Hi, I am Thomas Kast, the man behind Salamapaja. I grew up in Karlsruhe, Southern Germany and since about 22 years I live in Oulu, Finland. Photography started as a passion but has become much more than that. It is a way to seek out our planet’s beauty and express myself.
My main subjects are landscape, winter and night photography. Naturally, my photo tours and workshops concentrate on these subjects. Through my photos I am trying not only to capture visual beauty, but it is important to me to convey the atmosphere and the feelings I experience.
You can find a list of my awards, exhibitions and press on this page.
Tour guiding is something I do since autumn 2012. Making it possible for my guests to experience something unique, improving their photography abilities and last but not least seeing their reactions to the aurora – is all very fulfilling. Besides my mother tongue German, I am fluent in English and Finnish. I am still working on my Swedish.
Being fascinated also by technology, I am also shooting time-lapse videos. You can find more in the video section.
To me, Northern lights are one of nature’s most amazing miracles. There are only few things better in life than to see auroras dancing in the sky. I consider myself lucky that I have seen many so called shows; each of them unique. The colors are usually pale, but they can be strong at times. A moving curtain can stretch as far as your eye can see. Sometimes it is as if the sky is filled with piano keys: someone is pressing them and light appears, instead of music. As if this would not be enough, a corona can open up. Countless rays become visible in multiple colors mostly right above you. For me personally this is the icing on the cake, it feels like looking into the soul of Northern lights. Waiting in the cold for hours can be hard, but seeing a show from Lady Aurora is priceless.
Salamapaja comes from two Finnish words: salama (lightning or flash) and paja (workshop).
If you have any questions about the tours, workshops, licensing my work or anything else, please contact me via the contact form. I will be happy to hear from you!