It’s been over 2 years since my ass got on a plane and landed somewhere far, far away. It’s about damn time that I reset that timer, and so I did 🙂
My ass got on a plane and landed in Fu**ing Lapland, Finland!
My Mom and I joined an organized photography-centered trip for a week for a little mother-son bonding and celebrating my mom’s coming retirement after 40 years (give or take a few). She needs to find some hobbies to fill the time that will open up for her, and photography is an awesome hobby.
Aside from the mother-son bonding, my other goals for this trip were to see the Northern lights (aurora borealis) and to take some photos as proof. I would also want to add some more flare to my photography portfolio as I really want to get serious about my photography.
I’m more than thrilled to say that MISSION ACCOMPLISHED 🙂
For 3 out of 4 nights, I was able to see and shoot the Northern Lights. The first night was only meant to be a “test run,” so I’ll be ready for the night that will really have some activity as the forecast wasn’t really optimistic for that night.
I’m glad to say that forecast is one thing and reality is a whole different ball game 😉
15 minutes after getting set up and sitting my ass in the snow, the light show started, and this was the best photo taken that first night:
If there is one thing I remember from my previous world travel is that the weather was always with me. When I visited Sapa in northern Vietnam, I got there 2 days before a huge storm, so I got to see and experience how awesome it is. When I got to Ha Long Bay, I had amazing sunny weather, which just one day after I left turned into a massive storm that would have ruined the trip to one of the world’s wonders.
And these are just 2 examples out of dozens I can share from those 6 months in which the sun was with me all the time 🙂
I’m glad to say that my luck with the weather continued on this trip. Having clear skies for 3 out of 4 nights was amazing and allowed me to see and shoot the Northern lights. We also had 2 amazing sunny days on our snow bike and snow walking days which was awesome as doing those in a snowstorm wouldn’t be very exciting and wouldn’t shoot so well.
And for our final day, we got a beautiful snowy day that covered the entire city and trees in white. It’s amazing how much snow can drop in just a few hours, turn the city around, and paint it white.
Learning New Things
I really believe that a day spent without learning something new is a day wasted. I learned many things during this trip from many people, both about life and about photography.
It was a special group of people.
I got to experience new photography techniques like panning and motion blur.
Another important thing I learned is how to set my wide-angle lens to Focus to Infinity (thanks to one of our great guides). Pretty embarrassing I didn’t know this before, but as I always say, better late than never. So for all you peeps with a Sony NEX-7 and the 10-18 wide-angle lens, spin the focus ring to the right, and you’ll get great focus for those night shots.
I also strongly believe in asking for forgiveness instead of asking for permission, and I stretched the boundaries of where we can venture to, and by doing so, I was able to get some great shots:
My mom wasn’t pleased about me taking things to the “extreme,” but she’s just going to have to learn to live with it 😉
The Benefits of Traveling With Other Photographers
Aside from having a mutual interest and passion and being able to share and learn new things and techniques, the biggest benefit of traveling with other photographers is that they can take AMAZING photos of you!
Thanks to Hezi Regev and Yosi Keret for these amazing shots.
Things Happen for a Reason
Before I close off this post, I want to thank my mom for being who she is. I know I’m not very objective, but she is really the best mom in the world. I believe that things do happen for a reason, and in some cases, it might take a while for you to figure out what that is the reason. In my case, the reason my dad passed away at a relatively early age was so that I can finally find out what an AMAZING mother I have.
Again, better late than never 🙂
I love you, mom! Thanks for a great trip and for finally opening up a little and doing a little bit of “extreme” stuff like this:
And for letting me go full throttle on the snow bike 😉
Santa is REAL!
I guess a trip to Lapland wouldn’t be complete without taking a picture with Santa, and i’m glad I was able to get one, and I must say his thumbs are fu**king HUGE 😉
Lapland Photos That Made the Cut
The Bottom Line…
This trip really ignited my photography spark again, and it just put a stamp on the fact that I know what I love and want to do in my life. I just love traveling, taking photos of amazing places, learning new things, and meeting interesting people along the way.
The smile plastered on my face this entire week is pretty much all the proof I need. It just makes me happy. And it’s the answer to one of the most important questions in life:
Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way…Alan Watts