For Finnish photographer Valtteri Hirvonen, low-light photography is an integral part of his image making. It's in his bones. Brought up on a diet of long, dark Finnish winters, young Valtteri honed his photography skills in the dark. It led to a specialist skillset forged in the twilight.
"We have sunlight all summer, but the whole of the winter is really, really dark in Finland," he explains. "I love the cold weather and the snow, but in the winter, if I wanted to take photos, it had to be at night when my day job finished. So I had to come up with ideas for how to do my hobby. It happened naturally – basically, there was no light but I learned how to take photos." Despite Valtteri's subsequent success in commercial photography, his passion still remained in the ethereal world that occurs as the sun descends.
Armed with his Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV), a wireless remote control and a carbon-fibre tripod, Valtteri is well placed to capture atmospheric images that require vision and determination. In an eclectic career spanning two decades, his fascination with low-light photography has resulted in an inspiring body of work. This includes romantic low light travel and adventure photographs, and most notably his series The Darkest Hour. Here he shares some choice nuggets of wisdom that can help anyone setting out to photograph at dusk.