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Young man jumping into icy lake, like it was summer. Photo in Asikkala, Finland.

The impossible contrast: Young photographer drops summer-like scenes into freezing Finnish winter

Young man stuck with rowboat in snow on icy lake, Asikkala, Finland.

At the time of writing, it’s rather cold, around -20°C, here in Helsinki. To make this a bit less insufferable, let’s enjoy some summery pictures. Almost.

Sixteen-year-old, award-winning photographer Markus Watkins has just published a very timely set of summer activities set in freezing cold Asikkala. We asked some questions about his set, which he named The Impossible Contrast.

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Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Arctic #nofilter: 15 Instagram snapshots that show why Lapland’s the crown jewel of the North

Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Free pro tip: too much Instagram at bedtime will mess with your sleep. On the other hand, if you open Instagram first thing after your alarm rings in the morning, your phone’s screen will help you wake up. Put simply, Instagram can be a fantastic infusion of beauty into your day when you need it the most.

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Burning street car in Helsinki during USSR air raids, 1944.

Photos of bombed, WWII Helsinki mashed up with prosperous modernity

Burning street car in Helsinki during USSR air raids, 1944.

During WWII, Finland was twice involved in military confrontation with the Soviet union. For the capital, Helsinki, the most intense air raids and bombings occurred in February 1944, a campaign which is usually referred to as The Great Raids Against Helsinki. These amazing photographs, created by the Finnish Defence Forces Combat Camera unit, mash up haunting photos of wartime destruction with modern pics from a couple years back, in nice black and white plus colour images.

The USSR was under the impression its bombing campaigns were more successful and expected Helsinki to be pretty much gone by the end of the war. The Soviets didn’t learn of the relatively limited damage until after the war when Allied Control Commissioner Andrei Zhdanov visited Helsinki.

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Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights in Helsinki

12 ways Finnish Christmas loneliness can eat you alive

Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights in Helsinki

Christmas, at least in Finland, is supposed to be a lot of things: family festivities to contrast almost constant darkness. Gifts, rituals, traditions, journeys to home towns.

Everyone isn’t able to go with that flow. Not everyone wants it either.

However, Finnish society shuts down around Christmas, whether you have people to be with or not. So, if you know someone who might want company around Christmas, it’s probably not a bad idea to invite them to some part of your festivities.

Mental health crisis center hotline, Finland

If you’re on the side of waiting out Christmas and things get really gnarly, please be in touch with the crisis hotline of the Finnish Association of Mental Health.

We think this topic is serious: If you have suggestions and helpful tips on things to do during Christmas, let everyone know in the comments down below.
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This amazing Instagram photographer will teach you about Helsinki’s walls

HelsinkiWalls

Anyone who’s into Helsinki should take note of this Instagram profile, Helsinkifacades. The account has one goal: documenting the facades of Helsinki, in glorious detail.

The idea isn’t new: the Ihaveathingforwalls Instagram is a must-see for any friends of architecture, but this hyper-localized account documents Helsinki, one wall at a time.

We warmly recommend reading the captions too. The unnamed photographer gives well-researched detail about the origin of the buildings, including architects and years built. The same photographer has a general repository of more Helsinki goodness in a separate account: @somewhereinhelsinki_.

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DonaldTrump

Finn and Loathing in Las Vegas: The day I attended a Donald Trump rally

DonaldTrump

They say magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone. This casino hotel in the southern end of Las Vegas must be full of magic then, as I’m surrounded by 10 000 trumpists. Me, a guy from the liberal leftist-green bubble of a Scandinavian capital, now surrounded by people who’d like nothing more but to see Donald Trump as their president. Donald Trump, who from my European perspective mostly seemed as a comic relief in US politics and yet another proof that the rightmost wing of the American political spectrum has completely lost its collective mind. But even the northern end of Europe had received news indicating that Trump’s success might not be just a sudden fluke – and that he even could be on the brink of accomplishing something revolutionary in the US political scene.

So when I noticed Trump would be doing a rally in Las Vegas during my holiday there, I quickly booked the tickets. This seemed to be a fascinating opportunity to see history in the making, and at the very least it would be a chance to get an insider look into what it is in Trump that people are drawn to. And let’s not forget: Trump has loads of comic value, so if all else fails I would, at least, get a stand-up comedy set for free – in Vegas that’s a formidable deal.

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Toni Garcia 1

The breathtaking beauty of these lowlight photos will change how you view the world

Toni Garcia 1

We love photography in all its forms at Ink Tank. But what we love even more is sharing the creativity and skill of talented photographers with our readers around the world. Toni Garcia, whose fantastic low light photos are shown here, is one such photographer that we can’t wait for you to meet.

Toni specialises in taking low light silhouette photos. His work is filled with beauty, mystery, and even a bit of spookiness that makes us marvel at how he turns a night time landscape into pure art. If you’re wondering how he does it, read on. We had a few questions for Toni, and he was more than happy to answer them.

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David-Bowie-Guitar

16 David Bowie quotes that show why he was such a legend

David-Bowie-Guitar

Everybody has a David Bowie tune they love and we’re no different. Somehow Bowie was one of those musicians you expected to live forever. Maybe it was his music or maybe his magic. One thing that’s in no doubt though was that he was an extraordinary artist in every sense of the word. As a celebration of his life and his wonderful way of thinking, we’ve put together a showcase of some of his wisest quotes. Each one shows why he was such a legend and why he’ll be so sorely missed, but never forgotten.

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

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Helsinki ice smoke

These magical photos show what it’s like to be at sea at minus 28 degrees

Helsinki ice smoke

In the last few months, the consequences of climate change have hit different parts of the world with a mad vengeance. Here in Finland, that took the form of the warmest December on record leading many people to bemoan the lack of snow. As an Englishman who’s experienced many a Finnish winter, I instead wallowed in the balmy temperatures confident in the knowledge that we had three more months of sub-zero, beard-freezing hardship to come. That was demonstrated, in fine Arctic style, this week when temperatures plummeted as low as minus 28 in Helsinki. One surreal consequence of this uncannily fast freeze was an awe-inspiring phenomenon which makes the sea look as though it’s cloaked in smoke. Both beautiful and bizarre, it literally took my breath away.

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Discover how one Finnish photographer makes the everyday look out of this world

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Miemo Penttinen is a man of many talents. As a freelance designer and startup entrepreneur, he has plenty of experience in bringing his creative ideas to life. But it’s his photography that initially caught our eye: sharp, symmetrical shots of architecture with clean, modern colors. Penttinen’s latest series Tau Zero [ Supersymmetry ] is sure to satisfy lovers of both symmetry and sci-fi.

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