This post was written by Tom McCallum

An Interview with Top Finnish Landscape Photographer Mikko Lagerstedt

mikko lagerstedt profile pictureIt was on a drive through the Finnish countryside, on his way to spend time in a relative’s cabin, when Mikko Lagerstedt first decided he was going to take landscape photography seriously. The rain that had been falling all day stopped just as the sun was about to set, and from the road he caught a glimpse of the kind of panorama that would soon become a feature of his work:

“I saw this beautiful landscape filled with fog and sunlight.  At that moment I made the decision to start to capture those wonderful sights.”

misty Finnish landscape photograph

‘Noctilucent II’ by Mikko Lagerstedt

Since resolving to take up landscape photography in 2008, Mikko has refined his individual style with some fantastic results, including second place in the 2011 Nikon World Photography Competition and attracting a following of thousands of fans for his photography online. Industry magazines have also been full of praise for his innovative style, including Digital SLR photography magazine, who in a review of his work said:

“Mikko Lagerstedt’s images do all the talking. No, scrap that. They scream and shout brilliance.”

photo by Mikko Lagerstedt

‘Divided’ by Mikko Lagerstedt

This is the kind of praise most landscape photographers dream of achieving after a formal photography education and years of honing their skills in the field, but as a self-taught photographer with only a few years practice, Mikko Lagerstedt is consistently proving he has bags of raw talent and is rapidly becoming one of the leading landscape photographers of his generation.

Photographing Finland

Finish road landscape photograph

‘Highway’ by Mikko Lagerstedt

Living in Kerava, Finland, Mikko has easy access to the harsh beauty of the Finnish countryside that is a prominent feature of his work. However, as all landscape photographers are aware, landscapes appear very differently at different times of day and in different weather conditions. Sometimes the view can appear as the photographer wishes to capture it for only a fleeting moment before disappearing. It is up to the photographer to judge this and get their timing spot on. That Mikko’s photographs appear so peaceful and serene, giving the impression that they are captured without difficulty, is a testament to his ability to judge the perfect time and conditions and the hard work he puts into every photograph:

“I mostly go out after sunset or just before and stay up late. Sometimes I have a vision in my head I want to try out, but mostly I just go and see if there is something interesting to capture.”

landscape photo by Mikko Lagerstedt

‘Puprle Haze’ by Mikko Lagerstedt

“It takes me quite an effort to capture the scenes I want. I just recently went out to photograph for a whole night and morning, yet I came out with only one picture. It takes time and patience.”

 

Post-processing

Mikko uses post-production sparingly on most of his images, choosing to adjust exposure and contrast settings. The editing of his photography, he says, “all depends on the image”:

“Some of my favorite photos have just minor settings done in Lightroom, others I have used multiple exposures.”

A great example of his more edited work is the composite photography seen in his collection ‘Night Animals’. In this collection he placed a series of animals he photographed at the zoo against the backdrop of the streets of a town at night. This simple editing technique can produce amazing results and is reliant on the quality of the original images.

night animals by mikko lagerstedt

‘Foals’ from the collection ‘Night Animals’ by Mikko Lagerstedt

 

Looking to the future

Still only at the beginning of his career, Mikko hopes that his talent will allow him to travel further and to have continued success in capturing atmospheric landscapes in other parts of the world, including one current photography Mecca that is first place on his wish list:

“I know it’s quite a popular place to shoot at the moment, but I still would love to see myself photographing Iceland in my own unique way.”

As he continues to work on his own skills and technique, we look forward to seeing what Mikko Lagerstedt has in store next. In the mean time, he offers some useful advice to anyone at the beginning of their photography career wishing to achieve spectacular results with their own landscape photography:

“Keep on taking pictures, and after you find out what you like to photograph the most – be patient and keep on working on it!”

2 responses to An Interview with Top Finnish Landscape Photographer Mikko Lagerstedt

  1. Penny

    Hi Tom,

    We are a calendar company in south africa. We are putting together our 2017 range. Do you sell your images and like the various starry night sky images.

    • Creative Drum

      Hello Penny! We recommend contacting the author of the images directly. His name is Mikko Lagerstedt and this is his website: http://www.mikkolagerstedt.com/. He would be able to give you more information about the availability of his images.

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