Suunnittelutoimisto Poutvaara - Design Bureau Poutvaara
Taneli Poutvaara


Kirjoitettua palsta alkoi joulukuussa 2015 ja on keskittynyt arkkitehtuuriin ja ajankohtaisiin aiheisiin. Sen 280. kirjoitus julkaistiin 2.11.2022. Viimeaikaiset aiheet ovat keskittyneet suunnitteluohjelmistoihin ja arkkitehtuuriin.


"Kirjoitettua" column, "Written" in Finnish, started in December 2015 and it is focused in architecture and current topics. The 280th writing was published 2.11.2022. Recent subjects are related to design programs and architecture.


2024-01-20_22:48:00 A Century of Poutvaara –photography


Poutvaara Photo Stock service, PPS, is user registering requiring image agency, that is nowadays of the Finnish image agencies within the ten largest with the presented picture quantity. The picture selection is anyway only from one photographer and its picture offering is architecture by 70 %. The picture selection is possibly the largest Finnish representing a single photographer’s image agency and also about architecture emphasized collection. Several special subjects are not possible to be found elsewhere in internet and some special subject pictures in PPS are in quantity more than in all other internet picture supply combined. In this writing there is explained the background and development to it.

PPS is at the beginning phase a commercially operating test project, from which the income will be mainly invested in maintaining the activity and developing the photography and the sales page. The main connection to commercial activity is Taneli Poutvaara’s architecture-, design- and visual arts activity. The background for the creation is the Poutvaara -family’s one hundred years of background related to photography and forty years of experience about working environment of the digital technologies. The architecture related operation profile of the PPS is related to more than thirty years of experience about architecture as a field of practice, science and marketing.


Photography was developed for the same reason, why handwriting of text was converted into book printing – mechanical visual arts got on its side the machine-based picture making. Previously photography was expected to be more revolutionary, but its philosophical bases were not so lasting, that is why now documentary called photography would have replaced all the image word – instead nowadays set up photographs and fiction-based picture manipulation and construction of fictive images is mainstream. Photography has anyway raised beside drawing and painting into the group of great important picture construction methods.

I see digitally constructed pictures, drawing and painting still as very important, because with photography one can notice the picture only after the entity viewed is complete – not beforehand as in building design sketch proposals. Photography has however revolutionised as documentation method of architecture – especially because of speed, reliability and efficiency, which decreases the costs of documentation. Further, completed buildings are preferred to be seen most preferably after completion from photographs, although before the building decision it is mostly considered the images constructed by architects. In architects thinking the photograph-quality resembling presentation has raised into mainstream, that is called creating images by rendering, in which it is very common to photograph the environment and use it with collage kind of technique as part of constructed images. Self the constructing of building design from digital CAD-, BIM- and added constructed effects modelling programs is nowadays the most reliable and cost-effective method. As I have written in this column about CAD- and BIM -topics, modern working models unambiguously demand vector-based design with CAD- and BIM-programs and as original e-documents. This borders also the sources of visualizations into few programs or coming as part of the design model. I have not invented it – it is a Finnish practice by law and it is quite similar in most countries with high technical development. In addition, the present labour markets and organization of work makes it the only feasible way.

Photography in basic level has generalized from a profession of a few into a hobby of everyone, but at the same time unthoughtful or hazardous photography has met new laws and regulation. Previously in photography there were more laws and licenses, but nowadays part of these have been left out of use as old fashioned and been replaced by new. This has been particularly affected by satellite photography and later drone-photography and satellite navigation. New phenomenon such as videos with body-attached hero-cameras and geographical picture-map-combinations are containing difficulty controllable elements. Photographing direct into internet has increased with smart phones and tablets and majority of the content is produced as part of international corporation’s image feed, that is guided by algorithms and controlled by companies self defined rules. At the same time global independent publishing platforms number has increased. The role of photography in architectural photography contains anyway many similar features like during the beginning times of photography in the 19th century. Part of the limiting of photography is working purely on educational and market starting point – the highest quality photography is requiring high skills, is expensive to take an interest in and produces relatively little. As the number of photographers in all quality groups have expanded, so has also the supply of photographs. Most important news events are at the same time covered by dozens of professional photographers.


Poutvaara-family background is related completely with popular level to construction – Taneli Poutvaara has used most time to the subject. This is primary related to the fact that architecture as a profession has become as an alternative only after the educational system has developed, previously to new field such as to photography it was easier to reach. Architecture as a profession is thousands of years old, but the educational system in Finland was not created before 1872. Before this one only built and, in few cases, architects came to Finland as part of colonial policy. The Poutvaara-family photography started in the 1920s. The photography already then included the consumer section devices, but the focus was mainly in professional photography. Publishing then was industrial. Although Matti Poutvaara acted in Finnish photography association activity and for example as technical and quality consultant, for example for the Karjala Camera Association member architect Jalmari Lankinen, I would emphasize the colour photography compared to present level as in starting phase and these starting times complicated experimental phases have nowadays been replaced by limitless number of different settings. Many criterions are old, other new and primary many adjustment possibilities have been created only during the latest decades.

In professional cameras there are many adjustment menus to support different circumstances. Most adjustments are already in clear language, others demand further interpretation. For example, in Nikon professional cameras there is direct menu for 13 different types or manual definition light source, each with 169 colour values and with newer models 625 colour values, similarly a menu for picture controls – a single digital photography can be photographed only with one setting, but alternatives for settings for myself is milliards taken into account the whole camera system. Self I see the endless number of alternatives as a challenge in a way, I border the number of tests in reasonable amount. Self I appreciate the technical experiments in colour films in Matti Poutvaara’s times, but self I do not do anything with them for two reasons: films are not any more used and second the period’s few hundred combination of parameters have nowadays been replaced by milliards combinations of parameters, so that a professional photographer has also in theory impossible to test with one’s camera or comprehend all the available setting alternatives. In practice in shooting the photographer makes picture-settings as a test or applies old test results seen as good settings. The film era settings are insufficient in content, to be able to adjust a digital camera. In basic level those could anyway be compared to requirements in modern time.

The photography in 1920s – 1960s was mainly period of slow development, reducing costs and increasing popularity. The larger application of colour films and newer films were main development areas. In the film era Matti Poutvaara was an expert of his era, until the 1950s, but later periods have been mastered by other experts and in digital era the expertise of the film era has been replaced by digital information management. Now in the digital photography period all the camera manufacturers and picture post processing programs are handling with the camera computer and desktop computer similar comparable parameters, that number of combinations is on the other hand limitless. I would point out here an important notice – human’s consideration and capability of judgement: in theory artificial intelligence could produce from a single photograph for example milliard versions with different setting – who human would have time to use 950 years of 8-hours workdays for assessing which single image would be chosen from all? For storing the amount, one would need twelve thousand 4 terabit USB drives. Those would cost 1.6 million euros, excluding the work of saving. Could it be, that a human, who has rush to do the work at once right, would do the work better? Artificial intelligence is at best a mediocre artist, but most often it breaks also other laws such as immaterial right. What is most important, AI is not capable of human level decision making.

Self I see that the development from the end of 19th century to the 1990s was slow progress with steps, until from the 1950s the development of computers crashed the analogical and mechanical development and film-based photography in the 1990s, after which the rapidly increasing digital structures has started to radically construct new kind of world. My own estimate is, that now in the 2020s one is living an intermediate period of this development, for which one cannot see the end, but in the next phase the capacity of computers and their independence is growing. It can be noted that many the present parameters are based on the film period development work. Several manual techniques and ideas have been replaced with ready picture management program’s functions, and also picture post processing has practically limitless number of alternatives. Anyway, I would emphasize that in the moment of picture creating of a high-quality digital photograph can afterwards be created anything possible with computer, whereas with a poor-quality digital photograph it is afterwards difficult to create anything. This is the reason why I photograph mainly with a professional camera. Artificial intelligence is mainly a blender of ready photos, it can replace a human as a photographer not until it guides human level robots – those have been science fiction already for a century.

