Turku harbour is one of those places that I sometimes take for granted. I live so close that it often becomes the “default” place to photograph. Especially after work or if I don’t have much time to devote to photography. The harbour area manages to combine urban and maritime aspects, which are two of my favorite subjects to photograph. There are even some “wildlife” photography opportunities in form of seagulls, jackdaws, wagtails, etc.
Putting the Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 through its paces
This time the evening walk was also the first real outing with my used, but new to me, Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 lens. During the summer I’ve actually switched all my Canon gear for Fuji, but more on this later. All the photos in this post are with the Fujifilm X‑H1 and the previously mentioned 56mm f/1.2 lens.
For some reason, I purchased almost all the other lenses on my list first. This is rather odd since I really loved the 85mm focal length on my full-frame Canons. This 56mm lens is more or less equivalent to 85mm with the 1.5 crop factor of Fuji bodies. Maybe I just wanted to save the best for last…
Turku harbour then and now
Turku harbour has a long shipyard history behind it all the way from 1738 to 1979. At this point, most of the shipbuilding was carried out in Pansio, but there still was a dry-dock in use for ship repairs. I still remember the dry-dock and the docked ships of my youth.
After the shipyard operations died out, Wärtsilä Diesel took over the area and converted the old sheet metal hall into an engine manufacturing facility. I could see the Wärtsilä buildings from my window in my childhood home. And I can still remember the vibrations from test running the diesel engines for days on end.
The whole area was naturally a no-go-zone for the public. That all started to change in the late-’90s when the construction of apartment buildings began on the old Wärtsilä parking area. Among those buildings, there are two large decommissioned gas bells. The bigger one of the two is within a round building. The smaller one is out in the open and has been turned into an art installation. I really like the textures and riveted details on it (click on the photos above to see them in a bigger size).
Wärtsilä decided to close the factory and move the production of the diesel engines to Italy in 2004. After this Turku took back the ownership of the area and started to develop it heavily for housing. Now the riverbank is filling up with apartment buildings and the city is washing away a part of its history. A few landmarks of the bygone era still remain like a couple of these cranes. They are just decorations now, but admittedly in better shape now than they have been in years.