Library of Inspiration

Living Shadows

It is the epitome of nightmare fuel; you are walking along a dirt road at night, all you hear is the crunch under your feet when the thought creeps into your mind. You dismiss the inkling for as long as you can but you can’t resist the need to look behind you, just to be certain you are alone. You catch your breath when you realize you are alone - alone with a dark figure.

This may not have been Mikko Lagerstedt’s true intention when he stumbled into creating the “Alone” series, but his picturesque landscapes quickly turn into a horror story with the simple addition of a mysterious figure.

His style is heavily atmospheric, with light and fog being key factors in pushing that sense of drama and confinement. “My first push to go into photography came to me when I was driving on a summer’s eve to my relative’s cabin. After a rainy day the sun started shining and the fog was rising in the fields. I just had to stop and watch this beautiful moment and then I realized that I want to start capturing these kind of moments.”

Staying true to his surroundings, he almost always uses available light in his shots, from warm sunlight to dim moonlit scenes to the concentrated glow of streetlamps. He willingly admits that he has a love affair with the night sky.

His process of shooting has given him the opportunity for adventure. Wielding his Nikon D800 (occasionally D90 and D7000) and an AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens, he sets off in his car to discover something new and thought-provoking. “This is how I have found most of my favorite spots,” A clear mind and zero expectations help him uncover moments worth keeping.

Mikko makes a cameo in each shot of his “Alone” series. Taking form as a mysterious figure looming over the viewer, he uses the timer or a remote controller to achieve this. “At first I actually had no idea that I was going to create a series like this, but after taking a lot of shots I found that there was a connection between these pictures - simplistic photos of loneliness.”

© Mikko Lagerstedt