In Finland, after long and cold winter nature really awakes so summer is the time to enjoy breath-taking sceneries, verdancy and vitality of plants and the extraordinary amount of sunlight. The ability to see and appreciate beautiful things in life is one of Mightifier character strengths. This strength can be used for example when viewing the nature and its miracles. Nature photographers are good examples of people who have a strength to spot and capture beautiful moments in life.
“The best thing in Finnish nature is the changing of the seasons. Sometimes you are surprised by the beauty of northern lights and the real peak moment is if you find a snowy owl on the roof of the barn”, describes Heikki Mahlamäki, a teacher and a photographer.
This time in our Mighty Teachers interview series everyone can practice their strength of Appreciation of beauty & excellence – be prepared to see some amazing nature photographs!
Name: Heikki Mahlamäki
Who: A Teacher since 1993, enthusiastic amateur photographer since 2000, lives in a countryside with his wife. Just published a book combining photographs, graphic arts and poets in honour of Finland’s centenary
School: 5th-grade teacher in Southern Ostrobothnia
Strength: Appreciation of beauty & excellence
Teaching is a profession for Mr. Mahlamäki but photography is his passion:
“Photography is a hobby for me and I’m really passionate about it. Surprise moments are the thing that especially fascinates me in taking photos. You never know beforehand what you will meet when wandering in nature with your camera. For example, in 2004 I took photos of halos which had been photographed only couple times before in the whole world.”
Mr. Mahlamäki explains that particularly when photographing plants there is a possibility to seek interesting details and find surprising beauty from your shooting target:
“For example, twinflower is a tiny and a modest-looking plant but with a right lightning and background, you can capture magnificent details from it. Butterflies are really visual targets and even from vipers you can find something beautiful.”
Mr. Mahlamäki uses his photographs continuously in teaching. In biology lessons you can naturally make use of photos but there are other situations, too:
“Sometimes in arts lesson students can get an inspiration from a photo. Smartphones, iPads and digital cameras are extremely popular because students love taking photos. It is really rewarding when you get to see nature photos taken by enthusiastic kids.”
What Mr. Mahlamäki thinks are the benefits of photography for students?
“Photography develops visual skills and students learn fast the basics of photography. Many children have a natural ability to find abstract shooting targets, where colour, layout and rhythm are conscious choices. I suppose that photography can build students’ self-esteems and skills to notice esthetical things. I also wish nature photography would inspire to appreciate and protect the nature.“
All photos are copyrighted and the property of Heikki Mahlamäki. Please do not copy or use them without an authorization.
Check out the first article in Mighty Teachers series!