Finnish photographer Mikko Lagerstedt‘s Night Animals is an unusual photographic series of wild animals roaming the empty night streets of Finland. From an exotic peacock to a common cat, Lagerstedt photographed these creatures on what appears to be the cobblestoned streets of a small town, softly lit by muted street lamplights. The collection was born out of an experience Lagerstedt had when he spied the silhouette of a large feline cast by a street light while on a nighttime stroll in Porvoo, Finland. Night Animals captures beautiful creatures like owls and ostriches roaming about in this small unnamed town.
A more curious mind might ask, ‘An ostrich freely roaming a street, and an owl perfectly perched on a fence post? C’mon now.’ Well, as these situations may seem deceivingly real, they are in fact photographs composed of two images; one of the actual streets shot at night and another image of the animal itself.
A much safer process instead of staging and directing the animals to get the perfect shot. Both images were shot by Lagerstedt. There is one exception though. The picture showing a cat under a tree is genuine, and served as the inspiration for the entire series. The diffused light radiated by the lamp posts gives the pictures a tranquil and serene atmosphere.
Lagerstedt’s portfolio is often described for its surreal quality, such as what is evident in Night Animals. He explains his philosophy whenever he gets behind the camera.
“My goal is to capture the feeling I had when I took the photograph – it’s the most important thing in my photographs. I love to view the world from different perspectives. In our lives, things can go so fast that we forgot to enjoy these short moments – if I can make people stop and see the beauty of life and feelings, I have succeeded.”
See Lagerstedt’s dream-like Night Animals here.