Photography was transformed from the 1960s, when the exposure calculation came as a part of the cameras as the first section of automatics. The exposure meters had previously been separate devices. The development in 1960s - 1980s was going in the background as slow development of computers to which as a side path there was imported minicomputers to guide exposure to cameras as device-based systems. Actual digital cameras were developed for example for satellites, but devices were slow, inaccurate and expensive. In news flow they had response, but in consumer field the prices were too high and in art field the quality was too low. Digitalization breakthrough developed in 50 years period from the 1960s to 2010s, when in practical level in the final phase the old technology has totally been replaced in professional level with digital technology. It is not possible to turn back, although in recent years there has been expressed nostalgia and admiration of old devices. Old devices in the technical side should be known, because the newer devices use the same terminology, but most youth have not ever seen them. I mean, that it is a question of history of technical devices and of physics.

The development from films into digital devices went through a complicated path from analogical technology – these were magnetic tapes and optical saving. It is clear the with the situation assessment there was a need either to expect better digital cameras or to photograph on film. In the Poutvaara family there was amazement with leadership of Matti Poutvaara of new cameras in the 1970s to 1980s and there were followed almost constantly new invented photography devices. Significant innovations were developed mainly nowadays existing most significant camera manufacturers. Among Poutvaara’s the noticed development could be mentioned that in the 1980s there came along the autofocus, automatic film transfer, automatic exposure and automatic programs – those are now considered as self-evident truth, because majority of present-day cameras do not contain at all manual settings. One should comprehend the old film era, because the digital system cameras use in controls the old film cameras terms.

As from my own part I would estimate, that Matti Poutvaara accepted in practical and in principal level the adaption of computers both to the society in general and also to cameras. In my family I cannot remember a single example, where the with taking of computers would have been seen as other way than as preparing for the future. Matti Poutvaara’s challenge in the 1980s, similarly as my own in the 2020s, is that the camera manufacturers consider their camera’s functions as unopened by their programs. The users have only the user interface they cannot deconstruct. For myself several things open better by the basis, that I can use my system camera with manual settings, so I can chop in pieces all the pictures construction milliard parameter combinations by self made test by random thinking forming decision making model examples. In all professions making decisions of complex questions is highly developed professional knowledge. In basis of taking a photograph one chooses a single combination from a group of a milliard possible. Selection depends on the environment, about which one can make hundreds of observations and skills of a photographer is to choose camera settings among hundreds of parameters. Similary affects, what one wants to express with the camera.

I have learnt photography by steps in different time periods, and I have attended only to few photography courses. More I have studied visual arts, architecture and design-science, which are more requiring professions. With this background I would say, each learns to use a camera in addition to one’s main profession. If I would know everything about cameras, I would start a camera factory or join Nikon product design team. So far, I can only give product feedback and learn using my cameras. Primary the photographer may master the user interface of camera by learning but never learn the whole system. I have learnt the same principle about the user interface also about using CAD and BIM. I have selected to operate among the professional end-users.

In using a fully automatic camera, typically an amateur camera, a mobile phone camera or semi-professional camera in fully automatic mode, the professional photographer can only notice, that in the camera there is a simplified automatic program on. It intends to optimize the good picture quantity to maximum and the image quality to the best. Special cases and adjustments by photographer are not succeeding unless with manual settings. The best art photos of the World are rarely taken with automatic settings.

In basic level and with testing I have gone through all my digital cameras menus with manuals and by this basis I can fluently use all Nikon system cameras also in future with less work. The development of brand-related easy-to-use menus is a large investment to company related standards by the camera manufacturers. At the same time the photographer will know less about the technical aspect, but can focus on simplified commands and functions of the device. To protect intellectual properties and minimize the need for engineering training for users, all the software producers create a user interface, UI, that includes all the functions and systems to use all the adjustable functions of the software. In modern digital cameras there is a simple user interface, one guides with buttons, adjusters and menu based. Focus in this has been in compact ergonomics. The picture management programs give also clear and visible results from photographs that can help understand how camera’s functions effect on the results.

The special feature of present day is, that a photographer does part of one’s photography work afterwards with a computer. This is essential because 100 % of modern-day publishing activity is digital and this considers also film-based photography since scanning. Using the Poutvaara’s 20th century photography would require extra workers and extra facilities, so far it has not been demanded, but I tell that as an information for Finnish foundations and for others, who are interested in the historical film-era.


Although the Poutvaaras did not create innovations in camera-field, I would anyway point out that the situation was among all Finnish photographers the same – in Finland there was practically no after 1940s camera manufacture and the camera industry has been competitive and requiring field. I do not include as camera industry such that for example Nokia has made contracts with foreign camera manufactures about adding mobile phone cameras into its production. In Finland there has never been produced consumer- or professional use system cameras – succeeding in that would be more requiring and more expensive than operating in mobile phone branch. Nowadays for all mobile phone manufactures there is ready alternatives for device integrated mobile phone camera.  In these the knowhow required by the phone manufacturer about cameras is low and can be bought according to agreement price list from foreign camera producers. It is a question of selling components for adaptative program, not such as camera development. With information, in which one manages the basics of physics, one can understand, that a cellphone or a tablet mini camera can never replace a system camera that is based on a large sensor and large changeable lenses. When following a smart phone -religion canon of creating photographic icons one can anyway create uniform image feed.

Getting know how of camera industry from abroad is extremely difficult, because the best experts and teams are not for sale – on the other hand the profitability of the industry is limited as competition is great. The biggest companies in business – Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Sony are multinational multibranch corporations, that are larger than Nokia as it was at greatest. In the branch there are also small companies and professional or component manufacture focused companies, but in the branch, one cannot manage without large capitals and cumulative developed expertise. At the end even the largest companies have difficult to maintain their activities profitable because of significant competition and rapid product development. The camera industry produces both practicing and professional devices with major idea, that all users are different. Some users are satisfied with poor results and no effort, whereas the professionals make a lot of work and have high goals.

Largest camera manufacturers make cameras for every possible user group, except the mobile phone manufacturers, who cannot make good solutions for professionals. A wealthy user might find it interesting idea to buy a 280 megapixels aerial camera, a 150 megapixels satellite camera or an aerial surveillance camera with 25 km vision identification capacity, but surely the sales are only for companies with certain government approved licence. In professional photography it is typical to use  mass produced cameras and objectives from best known companies with hundreds of millions of civil customers. Most press photographers have chosen either Canon or Nikon brand and stick to it. In this case one has in use the old kino-size sensor, a 3:2 ratio meaning 36 mm x 24 mm size. This has no other special meaning but the tradition of making matching lenses. The digital cameras in the beginning of 90s were with 0.5 megapixels sensor, at the beginning of 2000s with 6 megapixels sensor and in 2010 – 2020 with 30-50 megapixels sensor. It is realistic to expect for professional consumer use an 80 megapixels kino-size sensor, maybe even a 100 megapixels sensor.

Digital cameras passed film cameras after the beginning of 2000s and during the first decades the film photography completely ended from the main stream of photography. In digital branch the main focus was in the transformation from analogue world into computer world, when the cameras are essentially related to computers and all publishing activity is related to computers – part of the publishing is visible only in internet and display devices representing it. The digital world and internet were things that were not possibly to anticipate more precisely before the development was in progress in the 1990s to 2020s. Many innovations have imitated historical visions, others have been born through the practical possibilities and have even not been previously been imaginable as such. In the camera-field the development has been clearer, because the photography making as a process contains a two hundred years old basic model and a number of smaller side paths. Self considering the camera the basic model is clear: there is a camera that a professional uses for photography – in this one requires skills from the photography taking (composition, picture taking decision process and photographing), about the use of device (tuning, aiming and stabilization) and further work (nowadays digital post processing). Amateurs like “just take pictures” without considering matters any way more precisely, they have in publishing activities rapid forming programs and instant publishing programs. The professionals ”use camera”, that is most often a system camera – in publishing activities I have for example professional level picture processing, picture archive and publishing picture agency. Of all published pictures, still majority are works by professional photographers. The number of amateur photographers and random news photographers is great because majority of other population has an automatically photography capable simple “point and shoot” -camera.

Difference between a professional camera and amateur camera can be defined as such that a mobile phone camera and a fixed objective cameras contain a single device, which in amateur level is minorly tuned and with semi-professional level is more tuned – on the other hand in professional level one starts first with tuning of the equipment entity. I use two camera bodies with different lenses – for example to maximise the welfare of equipment. By using one manufactures camera body, in my case Nikon, I can use in all camera bodies all Nikkor -lenses. Essential in lenses is that their properties are divided into different types and quality categories, which on other side are suitable for different purposes of use. These FX-mount lenses are suitable with an adapter to Nikons newer Z-mount camera bodies. In addition to lenses for camera bodies one can get tripod mountings, a microphone, a wireless control, a flash, extra handle with a battery and for lenses filters.

