petri uutela – passers by

[slidepress gallery=’petriuutela_passersby’]

Hover over the image for navigation controls

Petri Uutela

Passers by

play multimedia

 

I don’t know how to analyze or comment something that personal as my street photography. It’s therapy for me to wander in the streets trying to capture moods, events or gestures that I feel somehow connected to. Even if  I’m taking pictures of total strangers, my street photography actually reflects myself – this is an autoportrait series, although it’s not me who is in the pictures.

Photographs in this video are taken in Finland and Slovakia during 2006-2009. Music written and performed by my brother Tuomas Uutela.

 

Bio

I am a freelance photographer and a photography student based in Finland.

I am co-founding member of Finnish photo collective STRAP.

 

Related links

Petri Uutela

www.strap-photos.com

 

Editor’s note:

please only one comment per essay….

-david alan harvey

39 thoughts on “petri uutela – passers by”

  1. good stuff.. tuck into what you´re doing even more.. keep on.. an enjoyable set pf portraits and some very poignant street snaps.

    your brother is also very talented.. really enjoyed his music very much so please pass that on..
    d

  2. curious why you changed your photos to all B/W?!?
    **
    lovely
    geometric
    patterns….
    thought it was a bit too long…
    tighter edit perhaps…..
    I’m real curious about your use of B/W…….
    **

  3. Pingback: petri uutela – passers by | burn magazine | The Click

  4. Hey, Im writing with Czech keyboard, so sorry about typos…I dont know how to use special marks…

    Earlier today, I wrote into cutouts dialogue about my current frustration with pictures and making this passers by video was one part of trying to figure out everything… Well, the main idea was just to make a video of my street pictures and to use them with my brothers music and to spam it on youtube. I was just trying to figure out what to do with these pictures since there is not a clear ‘story’ and I have no idea what to do with the pictures…

    Wendy, before doing the video, I made a book out of same pictures with mixing all formats and color and B&W pictures. I am blind to my own pictures, so I little bit listened to the critique of mixing everything…thats why I made everything without colors in this video.. I dunno if it was wise or not, but…

    Here is a link to my brothers myspace http://www.myspace.com/tuomasuutela

  5. beautiful music, it suits the pictures very well, nostalgic and hermoso trabajo,, I feel like watching it again..

  6. just one persons opinion, but i think you really need to think first about a tighter edit (losing some weaker or redundant images) and once you have done that, a more interesting sequencing of the photographs.

    the sudden change from anonymous street photos to a set of tighter portraits jarred with me slightly – it felt like a different body of work just randomly slotted in to another project. you might be able to counter this by spacing the portraits out among the more candid shots.

    cheers

    ben

  7. Well, of all the best street photography I’ve ever seen, this has been some of it. Seriously, I’m not a fan of street photography. Your street stuff, though, has a very nostalgic feel, and is better than most I see. The music really added to the presentation as well. It works as an essay and I enjoyed seeing it, even though I don’t care for the genre. That’s pretty impressive.

  8. Petri,
    awesome images! Enjoyed them a lot! Using b&w is fine, but when I looked at your web page I discovered these images in colour as well. Not bad either – I like the pink bunny ears… So a mix of b&w and colour works very nicely for my taste. Colour gives the images something of “todayishness”.
    Your combination of snapshot like street photography and portraits is well done.
    Unfortunately I am sitting here without speakers, so I can’t hear the music. Will do that later today.
    You have a gift for photography and I hope you will keep using it!
    Photography to me is the best excuse to be curious and to wonder around. Keep shooting as long as you enjoy looking at your images!
    For many years I had this little Konica Hexar sitting in my drawer. Never used it much, but now I feel I should bring that little camera back to light. You inspired me to give it a try!
    Good luck for your future work!
    Reimar

  9. Hi Petri,

    wonderful.
    I like the pics in b/w, and will have a look at your site later. Curious, how they look like in colour.
    The music – is it possible, I have heard that before?
    I remember that drill noise in such a song.

    Pictures and Music go well together.

    Cheers,
    Thomas

  10. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  11. Hi Petri,

    Congratulations on being published on Burn. I’m intrigued by the idea that you are blind to your own photography; it seems to me that you have a sensitivity to the mundane that presents it visually to our consciousness. I feel myself IN your images – quite delightful…. I can feel the rain, hear the echoes of the underpass, puzzle at the people…. I like the music too…;-))

    Steve M

  12. Hi Petri,

    Congratulations on being published on Burn. I’m intrigued by the idea that you are blind to your own photography; it seems to me that you have a sensitivity to the mundane that presents it visually to our consciousness. I feel myself IN your images – quite delightful…. I can feel the rain, hear the echoes of the underpass, puzzle at the people…. I like the music too…;-))

    Steve M

  13. WENDY…

    i sort of wondered the same thing, having seen some of these photographs work so well in color on Petri’s website…however, had i not seen those first, i probably would not have thought anything about it….work fine in b&w as well…

  14. A beautiful body of work! B&W suits it fine!
    I would suggest mixing the portraits within the others so the transition isn’t so sudden, but everything works very well together for me!

