Finnish Autumn Nights

Extreme, Spectacular Photography At The Entrance To The Arctic Circle

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Anyone who frequently has their mind blown by nature photography will be hooked on the enchanting Finnish landscapes of Tiina Törmänen.

Having featured her before, we thought it time to revisit her work. To our delight, we discovered that her portfolio has grown in intensity, covering the stark wilderness and eternal mystical beauty of her hometown in Posio, southern Lapland. “All photos are shot about from 100m to 130 km from my childhood home,” she confirms.

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Lake view.

A self-taught photographer, Tiina is motivated by her love for nature and her personal journey with the camera. “At some point when I have time I want to process my best old material from shoe boxes and make a book,” she tells us. The DIY attitude is commendable, but is nowhere visible in her photographs. Using a Canon 5d mk3, her style is immense in composition and ambitious in scope. She gives personality to the trees, the sky and the snow. Sensitive to the environment’s dynamic nature, Tiina’s images portrays the landscape as wild and volatile, while at the same time imperturbable in its indifference towards human life.

In Companions, the shadows of a man and his dog linger humbly before an ominous sky dyed fluorescent green; the shades look like brush-strokes, heavily layered upon the canvas to emphasise the bombastic sky.

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Stargazing self-portrait.

Autumn Colours displays a powerful concentration of a range of greens and yellows rather than the typical autumnal reds and auburns.

The colossal Pink Wave is like an Arctic homage to David Elfick’s 1973 surf film Crystal Voyager, a psychedelic odyssey of starburst flavours erupting through the earth’s atmosphere.

Beautiful, grandiose and, ultimately, tranquil, Autumn Nights is a joy to behold.

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Into the woods.

We caught up with her to see what’s new:

TP: When did you start your photography career?
Tiina Törmänen:
I have been taking pictures since 1998, starting at the age of 17. I’ve been shooting more on film and documentary style photography related to people and life around me in the Helsinki area. I continued shooting on film actively till 2007, but then had a few inactive years and bought my first DSLR in 2010. I didn’t shoot much until 2012 when I moved back into the north and started shooting landscapes. In the early 2000’s I tried to get into art schools several years in a row but they never let me in. I just continued my passion and made my living other ways.

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Pink wave.

TP: What cameras do you use? Specifically what did you use for Autumn Nights?
At the moment, a Canon 5d mk3. I’m waiting to see what new models will come out later this year.

TP: How did you feel after making the Venus Reflection image?
I was shooting the whole night. I was already finished and super tired and was driving back home. There’s a road between 2 lakes and from the car window I saw that shimmering reflection. I had to stop the take some photos. It was perfect, the right time in the right place. It was a transition moment, when the sun is already rising but you can still see the stars.

It was a special moment that you can’t see so easily. You might get things like that if you are more into astrophotography and know when all the planets are moving. I usually check only moon and sun movements.

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Venus reflection.

TP: What inspires your work?
Life itself. Nature is so beautiful and a relaxing place to just be. And then there are those magical moments happening. And seasons have all different feelings.

TP: How do you compose and edit your images?
I always shoot without a tripod when it’s possible. I use tripods only at night. I love street style: point and shoot.
At night I use a tripod and then I usually take few test frames and then make a final composition. I’d rather shoot less and do live composition than shoot hundreds of similar frames without thinking.

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Rising mist.

TP: When do you like to go out and shoot?
In the north there are not many perfect days to shoot starry skies when you have open water. In summer time there is the 24-hour sun and days gets long enough at late autumn so there is only a few weeks to shoot before the lakes will freeze.

TP: What else do you do apart from photography?
Season working at a ski resort hotel as a chef.

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Campfire self-portrait.

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Blue night.

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Listening sounds of owl.

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Dead tree.

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Forest night.

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Autumn colours.

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Epic waves.

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Aurora gazing self-portrait.

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Home lake.