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This week’s feature is from film photographer Mikael Siirilä. Mikael creates beautiful and mysterious images using a silver gelatin printing process and experiments with toning a selection of the images with black tea. Here is more from Mikael about how he captures his images and how he incorporates the darkroom into his process…
The submitted images are a selection of prints spanning 2016-2020. I don’t work in projects or themes. Rather, all my images touch and explore themes such as outsiderhood, absence, and presence. Perhaps they are self-reflection and meditation on some level. I don’t find the context of the images very important. Rather, I collect mundane details and observations from travels and daily life and, then, give them meaning within the context of my past images. I imagine my images are some sort of visual poetry — exploring thoughts that perhaps cannot be translated into verbal language.
For me, the physical image and darkroom printing are inseparable from my work. The darkroom brings out the best of analog photography, reveals the finest textures and creates a durable physical object. For several years, I have actively shared my work and process on Instagram.