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A READER'S JOURNAL
1986 - 2010
ARJ2 Chapter: Reading for Enjoyment
Published by VLD/FI in 2010
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2010
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Perhaps to love is to learn
to walk through this world
To learn to be silent
like the oak and the linden of the fable.
To learn to see.
Your glance scatters seeds.
It planted a tree.
because you shake its leaves.
From ‘A Tree Within’ by Octavio Paz, translation by Eliot Weinberger,
I loved this book! Especially the wintery scenes of Finland. It took me a while to figure out that it was the author's shadow which graces the cover of the book. If you look carefully it becomes clear it is the shadow of a photographer on skis taking a photograph of his own shadow!
Vesa Loikas and I like to take photos of similar objects and scenes. For example, the close-up of the spruce bud, I love to take very close shots of tiny wildflowers which most people walk by without noticing. When they see the full size view of the wildflower, it seems fresh and new even though it is a flower they pass daily. Another one I like is the night scene reflected in a puddle, which depicts multiple layers of reality as Escher showed in his drawings. Then there’s the ice wall which reminded me of a photograph I took one year of icicles hanging from an open work table which later appeared in an Entergy calendar.
Other favorites were of winter Finnish scenes, such as the church in winter by the light of the Full Moon. At first I thought it was a residence, until I looked to the right side of image and discovered the crosses on the roof and the cemetery in the yard.
His 'Yellow Street' composition of Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden feeds into my love of taking photographs of architectural features and is one of my favorite photographs in this book.
Vesa wrote to me recently, "I do approach photography in a way where the object in the image is not the subject of the photograph. And they are open to interpretations like a poem or a fictional book. I'm interested in the technique but ultimately it is not about the camera or the equipment, but the feeling of the photograph that it projects and/or conveys."
This is something I understand very well, as for me also, photography is a feeling. I spot something, then move the camera until what I feel is just right shows up in the view finder. Afterwards, there is no way for me to explain why I took the photo the way I did, as there was no conceptual thought or logical rationale, but simply a feeling which prompted the photograph. It is also an act of faith for me — faith that the feeling I had which tripped my shutter will be the feeling that a viewer of that photograph will have as they enjoy the image.
At first it seemed too difficult to write a review of a book in which there is scant text. But after I decided to do it anyway some words came to my mind and some came from the photographer himself about his work. "My approach in this book is that every photo is a story or a poem by itself. And it is a collection like a collection of poems where there is a certain trend, but no continuous plot from one photograph to the next."
Being a writer and a photographer, I cannot leave home without a couple of ink pens and a camera with back up memory cards and batteries because every place I go is filled with possible subjects for my pen or my camera. It is now summer in Finland as I write this review, one of the warmest summers since 1914, and Vesa writes, "It is Midsummer Fest in Finland this weekend. People are off from work for a couple of days and spend their time with family and friends, and mostly in their summer cottages. I'm heading to the archipelago also tomorrow. The sun is up late and it doesn't get dark at all. It is a great time to photograph because of the special lighting conditions."
During a recent Baltic Sea cruise I took many photographs as we cruised the archipelago from Stockholm to the open waters of the sea. I was much impressed by the variety of large homes on the numerous islands we passed along the way, and wished I could return to take photos at other times of the day and seasons of the year.
Allow me to cease the words so that you may enjoy some of the photographs by Vesa Loikas, my favorite Finnish photographer.
To order photographs directly from Artist, Visit his Website by Clicking Here! Also available are Vesa Loikas designs on T-Shirts and Cooking Aprons. Click to see handsome model wearing them.
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