Archive for January, 2011


021/2011 well done!

021/2011 well done!, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

I rewarded myself for managing a very busy week, with two bunches of beautiful tulips. The buds are just about to open a little bit, just like the weekend is just about to start unfolding. Anticipation of something nice is often the best moment.

We all need rewards for our work, if not from others, why not from ourselves! I often worry about very weak students who keep failing, even after trying hard. What reward will they find? In the present system, praising them for their effort becomes futile if there is no measurable improvement in grades. Inner motivation is too rare amongst teenagers, but maybe we should partly blame ourselves and the system for the lack of it.


020/2011 footprints

020/2011 footprints, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

A nightly footprint in the snow – the newspaper delivery person. Clearly somebody who has nothing to hide, and is not worried about leaving an identifiable mark behind. Yet, it’s not a consciously created mark, but purely accidental. The person would probably be surprised to know about my picture of it!

How aware are our students about their digital footprints? Will they fall prey to stalkers, or lose a job opportunity in the future, because of carelessly uploaded online material? Some schools warn and present scary examples, block and protect. All with good intentions, I’m sure. I would rather see students start consciously working on a positive online image at school, with the guidance of teachers. But do we know how to guide them?


019/2011 warm

019/2011 warm, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Fourth day without any sun, and not much light either. Wet and icy, and getting dark by the time I get out of school. Very poor photo opportunities outdoors.

I find myself looking for soft, warm shades to photograph at home. What I learned tonight is that trying to catch the steam circling above a coffee cup in the dark is very difficult.
Note to self: finally, do get that small flexi tripod!


018/2011 teacher’s pets

018/2011 teacher’s pets, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

What is the first thing you do when you get home from school/work? I always change into something comfortable, and strech out on the couch. These days I always put on my my lovely new exotic furry ‘pets’, which my darling daughter gave me for Xmas. They are the warmest and cutest things I’ve ever had!

Kicking back and relaxing for a while is essential for me to unwind after all the hullabaloo at school, especially in this dark time of the year, which seems to eat up all my energy very quickly.


017/2011 colour into my world

017/2011 colour into my world, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

An unknown plant, found by my dear hubby, reduced on the rejects’ shelf, of course. The shape of the flowers is quite intriguing, to say the least. Their bright red colour is what draws my eyes, though.

My husband has the green fingers in our family, and the patience to try and make even the most hopeless-looking shoots grow. I usually go for cut flowers in a vase that only last for their limited time, and don’t require a lot of care. It works quite well, since with the two of us, there is usually always something blooming in our home.


016/2011 a new arts venue

016/2011 a new arts venue, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

To finish the grand opening weekend of the Culture Capital Year, we went to check out the new LOGOMO venue. It’s an old train warehouse and engineering workshop, now refurbished into one of the main venues of this year’s cultural events. I like the idea of rough, industrial environments being transformed into something more human.

If you go there on foot, the shortest way from town is across this pedestrian bridge over the main railway lines. A new light and sound installation now decorates this bridge, too. Flickering red led lights, and irregular urban or machinery sounds. Something I’ve seen and heard at some airports abroad before.

In the cafe of the venue, I guess they have tried to illustrate railwaylines in the black and white decor. And the one orange line and lamp represent the signature colour of the Culture Capital Year. It is probably very trendy and modern, but I couldn’t spend long there. Somehow the surroundings make me very nervous. I feel like I have to rush to catch my train that’s about to leave. Maybe that is the idea – to have a very fast turnover of customers!


015/2011 the grand opening

015/2011 the grand opening, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Turku has now officially opened its year of being one of the European Capitals of Culture. I’m afraid, some of my fears of what the year will have in store, materialised with the opening spectacle tonight. I’m sorry to say that it smacked of a huge media event, where all that counted was that it looked good on TV, but who could care less about the 50 000 people who turned up along the riversides, defying the biting cold of almost minus 20 degrees Celcius! Big screens were erected around the town for people to watch the live TV broadcast of a massive light, fire and sound show, by the group ‘Walk the Plank’ from England (why not domestic artists??). I had decided in advance not to even try to photograph any of the show, but to concentrate on seeing and experiencing it for real, without looking through the camera lens. In the end, I didn’t hear or see a lot, the area was simply too vast for the show make an impact on people standing further away. But the fireworks were spectacular! Just makes me wonder how many millions were shot up in the air with them, which could have been spent on improving the poor working conditions of many artists in our town.

