The Koli National Park in Northern Karelia is said to offer some of the most spectacular and typically Finnish landscapes. And even as a Finn, I have to agree. You’ll usually bump into Koli scenery in Sibelius album covers or Finnish travel brochures. The photos are usually taken in the summer, where pure green and blue take turns to paint a picture of the pure and clean Finnish nature. And that’s all good. The thing is, Koli is really really beautiful in the winter as well.
We did a short trip to Koli with a good friend of mine with snowboot-trekking and skiing in mind. And of course photo- and videography. We found an excellent, peaceful villa to stay, the Mustikkamäki Cottage, which is owned by a really nice couple, Leena and Urpo. Just a 15min drive from the Koli village, it was a perfect spot to serve as a base camp and just to chill out.
I had the chance to do a quick hike somewhere in the Jyväskylä region. After browsing terrain maps and the excellent Luontoon.fi -website I decided to pay the Isojärvi National Park a short visit. The weather was pretty much optimal, not too hot, not too sunny and really calm. Had my drone packed with me to catch yet again landscapes with altitude.
The original intent was to hike to the nearest camping site and admire the views, since I only had about 5 hours for my trip. But a certain fact had me walking for 10 kilometers.
Looking for beavers
Ok, I know, but this time it really is about real beavers. It was mentioned many times in the Isojärvi brochures, that there is a beaver community living by a pond in the National Park. So off I went.
Sadly, none of these natures own lumberjacks were to be found, but it was still an interesting site to see.
Mirror mirror on the w… lake
The beaverpond was interesting, but what really captured my attention was the scene that opened on my tablet’s screen when I raised the drone up to about 100 meters. There was practically no wind at all, so the ponds and lakes acted as clear mirrors that reflected the sky with its beautiful clouds.
I’ve never witnessed the phenomena that clearly. Sure, there’s nice reflections to be found on every water surface, but when the surface was at a standstill, the effect was pretty epic. In the form of a video right here:
Ever wondered how a landfill / recycling center looks from above? Well, neither did I before I got this drone, but here you go:
One really has to be glad, that nowadays almost everything gets recycled at this site that used to be a traditional landfill, where everything was just dumped away. Some things really do get better over time.
A swamp is actually a very interesting place to go hiking. The scents are unlike any other and usually you get a feeling of being somewhere really remote. That’s something I usually look for anyway. The colours are beautiful as well. Here’s something I did with my drone that day:
What I found out was, that the camera on the Mavic Pro drone really, really doesn’t like backlight. Anything shot with hard light in the background came out practically useless. That’s a shame, but just a limitation one has to live with. Still, my DSLR doesn’t fly around and shoot super-smooth video. Other than that, all went well. Got to enjoy my coffee in silence.
A short retreat with a friend to a national park is just your perfect method to take a moment away from it all. And with a recently acquired drone, it was really fun to capture those moments on fil… a memorycard.
Just when I decided to capture some background audio just to make the video a bit more lively, a raven started to “sing” somewhere in the distance. You can actually hear it, if you’ve got your headphones on. The timing was amazingly perfect, it started just after I touched “record” and stopped really soon after the two-minute recording was done. So thanks, anonymous raven!
The national park in question is called Liesjärvi, and it’s located only about a hundred kilometres from Helsinki. You could actually sleep in the hut that you can see in the background of the campsite, but while the weather forecast had been pretty grim with continuous snow and slate, we had rented a really nice log-cottage nearby. A pretty different experience to stay overnight than the hut, but suited us reaally well in the end of the day.
The world is filled with sunset pictures. A quick glance on Instagram shows nearly 121 million photos with the hashtag sunset. And still they keep on amazing us humans. Like this 15 minutes of purple, pink and yellow the other night. It was quite a finnish moment, I was bathing in the sauna, and suddenly noticed the sky, which was blazing with colours, mostly pink at that time. Quickly set up my drone and headed out to get these images. Video didn’t do the scene justice, so I ended up shooting stills.
Ask a a metheorologist, they’ll know in detail, but here up north, the sunsets get this colourful, when there’s these certain types of weather conditions. This time around, the temperature was dropping for the night after an warmer day and usually, in my experience, you need at least that to get the sunset to be this colourful.
Of course shooting from a quadcopter isn’t the same as with an DSLR, but then again, your DSLR isn’t (usually) flying 100m up in the air. Still I would have hoped a little better performance from my tiny DJI Mavic Pro drone. I had to combine these two images from multiple ones. The title image is as shot, just a few adjustments to exposure with Camera Raw when opened in Photoshop. No other tinkering was made.
A painter can paint a sunset, but nature makes us feel one.
Having a hobby is great. Combining two is out this world! Read on and I’ll explain.
This time I stopped by the Sipoo cathedral, well in the middle of the night, actually. The village of Nikkilä actually has two churches, an medeival one, and then this from the 19th century. While the population was growing, they needed a new one, pretty practical thinking (exaclty what you would expect from a group of Finns).
I remembered, that the church is lit pretty nicely and is visible from far. This one night the temperature was around zero and the weather was really misty. This combination was just as beautiful as I thought it would be. And now comes the best part.
A colleague of mine had watched my videos and mentioned one day, that I should use some royalty-free music as background. I actually had thought of that and had tried some from YouTube’s offering, but they really didn’t hit me at all.
So, I decided to try and compose my very own ambient music! I had some sort of idea, what would suit the video and just went to explore my never-used Ableton Live Lite that came with my guitar amplifier. I was surprised how much I liked the final song and I think it adds signicantly to the atmosphere and ambience of the video. So here you go!
Feel free to comment how you found the combination of my music and the video! I recommend listening with a decent pair of headsets, the bass is pretty deep.