Here is short ABC for taking a landscape picture in Finland. Because we do not have high mountains or clear blue seas with rugged cliffs we need to build our photos on different corner stones.
A. Classic Finnish lanscape should always include lakes and birch trees. The best would be the spruce forest, but they are disappearing because of forestry. Spruce has been replaced with the pine. Forestry likes the tree of the taiga, pine, because it is easy to make toilet paper out of it. Therefore paper is still the corner stone of our forest industry. You can’t wipe with the internet, can you?
B. Because the lake is a crucial part of Finnish landscape there could be also frozen lakes in Finnish landscape pictures. That’s because the winter is another key element in the Finnish nature photography. So, ice covered lake is a must. Especially if there are some spruce forests around the lake. Birch is no good at winter time because it is ugly without leafs. Alder and aspen are also very very ugly during winter.
Because there are lot of thickets full of these trees at the water line there will be lot of ugly trees in your lake photos. The only exception is when the trees are covered with ice crystals. In that case also birch is allowed in Finnish landscape photo. Try still to avoid aspen and alder. They always make the photo look grey.
C. One element in the Finnish landscape photo is the unique light. Like in all landscape photos, light is the one which makes the True Art. Because we have the nightless night (The Midnight Sun), the sunless day, (The Polar Night) and some dancing fire (The Northern Lights), we have all the weirdest light phenomenon in the world. Feels like our sun has went lunatic.
Actually, most of the time it is really hard to catch the right light because the sky is cloudy. And grey. And ugly.
D. Don’t forget the mist. Because our weather is changing from hot to cold and back within 24 hours, we have also lot of mist. A thunder storm or a freezing cold (+ 2 °C) Midsummer night helps you with the mist, as well as the autumn rain. Actually most of the extreme weather the climate change offers can help you to find a misty moment. Some winter days in southern Finland can be misty all day long. That also makes your photos look very very grey.
In short: If you combine the mist, the lake and the birch then you have The Most Classic Finnish Landscape. To get there you just need to survive 10 months of other conditions and thousands of ugly pictures.
Yes, it has been a very cloudy, grey and dull weather during last four weeks in southern Finland…I want to move to Lapland!