I am fascinated with the difference between exact, objective observations versus subjective interpretations. As the old saying goes, for some the glass is half full and for others half empty. But it goes so much further than just being either optimist or pessimist. Maybe you have also had that discussion once where you can’t decide if a certain color is blue or green. Or sometimes it can even be difficult to say if something that someone did was right or wrong. Not to mention the differences in experiencing art like music, paintings or literature.

At the River by Moonlight
At the River by Moonlight

When I started posting my photos online five years ago I often got advice on how to make the snow white instead of blue or yellow, or how to brighten up my low key shots. I was grateful for the advice but have never felt the need to do those things. It is amazing how many different approaches there are to one art form, like for example photography. Photographers aim to achieve different kinds of effects with their work. For me it is not that much of making the snow white or the amount of exposure right to match the lighting in the original situation. Instead I try to create stories with my images on the spot, without post-processing. For example At the River by Moonlight was taken around midday but the sharp contrasts of the light inspired me to take a very low key photo and so I managed to create a mysterious feeling of moonlight. A photo that would be very difficult to catch at night. It is the extraordinary rather than the ordinary that interests me. And finding that ready to be picked up, being able to see it spontaneously rather than manipulating it afterwards into existence is most gratifying to my ambitions. But that is just my way of seeing photography. There are many more.


Since I last wrote about this situation with Russian planes circling around in our air space I feel I have to update you on that as well. As an objective fact it really is wrong. I remain terrified, even more than before, especially after three consequent airspace violations on Tuesday very close to where we live. However, there is no denying the nature of our neighbor. As a superpower it seems to think it has that right. We have always had to stand on thin line with our relations to Russia. It is very difficult to decide whether we should be going on as usual or act on it. We don’t want to live like history hadn’t taught us anything. But it just might be that this is the normal for us. Apparently at least for the decision makers in Russia. Altogether different question is if it’s right or not and how to change it. A good way of testing the objectivity in almost any matter is by asking the question “Would they do it to someone else?” I truly can’t see Russia violating for instance the Canadian airspace and getting away with it. The power of rhetorics is amazing. People can explain anything and when you’re good enough you can make almost anything seem right. Maybe you too have been involved in an argument where in the end you felt confused and betrayed for not remembering your own point anymore after being manipulated by others so that every single thought you had clearly in your mind had ended up in so many tangles and knots that it was impossible to follow any of them anymore. And maybe that isn’t the best kind of discussion at all. However, no matter how bad the discussion is, it is definitely always far better than arms.


Perceptions. We all have our own. Representing reality goes in so many forms. And in some way they are very strongly embedded in our personalities and life experiences, as well as the nature of our relationships with each other. The tricky part is to remember to try to understand and respect the way the others see the world, not expecting everyone to conform to yours.

Finally I want to thank Otto von Münchow for mentioning me in his fantastic blog. If you are not following him yet, I think you should. The blog is thoroughly fascinating and this idea of mentioning other bloggers is a keeper. I should do it too. Thank you Otto!


8 thoughts on “Perceptions

  1. Thank you for a very thoughtful post, Annika. I have thought of you and your first post about the situation in Russia as I read about all the violations in the Ukraine. Wishing you safe and well.


  2. A great blog as always, and I had no idea that the Russians were acting aggressively towards Finland. The British media has not, to my knowledge, reported this. No surprise there.


    1. Thanks John! I feel torn when I write about the situation simply because I have dear friends in Russia and the situation is far from simple, as you can imagine, I’m sure. The first casualty in any conflict is the truth. Most Finns don’t know what to think at this point.


  3. Your own perceptions, and your ability to speak about them, are compelling. The way you described getting confused in an argument nearly brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for helping me get closer to understanding an undercurrent of your daily life, and the lives of those around you. In my life I am insulated from having to think about that kind of stress.


    1. Thank you Crystal for your compassion. I hope that you don’t think that this is blog is my diary, because that is not the case. I might write about some real events but I will always embed fictional elements in them. I simply observe things happening around me and try to find patterns both in the bigger and the smaller picture. Sometimes the things I write can be out of my imagination mixed with the seed of truth, or something that I’ve seen happening in another situation but suits the story well to make my point. My goal is to interpret nature and human nature, not to report my own life. Thank you for your thoughtful and compassionate reply Crystal.


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