In system camera essential for photo registration is the camera body, it defines the quality of the shutter and the sensor quality registering the image. Larger sensors photograph more sharp images, most common standard is 24 mm x 36 mm. In drawing the picture on the sensor essential are the lenses. Fixed focal distance lenses with fewer individual lenses create more often a better f-number (smaller number), when the exposure time can be slower and the picture quality sharper. Small size zoom-lenses contain more elements and smaller area to form and refract image and produce more blurry images. Large size zoom-lenses and better fixed focal distance tele lenses produce sharper images than any compact cameras with a zoom lenses, or without extending a focal distance working with optical magnification. In the architecture side one can in theory also use for perspective correction PC-lenses, but more generally also normal lenses with wide angle or fisheye lenses. A common rule is, if one wants to photograph far away objects, one needs a long and heavy tube, if the exposure times are slow, also a tripod. When photographing in dark or with long shutter speeds one needs always a tripod. Prime lenses are usually with single focal distance and those methods of use are depending on the framing of image area. Nowadays also photos post-framing called cropping is replacing defects in picture taking framing and composition.

Officially it is expensive to invest in a professional camera, but it is economical to use. Whereas consumer use devices get easier broken, the professional equipment can manage errors and the life term is long. With my first Nikon D800E camera body I have photographed about a quarter million photos and the camera body is still useable – the cost of the camera body per photo has been about 0.015 euros. Practically the lifespan of the camera body is nowadays defined by the end of supply of spare parts and batteries. A careless user can easier brake a professional camera or an unskilled user has it more difficult to get good quality pictures. In adaption of using a professional camera one must apply camera-field calculation and physics. In practice the skills I apply is related in minimum to high school level and partly university level knowledge and higher expertise about photographing special targets. Nowadays a Nikon professional camera and related programs can be used, if one can manage native level Finnish and English language skills.

During the film era one slide photo costed more than 1 euro. Nowadays a 36 -picture slide film cartridge costs 35 euros, about the same the developing and scanning costs about 30 euros and takes 1-2 weeks – that is about 2 euros per one photo. Nowadays with one 25 euros 64 Gb memory card one can save 3500 photos – saving one maximum quality jpg-photo costs about 0.007 euros. One slide photo has cost of about 280 times more than a single digital photo. With one 25 euros memory card comparable amount of pictures photographed on slide film would cost about 7000 euros – that is same as Nikon’s and Canon’s most expensive professional camera body price.  A digital photo material footprint is mainly digital, whereas film consumes chemicals and material. For ideological reasons I oppose an idea to photograph any more with film starting from the 2010s. Films were good only until the replacing solution was developed.

SLR meaning Single Lens Reflection camera was becoming common from the 1950s. It has been my own base in 1980s to move forward. Digital cameras were in experimental and government use in the 1960s to 1980s and the commercial use versions came into practice not before the 1990s. Then created DSLR meaning Digital single-lens reflex camera has got by its side in the 2000s the camera telephones and in the 2010s the mirrorless system cameras. During the first decade of the new millennium the film cameras were practically finally replaced by digital cameras, although few of them as separate cases are still in use. Practically in professional circles film cameras are antique and those using them are not interested about photography but only about devices.

One noticeable main tendency is that the camera producers are bringing into markets also low standards DSLR-cameras, also with weaker sensor and smaller sensor size. Most are choosing rather between a smart phone or fully automatic fixed objective camera. Anyway, small lenses or single fixed lenses are producing more limited quality pictures than professional lenses. New camera type is Digital Single-lens Mirrorless (DSLM) cameras, that in Nikon since 2018 have been so called Z-mount based cameras, but with similar full frame sensor as with DSLR-cameras. A mirrorless camera makes possible faster exposure times and smaller size. I self have had expertise from mirrorless semi-professional cameras, with fixed changeable focal distance objectives. Mirrorless DSLM-cameras have similar kind of structure such as DSLR-cameras apart from that there is no moving mirror for viewfinder. The DSLR-cameras objectives can be used also with adapter in DSLM-cameras. With Mirrorless system one can achieve certain advantages in technical performance, but I still use my DSLR-cameras, although I have prepared for the end of their production.


I know best the Poutvaara photography history from my own field. I have since 1970s to 1980s used both professional quality SLR-cameras and semi-professional quality in those days type called as compact camera. Amateur cameras I used in those days more, especially in the beginning times, when more expensive camera could not be given for a young user. Most conflicts between generations were related to the high cost of film, that effected in the 2000s to the complete quitting of photography on film. In the 1990s I photographed with 1980s cameras, but in the beginning of the 2000s I changed to digital camera and about after 2003 I made complete and final end to film photography and film cameras – the reason was practical: the film manufacture and processing was ended, but in addition to that in the 1990s I had turned into completely digital picture management. From 2013 I have focused on photographing with Nikon DSLR-cameras. From my own expertise the attitude to technique and the photography philosophy is mainly from the film era, but its adaption ended in 1990s. In the digital era the main focus has been in experimenting and testing. As by-product there has been created a large number of publishing-quality pictures.

In the beginning all professional systems seem difficult, such also with Nikons DSLR-cameras. From the digital era skills about 10 % I have learned from use of semi-professional cameras, 10 % I have learned from other photographers and most, about 80 %, I have learned after 2013 by reading Nikon user manuals and testing cameras for different uses. My attitude has also been the same in learning to use CAD and BIM. Essential is also interest from 1970s in photographing, visual arts and technical studies. In practice my own photography is endless testing and finetuning, in which most often there is limited time and constant rush. In many important photography tasks, there is hours of preparation- and waiting time and a few seconds time window for photographing. This describes the professional skills needed. In addition, the physical condition must be such one can travel, wait and handle a few kilograms camera steadily.

Poutvaara -photography has been exercised for one hundred years. Poutvaara -family started photography in 1920s. Taneli Poutvaara born in 1974 got involved in photography in the film era, but decided to focus in design activities such as architecture. After the beginning on 2000s the Poutvaaras have exercised only digital photography. Taneli Poutvaara has maintained from 2012 the pages, in which he published in 2018 the Kuvasto in which there was more than 1800 images. The Poutvaara Photo Stock -service was born in 2023 as a side project for the bureau generally offered photography service, because the half million digital photographs archive accumulated since 2007 was decided partly to extend to commercial use. The starting phase selected 15 400 pictures collection corresponds to the present web page practical capacity and sufficient quality.

Old single Kuvasto (Collection of pictures) has been replaced by several collections or pictures of different subjects, totally larger and with limited service. More common social media related services, such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest have been tested and evaluated – but those have not seen working or have been seen as insufficient. There are a large number of Finnish photographers who are presenting large quantities of photographs in American picture media services. In this aspect PPS is also a test project. In Finland, in addition to PPS, there are only less than ten Finnish image agencies based on own platform with more than ten thousand pictures presented. Internationally a newer 21st century phenomenon is the image agencies representing professional and amateur photography in which the content producer number is thousands or hundreds of thousands of photographers. PPS is not anyway related to pictures, but primary to architecture and news media. As my working in concept level in Architecture, PPS can operate both in Finland and internationally. My best expertise considers the country where I have spent most my time, in this case Finland. I have anyway used most of my time with international architecture and arts and I work as well in English as in Finnish.


In the starting phase Poutvaara Photo Stock includes 15 400 images. The Poutvaara family had never in the 20th century film era an actual own photography stock agency, but the photographer Matti Poutvaara offered photographs to sale for example via Kuvapörssi (translated as “Picture market”) until the 1990s and direct to publishers. The actors of the business changed or were replaced by digitalization from the 1990s. In practice of the 20th century Finnish actors only nowadays part of STT-news agency representing Finland’s largest image agency Lehtikuva has continued to the 21st century. After the film era had ended the digital picture management had brought new actors in the business. Poutvaara Photo Stock, PPS, is part of this development in dispersing digital markets, but an exception in a sense that it represents only a single photographer whereas larger photo agencies are concentrating the supply. Exception is also main focus on architecture. Photography is dependent on architectural documentation, expression and communications. The undefined character of photography is setting it practical limitations, but its simplicity gives it paramount importance. Taneli Poutvaaras more demanding visual expression is mechanical visual arts such as drawing with ink pens – and architectural visualization, now based on CAD and BIM -programs.

