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In this (usually) weekly blog, I select a photograph from recent travels or the archives, tell the story, and describe the details for those readers interested in the technical or practical aspects.

The Silja Line ferry to Stockholm passes the Suomenlinna island fortress.

The Silja Line ferry to Stockholm passes the Suomenlinna island fortress.

The Story

I was happy to spend a weekend in Helsinki between trips, after Vietnam and before heading off to Delhi at the end of the week. I was also happy to take a stroll in my favourite part of Helsinki, Suomenlinna, a small archipelago in the entrance to Helsinki’s South Harbour bearing the island fortress of the same name (it means Fortress of Finland). I make no apologies for simply posting a small selection of pictures from my walk this week. If ever you’re in Helsinki, this has to be your first stop on the tourist visit trail.

Autumn leaves behind the Jetty Barracks.

Autumn leaves behind the Jetty Barracks.

This is the absolute jewel in Helsinki’s crown, an historic and atmospheric place. There’s a unique and enormous dry dock, canons – some of them fired by the Russians against the Anglo-French fleet that ventured here during the Crimean War – museums of toys and the military, bars (including a great brewery restaurant) and cafes, and wild, windswept walks on craggy Baltic shorelines. And there’s an exciting 15-minute ferry ride from the city’s main Market Square to get there.

Smiley bomb.

Smiley bomb.

Virginia creeper.

Virginia creeper.

suomenlinna_autumn4

Barracks on Länsi-Mustasaari, now apartments for some of the 800 or so residents of the islands.

The Finnish lion attempts to extract a sword from its head at the Naval Academy.

The Finnish lion attempts to extract a sword from its head at the Naval Academy.

Firewood for coming winter.

Firewood for coming winter.

Autumn.

Autumn.

 

Wooden sculpture with Catholic overtones.

Wooden sculpture with Catholic overtones.

Granite patterns.

Granite patterns.

Thanks for the company, Pete Balding!

The Photographic stuff

Suomenlinna is one of Helsinki’s most photogenic places, even more so in autumn and winter. I am so obsessed with photographing this place in the winter months that I had an exhibition of winter views here a few years ago at the Visitors’ Centre.

These small resolution versions probably don’t do justice to the new lenses I was playing with on this walk, the Fujinon 14mm and 55-200 zoom. The wide angle 14mm is especially crisp and sharp and I am looking forward to taking that to India with me next week. I was using the Velvia Vivid film simulation function on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 – I wasn’t sure if I liked the extreme saturation of this effect before but I have grown to like it. I also shot only JPEGs, nothing in RAW, this time, to test the reviews that say the JPEGS are great out of the camera – and they are.

My friend Pete reckons I might be trying to convince myself that changing to Fujifilm was a good idea and I’m ranting on about them so much because of that. No, it’s not that! I am really genuinely excited about using this new system.