MOLOGUE: How and when did you come up with the idea of working in
Mika Suutari: The idea for photography came about ten years ago. At that time I bought my first DSLR, a Canon 350D.
My previous experiences in photography were only shooting vacation snapshots with a compact camera.
I dragged around my father’s large Canon camerabag 🙂 At first, I only had a kit-lens on the camera, and I shot everything I could possibly find in nature. At that time there was no social media, or a flood of images on the internet.
You couldn’t get impressions the same way as these days. I mostly looked at images from some camera magazines.
Pretty quickly I bought a 100mm macro-lens, and the kind of images that was possible to capture with it, was quite miraculous.
For several years I shot insects, butterflies and plants.
The longer I had been shooting, the more I was looking to achieve a strong mood in my images.
I started shooting against the soft light in the morning and evening.
After my children were born and due to lack of time, I began shooting in the evening and night.
I often shot on my way to work in the mornings. Especially in the fall, they have been good moments for capturing images.
I have had a lot of worries in my personal life in recent years, and it has affected my style of shooting.
Photography has become an escape form everyday worries.
What could be more therapeutic than being in total silence under a clear starry sky?
MOLOGUE: Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
Mika Suutari: I get inspired by other photographer’s images. I also really like fantasy, horror, and post apocalyptic fiction.
Hard music is also one source of inspiration. I really like mystic mood, fall with foggy fields and clear starry nights are the best time of the year to shoot moody images. By watching movies and tv-series you can also get great ideas about light, composition, and image processing.
MOLOGUE: Please name one (or more) photographer, whose work played a significant role in finding your own personal style in photography.
Mika Suutari: I thought about this for a long time, and I really can’t name anyone in particular. Mostly some specific images have affected in my style. If I’d really have to name someone, I’d say Midnight Digitals images, or some of them, have affected my style as a photographer. In their images, fantasy and a post apocalyptic world with abandoned places all over Europe are immense things to watch.
MOLOGUE: What, from your point of view, are the major challenges in photography?
Mika Suutari: The biggest challenge for me personally is time, specifically lack of time. I don’t know how much I would shoot if could use as much time as I wanted to. Unfortunately I have to keep a job, and it poses a lot of limitations. There are also challenges due to darkness, but maybe that just keeps up the interest. Technology is developing all the time, and it’s hard to imagine what photography will be like ten years from now.
MOLOGUE: Can you share with us the philosophy of your works?
Mika Suutari: I do the things thatIi like, I don’t think about what other people might like. My images are very personal to me. The character in my images is usually me, and the images convey my own feelings. I usually don’t think beforehand what the finished image is going to look like. I think about locations, but the mood of the image is created while shooting, or in the post-processing stage. The most important thing in an image is the mood and the message it conveys, not so much the technical quality of the image.
MOLOGUE: What role does photoshop play in your workflow?
Mika Suutari: I’d like to learn how to become better at image processing. It would be great if I could do large image combinations by adding elements from different images, and create images that had exactly the mood that I wanted.
These days I do pretty much just basic things in Photoshop. I process an image as long as it keeps up my interest, sometimes until i’m bored, to get the mood that i want. I think that I have found my style both as a photographer, and in image processing.
I like to leave a little „roughness“ in my images so that the images won’t become too clinical.
An image needs to have a feeling of „danger“, so that it would touch the viewer. I think that images that are too polished and sleek look good on postcards, but they don’t touch anyone deeper inside, and they will not be remembered the next day.
Das Interview führte Bildredakteur Jonathan Sterz.
Lektorin: Lisa Muckelberg
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