Archive for March, 2011

No Entry and No Pass


This image is my favorite image, that i have taken in the 7 odd months that i have had my DSLR. This, is the reason why!, i have wanted one for so long! the ability to slow down time! This was taken looking up towards the town of  Vaasa. There is a set of traffic lights just up a bit, so i figured it was a great point to get some fantastic traffic trails! Its also a main road so i knew that there would be plenty of traffic! Its a 30 second exposure at f16. I love how crisp and cold everything looks! It was minus 18 that night though so no wonder there is snow stuck to the lampost! I really couldn’t have asked for some better traffic trails than this. Hope you like it! The image on the blog page, for some reason does not do it justice. Click on it to enlarge it for a better look. Enjoy!




So, if the first photo was looking up towards the town center, the next is looking in the opposite direction. This is the view of Vasklot Bridge leading to Sundom. It is also a 30 second exposure at f16. It is another image process that i love. Taking long exposures! To take these exposures, then it is ideal for the surroundings to be dark, or in other words, to be night time! Then you can get some great traffic trails if you are in a area that has traffic, or if not, your somewhere away from the hassle of the ‘city’ life, then its possible to get some great Star Trail shots. I will defiantly give them a shot, but not this year. I will wait till the winter months of January, February where the sun switches off for most of the day here in Finland. Perfect for long exposures! But, if the night is longer than the day in the winter, then the days are surely longer than the nights in the summer i hear someone say!….Yip. They sure are. Quite considerably too. So for that reason alone, i have searched out and purchased a filter. Not just any filter. A 10 stop ND filter. That will allow me to take these long exposures in the most sunny and light conditions! Needless to say im looking forward to giving it a shot! I wont go too much into the nitty gritty of it all, as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words….so when i do get this picture, then youll know what im talking about! Hopefully…..






Matthew Watkins Thu Mar 31 9:07pm


Vaasa Night Time Experiment

March 31, 2011 1 comment

*BING*…..Experiment time! I went out into the darkest depth of the town of Vaasa one Friday night. Boy i could not have been worse on the choice of nights! But, it was an experiment as stated, and experiments fail…..sometimes! I dont regard this as a failed experiment mind, but as an attempt!…a Mark I…. An  ‘aye, ill give it a go mun, why not init’….(oh the joy of thinking in Valley speak! It would be sold for millions!) Went off on on one there for a bit, sorry about that! So, Friday night. Bad choice of nights, but it was a night when i was traveling home late from work, so in many ways it was perfect! It was a crisp, clear, minus 9 degrees night. I started out taking a few pictures of certain places in the town center. I really wished i had packed my headphones for the trip so i could drown out the drunken people shouting and screaming from the market square. Mind, cant complain too much as not too long ago, i was there! So that was the main reason why i stayed on the outskirts of the town center and did not venture any further! There were a few Passer by’s with the odd shout of ‘take my picture!’…in English!! What have i got ‘ENGLISH SPEAKER’ stuck on me somewhere?!? Never mind…the car they were driving gave me some nice traffic trails, so for that i am thankfull!! So, i hear you say…whats the experiment leading up to? Well if its not too obvious, then you will just have to wait…and wait patiently! But in the meantime, enjoy the photos on this page, and the others.


Matthew Watkins Thu Mar 31 8:36pm



Yes, you are write… I have changed the layout, text on top, photos underneath. Hope it works out for the best, or ill swap them back.






March 27, 2011 2 comments




3 pictures taken last Saturday night as i was driving home from work. I had spotted this vantage point some time ago and had kept thinking that i would take advantage of it when it would be at its best. From November till February, Finland is Dark. Very dark, at its darkest and most depressing its lucky if there will be a full 3 hours of sunlight! But of course, I couldnt wait that long. So i knew that i would be finishing work that night, just as it would be starting to get dark. Packed my camera and tripod into the car, got my gloves and scarf, some chewing gums and off i went! They were taken at 20:15 i think, as it gets dark now at 20:00. I was expecting to get there later as i didn’t think i would finish work until 20:00. They turned out fantastic tho, and had just enough traffic too. This is the second time i have ventured out into the ‘Vaasa Night Time’ taking photographs and boy have i had some funny looks and stares…even more than usual!! Have they not seen a camera before?


Matthew Watkins Sun Mar 27 8:03pm

Church of Vaasa in Black and White

Three black and white pictures for you today. Going through a black and white phase at this moment in time. There was some great contrast in these shots, but the versions that are in colour were just not up to the mark. Not like these. Great striking image from the front of the church in the first shot, and the same with the third image looking onto the clock tower. Unfortunately for reasons i could not foresee, i was not allowed into the church to photograph this time. But next time i will be sure to as its quite a fantastic church. Hope you enjoy the images. I think i will be in a more colourful state of mind from now on, starting to overdo the monochrome a little.


Matthew Watkins Sat Mar 19 9:35pm

This Town Caught my Eye

Here are a few photos i took of things that caught my eye while walking through Vaasa the other day. We have been lucky to have such great spring weather and after a long, tough winter with temperatures reaching minus 30 degrees the summer is long overdue. The only problem with spring in Finland, as you can imagine, is the amount of slushy snow and water that is the aftermath of such heavy amounts of snow, fallen over the last 4-5 months. So the result of this is a very dirty looking town for a few weeks. But if you have lived in Finland throughout the seasons, you will know that the summer, is worth the wait! Temperatures rising to plus 28 degreese, 24 hour sunlight and of course, the tradition of the ‘summer cottages’. I’m very sorry but i am digging black and white at the moment due to the great contrast of light outside. So of course many of my posts will be in black and whit. But never fear, colour WILL come back into my life, so will HDR. Probably. Enjoy the photos.


Matthew Watkins Wed Mar 16 11:59am


Two more posts of the photos taken of the Academill building. Look great in black and white. It was a beautiful bright, blue skied sunny springs day, walking down by the sea front here in Vaasa. But the images just didn’t do it for me when they were in colour as much as the black and white ones do.


Matthew Watkins Wed Mar 16 11:05am

2 Black and White and You Must Be mad To Be A Posti.

Ok 3 images that i am more than happy with here! Very little Photoshop processing done on each of them. How crazy must one be to want to be a Post-Person in Finland? The middle picture is one of their preferred mode of transport. A BICYCLE! Oh yes even in the deepest of winter the Post-People use these to transport letters, postcards and parcels to the people of Finland. Must be Nuts i say. Not every Post-Person uses it though to be fair. Some use 50cc scooters, some use Post Vans which are usually Toyota with the steering wheel on the opposite side! The Third picture is a view looking up Vasaesplanaden. Cant wait to shoot this in the Summer, or Spring, especially Autumn.


Matthew Watkins Tue Mar 15 11:49am