Windowsill daydreaming

Windowsill daydreaming

Windowsill daydreaming, Rochester, USA 1958 - Photographer: Minor White (American 1908 –1976)

This image in its simplicity is about my childhood. It is about me staring at the shadows on the walls created by curtains that makes the shadows playful and ever changing. I would stare the patterns, look for compositions and tones and somehow I was searching for the message, even though I knew that it is just a curtain and wall and a window.

This actual photograph I didn't see as a child, but years later when I was introduced to Minor White’s photography it immediately brought me back.  Somehow it also validated my search for expression in the mundane and ordinary. It is all about the light and shadow and the objects themselves are just characters in a bigger play.

Mustiala fields, Finland, 1899 

Mustiala fields, Finland, 1899 

Mustiala fields, Finland, 1899 
photographer: I.K. Inha (1865–1930) Finnish photographer, writer, translator and journalist.

It is amazing that this photograph was taken over 100 years ago. It draws me into the landscape and makes me feel really like being there. Technically just having those elements (horses, people, landscape,light) in the shot so beautifully arranged is extra ordinary. This photographs makes me blush and think again when I think now during our times that my gear was the one to blame for not getting the shot. 

Technicality aside, I really think the composition and the romantic feel of the photograph are the elements that draw me in.

Another interesting fact about I.K. Inha is that he never got paid for doing photography. People at his time did not really understand why these kinds of photographs would matter, nor that they would have a lasting value that would last long after the man himself had passed away. 

I am not suggesting that we should photograph because one day in the future somebody will see them. But maybe there is value in our photography beyond what we realize at the time when we take them.

Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992

Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992

Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992 - photographer: Pentti Sammallahti (Finnish, born 1950)

Finland situates next to Russia, so geographically as well as politically that has always played a big part in our country’s, as well as in my personal history. This image captures these ideas about power play, big machines, small people, big people, big countries, small countries. Ultimately it is about power and order. Who is the king of the hill? In Pentti Sammalalhti’s photographs animals (usually dogs, birds, frogs) somehow tell a very human strory. Just as here it is done beautifully with dogs. 

Houston, Texas, USA, 1998

Houston, Texas, USA, 1998

Houston, Texas, USA, 1998 - photographer: Pentti Sammallahti (Finnish, born 1950)

Here is another photograph by Pentti Sammallahti. What strikes me most about this image is how minimalist the photo is,  and yet - for my eye and mind - it is very complex and challenging. I also find it so interesting that the photo is technically little off, but that is actually what makes it even more interesting and powerful.