How to chill during winter

I asked Siri recently what the temperature was and got this reply:


Which made it clear to me that Siri is not Finnish because -10 / 14F and sunny is a perfect winter’s day in Helsinki.

What we’ve had lately though is -21 /-5.8F with a wind chill of -28 /-18.4F, making life difficult as we still have errands to run and as we don’t have car it’s all done on foot.

So when Markus Watkins emailed me this week to tell me about his photos of people doing summer-time activities during winter, it really resonated with me.


Rowing Nowhere by Markus Watkins


Perhaps it’s the futility of rowing on a frozen lake or searching for summer berries in the snow, but I really like the way he’s thrown the two together because no matter the weather we are outside everyday.


Sno Berries are Found by Markus Watkins


After living in Finland for three years, Markus understands this well.  The 16-year old photographer was born to a British father and Finnish mother and moved to Finland in 2014.

It was while visiting his family’s summer cottage in Asikkala, 130km north of Helsinki, that he found the inspiration for his latest project, The Impossible Contrast.

Processed with VSCO with b3 preset

Markus Watkins

“After the weather being grey and gloomy for several days, it changed and suddenly got incredibly cold, and the sun came out!  I needed to make the most of it. Since I was at my summer cottage I thought that it would be very interesting to mix my favourite summer activities and contrast them with the winter. The impossible contrast,” he says.


Ice Cream by Markus Watkins

Currently in high school, Markus is teaching himself about photography and developing his skills as he goes. “I think it is much better to learn this way because you learn the self motivation to keep coming up with ideas and keep developing your own style. I love sharing my images with the world, it gives me a good feeling!”


Break the Ice by Markus Watkins

He also gets a good feeling from visiting Asikkala, a place his family has been returning to ever since he was a kid.


The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway by Markus Watkins

My summer cottage is my favourite place in the world. Every time I come it has a different vibe or feeling, which makes it amazing for photography.”


Better Luck Next Time by Markus Watkins

As well as his photography, Markus’ sense of humour is also on show in the titles he’s chosen for his photos and I particularly like this comment he makes on his website: ‘Fingers and toes were harmed in the making of this series.’


A Chilling Tale by Markus Watkins

Check out more of Markus’ work at: