Skip to main content

Historic Photos by Aho & Soldan


I came across an old photobook from 1946. Actually it's a book of photos, to be precise. It was published in Swedish, titled 'Finland i bild'/'Finland in pictures.'

The form is common enough, in the genre of 'picture book presenting a country/city.' The photos are really very good, mixing informative scenes from industry and modernist offices, with photos that are more intimate, like the ones above. The details - like the man's face seen through the other man's curved arm, and the fruit picking woman, below - reveal the photographers to be talented.

These two could have traversed Finland with a 6x6 TLR each, meeting up people at staged settings, but no. These guys had the experience and integrity to really document what they see - and who!

Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan were 'pioneers' of Finnish film and photography and ran a successful business starting in the 1920s. Aho's daughter also became a successful photographer from the 1940s on.

Over the years I have leafed through books similar to this one, promoting a country or region with photographs of landscapes and sights. This one is more gritty, closer to people, though still smoothing things out in the spare written comments.

The above portrait is very interesting. Man or woman? We're talking 1946.

Maybe the lack of 'sights' in the photos (there are castles and chuches, but not so much) is due to the country being in the early throes of industrialization and streamlining of farming which came later.

I am a sucker for things traditional when it comes to food production and livelihoods. These photographs tell a story which isn't as far off as we might think. Be it either in the past or the future.


Visit my Etsy shop for cameras and related stuff, the facebook group on modding lenses and cameras or my Instagram account ourbooksmalmo.


Popular posts from this blog

Chaika Leica

Well, here's a Chaika 2M that I bought from Alex Helios via Instagram.  It's a great full manual viewfinder half-frame camera. The wheel on the top is for shutter time selection, from B to 1/30th to 1/250th of a second. The square button on the front right of the camera is the release/exposure. The lens mounted on the camera in the picture is not the original Industar-69. The Chaika is a rare model compact camera since the prime lens is detachable. What is more is that it has M39 screw mount. But - like with the Paxette M39 system - you can't get focus with a lens from another M39 system. Unless you adapt the lens or - in this case - the camera (mount)! The Chaika mount is easily detached from the body by loosening four screws. If I want to mount the Leica thread mount M39 (LTM) lenses on the Chaika - which is my goal with this mod - I have to add 1.3mm to the mount. That is what is needed to change the camera's flange focal distance (FFD) from Chaika system to L

Leaving a House - Departure from My Childhood Home with a Lumix GF2

My father left his house for a much smaller apartment this summer. My and my brother's families helped with some of the transition, and I documented parts of it with my Panasonic Lumix GF2. My father's house was where I grew up - from my 6th to my 19th year. He lived there for 43 years - 1979 to 2022. The light in this house was always amazing. Its situation on a western leaning hillside offers playful beams of light or reflections during every stage of the day. Little brother (me, 49), big brother (52), dad (80). Visit my  Etsy shop  for cameras and related stuff,  the  facebook group  on modding lenses and cameras or my Instagram account  ourbooksmalmo .


A Lomo Smena 8 camera with a faulty shutter. An Olympus Pen F camera. Part of a microscope adapter for the Pen. That's what I started out with. 45 minutes later I had a new lens! Mount The mount came off a microscope adapter. I got the adapter from my first (of two) attempts to buy an Olympus Pen F. There seem to be some unscrupolous ebay sellers around peddling useless Pens with microscope adapted prisms. Luckily - in hindsight - I got a microscope adapter with this first Pen. Which I now trashed when a Lomo Smena 8 without a future landed on my doorstep (figuratively speaking). Conversion / Havoc Smena I only knew the camera as a half-frame camera [Correction - it's a full frame camera!] called Smena 8 and hadn't thought to place it in Lomography-land until I read the name Lomo on the lens when it was already modded. Unwittingly I had tread the tiles of lomo-dom twice in as many weeks, also having put two rolls through a Praktica CX-1 which appears to be Gr