Taneli Poutvaara does not see himself primary as a photographer nor has he plans to concentrate on photography agency, but rather intention to continue photographing and complement his Photo Stock agency supply and follow the development of the business. The special expertise is focusing in the built environment, of which there is strongest and furthest developed expertise. More about the subject in Kirjoitettua (“Written”) -column. The developed special expertise is about CAD and BIM and large knowhow about Finnish and international architecture combined with global level local knowledge. As extra service is available photography expertise and consultation about any Finnish construction project visualization such as about buildings and their interiors can be photographed during design phase, in realization phase or as ready.

Photography was developing, but rare, in the beginning of 20th century, but in the beginning of 21st century everyone photographs. Difference is still in professional and amateur photography, but automatization is now further because of computers. On the other hand, architecture is still rare and one of the oldest professions in the World. The equipment of photography is also developed, but professional equipment and professional photography remain as demanding high skills. Architecture related photography is based on university level expertise and practical architecture activities. Important is also development of skills and innovation activities. Nowadays the equipment Taneli Poutvaara uses is the sharpest and most modern in the family history and its optics cover from micro-photography and fisheye lenses to wide angle-, normal- and tele-objectives up to one-meter focal distance and the used cameras are DSLR -cameras with sharp full frame sensor. By equipment one belongs to Nikon Professional User -group, but it is more like a practical and strategic decision to concentrate on one label. From the same base one can follow with the development of Nikon such as expanding to mirrorless professional cameras.

The photography stock is the largest collection of Poutvaara pictures presented, even more than the digitalized Matti Poutvaara collections in the Finnish museums. Taneli Poutvaaras photography are forming an independent separate architecture-based branch in the Poutvaara history. Photo stock also contains the only post year 2000 Poutvaara – commercial stock photography collection. Few same photographs can in future be found in commercial -stock photography agencies, but in Poutvaara Photo Stock -service the toll for the pictures is transferred as such to the service owned by the photographer. PPS is not yet a livelihood but a test project and a development project. Taneli Poutvaara copyrights for his photography works ends sometime in the 22nd century according to Finnish and EU laws. Correspondingly with Matti Poutvaara this time is in 2059.

Considering Poutvaara-family historically all Poutvaaras have developed their own photography philosophy and ended up into regular users of different types of cameras. Self I am focused in architecture, PPS photographs are 70 % related to architecture photography. This interest started when I became regular reader of press publishing architectural photography in the beginning of 1990s. Matti Poutvaaras photography era was purely film era ending into period in which the prototypes of digital camera were only tested. In his photography era there was transformation after the World Wars to commercial industrial photography and selling of his era photographs ended several years after his death in the 1990s with digitalization. My own photography era started with the first computer prototypes coming to consumer use and I have witnessed practically digitalization revolution now for four decades, in which the last two decades have gone without film. By practicing authentic digital processes, following standards and quality control, full digitalization is real and authentic.


Poutvaaras have started also the 20th century film era Poutvaara production digitalization project. The main basis in this has been history related interest in Matti Poutvaara’s production. In the film collections of the Finnish museums the digitalization progress has been faster. Poutvaara Photo Stock photography agency has in theory in its use also the Matti Poutvaara’s film archives in those parts, as they have not been given for museum collections. These images are from the 1920s and the picture digitalization has been started, but progresses slowly. Taneli Poutvaara’s own film-archive was started in the 1980s, but the photography was experimental in nature until 2000s. The Poutvaara photography was completely transferred into digital format between 1990s to 2000s and the change has been final and irreversible. I would consider historically unreal, if I would cancel the decision made around 2003 to fully end in film photography. Anyway, old films and photographs have historical value, that does not diminish, although film photography from the Poutvaara’s part has finally ended.

Digitalization effects in all sectors of art in different ways. A side phenomenon has been ink drawing, but it has no similar comparable digital form such as digital photography has ended film photography. In construction design drawing although CAD drawings and BIM-derived line drawings have totally replaced ink pen drawing. Anyway, my own artistic ink drawing applies nowadays digital and vector design expertise, but its precision and quality cannot be surpassed with computer expertise. Teaching similar kind of expertise for artificial intelligence is theoretically possible, but in practice is impossible. I have seen more than a thousand art works produced by Artificial intelligence and as conclusion I have noted, that in this phase artificial intelligence is not able to complete with Taneli Poutvaara without his help. Licence compensation would be key factors, if an artist uses his energy in making co-operation with AI-developers.

Poutvaara history started in film era has raised a question about why the film era production has ended? The matter could have been considered in the 1990s as the film production was still continuing, after the digitalization started and the film photography was losing being interesting. The professionals came together into overall situation conclusion, according to which the photographers, image managers and the image archives transferred into the digital format. Self I made about the matter my solving conclusions in the mid of 1990s according to these segment areas: I photographed on film, but film photography was transferring into digital format, my picture management was transferring into digital, but there was no studio spaces for film use and the photography shops and the film developing services ended one after another; my film archives were taking considerable time and space and film-based image agencies ended their activities and returned their photographs. As the film photography related activities have been driven down, it could not be used in other than nostalgic art activities and experimental use. Self I am not interested in either, because I see better possibilities in specializing in digital activity. The film era few hundreds mechanical, optical and chemical parameters have been sifted into milliards of combinations of digitally managed parameters.

The film photography orders would cost multiple compared to digital photography – in addition the activities related has been driven down and restarting would require significant investments in hardware, which are not any longer possible. Also, because film manufacture, processing and further use was driven down in the beginning of 2000s, continuing film photography would require industrial scale reinvestments. Most skills such as product development skills were lost by bankruptcies and generation changes. Ecological reasons are also against film photography: toxic chemicals manufacture and processing, work related exposure to chemicals, large quantity of waste, vast need for space both in working rooms and storages are a large-scale basis to oppose returning to film photography. Although there would be offered a million euros for focusing on film photography, I would not see the offer profitable, because the money would be lost at the beginning in the costs and long-term operation would not be any more economically profitable. Primary a photographer has no good reason to photograph on film, as one should build several unprofitable factories to run his operations.

A photographer has no ethical reasons to photograph on film and there are no financial incentives – all reasons are against film photography. Many have claimed that with film photography one could achieve some quality surpluses, but this is not true: if one needs the film era missing quality in film or camera, one should then buy a needed digital camera and learn the practical apply. That saves both money and time and creates better results. With digital photography one can base a professional photography company with tens of thousands starting investment and produce a half million photos with tens of thousands of material cost, but with film photography a similar photography company basing would require several million euros of expenses, such as higher material cost per photo, extra personnel for multiply tasks nowadays unnecessary, extra costs for now off dropped processing-, handling-, and storage spaces. I would compare that a digital office needs 1/10 – 1/200 amount of finance compared to film office – still practically all film offices lost already in the 1990s all their clients because of slowness, inefficiency and poorer quality. For all 20th century special cameras there is nowadays replacing digital devices that are in most cases much better that their film-based predecessors – these are not anyway sold in consumer use shops and some are still under licenced use, such as satellite photography, aerial photography cameras and government quality surveillance cameras.

Film photographs are nowadays comparable in basic level to all other physical picture objects such as drawings, paintings and printed images. The information profile contained is poorer than in digital photography, which lowers their usable value. Whereas a digital photography can nowadays be sent for example from a sporting event via a Wi-Fi-connection directly to newspaper newsroom in real time, similarly a film is now not useable, until it has been digitalized after the roll has ended, that is at its fastest was several hours but can nowadays be days or a week. In addition to this film photographs do not contain the photograph related EFIX-information, why a bookkeeping should be done as extra work, further storage and processing requires huge spaces whereas a digital photographers whole half million image production can be saved into small bank vault box, in which comparable could be fitted only few hundred framed slide film photographs. A digital photograph has for long contained a picture attached authenticity proof and its original is copyable raising the lifespan longer than a film image. In addition to this for example a construction drawing is expected a digital vector format and a digital image a digital picture format. Ink pen construction drawers similarly as film photographers can no longer conduct professional work. If an independent artist declares oneself as film-photographer, there is no role in professional photography one could take part to. In practice one only experiments and wastes money, until one returns back to digital photography. Self I would compare the experience to wandering in a desert.

