Virtual traveling: Helsinki, Finland 🇫🇮

Helsinki, Finland is a friendly city who prides themselves in raising some of the smartest kids in the world.

Their secret: sending them to start school at a later age by first spending time in society gathering experiences and reading books.

All Photos (c) Martina

Finland Church up on the hill
Health conscious and fit minded
National Geographic lives here
City landscape
The Helsinki Cathedral
Moomin characters- popular children’s illustrator Tove Jansson
Magazine ad
Blue skies – Gulf of Finland
Famous sculpture / Sibelius
Posted in buildings, children, Finland, Helsinki, landscapes, outside, photography, sculpture, Sibelius sculpture, travel | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Portrait of a young hitchhiker: making his way to Alaska

Happy Father’s Day to all you men of courage. Only the love of a father can give us is awesomely unique.

This is my Dad during his high school photos. A few years later he was hitchhiking his American Dream all the way from Connecticut to Alaska. Literally with his 👍

He was an adventurous person with high hopes for the future.

We lost him in 2016 from old age. He wasn’t exactly old at 75, but I believe he lost his spirit and the will to survive. He was a Navy Veteran too.

The wisdom he shared and the stories he told will never be forgotten. He befriended the stranger folks who were just as “crazy” as he was.

With love 💕 and gratitude, I would not be here if it wasn’t for the love from my father and all the ups & downs we lived through. We miss you!

Thank you for the car ride bringing my Dad safely to Alaska where his dream became a reality.

Happy Father’s Day to my fellow photographers…

Posted in Alaska, American Holidays, Father’s Day, photography, Reflections, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Views of the past: waiting on a future to move forward….

Sitting here at home, inside searching through past photo adventures to help me feel better and hoping to reconnect with fun travels soon. Here are some favorite vistas…life in and around Stockholm, Sweden.

All photos taken by (c) Martina using a Nikon D850, 16-35mm lens.

Happy Photo shooting to you all!

Amusement park – Djurgarden
Along the streets – Stockholm City
View from Hilton balcony
Life among the river – Stockholm City
Drottningholm Palace
Views along the streets
Getting a bite
The gardens of the Palace

Posted in buildings, landscapes, nature, outside, photography, Stockholm, Sweden, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take me back in time: an eight year old reflection

Front page of the STAMFORD Connecticut ADVOCATE newspaper. “Prize winning door” designer by this Proud eight year old. That’s me showing the design I dreamed up. I made the flag, my classmate drew the president.
Colors were Red, White and Blue!

Looking back this was a time of young innocence where classmates were of every nationality and for the most part we got along.

Walking home from school, I met with opposition from some boys who didn’t like me for some reason, they always found something to pick on me.

That didn’t leave me scared for life as I let it go, my mother raised me right. “Treat people for who they are not what they look like.” These words would echo in my ears all my days.

Throughout life, I kept an open ear and a big heart, a few of my best friends were of a different race. Never holding my future friends accountable for someone else’s past mistakes of how they treated me. I got along with everyone nice to me.

I would call my eight year old self a person who was bullied. That didn’t stop me from forming new friendships from people who didn’t look like me. I moved on, growing wonderful friendships throughout the years. This would not have happened if I wasn’t learning the lessons taught by my parents.

Looking back my eight year old self, I’ve come a long way…what about you?

Tokens from different worlds….

We matter, one person at a time, change is imminent.

Posted in BLM, children, photographic messages, photography, Reflections, Stamford, CT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vibes from the landscape: a photographic perspective

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” A quote often heard in my younger years.

Now I don’t suppose I will find others who think like me, nor does that make for interesting conversations.

When I think of other people I know, it is often when I am outside photographing in nature or along my paths of the streets.

When I spot a subject matter, a written sign, a specific color or a type of object, it often sparks me to remember a particular person because of what I know about them.

I enjoy helping others just as much as I enjoy taking photographs and staying connected with others into the crowds or along a paved path. Photography is like therapy and especially when being outdoors. It’s a wonder with being stuck inside so long that nature is calling me once again.

Images: from a photographer holding a FujiFilm X-T3, XF 18-55 lens

She stepped into my photograph, thank you!
What are they sharing?
It would be lovely to have such a picture perfect scene in our life!
This message comes just as I planned to venture downtown for more photo adventures.
Posted in BLM, landscapes, movement, Naperville,IL, photographic messages, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Heart ❤️ of the Matter

Viewing my own town’s downtown streets, you see what remains in front of you with your eyes.

