Capturing the Finnish Sun | Toni Strandback

Capturing the Finnish Sun | Toni Strandback

Everyone loves a good sunrise and sunset photograph, but this week Nordique is delighted to meet a guest who has turned it into an art form! Toni Strandback talks to us about his love of photography and has kindly shared some of his stunning photographs of the gorgeous Finnish coastline at dawn and dusk.


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My name is Toni Strandback - I’m a 33 years old construction worker and father to two energetic boys aged 6 and 4. I’m from Hanko in Finland, or should I say Hangö because I’m a Finnish-Swede. I grew up here in Hangö, - somehow I always wanted to move from here, but at the same time I’ve always loved this place.”

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The water level was very low this evening, usually these rocks are under water

The water level was very low this evening, usually these rocks are under water

I bought my first DSLR which was a Canon 600d about seven years ago. I liked photography and I usually took photographs when we were travelling or on vacation. The thing is that I was never fully satisfied with the photos I took. I didn’t think of composition and the light or exposure - I just snapped photos in full auto mode so I didn’t even have any control over where the camera would focus.”

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“Then my wife won some kind of raffle on the internet last autumn and the prize was a short photography course. She asked if I wanted to go along and I did, somehow sitting there listening to the teacher opened it all up for me. Now I try to photograph every day but its not always possible... what is nice is that I learn something new every time I go out shooting pictures.”

A panorama of Hangö East harbour during a sunrise

A panorama of Hangö East harbour during a sunrise

Why Sunsets?

Working Monday to Friday from 7am to 4pm, and being with the family after work just doesn’t leave so much time, so actually sunsets were what I had time for! It’s not always so easy to get there though after a long day, and it would be easier to lay on the couch watching Netflix. But the thing is, after a busy day being surrounded by nature and the sea is the most relaxing and serene thing that I can think of.”

I often set a low aperture to get a nice sunstar

I often set a low aperture to get a nice sunstar

“The other thing that I love about sunsets is just watching the light going from harsh daylight to softer warm light, then turning in to really deep moody yellow/orange/red and blue and finally watch the darkness come. Actually I probably like it best 30-45 min after the sun sets, when there is a mix of all the colours and it is getting dark.”

Märsan. On the north side

Märsan. On the north side

Tell us about Hangö

Hangö is the southern-most town in mainland Finland. The Gulf of Finland surrounds us on three sides so we have a lot of beaches and shoreline.”

Love the colours after the sun has set… it just has this peaceful feel.

Love the colours after the sun has set… it just has this peaceful feel.

“Only around 8500 people live here, and in the winter it feels almost like a ghost town with no people and nothing happening. But when the summer comes it really brings this place to life. In the summer there is almost always something happening. There are a lot of tourists, and a lot of people from bigger cities who have their summer houses here.”

Its not so often i get to photograph sunrise and when i do it is likely to be overcast. This shot is just outside of beach Plagen.

Its not so often i get to photograph sunrise and when i do it is likely to be overcast. This shot is just outside of beach Plagen.

“What I like the most about Hangö (besides the sunsets of course!) are the islands around. When I was younger, me and friends used to just pack some stuff and go camping for the weekends during the summer. And there are really a lot of islands to choose from!””

One of the many favourite places of mine, located just around the corner of ”chappelharbour”

One of the many favourite places of mine, located just around the corner of ”chappelharbour”

Trying some smoke at sunset, i get these ideas sometimes. Photo taken on the North side of Hangö

Trying some smoke at sunset, i get these ideas sometimes. Photo taken on the North side of Hangö

It was almost this light for almost a week, a strange sensation to be able to look into the sun without being blinded… These sunsets was very red and there was this strange ”haze”. I heard it was because of some sandstorm in Sahara that pushed sand particles in to the atmosphere. And when the sun had set, the colours faded very quickly.

It was almost this light for almost a week, a strange sensation to be able to look into the sun without being blinded… These sunsets was very red and there was this strange ”haze”. I heard it was because of some sandstorm in Sahara that pushed sand particles in to the atmosphere. And when the sun had set, the colours faded very quickly.

I Took this photo during a beautiful winter sunset at kråkudden.

I Took this photo during a beautiful winter sunset at kråkudden.


See more of Toni’s sunsets and sunrises at: @tonistran


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