When it is time to lay down your paddle

When it is time to lay down your paddle

(Click image to see the project)

This is a project I have been working on for some time now. It is very personal and one of the most important – if not the most important piece of work I’ve ever done.

I have enjoyed tremen­dously doing it and I am proud of the result, I think we did well. At the same time, happiness is not the feeling I am having right now.

In the past when someone has asked me who are the photo­graphers I admire the most in the world I have typically replied with more or less the same four names: Sebastiao Salgado, Nick Brandt, Hannes Heikura and Kyösti Romppanen.

This project is about the fourth photo­grapher on my list.

Kyösti’s pictures were published in Kuukausi­liite some ten years ago, and I was immediately totally mesme­rised by them. I sent him fan mail, one thing led to another, and we got to know each other. To the extent that I consider him a friend.

Late last summer I found out that he was seriously ill. I still remember the evening he told me about it; I went paddling out myself – not knowing what to think, feeling devastated.

The Project

Somewhere along the weeks and months came the idea that I wanted to do something. To write and design something to honor his work. Call it a tribute, call it whatever. And this is what I did. To the best I could. Or put it more concretely: we did, during the past couple of months. His images – my text and UX.

You can see it here.

It is worth your time, trust me.

I am very proud of the whole and happy we did it. And at the same time, very sad — understandably.

Some weeks ago Kyösti gave me one of his original images and it hangs on our bedroom wall. When I am laying on the bed, I can feel I am in the kayak myself.

I hope when you see his images you share some of that feeling. Please view the project with an iPad or a computer; a smartphone does not do justice to his stunning imagery.

One more time: you can see it here.

3 Replies to “When it is time to lay down your paddle”

  1. Dude. Spectacular. He is fortunate to have you as a friend (and it sounds like you’re pretty lucky in that regard as well).
    His images are so simple and obvious, yet there is a beauty in them that I’m sure everyone would miss if they were there. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it. The voice in my head is saying, “Come on! It’s right there!”. But this breath­taking beauty is easy to miss if you blink. You know…kind of like life.

    1. Appreciate it Hopper, really do.

      Like I said, totally mixed feelings about this. Yes, I think we both have been fortunate that we got to know each other. There is this amazing mutual respect which seems to be missing so often nowadays in our daily lives.
      I was hoping you would see this :-) , somehow guessed that you would see the value of it.
      We gotta talk more often.

  2. kari: there is now in NETFLIX a movie “KODACHROME” a bit naive and “american” but it has a little bit same idea: A guy who is dying of a cancer, finds four rolls of unprocessed kodachrome and wants to take them to a lab, that will process them only a few days more.. OK I am not dying nor you, but the main idea “To preserve images in a form that shows I HAVE LIVED” that is real pictures that you can see on a wall or porto­folio. That is what I am doing now. I also feel it is important and every ageing photo­grapher should take time to do, until it is too late ( vanishing energies etc.) I enjoy your work. keep it up..

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