Through macro photography, Joni Niemelä is able to capture the minuscule beauty of things that we might normally miss.
The Finnish photographer has recently turned an eye towards the carnivorous plant Drosera, which is more commonly known as a “Sundew” — a moniker referring to the droplets that collect on the plants, akin to a morning dew.
Those condensation-like beads, however, aren’t from water.
They’re the result of the plant luring, capturing, and digesting insects.
In Niemelä’s gorgeous images, the extremely close vantage point allows him to highlight the tiniest parts of the Sundew, and their individual droplets shine with exquisitely-speckled details. Having such a shallow depth-of-field also abstracts parts of the composition. While the plant (or plants) are often in focus, the diffused areas bathe the portraits in brilliant greens, blues, and magentas.
“Sundews have always fascinated me, and I have been photographing these alien-like plants for several years now,” Niemelä says. “My first first photo series Drosera was mostly bright and vibrant, so I wanted to have some contrast to that in my second series of Sundews.
I think the colors and the mood of Otherworldly Blues reflect aptly the true nature of these carnivorous plants.”
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.
Self-taught photographer Mikko Lagerstedt (previously) is drawn into the night where he often finds himself camped next to his tripod, waiting hours for an exposure of a frozen coastal scene or a dark and brooding forest.
Many of his images are composites of two photos taken from the same location, a shorter exposure of the sky merged with a significantly longer exposure of the ground which is then manipulated in Lightroom.
Lagerstedt is extremely open about his process, sharing tutorials and blog posts about how he works on his website.