Photographer Tiina Törmänen likes to be alone when she shoots … really, really alone.
For her most recent series, she drove out into Finland’s frigid wilderness to take stunning self-portraits under the Northern Lights.
She calls the project Wanderer, aptly named given the stark and beautiful loneliness of her photos.
Törmänen started the series while working as a hotel chef in Kilpisjärvi, a remote village in northern Finland.
At the end of her shift, the photographer would take off on a snowmobile into the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area nearby, often shooting until the wee hours of the morning.
She patiently scouted wide-open landscapes for the perfect shot and made long exposures that capture her standing under a display of brilliant and star-packed skies.
“I was so impressed with the loneliness, the air and the silence,” she says. “Out there you feel so small because there is only cold and ice.”
Törmänen has taken photos of the Northern Lights for years and was a bit bored with the dancing colors that delight most people.
She decided to place herself in frame to add a sense of scale to the vastness, and wore a headlamp as a fun visual element. To get each shot, Törmänen set her Canon 5D Mark III on a tripod and used a timer to delay the shutter.
She then walked out into position and moved her headlamp slightly to create a patch of light instead of a solitary beam.
She traveled nearly 150 miles in total, sometimes in temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit.