The Finnish photographer, Mika Kuusela creates beautiful pictures in subway stations and other urban scenes in Berlin with analogue techniques and cameras, he found at flea markets.
Oh boy, Berlin in January. It’s freezing cold outside and no one wants to go out if it’s not really necessary. But hey, it’s okay, because you don’t have to! Just stay indoors, where it’s warm and cozy and enjoy some aesthetic pictures and a short interview with Berlin based photographer, Mika Kuusela a.k.a. orange_vespa.
How long have you been living in Berlin?
After living in London I thought Berlin would be an interesting city to live in. Interesting history, nice nature with forests and lakes, international atmosphere and so on. Berlin is a city that has loads of hidden beauty in it.
What excites you the most about Berlin?
History, architecture, flea markets, forests and trails and did I mention flea markets? I was on the flea markets today and found a Konica AA-35 half frame camera among other things. I am a hopeless collector of old things and stuff.
Where do you really like to take pictures in Berlin?
I like to take pictures in the U-Bahn stations, high rise areas like Lichtenberg and Marzahn. Urban destinations in the city and around are also great spots to take pictures.
Since when have you been taking photos using analogue cameras?
When I was a kid there were only analog cameras. I bought my first Lomo LC-A over ten years ago in Estonia. I’ve always had it but it wasn’t working properly. In the summer of 2011, I got it fixed and since then I have been hooked. Nowadays, I take analogue pictures only.
Some of your pictures look like the interiors of a spaceship, especially the shots of the subway stations.
Yes, the Berlin underground stations are one of my favourite locations to take pictures. I like the architecture, and the Lomo LC-A with expired slide film that is cross processed especially gives interesting results.
What excites you about the “atmosphere” of the underground?
Difficult to say… I just happen to like those places.
Most of the pictures have a cold, distant appearance. Do you see a parallel to your Finnish origin? Like for example, vast land, and only a few people…what the most associate with Finland.
Actually no. I like the urban atmosphere and maybe there is a feeling on urban alienation and melancholy. I like to be a lone spectator, documenting details of city life.
Tell us a little about how you came across your cameras
I came across my cameras mostly the flea markets.
What is your favourite time of the day or night to take pictures?
Early morning and dusk. Late evenings, when there are not too many people around, excites me as well.
Thanks for the interview! Do you already have plans for future projects?
This year, I am planning to finally start medium format photography. I already got a Yashica Mat.