TK Roll 2015-42: Waiting for my Ship to Come (Minolta X-700, 45/f2 and 28/f2.8, Agfa Precisa 100)

At the end of our trip through the fields of Finland was Vaasa  – or Wasa, as many Finns in this part of the country speak Swedish as their mother tongue, a reminder of the two countries’ entwined history, for much of which Finland was effectively part of Sweden – a town named for King Karl IX Wasa, who founded it in 1606. Fun fact: though Karl, or Charles, called himself the ninth, he was actually the third King Karl of Sweden, the rest having been mythical figures. As with all history, Vaasa’s, too, is messy: if you stand in the middle of town today, you’re nowhere near where the middle of town was in the seventeenth century. Since land in the Gulf of Bothnia region rises at close to a centimeter per year (in its northernmost part), Old Vaasa now lies 7 kilometers inland.

The town burned to the ground in 1852, a destiny that befell many Scandinavian cities with their wooden houses through the centuries before bricks and concrete became affordable and common. The fire was caused, lore says, by a careless visitor falling asleep with a lit pipe in hand, proving quite a bit before large scale cancer studies that smoking kills. The Vaasans then decided that the sea was the place to be, and rebuilt closer to the water. What remains of Old Vaasa today houses a museum dedicated to den gamla tiden (that is, ye olde times) before the big move, and sits happily between new Vaasa, Vaasa airport, and, what else, a golf course.

Our hotel, of the budget Omena chain which combines the Scandinavian penchant for simple yet attractive design with their just as widespread penchant for technology (wi-fi is a given, and you don’t check into the hotel, you get the door code on your cell phone  and just come and go when convenient), was in the middle of Vaasa, the new Vaasa. As the sun set late and golden hour seemed to last half the afternoon, it was clear that we’d spend some time exploring while we waited for our early morning departure to Sweden on the Wasaline ferry route the next day.

Vaasa isn’t as pretty or hip as other Scandinavian large cities or small university towns. If you look the other way from the 1950s and 1960s built urban monstrosities that seem to encapsulate an architectural Finnish version of China’s Great Leap Forward, it is a pleasant place to take a walk, however. And walk I did, chasing the magic of the Northern summer sun until it finally disappeared for an hour or three. It would be back tomorrow morning, and that morning would see us off on our way to explore yet another small town, in another country, on the other side of the sea.

Editorial note: I am making full use of 52rolls vague project description to include more than one roll for each week I was on this trip. This may mean I’ll have extra rolls at the end of the year, or that I’ll have to be more discerning as I make the count down for the last ten rolls starting with the next post, but I can’t hide away the gorgeous slide colors of summer. The last image from this roll thematically belongs to the next one, as it was taken the next day on the ferry, but in keeping with 1 roll = 1 post, it is posted here.

Technical note: Slide scanning is easier than scanning negatives, for sure. However, my consumer grade Epson V600 has trouble with pulling quite as much out of the shadows or highlights as there is visible in the slide. I will live with that. The alternative would be to rescan with my Plustek, but I am not sure the result would be all that much better, and it takes too much extra effort and time. Still, I’m very happy with what this sub-€300 scanner does. It’s proven itself over and over again this past year. Camera-wise, I’m realizing just how wide open I had to shoot some of these scenes because of the slow film and the polarizer. I suppose I will be more picky in which scenes require a polarizing filter and which ones do not in the future with slow film, though I am not entirely certain what a simple way to take it on or off would be for pictures taken just minutes apart in changing light.

7 thoughts on “TK Roll 2015-42: Waiting for my Ship to Come (Minolta X-700, 45/f2 and 28/f2.8, Agfa Precisa 100)

  1. Thanks for sharing that. I guess it effects me especially since my parents are from Vasa and I’ve been there many times. Although I’ve not been back for man years now and I hope to take a trip again soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Probably I’d buy a X-700 just for the sake to put a 45mm in front of it. Or a Yashica Electro 35 GSN. I have a 40mm for the Pentax, which makes me happy (as well as a 35). And the 40mm on the QL17III works fine too, but the equivalent of 42mm with a 28mm on the old crop-sensor (x 1.5) of my D40X is my favorite. Some say the 43.5mm is the real normal focal length because of the length of the diagonal in the rectangle 24x36mm. Probably.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting to hear about the relative sea level changes in Vasa. In my day job I am an archaeologist with a particular interest in the earliest occupations of the west coast of North America. Sea level history is a big part of that story, with so many places from that time now being deeply submerged (as with the North Sea). However, there are a few places in British Columbia where the really old shorelines have never been underwater and are now stranded far inland and I have been working on one such part of the coast the past few years – at elevations up to about 135m for the oldest habitable shorelines that were at the marine edge about 14000 years ago.

    I am so glad you have been running out the summer slide colours during this grey gloomy time of the year, especially from these wonderfully green areas. My wife’s family is mostly descended from Finns and Swedes (with a sprinkling of irish and Ojibway for a bit of continental balance). She went on a tour of Finland with her elderly father a couple of years ago. He started learning Finnish at about the age of 80 and has recently translated, for the publisher, a Finnish detective story into English. He’s learning Mandarin as well but I don’t think they will be going to China.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s