Sunset preview from 20 May 2014

Last night I was photographing a wonderful sunset above the Baltic Sea with marvelous reflections. It’s been a very long time since I was out with my camera, as life is pretty hectic at the moment. Today Iwant to share a little preview with you 🙂

Copyright: Thomas Kast

 

And here is one of them, I named it ‘Stare’ as I felt the sun was staring right back at me.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

‘Stare’ – captured at 22.50

Hope you’ll see a wonderful sunset also 🙂

Outside the frame – Insights into… ‘Cold, bright wind’

“Outside the frame – Insights into…” is a series about photos, where I want to go a bit deeper and explain a bit more about the location and how it was being there. Hope you don’t mind a bit longer read today 🙂

Today’s photo is ‘Cold, bright wind’ and was captured on Apr-16, 2014:

wm_Cold, bright wind

It’s not a problem for me when the cold is creeping slowly into my clothes while I’m out for hours. But when strong wind is pushing the cold right to my bones it’s not much fun.

When I shot this photo in April, it was such weather. To control the camera buttons, I could wear only thin clothes and even though they usually do a good job in stopping the wind, there was no use for them this time. By the end of the session I could hardly move my fingers and had to leave and ‘defrost’ in the car.

Photos like this one are the reason why I’d do this over and over anyway. More often than not it’s all worth it. Especially when coming home and seeing the ‘catch of the day’.

I suppose many of you don’t know Oulu very well, so I’ll walk you through this photo.

Let’s start with the most eye-catching object, the moon. It was Full Moon and the bright light made for a strong reflection on the melting Baltic Sea. Also the ice in the foreground catches a lot of the light. When you look closely to the open water you can see the water movement from the strong wind. There are no waves as most of the sea is still frozen with thick ice.

My camera was set up on a breakwater made of rocks in many shapes and sizes. As you look along the rocks the industrial smokestacks will catch your eyes. These are part of the peat-burning power plant in the suburb Toppila. Seeing the steam it’s no mystery in what direction the wind blows.

The forest toward the center of the photo belongs to the island Toppilansaari and just to the right of the moon you can see the paper factory from Nuottasaari. Yes, indeed we have quite a bit of industry here in Oulu.

Further to the right are lights from the Port of Oulu on the island Vihreäsaari. And finally, there is a single bright light also reflected on the ice, that’s Majakka – a viewing tower marking the end of Nallikari, a beautiful and popular sand beach on the island Hietasaari.

This being a night photo, I don’t want to ignore the stars in the sky but rather have them at the end of today’s post. To the right of the moon – just a bit higher – is the star Spica, the brightest one of the constellation Virgo. Just over 260 light years away from Oulu 🙂

Looking further up and further right, there is a real bright star, right? No it’s actually a planet and even though it’s red color can’t be recognized on the photo, I’m sure you know by know that it’s Mars 🙂

At the end of this post I almost feel like a travel guide, haha. Hope you had a good time reading and as always, please comment your thoughts here, I’m curious to hear from you!

It’s not all about Northern lights

When being out at night, Northern lights are certainly not the only ‘thing’ I’m trying to experience. Auroras are rather the bonus on top of everything else. It’s so calming and relaxing being out in the nature where no houses are near and no car noises disturb the sounds of nature. In deep winter there is almost no other noise than the crunching of snow beneath the shoes.

Towards spring, birds migrate from the South and often I hear them chatter. What I really love is when I hear only the flapping of the wings passing right above me in the darkness. It’s then when I know I’m ‘one with nature’ – at least as much as it’s possible.

Sometimes – as in one night during April – it’s also about company, being out at night with friends who enjoy the same things. Here, Kari took me to a new place for me, a big swamp area near Yli-Ii. There wasn’t much snow left but a lot of water, so we had to watch our steps. A few times I almost couldn’t get my boots out of the marsh land. This was a totally new experience for me and I really enjoyed it, especially being with a friend there.

Not seeing auroras wasn’t really a downer, we explored the area and took some nice photos as you’ll soon see. As dusk flows into dawn in one go, there were some great colors on the horizon. Long streaks of clouds interrupted the clear night sky and brought a special mood with it.

Once we had enough, Kari started a fire and we had some sausages. Watching the flames dance was almost like watching auroras, hypnotising and actually sturring up some hunger as well 🙂

Please click on the panorama to open it bigger and then once more to see it on dark background. In that way you’ll get to experience a bit the mood I felt being out there.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Winter’s end, great colors at night.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Hungry men watching the fire

Harmony

On May 1st I was searching for new sunset location and eventually found myself near Haukipudas, looking at the Baltic Sea. It was low tide, so I was able to walk out and find some nice set of stones surrounded by water. Some 100 metres further out the sea was still largely frozen.

The magnificent colors of the sunset were reflected not only in the water but also through the clouds. In the beginning a light breeze created nice, gentle waves, while later the wind was gone and the totally still Baltic Sea lay right in front of me mirroring every little detail.

From time to time migration birds where around me, chattering and circling. At some point they realized that I wasn’t a thread and calmed down. Well, maybe they just gave up because that guy just wouldn’t leave 🙂

I love nights like this, only the nature and me. Nothing else, just perfect harmony.

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Harmony

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Wonderful colors and ice at the horizon

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Spring sunset

When the ice of the Baltic Sea melts, interesting ice formations float on the water. About a year back I saw an amazing sunset with no wind whatsover, making for amazing reflections. Here are some of the photos:

Copyright: Thomas Kast

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast