A quick visit to a national park

My son and his girlfriend invited me to come along for a quick visit to my mother + an even quicker visit to one of the national parks. I, of course, said “yes”, packed my camera bag and after some struggle managed to get into the car (old man with larger than average feet and body).

After a few hours at my mothers house, and way too much to eat, we headed to one of the national parks in the area. Unfortunately we didn’t have that much before sunset to it was a quick visit but I managed to snap a few photos.

Trying to take photos of Albus when he is having fun often results in blurry photos

Since it was a gray day and the sun was setting and I had no tripod it was sometimes difficult not to get blurry photos due to me moving the camera.

Sometimes I wonder about dogs, doesn’t he understand that the water is cold? I mean there is ice slightly outside the frame.

On the way I tried to take a photo of a “waterfall” (it’s about 5-10 cm high 😋) which became a problem since it was in the woods and it was getting dark. But considering that the photo was taken without any kind of support for the camera and I was wobbling around trying to keep still, I think this came out OK.

Thanks to the image stabilization on my camera !!

Albus

First “photo job” this year was to take some photos of Albus in the snow.

The problem with fresh snow

It’s nice when it’s snowing, suddenly the world look like it should in the winter.

Everything looks better in snow, and it’s really nice to have some snow after two months of horrible (warm and rainy) weather. The last two days it has been snowing lightly, but persistently, so we actually have some snow now.

There is however one problem of being out taking photos in this kind of weather: everything looks so nice and by walking across the pristine snow I destroy the experience for the next person coming here.

On the other hand, all of this disappears if the wind picks up, or it becomes a bit warmer or … So, I should probably don’t feel too bad about walking across the snow.

Anyway, it was a nice walk.

Wednesday morning photowalk

“Wednesday morning photowalk” or should I write “the time I had to spend in town while waiting for the car to get serviced”. The first one sounds better, so I’m going to use that one. Anyway, as I wrote yesterday, I had to wait in town for two hours and since there are no shops open (which we should avoid anyway) and they have told us to stay away from work there wasn’t much else to do than bring the camera and walk around in town.

So, here are what I say this morning, first two photos of Umeälven (Umu River) taken from about here. The path you can see along the river is a walking/biking path that is used a lot to get from one side of town to the other without needing to cross any roads (well, actually two but it’s usually not a problem).

The next one is taken from approximately the same place but down the river. This is central Umeå with a building they are currently constructing, the second photo is closer view of it.

Then we have one of the “restaurant boats” (taken from here). For some reason it seem to be quite popular to go there, I can understand it in the summer but in the winter …

Next, from the perhaps most central place in Umeå: Rådhustorget (Town Hall Square). You are free to sit down and rest if you want to.

And of course a shop sign

One of the art installations

Umeå Stads Kyrka (Umeå City Church) photographed from here

And the final two photos are essentially photos from where I took the other photo. The first one is from here looking towards where I took the second one.

That ended my morning photo walk, time to drive home … where I spent at least three hours in Zoom-meetings.

Different paces of life

Yesterday, I once again found myself in town … with a couple of hours to spend before going home again. As usual, I brought my camera with me, despite not feeling inspired, and took a few photos while walking around. I classify them as “learning photos”, a more polite way of saying that none of them were any good, but they serve as reminders of what I could improve until next time … which will be tomorrow (I have to spend a couple of morning hours in town while waiting for the car to get serviced).

Anyway, when I got home I started to look at the photos and there were two that got me thinking about different stages of life. The first is of a mother (I assume) with her child speeding along the street. I assume they were going to the daycare or to visit a doctor (there is a doctor’s office further down the street). A typical day in a parents’ life.

And the other photo was of this gentleman who was standing beside the street, looking like he waited for something/someone, perhaps a taxi or a ride home.

To me, this illustrates two different phases of life with very different paces. I hope that all three of them take the time to enjoy where they are in life.

Taking photos in the dark

One of the advantages of living where I live are the differences between seasons. In “spring-winter” the sun comes along and everything gets a bit brighter, with a bit of luck it gets bright enough to catch a few photos during the day.

In spring trees, plants and flower is starting to grow again and everything gets more colorful

In summer, everything turns green

In autumn, the light starts to get low and suddenly, it’s all very colorful.

Which brings me to winter. Today sun raise was 9:20 and sunset 13:40, and if that’s not enough the last several weeks have been rainy (hello, climate change) and cloudy. In other words it’s dark before work and it’s dark after work, and if I decide to take an afternoon walk it’s “a low light situation”.

Thanks to whoever who drove past and lighted the scene

Fortunately, it’s still possible to take photos … with one change, instead of taking landscape photos I photograph the “city lights” — but since I don’t live in a city it doesn’t happen that often.

When I walk around at home it’s more like this

Still not bad but it gets a bit “limiting”. Not surprisingly this is the season for flash photography 😜

Working from home

I’ve been working from home for 9 months now and I like it. I understand that the general idea is that working from home isn’t that good, and yes, I also understand that this has been a horrible time for many. But I’m not one of them.

I’m lucky in several ways, so far, everything I should have done at work I’ve been able to from home. I also have the technical knowledge to set up computers, servers and network at home so that it’s actually possible for us to work from home. And perhaps most important, I actually like working from home, I’m an introvert and doesn’t need to be in constant contact with people — I can find it a big exhausting to be with a lot of people for longer times and I normally need some “alone-time”.

So instead of traveling to work, I can take a walk in my village, take a few photos or do something that needs to be done. So, I think I’ve managed to get more things done each day than I would normally have done. If remote work would have been possible when I started to work I would probably have had a different career.

One thing that have really changed in my landscape photography, I have taken a lot of landscape photos these months and tried some new things. I feel that I have progressed in this area. Sports and event photography … not so much.

I have to admit that there is one huge disadvantage of working from home, it’s waaaay too easy to get a snack or two from the kitchen!!!

Another morning photowalk in Umeå

Monday again and time to spend an hour or two walking round in Umeå waiting to go home. Once again I decided to walk around among the buildings to see if I could find something interesting. There was just a few people outside at 9 and I couldn’t find much to photograph

I decided to walk down to the river and there the golden morning sun made things a bit better

After that I just walked around trying to find something interesting.

A discarded rose
I just don’t understand why people smoke
The train station and some taxis
Christmas decorations are starting to pop up
Another kind of decoration. An alternative “doggy bag”??
One of the older houses that I like, unfortunately the houses around it aren’t that nice

After snapping those photos it was time to head back home and do something “useful”.

Not in the mood to go out

Our cats can go in and out as they want but today they decided to stay mostly inside. I can’t say that I blame them, the weather today isn’t fun. Unfortunately, the temperature is above 0 so the snow is slushy and it’s raining a bit. I dislike this kind of weather … and it looks like the kittens have the same opinion.

So what have they done today? Not much, they have mostly been sleeping.

Agnes and Tove

Tove also spent some time bird watching, I suspect that she mainly consider the birds to be food or at least prey. She was very skeptical about the roe deer that showed up to get some seeds.

Tove and the roe deer

Agnes is a bit more laid back and she spent most of the day sleeping. She actually looked a bit upset when I managed to wake her up.

Agnes

Yes, they have been outside but just for a few minutes. In other words they have behaved like cats 😋

Another black and white day


Today is another black and white day. For various reasons I had to be in town for a couple of hours. Since I didn’t feel like checking out the shops I just walked around for 1.5 hours.

So once again I took the GM5 and used the B&W scene setting and started to snap photos of various things. Most om them were unsharp and crappy, here are the ones that are a little bit better than total crap.

Since I alway use RAW I get a color version of the photos also. For this photo the B&W version was a complete failure but the color version is better.

A black and white day

I decided to take out my GM5 for todays walk, something light that easily would fit in my pocket. Just to make things more interesting I put on my 14mm (28mm full frame) and set it to black and white. Then I started to walk.

There is still a lot of water in the lake, despite that the water level is probably 10-20 cm lower than last week. And there are more reminders of that storm

And some random photos from the rest of the walk

Once I got back home, I sat down with a cup of tea and started to check the photos I’ve taken. But suddenly I got an “emergency” call that I needed to go and buy some roof repair stuff. So my lazy afternoon turned out to be less lazy than I imagined this morning.

More water than usual

Yesterday was unusually windy and rainy, at least for being Umeå. There were reports of wind speeds of 25+ m/s, and we got at least 64 mm of rain (the rain meter didn’t work all day so it was probably more). We also have had a six-hour power outage. Some parts of Umeå seem to have had more than 1 m of water in their house, several streets in the city were closed due to the water, one car drove into a creek since the road had been destroyed, and I think that an old stone bridge was destroyed.

This kind of weather is a bit unusual for Umeå, I think this is the strongest storm I’ve experienced in this area. However, if compared to what happens in other parts of the world it probably fair to say that this was a minor inconvenience.

Fortunately, the damage in the village where I live were minor. I noticed one old barn with a partly damaged roof and the road close to our house had partly been damaged.

Half of the road was damaged.
Half of the road was damaged.
This is looking under the asphalt, close where the bus was driving.
This is looking under the asphalt, close to where the bus was driving.

But what was really striking was the water level in the lake. This is how it looked like some time ago, notice the stones out in the water.

This is taken from a different angle than the photo below but notice the stones

This is how it looked like today

How it looks today, do you see the stones?
How it looks today, do you see the stones? Yep, those small dots in the middle of the photo are the stones. The water level is probably 30-40 cm above normal.

In another place it looked like this

I'm pretty sure that trees doesn't grow in the lake
I’m pretty sure this kind of trees doesn’t grow in lakes

So, yesterday was an interesting day.