Pictures from a small Baltic island

Simple beauty sometimes takes an effort

Mariehamn Sailors Chapel
The beautiful sailors’ chapel in Sea Quarter of Mariehamn Eastern Harbour, Åland, Finland

LOOK at this picture. Beautiful isn’t it. Simple. Balanced. Clean lines. Nice evening light.

This is the Sailors’ Chapel in the Sea Quarter of the Eastern Harbour in Mariehman in the Åland archipelago. The picture was taken in April as the ice cover over the harbour was beginning to melt.

Take another look at the picture. Where was the picture taken from?

The camera position makes it seem like it must be floating just above the water. I can assure you I wasn’t standing in the water or on the thin late-season ice. And there is no shore line here until five metres behind me. But I did want a nice reflection of the chapel in the gap between the ice. And I wanted the landing jetty on the left to extend up into the top corner to give the eye a dramatic path into the photograph.

There was only one way to do this. I braced my legs under a rope on the jetty and leaned out and down over the icy water bending my knees. I could only do it for about 15 seconds at a time because it really hurt. But these pictures from low above the water are much more dramatic than the ones taken off from the top of the landing jetty.

A lot of effort for a beautiful and simple image. But worth every ounce of pain…

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One response

  1. What don’t we photographers do for a great shot? :) Well done and it sure was worth the pain!

    May 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

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