing of wild animals, I usually prefer nature shots. Right, I really love photographing in taiga centers, such as the Martinselkonen wildlife center.”

 


 

2. How do your cameras hold up with Finnish winter conditions?

“This depends on the camera. I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II. The most severe frost at which I’ve used it was -35 C. The manual says that taking photos is not recommended below -25. Normally, I keep the in a bag, into which I always put it back right after shooting. When I return home, I also try to be careful about letting my equipment slowly acclimate to the inside heat to avoid condensation.

 


 

3. Your most famous photos feature bears, but a few years ago, you stated an interest in wolves too. How did that develop and do you have any advice for people interested in photographing wild animals, safety related or otherwise?

“I haven’t managed to take a pictures of wolves. I went several times, right to the center of the taiga. The wolf a very cautious animal, catching one on camera remains on my to-do list.

Wild animals are afraid of people and have the good sense to avoid coming close to humans or settlements. That’s why I really recommend to anyone interested to come over and visit Finnish taiga centers to photograph wildlife. These centers can provide instruction on how to take pictures of animals. Photography usually happens in small, designated shelters in the forest, so it’s safe.”

 


 

4. Your previous interviews say you’re a gym/PE teacher by trade. Do you have thoughts on or any experience with using hobbies like photography or gadget trends like Pokemon go to get young people to move around more in their surroundings?

“I work as a teacher of physical education and health at a school in the village of Sotkamo. I think the use of gadgets and games like Pokémon in schools is an interesting idea. Any young person who’d get excited about moving around in the wilderness could very easily find out information about wild animals and learn more about them and their habitats, diets etc.”

 


 

Title photo by Valtteri Mulkahainen.

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more super stories




The post Dancing bears and mirror lakes: Valtteri Mulkahainen’s spectactular photos of Finnish nature appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Thomas Nybergh

Jani Ylinampa's photo of northern lights over a small river in Lapland, Finland

 
Jani Ylinampa works as a safari guide in Lapland. But on the side, he’s a photographer who’s developed quite the following on social media, in part thanks to his stunning shots of northern lights. We saw it fitting to feature Jani’s work and ask him a couple of question on his work and lifestyle.

You can buy prints of Jani’s photos on 500px.

 
Jani Ylinampa: photo of small island from above during winter

1. How did you develop an interest for photography and when did careful documentation of northern lights become a part of it?

“I started photographing casually about 15 years ago, I took a camera with me when I was hiking in the northern Lapland and northern Norway. Since then I have gradually widened my perspective about photographing and I got my first DSLR in 2009. I shot my first northern lights photo in 2012, when I saw the lights from my balcony and decided trying to take a photo. Until that moment I had been a bit lazy to learn more about photography, and for a while my method was a bit of learning by doing mistakes (forgetting to set the focus to infinity etc.). At first I was just photographing the northern lights, didn’t really worry about anything else. Nowadays I try to find something interesting also on the foreground.”

 



 

Jani Ylinampa: stars reflecting in lake

 

2. You work as a guide in the far north. What are your best tips for surviving kaamos, the period during which the sun doesn’t rise?

“Eat well (and vitamins), sleep enough (it should be easy to sleep, in the summer it might be a quite another matter ? ), go outdoors (if the sun is not out there, the moon and the northern lights might be), interact with people.”

 
Jani Ylinampa: Northern lights by lake

 

3. What kind of gear do you use?

Canon EOS 6D

  • Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8
  • Canon EF 28mm f/1.8
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  • Canon EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Samyang 14mm f/2.8
  • Samyang 8mm T3.8

Sony A7S

  • Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN Art

DJI Phantom 2 & GoPro Hero 4 Black

Jani Ylinampa: summer photo of small island near ROvaniemi

 



 

For more of Hani Ylinampa’s faboulous photography, you can follow him where you like to enjoy photography

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janiylinampa/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaniYlinampaPhotography/

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/janiylinampa/

500px: https://500px.com/janiylinampa

 
Jani Ylinampa's photo of misty Lapland terrain and northern lights

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more stories about super Suomi


The post The stunning Northern Lights photography of Jani Ylinampa appeared first on .