This semester seems to be all about challenging oneself. Expanding into previously inhabited areas of capacity and surely stepping out from the comfort zone.
For me these new challenges include public speaking, critical thinking, introductory to filmmaking and, last but not least, keeping a blog where I analyze and explain my thinking process over various photography related topics in a public platform so that anyone have access to read them.
For me that is stepping out from my comfort zone as I like to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself.
So, let’s jump right into it.
Introducing myself and my influences as photographer
The identity that has been forming around me, is a photographer who turns the lens to where others won’t think to look, or see anything interesting. Meaning very ordinary things, that is. Things that already are. Things that we easily overlook while being busy living the stressful, complicated lives of ours. By bringing out the beauty of these mundane things, such as an empty glass of water on a table, and sharing what I see in them, I challenge other people to do the same. To slow down. To look and to feel. To notice the little things that make this life pretty amazing. Transforming ordinary into something extraordinary is all just a choice of perspective.
One of my favorite sayings is ”Mihinkäs meillä on kiire tässä valmiissa maailmassa”, which would be something in the lines of ”What’s the hurry in this ready-made world”, if I tried to translate it into English.
Works from the series Finland. and Journeys
I’ve always been drawn to light, which I think is the reason why I fell in love with photography as a medium. The word photograph, which is based in Greek language, literally means “drawing with light”. Directing, shaping and playing with light is enchanting to me. But discovering beautiful light out there, everywhere in the world, is what makes my heart smile.
Whether it to be the pale morning haze, vibrant sunset, twinkling of stars, glimmering city lights, glowing neon signs, golden rim or the lengthening shadows on pavements, I get the urge to capture it. It never fails to amaze me how drastic emotional responses light, or the absence of it, can create with its innumerable variations. A lot of times light is the only subject I need in my photographs. It’s one of those things that already is. I’m being an observer who captures the form in which it decides to be present in the given moment. I’m happy that way.
Works from the series Valokuva: The Light Image and The Ordinary
A photographer I always name as one of my main influences is Uta Barth. It’s no wonder, since she has done multiple amazingly beautiful and delicate bodies of work with light as subject. Only after seeing her work I realized that the pictures I had been taking a long time before, that I had felt compelled to, could actually be worthy of something. I had someone with a very successful career to look up to. My favorite bodies of work by her are …and to draw a bright white line with light., …and of time. and Untitled 1998-2000
I also always have to mention the great Irving Penn and his still life work in particular. He created modernist, revolutionary at the time, still life images mostly for Vogue. These seemingly simple images create delicately odd compositions of very ordinary objects and foods. With the vision of a master he is able to play with gross and beautiful, ordinary and odd and to make it into something beautiful.
Rinko Kawauchi is a great Japanese photographer whose documentary of light in everyday life I find inspiring. She’s able to create bodies of work that has the silent quality of beauty and subtleness, that I enjoy. She also focuses on making mundane seem extraordinary.
I also draw a lot of inspiration from Scandinavian minimalistic style of design, which includes architecture, interior design, product design, fashion and photography. I’m all about the ideology that often less is more and quality comes before quantity.
I guess, I could be identified as a minimalist or a person with a thing for simplicity to say the least. That also stands for my color palette. Neutral and faded colors just seem to deliver the message best that I want my photographs to say. You very rarely see me using dark backgrounds or vivid colors.
One of my teachers last semester put it quite aptly as he was going through my photos in the different assignment folders: “You should just put them all in one folder and name it Meditation in White”. More than just the color white I want my photos to have simple lines and compositions that lead the eye with ease and with enough room to breathe.
I took it as a good thing. I have my vision, my style and you can already see it throughout my work.
Congratulations, if you made it all the way down here: you now know about as much as I do about myself as a photographer.
Developing one's identity is a lifelong journey and this is how far I've gotten so far.
To end this post I attached my first film project I did for another class. It is a self portrait in a video format. Doing this was like jumping into a huge black hole, having no idea what to expect on the other side.
It's very far from perfect, but I had fun doing it and learning what it is to do film. What I'm happy about though, is that even for being done in one week without any prior experience, it still sends out the kind of message I had hoped for.
So here's another one to get to know me :)