12 Steps to Helsinki

The idea for the project “12 steps to Helsinki” is based on the project “6 mètres avant Paris” by Eustachy Kossakowski, a photographer of Polish origin who published his work in 1971 in Paris. It was a series of photographs taken 6 metres from the signs marking the administrative boundaries of the city of Paris.

I have taken it upon me to re-enact this project in the context of contemporary Helsinki.
The setting is very different – Kossakowski has taken 159 photographs to span the area of Paris while I have found 25 spots around Helsinki that bear a sign.
Here is the original work for comparison: www.museeniepce.com


“12 Steps to Helsinki” photographs ordered by number:

Spot nº 001 Spot nº 002 Spot nº 003 Spot nº 004 Spot nº 005 Spot nº 006 Spot nº 007 Spot nº 008a Spot nº 008b Spot nº 009 Spot nº 010 Spot nº 011 Spot nº 012 Spot nº 013 Spot nº 014 Spot nº 015 Spot nº 016 Spot nº 017 Spot nº 018 Spot nº 019
Spot nº 020 Spot nº 021 Spot nº 022 Spot nº 023 Spot nº 024


Map of marked road entries to the City of Helsinki.
(Numbered according to order of photographing.)
Map of entries to Helsinki



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  1. Well, rather than just random pictures taken at all different angles, exposures, times, etc. I’d like to see a consistency. These are all signs that lead into Helsinki and so I’d like to see them all given the same treatment – compose each picture the same way, same time of day, and the same post processing such as black and white conversion.

  2. Thanks for the feedback!
    Personally I like the fact that they are all separately composed according to the circumstances – I find the photos then more interesting and this way I can adapt the angle to the circumstances.
    When I tried to shoot the photos according to one template (I did have this idea at first) in some circumstances they would turn out to be simply bad photos or they didn´t show the surroundings too well so I decided to take a more flexible approach.

  3. I originally thought the same way as Andrea even when looking at Kossakowski’s but while looking I realized that wouldn’t be as unique or have any “flow” or “feeling” to it. I like the idea. What might be cool is as the snow can make it quite plain, is do this over a period so that you get some spring, summer, fall views or something along those lines.

  4. Yes, I agree. I´ll be doing the photos over a period of time so there will be other circumstances in the future than snowy and grey. I might even redo some of the images to get a better overall feel. Still I think it´s important to have these grey ones there – they´re so much helsinkish. :)
    Thanks for the comment.

  5. .~*°0.

  6. Amazing blog:-)!
    That was one thing I wanted to say. Another one: would it be possible to get the location info for that mysterious spooky forest place in eastern Helsinki? I’m going to Helsinki this wednesday and would really appreciated it if you could contact me before 21st this month. thank you very much for your help

  7. Thanks!! I just sent you an email with some useful info. Watch your junk mail folder in case it lands there. Enjoy your stay!

  8. […] area of course. He has some projects still running on his blog -I find particularly interesting the 12 steps to Helsinki. For one of his projects, I have brought a small contribution, which you can find more about […]

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