All images by Steffen Stranden. Used with permission.
Steffen Stranden is photography enthusiast that hails from Norway. We ran into his photos on the Analog subreddit and fell in love with the scenes. Steffen worked on a self-portraiture series that brings humanity back to nature while also incorporating eerie yet almost hidden elements to the images that reminds us of dark fantasies from childhood that grew up and evolved to incorporate more mature themes.
We chatted a bit with Steffen about the photo series and why he made the creative choices that he did.
Phoblographer: What gave you the inspiration for your photos?
Steffen: My photographs are heavily inspired by one of my favorite photographers, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, who’s been taking self-portraits in the wild for a very long time. I also got inspiration from Bill Brandt and specifically his beach series. I knew I wanted to do something with self-portraiture in nature, but that I wanted to make it my own. I got the idea that I wanted to juxtapose nature vs the urban landscape. I want to bring the human body back to nature by showing (hopefully) pleasant and natural images, while my photographs from the urban landscape have a more bizarre and unsettling side to them.
Phoblographer: A lot of your self-portraits don’t feature you at all. What’s your intention in the creation of the images for the series? Specifically, what about you are you trying to get across?
Steffen: All my photographs in this series are actually of me. I had someone (like Arno Rafael Minkkinen in many of his images) push the shutter for me. I would frame the composition, set the exposure and tell my assistant how I wanted it.
The reason I started this project is because I have lived in big cities for a while now and I miss being around nature. Forests, mountains, big open landscapes. Therefore, through my photographs I want to show my take on living in the urban landscape vs the rural landscape.