But not to sound overly critical and negative, I did enjoy some of the ambience of the evening. Seeing thousands of people make their way along the riversides and across the ice, briskly and in a very determined manner because of the cold, was true evidence of our national charasteristic ‘sisu’ (guts, perseverance, endurance).

Hundreds of school children had been recruited to carry lanterns in processions, to bring light to the darkness, and to guide people to the spectacle area. I really enjoyed seeing them bundled up warmly, so earnest and serious, carrying out this special assignment.

But, once again, why on earth did willow branches of the frames have to be imported from England, to a country covered in forests!? I must say, though, that the lanterns did look nice in the dark night, and later on, hoisted up the masts of the old museum ship.

A special ‘River Aura symphony’ had been ‘composed’ for the occasion. It consisted of church bells in different parts of the town, and horns and sirens of boats moored along the riversides. Walking towards the opening venue, these totally unpredictable sounds and their echos on both sides of the river created quite a unique atmosphere. Experiencing this alone made it worthwhile leaving the cosy warmth of home, and freezing out there for a couple of hours.

All in all, I had quite a surreal feeling most of the evening, almost like being in a sci-fi movie. The unexpected sounds in the dark, the masses of people and bright lights of the spectacle made me expect a flying saucer to land any minute, a bit like in ‘Close Encounters’. But no aliens appeared – at least to my knowledge.

Ho hum! I’m glad I went although the very best moment of the evening was getting into the hot sauna waiting for us at home, and defrosting our fingers and toes!


014/2011 first lights of the culture capital

The first art installations for the Culture Capital year were unveiled – or actually lit – today. This pile driver machine, and the glowing polycarbonate light pile, by lighting designer Ilkka Paloniemi, will illuminate the market square for this opening weekend.

The pile is 782 cm high – one centimetre for each year of our town’s history. It also reminds us that most of our buildings have been built on mud, which is why lots of piles had to be used in the foundations. This year, culture is metaphorically being pushed deep into the muddy ground, in the hope of giving it a steady place here.


013/2011 our snow barometer

013/2011 our snow barometer, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Two of our garden light bulbs are broken. It looks quite funny after it’s snowed. The heat from the still working bulb soon melts all the snow on it. The half broken pink bulb still retains a little bit of snow on it, while the broken one gatheres all the snow on it. I’m wondering why it is that the warm light balls create icicles underneath them, but the snow-covered one doesn’t. Must be to do with melting snow turning into water, and then the colder night temperatures freezing the dripping water – perhaps?

Quite a science lesson – but pretty, too! I think our light fitment has more character than our neighbours’ uniform, perfectly working ones. Nah – I’m just making excuses for our laziness to fix things around the house. There is so much snow in the garden, though, that I think we’ll wait till spring to change the bulbs.


012/2011 colourful details

012/2011 colourful details, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Which do you find more important, the big picture or the little details? At work, I’m usually a quick grasper of broad overviews, and easily get tired of fussing over little details. With photogaphy, though, I’ve noticed that it’s often little, seemingly detached, details that draw my eye, and make me want to arrange them into an interesting composition.

Today it snowed all day again. I went out during my free lesson, for a bit of fresh air, and to get some pictures before the last trace of the afternoon light would fade away. It was the orange in the knitted pole cover (part of the community art project of our school) that popped into my vision at first. That led my eyes to the red car, and finally to the repeating orange window panes of the primary school, in the distance. Looking through the camera lens, I also liked the vertical repetition with the pole and then the trees in the background.

In the end, it’s not a big picture versus small details. The two actually go hand in hand.


January 2011

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