As large-scale reason a photographer should not any longer accept any film orders by professional ethic reasons – further a client has not any basic reasons, why one should pay any extra fee for film photography. Digital photography is less expensive than film photography and there cannot be achieved anything that cannot be achieved with a more expensive digital photography equipment and post processing work. Further film photography as artistic process does not contain any higher professional skills, because film processing, developing and post processing has been fully replaced with digital processes.  With this I do not mean that similar analogy could be done with visual arts – only film photography and digital photography.

Processes related to crafting work format or high expertise skills decision making processes such as drawing and other visual arts, are not comparable processes to film post processing. An example in this is comic arts, in which there is generally drawing with ink pen, but post processing is managed with a computer. In drawing the decisions made in professional level are transferred into intuitive processes, which in professional level cannot be imitated. Further many artisan processes require similarly huge amount of fine motoric processes and developed decision making, that cannot be transferred into machine learning, when one is in professional level. This is true also in prototype design before mass production.

Film photography in nostalgy presented arguments with one shot succeeded work based rare photo are not a valid argument in art history observation. Artworks have always contained a lot of sketching and rejected versions. In this sense one could point out that a large number of digital photos, with different settings and from those the selection of the right photograph is following the historically right selected working method. This method has developed about photography into the present format only after the cheap memory cards creation. The price level could be demonstrated with that nowadays 25-euros memory card is compared to purchase of film with the same price one can buy the best professional quality Canon or Nikon system camera body. Cheap memory cards are making possible professional photography also with more economical expenses. Primary this is profitable for artists, but also for photographers in general.

The development of integrity of the field and a large quantity of reachable knowledge makes photography easier to manage working tool also for example for architects. It is natural, that film photographers have no useable arguments to offer about this. Architects can self argument that in registering built environment and landscape entities the documenting photography in itself is not the best method, although it is in many sense the cheapest and fastest. By drawing the architect can emphasise different points of views than in pure pictorial documentation, because the information of a photograph is often uncategorized and contains a lot of extra information, that in itself makes difficult and slower the processing of information. In addition, one should consider also the lenses: when architect sketches, he has “all the lenses and camera types available”, with a camera one has only the lens set included, and usually that is not sufficient for an architect. Architects have self custom to reduce and simplify the views they experience and a photograph may act as help in this afterwards, but besides technical possibilities to interpretation it does not contain further processed thinking. The matter is not about just algorithm of drawing, but also about the processing of information, classification and interpretation guiding fine motoric process. A photograph usually contains unprocessed raw information, whereas in a drawing the information is processed and further worked.


Getting the picture in final format in the first shooting time requires both skills, testing and luck. Most of the photographs are needed to be afterwards reshaped, which reduces quality, but with Nikon professional cameras I have moved also to reshaping with camera and making large quantity of versions, so there comes more ready pictures from the memory card. The phenomenon is not new as such and it doesn’t reduce originality, if the shaping is not visible and is minor. For example, dust particles on sensor I always intend to leave out from pictures, similar defining tone and brightness as more representing, but these definable parameters are even more. Using for example colour channels, parameters are even more than in RGB-modification. During the black and white photography era this was affected by filters, nowadays the original is always in colour and black and white photo is few clicks away.

Digital post photograph setting is most reasonable alternative, if the picture is not final as shot. Previously the negative was not available for altering, but it’s copies and prints were. Before a negative side was scrubby work quality and with each reshaping time the loss of accuracy. On the other hand, similar phenomenon is also with digital shaping of original, but less. Of course, the best professional skill would be, that the pictures with first shoot would be ready already, but this can be reached seldom. Whereas a century ago the shaping was slow and methods varied, nowadays everyone has the same file formats and same shaping menus. The question of success is then about the views and the skills of picture processor. Official methods to make the same settings are many, also different paths and different quantities, and there are no sure cases.

The uncertainty of rules is because the photography targets event times are partly random, same as with lighting conditions because of weather phenomenon related randomness and further the targets may behave differently, for example move with different speeds or their colour may depend by four seasons such as vegetation functions. Further using the manual mode in the camera (which I regularly use) has never all the same settings on. Especially outdoors the location of the photographer in space in relation to sun differentiates and so photographing the same object from same distance depends on spatial circumstances and movement. One pays for independency of outdoor circumstances by getting studio environment spaces, but for example in architectural photography one gets seldom anything else from studio than a portable stand. On the other hand, photographing people, objects and interior spaces the natural lightning works seldom and the professional grade flash or separate studio light source are functioning. In random photographing most often only a battery flash can be carried with. When photographing live targets, it is least nuisance for the target, if the photographer uses high ISO-value and fast shutter time. Further in situation photography the longer focal distances achieved with larger brilliant lenses and the minimal visibility of the photographer reduces the number of disturbances of the situation. There is required politeness also about the photography targets, which could be interpreted as such, that one is leaving off the non-representing versions, that in a picture taking situation could be created under a small-time unit in addition to representing versions.


During the formation of PPS, because it is a commercial sales service, there has been forced to exclude a large quantity of the photography archive. For example, many event organizers have not granted a permission to publish photographs of their events and further several humans related rights are setting commercial publication restrictions. This is the reason, why PPS is bordering precisely its subjects such as intentionally diminished the quantity of people in public places in architectural photographs or with photography technical methods prevents the identification of people for example with long shutter times and low ISO-value. The reason is not related to the fact there would not be willingness to photograph people – but to the reason, one wants to take account the rights of the people. Model portfolios about humans are costly, if they are compensated with actual fees – this is empathized by the fact, that many earn good incomes from working as a model. Self I am not specialized in fashion design, but in technic-artistic design.

The human photography presented by PPS is mainly related to population masses or news photography in which the subjects are in the same time period largely covered by mass media observation. In news type of human photography there is not exercised paparazzi-activity, but the subjects are mainly been subjects of other photographers and know they are being photographed. The human’s portrait photography of person photography is in itself large specializing field for many photographers, but on the other hand it does not need specializing education such as architecture. The subjects other than news feed covering person photography are not nowadays included in PPS picture supply.

About the architectural photography the focus has been concentrated in photography complementing the existing already in many cases more restricted picture supply and finding new architecture related viewpoints. The architectural design, realization and maintenance in itself covers including taking into account the architectural photography. Many special subjects cover such significant architectural sites, that are not at all in other picture agencies supply or has been covered more limited. As an architectural designer and leader of a company developing own office standards, I can naturally provide education and common practices exceeding expertise. Since the beginning of 1990s I have seen millions of architectural photographs as well in press, literature and other media, so at the same time I have seen a large section also about Finnish architectural photography. In the PPS sales collection in the starting phase there is about 10 800 architecture related photographs.

Many countries restrict architecture related photography and are empathising more the designer’s copyrights than in Finland. Self I see rational to maintain my own rights for my unbuilt designs also in the future, and I have not seen sensible possibilities in general architectural theory about the same subjects. I have not seen existing any special ideologies or schools among architecture – nor any need to bear any debt in my own design for any architect. In Finland I have very seldom ran into expressed picture taking limitations: in practice it is a question about private properties, military targets, drone photography around important sites, show photography, private persons or generally about places and times, when the photographer has it unsafe to photograph for other reasons. Part of architectural photography could be considered as architectural news photography instead of architectural art photography: it is important to generally know, how societies or public money is spent and is the use of money well based. Buildings have responsibility and effect also for its environment similarly as for users.

Moving in construction yards and photographing there in the 1990s has been left out because of few reasons: the construction yards cameras have become more common combined with the projects, for security reasons there are more limited the media photography licences for construction yards, moving in construction yards poses extra work for sites, the pictures have often no use, the photographers own security is endangered in moving in site, and perhaps for my own point of view the most important viewpoint is that after basic construction yard experiences there can seldom afterwards be learnt anything new when observing the construction yards, for which one could get any better or useable information elsewhere. The main argument is, that photography in construction yards is most effective, when it is related to working as a project architect or consultant as part of the construction yard process. During the last years my only major construction yard photography project has been the observation of Kruunu-bridges construction yard landscape changes, but this has been outside the construction site area in recreational and leisure time areas.

