This selection of images from award-winning Finnish photographer, Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950, Helsinki), reflects his fascination with cold-climate landscapes, isolation, nature and visual storytelling.
As well as photographing in his native Finland, Sammallahti travels across the globe, from Europe to Africa, Asia and Siberia in search of inspiration. His small-scale, meticulously hand-printed and toned silver gelatin prints offer quiet, poetic impressions of distant places, which are both melancholic and humorous.
His work over the last five decades also reveals the constant presence of animals that inhabit these isolated landscapes, in particular birds which are celebrated in the recent publication Des Oiseaux (Éditions Xavier Barral, 2018).
Pentti Sammallahti began photography as a teenager and held his first solo exhibition in 1971. Both as a photographer and a teacher, he has had an enormous influence on a whole generation of documentary photographers in Scandinavia. He taught at the Art and Design University in Helsinki for 17 years, and in 1991 he was awarded a 15-year grant from the Finnish government. Since then he has devoted himself completely to photography and has designed and self-published more than forty books and portfolios. Sammallahti has received the Finnish national photography award four times and his works are held, amongst others, in the collections of the MoMA (New York), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Moderna Museet (Stockholm), and the National Gallery of Ireland.