Naurissalmi strait, Helsinki

April 18, 2012
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Crossposted from my 24th March guest-post on Nokia Connects.


In honour of Nokia Connects photography week, we have a guest post from the man behind this wonderfully spliced picture of the Naurissalmi strait in Helsinki. This was taken by cyclist and photographer Hugo. After sharing this on Twitter, we asked if Hugo could spare a few words about his experience with photography on his Nokia and the story behind this great image. Take it away Hugo...

It took me a whole year to take this photo of Helsinki with a Nokia N8.

One year in one image

It's made from 45 photographs of Naurissalmi strait (between Kulosaari island and Herttoniemi) sliced up into a single photo, January on the left and December on the right.

I took one photo with a Nokia N8 each week for most weeks of 2011, all around the same time in the morning, except one near the middle taken near midnight near midsummer. Obviously when I started I wasn't planning on making an image like this, which is why it's a bit wonky at the left.

I take photos a lot with whatever mobile phone I have. At the moment it's a Nokia N8. I've been cycling to work almost for nearly two years, and often take photos of stuff I see on the way, and it's interesting to see the variation of a single spot over the course of a year.

Naurissalmi week 8 Naurissalmi week 25
Naurissalmi week 43 Naurissalmi week 51
February, July, October, December 2011

I've done this a couple of times before, also on bridges, when working and cycling to different places, but didn't take more than once a month, and I wasn't as persistent. This time, I started monthly and then switched weekly.

The Baltic sea ice lasted until mid-April, the leaves really turned golden in mid-October and had fallen in early November. The 2010/2011 winter was long, but this 2011/2012 winter was short, as can be seen by the departure and arrival of snow and ice.

I hadn't planned to make a stripey image like this until I saw Eirik Solheim's impressive 3,888-photo image. He glued down an SLR camera to a shelf by his window and took a photo every half an hour and ended up with 16,000 photos. I also used Aslak Hellesøy's eirikmagick.sh script to generate my full-year picture. These are known as HDTR (high dynamic time range) images.

You can see most of my photos individually here, where you can see the winter migration of the boats and a canoe slowly sinking between weeks 45 and 49:

Naurissalmi week 45 Naurissalmi week 46
Naurissalmi week 47 Naurissalmi week 49

I also made a timelapse video (using Picasa).

If you want to do something like this, half the battle is picking a good location. A good location not only has plenty of scope for seasonal variation (I had trees, reeds, water, boats), but is one you will regularly be at or pass, without fail. I chose a spot I cycled past on the way to work. If it's going to be out of your way, then you will end up skipping some. Make sure you have a more-or-less exact spot to take the photo (for me, it was just to the right of a lamp post), and I found the grid lines useful for lining up with the horizon. Other than that I just used the default automatic settings.

In general I use automatic settings or close-up, with flash off or auto. What I'd like to see would be some timelapse or long exposure settings in the camera.

Thanks for that Hugo! If you’ve been inspired to try something different by this project or have an idea bubbling away at the back of your mind, why not go out and start making it happen? If you need anything to help you achieve your goals we are always looking for exciting things to get involved in, so drop us a trial request and let us know what you have cooking. Feedback and comments are more than welcome in the below section and we’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter too.

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