If a photograph is taken in a suitable situation, also with non-photographers’ amateur camera, a picture may be transformed into a news photograph or a document. I have self experience about this about pre-planned news photography and intentionally I do not photograph subjects, that are not clearly news subjects. Although I recognise many known people, I do not take random photos of them in city spaces. The World’s biggest 21st century collective news photography event with the visibility and international importance, was the 9/11 day in New York. The events in itself were clear and visible, but not sufficient covered about the background nor were the recommendations leading to successful World history. This tells also about the content-related weakness of photography: it can be explained in countless of ways, also with mean and manipulative meaning. Self I have observed the same phenomenon also for example about Russian state related medias, that in its part led into their international ideological bankruptcy. Random news photography includes successfully mainly great accident photography, but also such photography, that does not contain news value and should thus be avoided – these are for example going into the privacy side of the photography subject and clearly lower than newsworthy photography. An own chapter in photography is sham-photography.

During the film era cheating in photography was a common phenomenon for example in UFO-photography, in which there was referenced to dropping hints about space ships coming from other solar systems, but most often it was a question of a plate or round object thrown in the back yard, or for example with a fishing pole hung self-made small “space ship”. In many case the space ships were “created” in a photography laboratory. Motivation was mainly to get fame or to sell pictures. Making photography shams were in amateur side tempting previously, as the pictures exact analysis was difficult. This was related also as the rare character of photography as a hobby. The photography of UFOs in amateur side suddenly ended with film photography termination, the reason was for example, that everyone nowadays has a sharp photographing cellphone or digital camera, with picture is EFIX-information and the picture meta-data observation can be concluded, if the picture is created with a camera or afterwards with a picture processing program. Suddenly new UFO-picture material has been created for news side also with American planes surveillance cameras, but the Airforce of the country has previously also informed, that in practice all their UFO -information in previous decades were as secret classified test- or military flights, that were intentionally published with information, by which the larger public would see the targets as in “UFO”-category. Generally, the term UFO is classified as unidentified flying object, that categorically includes also the unidentified military aircraft, but in news the subject is related with references, that are linked with outer space origin small green men or science fiction movie stories.

The collective experiences could previously have got new power, if some produced an event related imagination feeding photograph or a drawing. The digital photography with everyone with a camera effected on the ending of photography shams with several ways: firstly, the mass sightings of UFOs and the swarm intelligence about observations has been replaced in the way that the observations can be checked by going through a large crowd collectively made picture material about an observation through. On the other hand, for example ghost -photography in buildings has similarly ended, same with space creatures in terrain, also with landed spacecrafts. The main reason why UFOs were experienced before, was the participance in a collective experience: if someone expects to see something, he then most obviously connects it to some observation one makes and explains that according to weak observation. Sharp photography devices and observation made by them have nullified most weak sightings. Generally, there has been too much time on the basis of observation, a person own error in vision, erroneous use of detecting device or over explaining of some common phenomenon by basis on lively imagination made stronger by collective stories. Officially to the ending of UFO-sightings effects also the larger covering of weather radars and aviation radars same as with dense observation and surveillance camera network, also covering the sky. Generally, previously it was a question of natural phenomenon, that were observed in a wrong way, were over explained or experienced more significant than what the phenomenon actually was.

In the digital age in 21st century one has ended into an era, in which the secret airplanes do not exist, but the published airplanes are mainly unflightworthy concept models, which design to an operational capacity takes still several decades. The situation is further mixed, when so amateurs as fantasy designers are designing their own secret airplanes, that are used in popular culture. Hollywood has best example about this, when antigravitational airplanes and space fighters were developed in the 1960s partly to cover less fictional secret aircraft. Nowadays it is more difficult to determine, which is popular culture and which is cheating of large masses. The point is made more complicated by the fact, that many United States presidents are making decisions by popular culture or by information, that is intended only to guide the public opinion.

After the World Wars during the mass hysteria of the UFOS, there were only few amateurs, who were able to set up a realistic UFO-picture and lie a story to accompany it, and it would be published. When everyone has international standards filling sharp and fast camera including video photography properties and film photographers do not practically exist anymore, has also the observation of UFOs ended, because nowadays making commercially profitable UFO-sightings would require film-studio quality animation programs or national Airforce level resources. As new phenomenon has been created photography of unbelievable or brilliant people, that is mainly based on smart phone filter programs or long picture manipulation by a professional photographer. Documentarian people photography in commercial level has been left in background and has been replaced by pictures manipulated with a filter or picture manipulation program. This new phenomenon could be said to have replaced UFO-photography.

I would predict that artificial intelligence will create new kind of phenomenon in all kind of photo-sham-phenomenon: so, in UFO creation such as photographs taken from humans manipulated with newly created filters – as precedent are for example retirement age actors face manipulation into 20-year-old looking and regular people face manipulation into looking like space alien creatures. In this case a significant weight is with fact one gets the original pictures with legal ways, in which one pays the licence fee for use and further the pictures possible manipulation or forgery and possibly the base material sources or the content of the algorithm is mentioned with the photograph, so the deception or fraud crime characteristics are not filled.

Picture shamming as a mainstream phenomenon can be seen, that with algorithm-filter equipped smartphones have made possible for everyone to act as a movie star – but not even movie stars are such persons who they present – that means the algorithms basically produce useless narcotic information. As interesting precedents could be mentioned, that the social media companies have allowed fictive characters and fake persons to perform in their platform as real persons without warning about that it is for example Artificial Intelligence produced picture material of a person, with nothing real as background, but for example blending picture material stolen from entertainment industry as a picture feed, that intends to create an impression of a real person. Difference between algorithm manipulated picture feed and pure computer graphics has nowadays diminished. For example, Instagram has not allowed me to present photos of buildings and structures by using as a reason that I do not fit in their format, but the same company has allowed a picture feed of AI-created picture feed, that represents a fictional character resembling real persons from which one takes algorithm-filtered photos. Self I consider Instagram hypocritical advertisement-revenue-centred platform, that limits expression of free speech and intends to diminish intellectual expression. This is the reason why I have removed Instagram from my applications.

According to my own estimation, the art made with artificial intelligence is mainly based in great extent in exploiting stolen art, hidden unethical algorithms and credible plagiarism. This decreases the interest by artists about the subject. Self I have seen thousands of illegal street art works, but I still would not recommend anyone to invest in buying any artwork by an unnamed artist. Similarly, I have seen more than a thousand art works, said to be created by artificial intelligence, and in every case, I would have said: “you could see, it is fake, because of this and that detail and solution”. There is no such actor as independent algorithm as a responsible person. Professional level photography competitions contain in some cases series for manipulated images, but in high level competitions the digital original is usually checked. High class news activity usually requires a mention, if a “photograph” is not a photograph. Those breaking the convention are generally not creating new customs but are breaking international copyright rules or national legislation.

About photography I have generally learnt, that it is essential, at which moment of time and from which angle of view and with which setting the picture is taken. Architectural photography is such unambiguous that in outer space there is the Sun, in surroundings there is buildings, landscape and trees and during a year the Sun is at every moment in different height in relation to the horizon and direction by cyclical basis and forms by continuous movement an arc in the sky, by every day different, that is unique during every day of the year. The lightning comes from the sun – to which colour character is affected by atmosphere and the weather, or by artificial light, that is difficult to derive to buildings external lightning with other than fixed façade lightning. In architectural design the buildings are designed in 3-axis coordinate system, that is transferred with help of surveyor techniques to the building site larger coordinate system.

In building design, using perspective effects changes the building in newer viewpoint into something else than observed as a rectangular polyhedron. Investing to this responds to modern architecture, but multiplies the construction budget. In photographing object or human one is in photographing of small objects, in which the observation location and the direction is never fixed. In case of humans the portable moving structural skeleton and supported moving flexible entity provides limitless position alternatives for the photography angles and location of artificial lightning, and it is from the photographer’s point of view natural choice to take pictures that are advantage for the photographed target – an exception is the passport photography defined by law.