  15. Petri,

    I enjoyed your photography very much. I actually liked how the first half was more anonymously taken building up to tighter shots where you have a closer connection to the people you meet,that really worked for me. The “amelie” type music which was fantastic by the way, gave the photographs a humorous tone which I also enjoyed.

  16. I enjoyed all the images and the music too – a chance to experience interpretations of the same streets by two brothers. You both have sensitive souls and the pain and joy comes out in your photos and notes.

    I can’t find any decent way to scroll through the images one by one though, without the music. I would like to be able to. I clicked here, I clicked there, I clicked everywhere looking for a way, but the only way that I could find was to grab the little “play” ball while the show is still in progress and drag it backwards.

    In this regard, I felt a bit trapped, unable to properly explore your pictures as individual works, the way I wanted to.

  17. Petri;

    This work was wonderous to experience. It, along with the garage sale essay would be my Burn favourites so far. Congratulations it was a great melding of images and sound.

    Thank you.

  18. Petri

    I absolutely LOVE this essay! Yes, it’s longer than we usually see here on Burn but because of the unique blend of your moody images and your brother’s soulful music, it just doesn’t seem too long. At least not to me. You are an exceptional photgrapher, my friend, one whose eye picks out just the right moment, details, gesture, atmosphere and setting. And your brother is equally talented with his music. What a combo! Hope you will continue to collaborate. I can also see MM pieces incorporating stills, video and music. I can’t wait to see where you go from here!

    And the b/w worked wonderfully well for mme. I’m sure your images are excellent in color too, but the mood of this piece called for b/w. Especially with such soulful music. I’m afraid color would have drawn too much attention to itself and upset the fine balance between image and music.

    Patricia

  19. This is a very nice personal vision of place. Since I’m half a world away, it’s cool to see life in Finland and Slovakia through the eyes of a local.

    I assume that this is to be taken as a personal POV. It’s great for what it is, but I have to ask, does this have a market? Should we enjoy Passers By for what it is or should Petri’s project be judged for it’s potential to entice a wider, paying audience.

    Petri thanks for sharing.

  20. Petri

    Congratulations!!!

    This is wonderful work. I’m very moved, and like Jim, I’m not a big fan of street photography, but this is wonderful stuff.

    The music!! Perfect! I’m sharing this link with my music group.

    I’d love to see you take advantage of the music to punctuate your slide changes a bit more effectivly, but other than that small suggestion, I love what I see here.

    I also enjoyed STRAP very much. What a wonderful discovery. Good luck to you in your future.

  21. petri,

    I would go as far as to say Street photography is probably the only genre of photography I dislike. I have never seen a point to it, always considering it the domain of stalkers and amatuers.
    But then i saw your work. My god Petri- I finally get it. As I sit watching the multimedia over and over again i can see the reflection of my smile over the black border so many of your images. This work is unified, poignant and not at all pretensious.
    Congratulations and thank you for teaching me in 4.06 minutes to open my mind again.

  22. Petri,

    Great work! The photos really capture the loneness that we all feel at times when we are alone and lost in our thoughts. And the music is very beautiful and works perfectly with this series. I don’t find your portraits jarring. They work for me. I think they put a face to these strangers especially with the change in music (more upbeat). If that is what you were intending I got it. But maybe you need to cut the weaker ones and keep the strongest. Maybe you could start to end the essay with the portraits and then the final shot could be just one overall street shot rather than several as you did in your sequencing. I also think the photos look good in black and white. Your work makes me want to hit the streets. Thanks for sharing and it keep up the good work!

  23. sorry for breacking the rules abouth 1 coment , but… like Brennan said : Your work makes me want to hit the streets. great work ( and i love music)
    cheers

  24. very good music and photography…
    somehow it reminds me myself, and i think it can speak to many photographers in a way – street stuff, with some melancholy, a good stuff to photograph especially because u just want to photograph, whatever it is, and street photography is surely better if theres no other stuff or themes.
    overall, a few times i felt some spirit of Theo Angelopuolos movies, for the music, visual scenes, and melancholy or deep gaze into something that may looks obvious.
    too many images though, almost half are simply not powerful enough as the stronger samples in the slideshow….

