I Is For Ilma.


Ilma is Finnish for air and also colloquially weather. In November 2017, it was windy and wet snow was falling in Hesperia park in Helsinki. With flash, it was possible to catch the trajectories of the falling snowflakes in the air (thanks for the advice in this blog a few months before, Caine).

Click for full size!

© Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    Thank you! I’ve taken these kinds of photos on a few occasions since January 2017. That bad weather produced the best results.

    I found the conversation about photographing falling snow. My thanks to Crimson Clupeidae who actually said it first.

  2. Nightjar says

    Wow, this is so beautiful! Wish I had the opportunity to try it but it never ever snows here. I wonder if it is possible do something similar with rain?

  3. says

    Nightjar, yes, you can do the same with rain. It’s a bit more difficult to grab a focus though, so I usually find a gutter corner where water is really coming down. Playing with aperture settings can give you long streams of water drops, similar to what Ice Swimmer did here. It can be a lot of fun photographing rain, as long as you don’t mind getting wet.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    Nightjar, thank you!

    With snow, dark background seems to have worked better. Another set of snowstorm pictures I did on the Market Square in February 2017, which was more brightly lit than the park in November wasn’t as dramatic with flash.

  5. voyager says

    What a great shot! I love the geometry of it. Snow shots are usually soft and roundish. This one is more like how snow feels on your face on a windy day.

  6. Ice Swimmer says

    voyager @ 7

    Thank you!

    Funnily enough, the snow didn’t feel as “sharp” as it looks. It melted pretty much immediately. Not like dry snow on a really windy day.

  7. rq says

    Strings tying the earth to the sky.
    (I like the idea of ilma -- air and weather; the Latvian colloquialism for weather is laiks, which also means time (a storm is negaiss, which literally means “unair/badair”). Interesting how each language chooses to frame such common things.

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