A photographer can by distances, focal distances, directions, lightning and mood transform from the starting point an ordinary target into an exceptionally interesting or valuable. This human matching rule is also the same in architectural photography, but architecture in itself is its own branch of science. When a photographer uses traditional working methods, it is a question of applying professional skills, not using a filter. Professional skills cannot be applied to photograph afterwards with a filter, but photography is such strict in the way, that the photographer should always try to take a ready photograph, also test different settings. In professional photography one usually cannot afterwards create photos or add for example mood or character filter settings – the allowed special effects are technical and based on scientific theory.


All Poutvaaras have ended into users of different cameras. Amateur character photographers use a smart phone or tablet, which are familial also for me. Because they are so common, I use them seldom. Compact cameras are suitable for hobby-character use, but also professionals use them because of the easiness and small size. I have found them useable in fixed targets and short focal distances. Matti Poutvaara used especially 24 mm x 36 mm (kino size) and 60 mm x 60 mm -film size SLR-cameras with short focal distances. During the end of his era digital cameras were not yet in consumer use. Self I transferred in the beginning on 2000s permanently into digital photography and the decision was also supported by cost factors and the general development. Most I have taken photographs with DSLR-cameras specializing in Nikon’s FX-sensor size (24 mm x 36 mm) cameras. Most professional cameras are still with 24 mm x 36 mm sensor size, but more expensive studio cameras use larger sensor sizes. This development is related to the camera production, mainly lenses. The camera objective production for 24 mm x 36 mm sensor size is most economical and the supply is greatest. Matti Poutvaara during his ages used a lot of time in the film development and making prints. Nowadays these work phases have totally been replaced with uniform digital tools, best known is Photoshop. In founding the PPS, I needed a computer monitor time about a year, because the work was so far my largest publishing project.

One most common mistake in interpretating my photographs are that “the pictures are taken my pointing a camera and taking a picture”. If with this method one tries to repeat a photo, that does not work. The reasons are, that the optics is different and in addition the photos perspectives are with photographic technical and picture processing methods manipulated, pictures are also afterwards framed and so most of the architectural photographs could not be repeated even with the same camera and optics. This is not a professional secret, which I would have learnt about Matti Poutvaara’s production, but from decades with architecture. Architectural photography has developed common practices, that can be observed in literature, press and digital medias.

I got introduced into professional photography during the 1980s, but I soon gave up photography to focus on architecture and visual arts. The main reason was, that photography was too expensive and conceptually too simple. Later I noticed, that photography was central also in these abstract field and so I got interested in applying photography again. During the end phase of the film era, I already had a lot of experience of digital materials and in the beginning of the 2000s I permanently gave up the film era. I started to use first digital semi-professional cameras and then professional cameras, because photographs taken with more simple cameras were not accepted anywhere because of inferior quality. Now I see photography’s main problem its common character – that is why I continue to focus on complex applied arts rather than pure photography. One can also ask to be paid better for more specialized professional skills.

I have exercised perspective research since I learnt to manage them by drawing since the 1980s. Especially perspective management has been the most important questions, that builds my own photography into its own category in the Poutvaara’s photography history. I have mainly learnt perspective in related to architecture and learnt also perspective drawings construction in architectural visualization, later also with Autodesk CAD- and BIM -programs, in which the program self creates the perspective as a side project, also the visualization. I still could create 2 or 3 vantage points perspective pictures of typical objects, but as the models get more complicated, the work is succeeding only with computer, that is in addition efficient and supports modelling-based workflow such as adjustability.

In the photography aspect my photography is supported by the fact, I have seen millions of architectural photographs in the press, literature and in practice. Any easily repeatable tricks I cannot present or recommend, but my own recommendation for starting photographer is to get an actual profession with which one can apply photography. In addition to rare architecture, it could as well be related to medical science, biology, geography, history, physics, aviation, journalism, engineering sciences or visual arts. New fields are specializing in the use of the pictures in digital platforms, such as publishing either digitally or printed – and acting as intermediary of photographs such as having an own image agency. Producing content for Instagram or entertainment industry -platforms I recommend only for persons, who are not specializing into any profession and are able to move into entertainment culture. By my own Instagram experiences, I do not recommend use of these services, even less about paying for the service. Maintaining an image agency on a Pinterest or a Flickr account would likely cost me more than PPS and would profit less. Community-type image agencies are at the starting phase requiring loading thousands of photos, even to get even small fees. Self I do not expect PPS at the starting level to be a surely profitable secondary occupation, more like a professional  experiment. Anyway, I have invested into the founding of PPS a whole year of working hours, about two thousand hours.

In practice, the way into my own expertise has gone through mechanical drawing, presentation technique, perspective knowledge, architectural literature and practice, computer related design programs, own photography and through countless experiments. Self I have heard speculation weather in my own logo would have something hidden occultism – yes there is, but is randomly created, byproduct of long education, practical work and theoretical knowhow. The idea was that I should have a logo reflecting my own expertise and so it was created. The development into present format has taken a decade, as is typical for logo-development. My own photography expertise has developed with half a million of taken photos and so I can honesty say that from my own family I have not got anything else than just a spark and I have also photographed a lot of sketch quality test pictures. In artistic work it is typical to conduct a lot of experiments and to choose the central and most important works from random workflow and to develop these themes in the further processes.


Most people can take photos, but mainly do not use them at all. Often taking the actual photos into use from a smart device is more difficult than actual photographing. Making picture books has become more common and digital picture archives and picture books are most typical methods to use pictures, if they can be transferred from the photography device into use. Most common method in photography nowadays is internet-linked camera equipped device, which feeds an internet account with photos, often with algorithm manipulation. Photo stocks are not actually social medias or entertainment platforms, but they are offering a channel for publishers to get such photos, which no-one else has, or which would be much more expensive than by getting by custom orders. Some special subjects would require a such long time, that those should got faster. In this kind of cases archive photos and image stocks offer ready photos instantly.

Common are royalty free photos, which lean of for example CC-licences or royalty free image stocks. Most often a photographer needs actual incomes, which are most natural to get by working as a photographer serving someone, making custom orders or by selling photos. The most traditional since 19th century created news agencies working guideline has been image stocks, which sell photographers photos for news publishers and publishing houses. The internet and digital platform have enabled also for a single photographer to market and sell their own photos. In Finland there are several small companies, that have been focused in selling forward at most a couple of photographers photos. PPS is one actor in this group. It has gone forward from a photographer’s image gallery into an image stock.

Nowadays I am computer and digital camera multitasker and I apply my skills in several fields, in which PPS is representing in the 2000s created phenomenon, a digital photo stock. Self I would characterise PPS as a new phenomenon: a micro photo stock with larger photo quantity representing a single photographer. PPS is a counter solution for Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr -type of account -based services, in which the user must either have to pay a fee for the manager of accounts or to produce content by the terms of the service provider. This limits the expression and makes content uniform, which is not suitable for sophisticated artists. Social medias such as Facebook and Twitter / X are acting further as algorithm-guided feed, which are looking for great news, but are not particularly able to provide any solution for a photo stock. Social medias and picture feeds have been seen both stealing information and misusing it, in addition to manipulating and cheating users. Self I have seen Google image searches as more honest and in practice more useful, also linked to satellite image services. Internet is full of free material, but republishing pictures is usually the more expensive the better quality and rare the photos are.

Problem with Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr -services is, that they provide for themselves revenue from user contents and the content creators in ordinary cases are left without income from creation of content. About those content producers, who are earning astronomical sums from commercials, one knows very little and people are totally dependent about making themselves a product. The business principle of international picture feed services is a problem in itself and it guides the platforms. There are also community type of commercial image stocks, in Finland for example Vastavalo and Leuku, abroad for example Shutterstock and Mostphotos. In the largest community services single photographers get only a small slice of the profit whereas the service provider benefits from concentration. In large commercial image stocks, such as in Finland’s largest Lehtikuva and abroad with large company purchases expanded, such as Getty Images and the worlds oldest such as AP, Magnum Photos, the main focus is in great news photography and further specialized art photos, also with as the World’s largest image selections. PPS is with image quantity a considerable large, and most professional photographers have not loaded any larger quantities from a single producer into larger commercial image stock services. It is not useful to compare PPS with those image agencies, who have millions or hundreds of millions of photos and tens or hundreds of personnel. Typically, a professional photographers lifetime picture quantity in the 20th century was left into thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, at most a million and during this century is left at most into a couple of millions of photos.

