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Library of Inspiration

Skies Ablaze

Mikko Lagerstedt is back with a series that captures those moments where nature forces you to stop and stare - when the world feels as though it sits silently still. From the glimmer of night to snow sifted alpines, his photography captures the loud brilliance of Finland’s countryside in its calmest state.

“I love to capture beautiful locations and moments that I love to spend in the nature. I especially enjoy capturing night landscapes and the atmospheric world we live in.”

His process usually begins with browsing Google maps or simply driving around Finland, absorbing the atmosphere for inspiration to hit. Without looking for anything in particular, he wanders through ethereal moments, framing elements to give a sense of balance in every image.

While taking pictures I'm always searching for new things to experiment with, such as angles, long exposure and exposure blending. Sometimes, the visions of my photographs include multiple exposures to capture the elements as I want them.

Only when escaping the city buzz can you really experience the sky as intended - littered with luminosity. For Mikko, capturing the true brilliance is a waiting game. “The first thing is to shoot at a location that has relatively low light pollution. Second is to go when it's the darkest moment of the day, and also looking into the lunar phase.  It’s important to go out when the weather is clear. As for technical settings, a high ISO, wide-angle lens and exposure around 30 second are all important for capturing the stars.”



Another trick Mikko uses involves using two exposures to capture as much depth of field as possible. This allows him to align objects in the foreground and background to create a greater visual impact.

Both calming and striking at once, a common theme of sky gazing runs throughout the series. Whether it is dusk falling on a winter landscape or the night sky ablaze, every shot’s impact lies in his ability to capture earth’s soothing yet proud state.

Having shot solely in Finland, Mikko’s next adventure will take him around the world to feast his eyes on more of nature’s treasure. We can expect more heavily atmospheric scenes to grace our screens.

About Mikko

Self-taught photographer Mikko Lagerstedt captures heavily atmospheric imagery in the lonely landscapes of Finland. It all began during a drive to a relative’s cabin after a day of heavy rainfall. The sun was beginning to peek through a field of rising fog, and it was at this moment where Mikko came to a stop and realized these were the moments he needed to capture.