You feel like you are living in a different world, a different country.

The boundaries are open, our hearts are crossed for a better tomorrow and happier times.

When will we feel normal again?

Our lives matter, stop the madness….

Lost for words, these photos speak for me of what my heart can’t understand. 

Peace. Love.Unite..don’t fight!

It feels lonely.

Where are all the people?

Posted in BLM, buildings, landscapes, Mid-West, Naperville,IL, outside, photography, Reflections, summer, What Remains | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prison perspectives: Your life matters

Prison perspectives.

Your life matters!!

Not sitting on that bench,

I’m too far away,

Looking out to my dreams,

I see you, do you see me?

Can’t think straight,

Got me in these prison echos,

About to lose my mind.

Watching my child in my head,

She’s gonna grow up without me,

What will she tell her high school sweetheart?

Banged my body against this brick,

They hit me with a stick,

Robbed me of my dignity,

How can I face the light if I ever see it again?

Take my money, take my car,

Don’t steal my soul or my family life.

They are all I have,

I’m so proud.

You stripped away my freedom,

Spinning my head til it got confused,

What right do you have,

My life matters,

I am human too.

Nobody cares about humanity!

These prison walls,

Smell of stale blood,

Old sweat,

Skin of Every color,

Tears so clear,

Please don’t take my dreams from me,

My life Matters too!!

Posted in buildings, Hurry up and Wait, landscapes, photographic messages, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going Nowhere…A trip to Yellowstone- part I

When the road ahead looks like it never ends you literally can’t see pavement. This 40 plus hour road trip out West to Yellowstone offered diverse landscape and many roads leading to nowhere, or so it seemed.

Driving on I-90 through Nebraska, I get stopped by a cop who was in front of me. That’s a new one. It’s also State #4 where I have paid speeding fines. I’m not proud of this but when the road to nowhere gets boring, my driving speeds up. Thankfully the speed limit was 75, so relatively speaking my speed above the limit wasn’t as high. These officers seem to come from nowhere. Really.

So the adventures begin with leaving the Chicago area and heading north to I-80 West. Most of the driving was done in 4-5 hours spurts while stopping at various places.

Fast forward and the family stops in South Dakota to visit Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Both were amazing to see. I was impressed with Crazy horse, the history behind this work in progress and the scale compared to Mt. Rushmore.

Of course a photographer has to do what they love to do even if it’s a postcard shot and cliques.

Crazy horse sculpture, a work in progress all year long. An overcast day.

The famous Mt. Rushmore. I was taking more photos here than of my family vacation. Sort of like a postcard. Nothing special here.

Anxious to watch a smaller version of a geyser explode. It was not like Old Faithful.

Watching with anticipation, the spectacular Old Faithful eruption lasted about 7 minutes.

I met up with this other photographer who started to follow me wherever I planted my tripod. We didn’t share a common language but shared the craft of our passion. We had a few laughs.

I might forget I was there, at times I want to be in the landscape. What an amazing view of this explosive pop of color on the barren terrain.

Like most enthusiastic photographers, I take over kill photos – then when I finally spent time sifting though them, I find a gem I forgot I took.

Happy Shooting as always. What would this world be without photographers!

Posted in landscapes, Mid-West, National Parks, nature, outside, parks, Photographic art, photography, sculpture, structure, summer, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Back to look forward

As I look back on my blog posts and where my time was spent, I have been photographing diverse landscapes, different countries while putting down my cameras to sometimes just take in the wow 😮 or the world happening around me to see,

While living in this modern age, we tend to miss life when we focus on our cell phones, the same is true when our photographic eyes are fixated through the lens and miss out on the whole 360.

I witness this when my camera was ready to capture old faithful in Yellowstone and the Bison was moments away coming towards my direction. Little did I know the animal can jump up the walk and run fast. Luckily I didn’t chase it like someone else did, but I had to change my camera settings and missed a magical moment.

There are different places, spaces and subjects for a variety of cameras. My DSLR is better suited for a tripod when I am fixated on a particular subject and I have the right lens mounted…be it a bird in the distance, or real estate and landscape scenes. It’s also great for hand held portraits.

My smaller mirrorless camera is quick, handy and fast to have ready at a moments notice.

while I have always felt DSLR cameras had better lens options, times are changing with with mirrorless technology. I’m a DSLR shooter, but that gear can be heavy to carry, especially overseas.

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It’s Spring Time…

Some happy colors to cheer you up since most of you are inside….

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