Self I would estimate, that in Finland about 90 % of the photographers have thought of taken architectural photographs. This is self-satisfied since only 0.01 % of the population have got architect-degree. Probably not more than 0.1 % of the population has conceptually highly developed concept what architecture is. The number of those who have photographed architecture is great taking into consideration that only a few percent of the working age population does not have a smartphone. Though the number of professional architecture photographers in Finland is at its most hundreds and most of the construction and architecture photographs published in printed publications comes from few dozens of photographers. This is primary because of high equipment requirements related to perspective and accuracy, also professional skills. Architecture is made difficult by the fact that everywhere in human’s environment there are architecture, but self architecture is consisting of building art, building technique and construction – self the definition could demand from a professional architect for hours and although in some other day the matter could be defined differently. PPS is by 70 % share specialized in architecture and built environment. It would not even exist without design expertise. What is paradoxical, PPS would not even have been found, if I would not have got rejections or unprofitable offers from all other actors, also rejections in all domestic photography competitions for several years have been an encouraging finding other route. Primary as a model have been professional principles to guide for better and unseen performance supported by professional expertise. Central principle in the background is large general knowledge combined with rare viewpoints.


Architectural photography in itself is very rare in Finland as a specialized subject. Nowadays almost everyone has some moment taken a photograph of a building, but in Finland there is only a handful of companies, that are specialized in architectural photography. On the other hand, as a side occupation, architectural photography exercised large quantity of photographers. Most architects do photograph, also as part of the occupation. This is primary related to cheap costs and the reliability of the method.

Architecture is designed increasingly with an aim, that it becomes as a target of photography and part of its experience is its photography and its observation from photographs. Also, many clients wish, that the public architecture contains selfie-places and view angles and views that could be considered as iconic. Internationally there is great challenges in this in respect that architect creates original and academically pure performance. A basic rule is, that in this case the architect is visible in all international press and literature and this is visible also in internationally significant fees and few of the most expensive buildings in modern time. There are also architects, who are working in small format and refuse to expand their business activities. Most architects do their profession as important conceptual part of construction business. One can also see national competition and competing reference groups with different motives. In this sense critique and different opinions in many cases open viewpoints that the designers do not see in their works or intentionally exclude from their thinking. Construction of fake-architecture can be commercially rational and by moral observation reasonable, if the client cannot afford to build the World’s frontline architecture. In this case it would be ethically right if also the architect accepts it. In certain sectors – such as commercial architecture – referencing to commercial principles is not a shame. Instead – it needs a lot of skills from the architect to make good architecture, if the client’s main concerns are only commercial. In this case the architect must sell good architecture as part of an immaterial long-term investment.

International architecture observes the whole world although many countries self see that they represent the best, the most appreciated and the most original architecture in the world. Many architects say, that the surroundings appreciate the architecture the most, although the fact would be, that often one would meet people, who have never thought, that such a phenomenon such as architecture would even exist. Instead of thinking, that there are famous architects and which architects would be well known, I more often think about people, do they practically know anything about a profession called architect, do they even know such a term like building related architecture even exists. With this attitude the contrast is great to architecture schools, -magazines and Arch Daily-media. In practice I often consider the similar about myself. It is difficult thing to know the concept architecture or architect than to understand anything about it. Usually, a layman understands the work of an architect not until one has ordered at minimum a one-family house -sized project. Also, practically there are no two architects, who would have the same work and role. Most architects also do work as long as they are capable. Most responsible design roles are intensive during the whole project and the responsibility does not end only with the completion of the building.

At the moment PPS is in Finland among ten largest image agencies with the presented image quantity and presented is more than 10 800 built environment photographs. In the American social media accounts and with several large image agencies representing photographers having various level skills, there are larger picture amounts presented. In this respect the PPS is a Finnish test project among architecture. In many special subjects there is no other pictures in internet or the picture quantity is a fraction of PPS’s picture quantity. This is caused by specializing in professional sense as well as geographically. Most PPS’s picture targets do not contain any more copyrights or the copyrights can no longer be defined. On the other hand, many targets contain in itself the photographer’s interpretation, that forms the photographers own art work containing copyrights. In some cases, the architecture photography is not about the art of building, but about the responsibility of the architect for the client or the greater public – this makes the subject as news photography of architecture.

In architectural photography it is regular to see buildings as in architectural publications, but on the other hand the professional publications especially in the engineering field are more experienced to handle also the construction. Especially in architectural photography it is regular to use a corrected perspective, in which the buildings vertical lines are mainly as vertical lines and the front façade represents the buildings front façade. On the other hand, as power effect one can use also diagonally upwards or downwards vertical lines. Further the interpretations are getting more demanding, when the building cannot be fitted into a single composition or the building can be seen from a number of different ways – in this case it can be useful to see as reference the architect’s sketches from the building and other photographer’s pictures of the same or similar targets. Further in architectural publications it is typical to observe the building from photographs in addition to rectangular corners taken projections: with façade or section drawings with horizontal sections called plan drawings or horizontal upper views called plot drawing or site drawings or roof drawings. As an addition comes the details, which are more, the larger and more demanding the target is.

An architectural photography should support representing architectural drawings. Part of architectural drawings are made for magazine skipping the details and information, in more regular or less expensive targets one represents directly construction drawings in publications. The situation becomes more difficult by the fact one aims to represent the buildings with photography sharp like renderings in such a way they would be in architectural photographs after the building is completed. In this one is seldom not even near, but usually follows a pattern customed by the worker. Main custom is to make the renderings from Building Information Model and the projects presentation and advertising budget defines the work quantity, precision and the amount of added reality. As principle all outside the building model extra presentation creates extra costs. Some architects are even specialized in special effects, which is not architectural planning or design work and requires minimum skills.

In the future in sight there will be concentrated on continuing current activities and developing the use of programs and this expertise is too demanding and complicated for artificial intelligence – because it is a total solution, not a segment. In addition to that human is also finally responsible for using artificial intelligence. Combining architecture, design, visual arts and photography is the basis for operations of the Poutvaara Photo Stock. In this one requires multi-scientific basis in which the professional photography, difficult for larger public, is one among the simplest sectors. In selection one can find only authentic photographs, that have been tuned to reach photographic and artistic high quality.

Selection of collections of pictures is aiming to provide pictures from similar subjects, which are generally presented. The architecture-empathized viewpoint provides new higher expertise interpretations, which are not by average presented in works by other photographers. Primary one aims at providing something new for the history of photography as an addition, instead of changing to other newer medias, such as moving picture. The technical development has brought out new subjects, such as based on sharper and more light-sensitive sensor and larger selection of lenses. Primary digital photography is based on smaller amount of material and larger amount of instantly processed pictures – an idea, that everyone expected, but was in practice realized not until in the 21st century. Just as for book printing one does not any more place single metal letters for printing plates and print with pressing machine – but the process is digital editing and printing, also photographers have rejected old technical apparatus and use newer. Old apparatus has historical shining, but no useable value.

At time of foundation the PPS is the Finland’s largest image agency representing a single photographer and its presented image stock is the Finland’s largest about architecture by an image agency focused in architecture. The challenge is to other actors, but we offer at the same time a lot of content that cannot be found elsewhere in internet. Specially I would empathise that PPS is a test project in Finland, but at the same time also internationally. Its point of view is making a strong point of architecture and certain topics but also traditional marketing and news communication. The structure of the site is at this stage experimental and for example for large image agencies typical feature of added tags with pictures besides name or search engine does not exist. The principle is simple: scrolling the topic area pictures by rolling the pictures from browsable picture folders, about which pictures name tells the ordering number and topic, by ordering number one can order the publishing version of the photograph. The classification and organizing is supporting finding from certain topics, same as with a large number of alternatives. Wishes and special orders are received within limitations. I wish all PPS users productive moments in finding specially needed picture topics and specially I wish all such users as long-term customers, who wish to realize large special publications, rise artistic level or to add the visibility of architecture in communication.

24.1.2024 Minor adjustments to the text
27.1.2024 Minor adjustments to the text

Taneli_Poutvaara - 22:48:03 @ 2024, Arkkitehtuuri, PPS, Rakentaminen, Taide | Lisää kommentti

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