Being out in nature with his camera and his loved ones, Olli is living a complete life as he’s able to combine all of his passions into one experience. Check out his good vibes below.
Say hello to Olli:
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I’m from Espoo, which is a big town in southern Finland. Traveling has always been my passion, and I have been to as many as 32 countries across every continent except for Africa, which I will soon cross over.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
My favourite country at the moment is Italy. It’s full of absolutely wonderful places, and the most beautiful place is The Almighty Dolomites in northern Italy. I was struggling between New Zealand and Italy, as far as the most beautiful place in the world. Somehow, I ended up with Italy….
What’s on your “bucket list” of ideas to create?
I have a lot of ideas of what I want to create. The problem is that I forget most of them before I can act upon it. I suppose I need to start writing them down as they come. That way, I can always cross the ideas off, one at the time as they come to fruition. 🙂 To be honest, I think that those ideas that I forget are not meant to be created or they’re just not worth it. My bucket list is full of ideas associated with astrophotography. Those shots require planning ahead, and I love that aspect of it. A lot of logistics go into bringing those ideas to fruition – lots of late nights, carrying a tent around, driving, and travelling. And ultimately, everything can easily turn out to be in vain if the clouds suddenly decide to arrive. However, the most amazing photos are the ones that you’ve worked extra hard to capture. I had this one idea for a while but didn’t get the chance to make it happen this summer – it involved the Milky Way in the background with a tent in the midground, and water casting a reflection of the Milky Way and tent. In the foreground, you would see the tent lit-up inside where a couple is getting it on. 🙂 The lighting inside the tent draws a beautiful silhouette of the couple where they are sitting, facing each other or maybe kissing. This idea would be even cooler if it were in the winter; I might just have to give it a try.
What prompted your love for the outdoors?
As a child, I hiked and camped a lot, mostly in Finnish Lapland. I remember not enjoying it that much when I was younger, but when the camping trips got more rare, I found myself truly missing those. I think the one year I spent in the military made me even more of an outdoor lunatic. These days, we make at least two one-week camping trips a year and a bunch of shorter ones. I think for me, it’s all about the wilderness – what you can witness out there, the silence, and completely stress-free environment. And of course, good friends. I love photography, hiking, fly-fishing, and travelling, and I feel so lucky and blessed that I have a wife and good friends to enjoy that with. It’s amazing how easily all those passions of mine can be combined together.
How did you get into photography? Is it your primary career?
When I was a young teenager, I did nothing else but skateboard and snowboard. And of course, read skateboarding magazines. I think it’s from those magazines that truly got me to fall in love with photography. When I was about 16 years old, I got my first DSLR. I was super excited about trick sequences, so I decided to get a used Canon 1D mark I, which had 8 frames a second and 4 megapixels. 🙂 I had that camera for about six years and I used it a lot. As the body (both my body and camera body) got older, I decided to sell my gear and concentrate on girls and finding the one and only. 🙂 So the photography thing went a away for a while. I managed to find myself a wonderful wife, and as we started to travel a lot, I started to photograph again. First, with simple gear, but simultaneously, I was doing some pretty intense research on what kind of equipment I should get. Photography has never been my primary career, and to be honest, I’m not counting on it to ever be that. But of course, every man has his dreams. Can’t think of any better job than travelling around the world and doing what I love to do – photography.
What types of photography do you do?
I’d put me in the box of landscape photographers, but maybe not the usual kind. I love astrophotography, and I love mixing classical landscape with astrophotography together. I also love very long exposures. I’m more of a technical person, so whenever there’s something to be planned, calculated, and combined together, I’m all in love.
Of the photos you’ve taken, which are your three favorites?
What’s the best advice you can think of for someone just starting in photography?
Spend at least a month on YouTube watching different photography techniques and related post-processing tips. Go out and shoot the hell out your camera and always find ways to make the next photo better than the previous one. Practice the techniques and make mistakes to learn from them. Browse pictures that others have taken and try to figure out how they took it. Go out and offer your services for free to get your name out there and to build up your confidence. And last but not least, figure out what it is that you want to be photographing. It doesn’t have to be one thing though.
If you could photograph anything in the world, what would it be?
My bucket list is super long, and I might need a week or two to organize it in proper order. My wife, who’s the best travelling company, has this weird rule that she won’t travel to a place that she has already been to. But I am not going to follow that rule when answering this one. 🙂 And we have already started planning our next bigger trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar, so that’s not something I’m ONLY dreaming of.
MY TOP THREE:
- New Zealand, to shoot the Milky Way in late August when the best parts are visible in the best position.
- Iceland, to shoot some landscapes and waterfalls during fall when the Northern Lights are putting on their show.
- Norway in the fall, with the camper van from Geiranger through all those little towns, and Lofoten to Senja to shoot some landscapes and wilderness.
Who do you want to give a shoutout to?
What do you think is the biggest thing holding you back in your photography?
Long story short: the lack of confidence and the typical Finnish ideology are in my opinion, the biggest things that are holding me back. I’m sure that when or if the first one grows the second one fades…. But the fact that I used the word IF in my previous sentence, proves that I really do have a typical Finnish ideology that I need to get rid of.
What’s the most inspiring photo you’ve ever seen?
This question is just something I cannot find the answer for. I’ve seen so many beautiful photos that I cannot raise one above others. The thing I can say is that the most inspiring photos I’ve seen are shot by Kenan Hurdeniz, Konsta Punkka, Iurie Belegurschi, Chrystal Hutchinson, Enzo Romano, and Daniel Kordan… This list never ends if I really get to it.
What kind of gear do you have?
I love new gear…. Maybe too much for my own good. I’m currently shooting with Canon 5D mark III and I’m using the following lenses: Sigmas 50mm and 20mm F1.4 Arts, Canons 16-35mm and 70-200mm F4 L IS lenses, and Tamrons 24-70 F2.8 VC. My favourite lenses are Sigmas 20mm and 50mm F1.4 Art. Maybe because they are so sharp (the word sharp doesn’t really do them justice) and they let in so much light when shooting astrophotos.
What has photography done for you as a person? How has it changed you?
Photography has changed me a lot. I’m not sure if the people around me even notice it though, but I’m never alone these days – it’s always me and my Canon-buddy. I’ve been to so many places in my life, but it wasn’t until recently that I really opened my eyes and started enjoying the views around me. It’s amazing how much you get out of a place when you sit down and really look around. Though this easily happens if you’re looking for a better point of view, angle, lighting and composition. The one thing photography has done for me that I’m most happy about is that I’m always ready for an adventure. I always have something that I want do and somewhere I want to go next. It really keeps me going.
For anyone who wants to get in touch with Olli, here’s some contact information:
Olli, thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us! 🙂
If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.