A raven and a campfire. What more do you need?

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.

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Sunset. The ever amazing canvas.

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.

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Sunset over wintery Porvoo.

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.

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The sky coloring houses and trees pink was something to experience.

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.

A Cathedral with proper ambience

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.

A Frozen River

This is probably the video I’m most content with thus far in my short weeks with my drone. A beautiful setting with streaming water together with ice and bare rocks. An old, small power plant building built from red bricks gave the snowy views a nice contrast.

A sunny day would have been a plus and some snow on the trees would have made the scene even more beautiful. But we can’t adjust nature and that’s part of the fun. I even recorded the sound of the water running, adding to the overall atmosphere. Got my fingers frozen to the point they really hurt, but it was worth it! And of course I had the obligatory warm coffee with me, so that gave some instant relief.

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The bare necessities of a drone pilot in the wild. A backpack, thermos filled with coffee, a sandwich (rye-bread of course, we’re in Finland) and a blanket for taking off and landing in the snow.