mahabis photography // wanderer by tiina törmänen
Finnish landscape photographer, Tiina Törmänen shot this spectacular collection of images in the isolated national parks of Finnish Lapland, focusing on the otherworldly displays of the Northern Lights.
Entitled ‘Wanderer’, Törmänen’s images make us realise how small we truly are, in the grand scheme of things. Other than the snow covered landscapes and colourfully lit skies, the only other subject of the images is Törmänen herself, silhouetted against the snow. Originally, she planned to simply shoot the landscapes that she discovered, but decided to include herself in the images and create self-portraits to give perspective to the vast landscapes and skies.
Concentrating on the relationship between the small silhouetted figure and the infinite night sky, Törmänen’s powerful photographs may make us feel small, but also showcase how beautiful and unrelenting nature can be in some of the world’s most remote locations. In order to escape light pollution, she travelled many miles out into the wilderness on her own. Taking a job as a hotel chef in the remote village of Kilpisjärvi, she rode a snowmobile out into the expanse that surrounded her at the end of her shifts, seeking out the perfect landscapes to shoot and waiting for the elusive aurora to appear.
To best preserve the natural light of the Milky Way and the Northern Lights above, she set her camera up on a tripod with a timer to take long exposure shots that would allow for the maximum amount of light to enter the lens. To highlight her figure upon the dark landscape, she wore a headlamp which she carefully positioned to spotlight her position.
Having grown up in Northern Finland, Törmänen felt comfortable with the cold and the isolation that accompanied her project, occasionally spending entire nights alone in remote huts. Altogether, to complete the project, she travelled solo for over 150 miles, in conditions that frequently dropped below -15 degrees Fahrenheit.
The simple comment that accompanies the images of Törmänen’s Behance page perfectly sums up the collection of photographs: “Cold vast emptiness but something so beautiful”.
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