  25. Thanks for your comments everyone!

    I still need to fight with this strange Czech keyboard so the text might look strange… Can you believe that there are many keys in this keyboard with for example 5 or 6 different marks in one key :)

    The video was made in this way that I asked to my brother to make a song to go with my usual photography style. I didnt need to explain too much…we know each others styles so well. I asked for about 4 minute song and that maybe caused a little bit of problem in sequencing…and I had to give there couple of ‘filler’ images… I think the whole thing is just a little bit too long. To be honest, when I heard from Burn that they wanted to publish it, I had to do it again from scratch (well, I had the mp3 and jpg files in my computer) because I had deleted the whole thing from my computer because it was not perfect, haha…

    On technical side few words. I am an camera geek. I change my opinions abruptly. I might shoot with rangefinders for few months exclusively on B&W and it always comes from clear sky the idea that now it’s time to shoot color. Thats the end of B&W. Then this color period can last few months until I go back. Therefore I have that same stuff photographed in B&W, color, 35mm, 6×7, 6×6, panorama… Maybe I was lazy or too tired to think anymore about mixing color and B&W when I did the video (because I had just done the book version before this) and that was also one reason why I gave everything on B&W. It was a little bit easier this way. I admit that some color pictures work better on color, but what is done is done. I think that all selected color files also work in B&W.

    …actually, even if in this video I tried to sequence the pictures with the music and I little bit grouped pictures by their content, normally I like mixing not only color and B&W, but also mixing everything else. In my newer work I decided to mix really personal photos with landscapes, portraits of strangers, street…everything. But I have found out that for example in Slovakia where I am studying right now, this kind of thinking is not too popular. People want to put pictures into groups… I am not sure if I agree on that idea… I get bored easily if things are not mixed.

    — Pomara wrote: It’s great for what it is, but I have to ask, does this have a market? Should we enjoy Passers By for what it is or should Petri’s project be judged for it’s potential to entice a wider, paying audience. —

    One of the main things why I wanted to use these street pictures in this video was to try thinking what to do with the work… It’s not journalism for sure… I cannot sell these images to newspapers or magazines. No one needs this stuff. Maybe it is just for galleries and books when the material is good enough. I dunno.

  26. “I don’t know how to analyze or comment something that personal as my street photography. It’s therapy for me to wander in the streets trying to capture moods, events or gestures that I feel somehow connected to. Even if I’m taking pictures of total strangers, my street photography actually reflects myself – this is an autoportrait series, although it’s not me who is in the pictures.”

    I love this introduction Petri. I also feel that street photography is a theraputical experience and it’s wonderful that you like wandering and letting your senses and instincts guide you and your camera rather than worrying about creating a concept or telling a story. These things will most likely arise from your exploration by themselves. In my opinion this is the most difficult kind of photography to do well, but when it is, nothing else can compare. I like some of your photos, especially the ones where people are caught off gaurd, and are perhaps not looking into the lens. I think that you can push these spontaneous photos farther, perhaps with more things happening in the frame. I’m not sure if I like the portraits combined with the other style. Going back to Erica’s essay a few days ago, this mixture seemed to work well…I’m not sure why..perhaps some others here can comment on this.

    Nice job…keep walking, walking, walking and looking.

  27. I like street photography quite a lot and enjoyed this one as presented here. Still, I am also of the opinion that color works much better…much much better.

    Congratulations Petri.

  28. Frank Michael Hack

    Petri,

    Congratulations. I really enjoyed this essay. I did not see the images in color and I don’t think I want to. I want to keep these images in my mind just like this. Great tone and mood with the music. Were you influenced at all by William Klein’s street photography? This type work for me is photography for photography’s sake. Does it have to be commercial or marketable? I think those of us that read Burn are the market and this is the marketplace. We just need to figure out a way to finance the work.

    All the best,

    Frank

  29. Some nice images here which were given additional punch in a multimedia presentation that had further impetus provided by that haunting music. I’ve not seen the colour pictures mentioned here by others. However, the mono works perfectly for me. A great collaboration of photographs and music. Without the music, the presentation loses a little “oomph” in my humble opinion.

  30. Been looking at this some times now and thinking it over. I think, since you’re not telling a story, but more transmitting a mood (and the mood of a place, of space), there’s no room for fillers. If it were mine I’d edit those out, keeping on working on it.. and change the sequence, as others pointed out.

  31. Spellbinding essay (with music), achieved thru very simple visual means, within the barest of frames at times, which in result heightens each human presence, one after the other, while not separating them from their environment.

    I also feel total unpretentiousness on the part of Petri’s approach to his subject (however he wished to define it), first, and presenting it to us, second. All very poetic in the end…

  32. Great street pictures of a moment. I like them, thank you very much for sharing. The music underlines the heavy mood. Different cities give different impressions and expressions. Keep go’in.
    consullebrun

  33. As a beginner photographer I find this so inspirational! I have already come back many times..between the photo’s and the music that blend so very well together, I am getting the “feel” of what “true photography” is all about. Stunning work Petri…..beautiful music Toumas! I hope to see more in the future as I have so much more to learn from the “pro’s.”

  34. Pingback: Passers By by Petri Uutela (BURN MAGAZINE) « Emerging Photographers « The 37th Frame – Celebrating the Best of Photojournalism

Comments are closed.