I made a longish detour during my summer trip to have a chance to capture some Finnish madness with my camera. In the land of thousand crazy summer sports, one well known event is the annual world championships of swamp soccer at Hyrynsalmi. I was well prepared to meet the famous Finnish Air Force, i.e. mosquitos, of which swamps are usually swarming. I was not prepared to meet a rare quest; burning sun.

I had packed some food with me to cope the long day. I had bought some insect repellent. I even had clothes that should cover me well from the insects. One thing that I totally forgot, as I was hoping rainy weather, was sunscreen. I did not see a single one mosquito during the whole day as sun was shining from the cloudless sky. It was perfect weather for some cheerful festival in the swamp in the middle of nowhere. Atmosphere was great, music played loud and swamp was full of happy people with festival mood. Photographer inside me was little bit disappointed as “bad weather” would have brought more extreme photos and even normal boring cloudy Finnish weather would have served outdoor close-up photos better. But sun it was, which resulted me getting very red face towards the evening. Luckily I had camera on front of my face almost constantly blocking at least some of the sun. There is actually a saying in Finland which translates roughly as “Summer in Finland is short, but there is little snow.” The image below kind of captures the mentality.

It was long day, but I enjoyed thoroughly. The event was great and I recommend everyone visiting if possible. In addition it was a nice challenge for a photographer. Shooting in that kind of event means that one must really know the camera well and be prepared to act on instinct, while also constantly figuring out best spot to stand (or kneel) for best photographic angles. Mental preparations beforehand and thinking camera setting ahead helped, but in the heat of the action one must be fast.