70 Year Old Seamlessly Integrates His Body with the Natural World


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Long before selfies and photoshop, photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen was capturing self-portraits of his nude body in natural surroundings.  For the better part of past five decades, the now 70 year old artist has blurring the lines between where the world ends and his body begins.

Arno does this by relying on a simple 9-second shutter release that allows him to quickly pose for each shot. He usually works completely alone, and won’t let anyone else look through his camera’s viewfinder, lest they instead be labeled ‘the photographer.’ What may appear as a simply composed photo with fortuitous timing, is often the result of Minkkinen taking dangerous risks as he submerges himself in strong currents, buries himself in ice, or balances precariously on the edge of a cliff. He shares from an article How to Work the Way I Work:

Many of my photographs are difficult to make. Some can even be dangerous. I do not want to have someone else coming in harm’s way taking the risks I need to take: to lean out off a cliff or stay underwater for the sake of my picture. We control how much pain we can tolerate; such information is unknowable by anyone else. Some of my pictures might look simple, but in reality they can test the limits of what a human body is capable of or willing to risk. Thus I title them self-portraits, so the viewer knows who is in the picture and who took it.

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