THE WARNING by Toni Ahvenainen

Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen. Sony Nex-5N, Zeiss Touit 2.8/12, ISO400, 1/25sec, f/2.8, Raw. Flickr account

Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen.
Sony Nex-5N, Zeiss Touit 2.8/12, ISO400, 1/25sec, f/2.8, Raw.
Flickr account

Season of Touit - Picture 6
Week 35, Saturday

There is a snake at top ceiling in one of the churches in my home town. It's different from all the churches I've ever visited, because the other churches often have something heavenly painted in their ceilings or they are without pictures. This snake was painted by Hugo Simberg, a Finnish symbolist painter, at 1905–06. The other frescos he did for that particular church, like The Garden of Death and The Wounded Angel, were also controversial at their time. While his frescos and decoration are interesting as a whole, I find the snake at top of the church and above the religious community to be most interesting of them all. There are different interpretations about the meaning, but the way I see it, it is a kind of a warning to religious community and human kind: evil and temptation always threatens the human community and one must continuously strive against it. In the end, religious concepts of good and evil serve very little when trying to understand the complexity of the world and it's dangers, but I find idea of one generation warning the other intriguing. If you would get opportunity to warn the future generations about something that threatens the human community and life in general, what would it be? Greediness of the people, modern way of life, political ideologies, alienation from nature? Something else maybe?

Now that I've introduced the lenses I'm using for next seven weeks (Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 and Touit 2.8/50M), I would like to move to actual shooting experience. Starting with the Touit 2.8/12 the foremost feeling that I've felt shooting with it is the feeling of being secure. I know it sounds weird at first, but this feeling is related to a fact the 2.8/12 replaces my wide-angle needs to which I've used the Sony kit lens (SEL1855) before. Working in wide-angle with the kit lens I always had to be careful not to cross certain limits of the lens. For example, I often had to make sure I'm using small enough aperture to get the image quality I was after. At around f/8 it becomes solid enough that I can get good image quality in the corners also, if the image needs it. In short, with the kit lens I had to add a fourth variable into exposure triangle: image quality and how I supposed it would react to other variables. Afterwards I was always on my toes when checking the image at the computer screen later on. Are trees at the edge 'good enough', is the foreground at the bottom ok, etc.. Working with the Touit 2.8/12 is different and liberating experience. I don't have to stress about the image quality because I know it's much more than 'good enough' in any aperture and starting wide open at f/2.8. While I've become to appreciate this certainty, I also feel it is something that is less discussed when evaluating benefits of this or that lens with charts and diagrams. It's not about absolute sharpness (even though I think the Zeiss delivers here), it's about having a good tools which you can trust even if it isn't the most serious photography that you are doing.