Blood and Tie
Finnish Photographer Christoffer Relander’s We Are Nature series blurs the line between the natural world and the human form to such a degree that it is impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. In doing so, he has not only produced a set of stunning visual images, but also a reminder of the very real universal truth that indeed everything is connected at the deepest of levels.

His work is the result of equal parts passion, love, curiosity and experimentation interacting with the wonder and stunning natural beauty of the southern Finnish countryside, where he was born and raised.

Relander’s work is produced through and in some projects inspired by a technique known as double exposure, where two juxtaposing images are superimposed over each other with stunning effect. To put it in simple terms, the resulting photograph is a composite of the several original images depicting timeless atmospheres and anonymous identities to whom we profoundly relate to”. -Muriel Guépin
The ancestor

Het programma werd hierboven duidelijk omschreven en prijkt dan ook boven aan de website van Christoffer Relander, jaargang 1986. Was het de eerste bedoeling bij het ontstaan van de fotografie de werkelijkheid zo strict mogelijk te copiëren dan duurde het niet zo lang eer het experimenteren met het medium en het te mixen met andere beeldende mogelijkheden aan de orde kwamen. Of zoals samengevat in Widewalls:

While shooting, Relander is guided by two basic principles of his art - “Don’t capture – create” and “If it looks wrong, it is wrong”. His work is primary influenced by the art of Charles Swedlund, Harry Callahan and the famous Man Ray – their clever and inspiring multiple exposures introduced Relander to the indicated technique that opened possibilities to him as an artist. (Widewalls)
Ansel  Adams once said “you don’t take a photograph, you make it.” I have  always thought that what he meant by this quote was the process involved  in reaching the final image. It has never been about clicking a picture  simply, but it involves the creativity the photographer pours into his  image. And creativity and sensibility also are what transpire in the  beautiful conceptual project of Finnish photograper Christoffer  Relander.”   
   — Fstoppers

Dit waren verschillende voorbeelden van werk dat hij onderbracht onder de titel: ‘We are nature’. Over zijn werkwijze:

“Long exposition is the key to the graphic portraits with double and triple exposition, that what I got placing the model in shade in front of the light. Trees and brunches are also in front of the overexposed background. In this case the same effect as with film could be archived, camera fixes just light and dark parts remain dark”

“Long exposition is the key to the graphic portraits with double and triple exposition, that what I got placing the model in shade in front of the light. Trees and brunches are also in front of the overexposed background. In this case the same effect as with film could be archived, camera fixes just light and dark parts remain dark”

“Without any post graphic editors, created inside the digital camera itself, his double and triple-exposed images depict timeless atmospheres and anonymous identities. Shot in a local forest, with his friends and himself as models, photographs carry an idea of primary connection that exists between human and nature.”


“Even though I had the possibility of making hundreds of layers, I tried to make it as simple as possible. This helped me a lot to keep the excitement in the process because the process for me is the important part. If I am not feeling excited or feeling joy in the process, I might get bored and then I just leave the project. It was a fun process and fun to see the final images and how they came to life.”

Morning Barn, 2017

Herinneringen, beelden of plaatsen uit de kindertijd bewaren , ze werden letterlijk in glazen bokaaltjes bewaard onder de naam: ‘Jarred & Displaced”.

It’s a slow process as it’s shot on medium-format film, manipulated in-camera. This means I have to respool my film manually after each bottle I shoot. I store my exposed film in that bottle until I find a landscape/environment to expose into this shape of a bottle. Now it’s more of a routine, but started very challenging. Sometimes I wonder how I lasted through the trial and error.
Pine Forest 2017
I’m not really sure. I shoot a lot of very experimental images without much expectations; images I don’t plan to show to anyone. It’s relaxing and rewarding to me as I usually learn something by doing through experimentation. Ideas to a new body of work can develop from a mistake and a technique. Jarred & Displaced is very technical and it wouldn’t have been made if I hadn’t been as experimental. The idea for Jarred & Displaced started to grow at the time I found out I would become father. I felt nostalgic and a bit anxious to realise my own childhood now felt so far away.
First Snow 2017

Werken met ‘layers’ en ‘superposities’, het is niet nieuw, maar de manier waarop Christoffer Relander zijn technisch kunnen in beelden omzet, getuigt van een ontwikkeld grafisch aanvoelen. In zijn project ‘Oil-exposures’ omschrijft hij zijn werkwijze als: “Intentional multiple exposures, long hand-held exposures and infrared filtering.” Zijn ‘experimental landscapes’ worden droombeelden waarin de werkelijkheid versmelt met de atmosfeer.

        “I like your multiple exposure work, Christopher  Relander. Remember the first time you learned how to do this, when film  was king, and how magical the discovery was? And then, remember  sandwiching your negatives together to create something unique for the  world? Sometimes it worked, other times it was a hot mess, but all the  time, it was fun and interesting. Now, with digital cameras, the game  and fun has changed — not for the worse; it’s just different. Relander’s  work here is all done in camera. Shocking, right? Awesome, right?”   
   — L.A. Times 
Candy Road 2017
Born in 1986 in a small town of Ekenäs, near Helsinki, the artist has always been drawn towards art, since his early age. He studied Graphic design and Visual Art in the city of Porvoo. The turning point of his artistic direction was during his service in the Finnish Marines in 2008, when he became fascinated with the art of photography. As a self-taught photographer, he experiments with exposure, camera movement and other effects that could give the painterly feel to an image. Relander's recent project, done in 2015 and titled Oil Exposures is a best example of it. (Wiewalls)
End of road 2017


Winter +Struggle

Natuurlijk is de mix van natuur en personage een duidelijk hint naar onze ‘onderdelen’ die, ondanks alle technische mogelijkheden, de kern van het menselijk bestaan op dit planeetje uitmaken. Wij zijn het woud, wij zijn het uitwaaierend groen, wij zijn natuur. Onze herinneringen kun je tenslotte niet alleen in een bokaaltje bewaren, ze zetten ons aan het verlies zo klein mogelijk te houden en de zelf-vernietiging om te zetten in wat wij zo mooi ‘een nieuwe aarde (hemel inbegrepen)’ noemen, het enige wat wij kunnen nalaten.

“Inner Creatures’ – 2020, digitally composed double exposure