Behind the Photography

Moonset

Whenever I force myself out of bed at 3 am to catch the sunrise and mist. I never feel disappointed with the time I spend outside. I might feel tired and frustrated if I don't find anything to photograph, but I always try to learn something from these situations. It's not easy by no means. Sometimes I might learn that no, I should have gone photograph the stars instead or create a timelapse. After a shoot, I try to write a few words if I feel frustrated with my work to help solve the feeling. Usually, I just feel that I let myself down by not being good enough in some situation. I also write a few words of what could I do differently next time I go out. I try not to make the same mistakes but of course, I might forget these learning experiences when time goes on, I guess it's part of being a creative. 

This morning I felt cold as my shoes got wet by walking around the wet field. It didn't bother me much. My goal was to capture the setting moon as I knew it was a full moon morning. After some experimenting with compositions, I chose a simplistic approach. Mist, trees and the moon. Sometimes the simplest things can be the one I find myself enjoying the most. I hope you enjoy it as well! 

Equipment & Exif

Nikon D810, Nikon 70-200 mm f/4.0 VR & RRS tripod
200 mm, f/8.0, 1/30 sec. ISO 100. 

Post-processing

Lightroom basic settings and radial and gradual filters. I also applied a Discreet - Blue preset from the Phase preset collection

Moonset - Tuusula, Finland - 2018

Heart of The Storm

In Finland and northern Europe, the summer weather has been hot, and it has lasted far longer than the typical summers. I fell in love with the warm mornings. Waking up early in the morning has its advantages, and in Summer when the sun rises around, 4 am you need to be early to catch it. For the past three weeks, I have woken up around 3 am to head out before the first rays hit the landscapes. The rains have been scarce, but recently after long hot days, the storms have arrived. 

The storm gives a fresh feel to nature. Humidity and wind make you feel alive. Heart of the Storm is a vision I created by combining three of my images to create this surreal looking seascape view. 

Exif & Equipment

Nikon D810, Nikkor 14-24 mm f/2.8, RRS Tripod
Sky: ISO 100, 14 mm, f/7.1, 1/100
Seascape: ISO 100, 15 mm, f/11, 109 sec.
Lightning: ISO 64, 24 mm, f/9, 3.0 sec.

Post-processing

The photographs were first edited in Lightroom to match the light and color using the reference view. After this, the set was opened as smart objects inside Photoshop and drafted together using the techniques in my Day & Night -course. Finally, opened in Lightroom to make the final color adjustments using Phase Collection - Discreet - Blues preset. 

Mikko Lagerstedt – Heart of the Storm, 2018 – Emäsalo, Finland

Breathe

One of my favorite mornings in 2018 has to be this one. I shared last week a view captured on the same morning. Old Ghost was taken just a few hours before the picture in this post. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this old pier floating in the mist. You can never be sure what you will find or capture when you grab your gear and head out.

For me, finding inspiring views like these is the beauty of photography. The unpredictable faces of nature and places, in which weather plays a huge role. This view was particularly compelling to me at the time I captured it. The moment made me appreciate my time in nature and ground my thoughts to the base of life. Before I went out to photograph, I seemed to be lost in feelings of worry and anxiety. I believe that taking action in something you love to do will free your thoughts and make you appreciate what you have.

Take a slow breath and focus on the things that make you happy.

Equipment & Exif

Nikon D810, Nikon 24-120 mm f/4.0 VR
ISO 100, 24 mm, f/8.0 & 1/200 sec.

Post-Processing

I used Lightroom to edit this photo. I went through basic settings, lens corrections and finally, I used the transform panel to straighten the perspective. Colors were modified with a preset Blue & Yellow from my Phase Preset Collection.

 Mikko Lagerstedt - Breathe - Finland - 2018

Mikko Lagerstedt - Breathe - Finland - 2018

 

In other news. I've just created a new page, where you can quickly scroll through my favorite photographs with stories, equipment, and other information. See Behind The Photography. 

I will be posting more of these stories here on my blog as well. The idea behind the page is to give you easier access to the stories behind my favorite photographs. Is there something specific you would like to see in the behind the photography posts? Let me know. 

Old Ghost

It doesn't matter if you go out to photograph landscapes or portraits there is always a story to be told. Here is a short story about the "Old Ghost" photograph. Woke up at 2 am feeling tired yet excited. Got my gear and drove to the coast. I didn't have a plan for what to photograph in this particular morning; I just knew that there was a possibility of mist. So, I decided to visit a couple of different places. I got out of my car in Emäsalo. The fog was thick, the air smelled like rust. It was a cold yet beautiful morning.

The shipwreck in the picture was once tilted and almost entirely submerged in water. The wreck was fixed a few years ago, and now you can find it sitting in the middle of a seashore. I walked around the area and saw the wreck from a different perspective than I have used to seeing. One seagull kept circling the shipwreck. I shot a couple of photographs, and once the seagull was in the perfect spot, I took this one.

Exif & Equipment

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-120 f/4.0 VR
95 mm, ISO 200, 1/125, f/8.0

Post-Processing

I used Lightroom basic settings to edit the photograph. The colors I modified by using my Phase Preset Collection – Blue Preset. 

 Mikko Lagerstedt – Old Ghost – Emäsalo, Finland – 2018

Mikko Lagerstedt – Old Ghost – Emäsalo, Finland – 2018

Depths of Earth

I released a new photography series Depths of Earth – Visions from Chile to Finland. You can view the whole project on my Behance page.

The concept behind these images was to show the beauty of the night sky, and with reducing the time between sunset and twilight, you can see a whole new world - a surreal one. Hover over the images to see the descriptions.

Equipment 

Nikon D810, Sigma 20 mm f/1.4 Art, Nikon 14-24 mm f/2.8 & RRS Tripod

Post-processing

This whole set of work was created with techniques from my latest video course which you can see here.