This autumn we had an idea to create an epic image for our local music school, The Liminka Institute of Music.
As some of you might already know, I’ve been living for just over a year now in a small countryside town called Liminka, located about 30km (20mi) south from Oulu. It is probably most famous about it’s Liminka Bay, the largest bay in the northernmost parts of the Gulf of Bothnia, which is a valuable bird habitat and wetland, even on the European scale. During the migration season in the autumn thousands of swans, geese and cranes fly just above my house making their way to the wetlands for a final gathering before moving south for the winter. Some of them make stops in the nearby fields my house is surrounded with. I’ve made several walks in those fields photographing birds, and noticed an interesting barn, which I wanted to use in a photo shoot.
I knew some of the teachers in the Liminka Institute of Music and we came up with an idea to make an image to promote the school and their upcoming charity concert. I wanted to create a dramatic scene where musicians play “the last concert of autumn” in the windy field, with swans flying south, as winter was clearly coming. My original idea was to shoot on location by the barn but then we realized it was going to be a serious problem for the delicate instruments (most of all the grand piano) to transport them on site and exposing them to varying Finnish weather conditions.
Plan B then. So once again I went for a walk and took pictures of our local fields, hay stacks, and that barn of course for the background, and photographed all the musicians with their instruments at my studio in Oulu. The musicians are all teachers at the Institute, not professional models, but they did indeed make every effort to get every detail right in order to get this spectacular image. Like music professionals do everything for their music too. We had a really great time at the shoot and I’m so grateful that they had the ambition to implement my vision. This project was also a small way of mine of honoring our 100 year old Finland.
After putting all together in post processing this is what I ended up with:
And here you can watch how it all came together layer by layer.