Pentti Sammallahti was born in 1950 in Helsinki, Finland. He began photographing at 11 and by 1971 began to exhibit extensively in Finland and throughout the world. Sammallahti has travelled widely as a photographer, from his native Scandinavia, across the Soviet Republics through Siberia, to Japan, India, Nepal, Morocco, Turkey, across Europe and Great Britain, and even to South Africa. Sammallahti’s travels and interest in fine printing and lithography has led him to publish numerous portfolios of which the most recentis ‘Ici et Loin’, Actes Sud 2012. As a benchmark figure in contemporary Finnish photography, his work has a supernatural sense of a moment in time with the sensitivity and beauty of the world displayed through its animalistic existence. His particular use of dogs, which reflects the human existential experience, shows the shared nature of the earth with a gentle humor and fleeting attitude.
Sammallahti describes himself as a wanderer who likes the nature of the great north, the silence, the cold, and the sea. He likes the people and the animals of far off places and he records the relationships between them and their environment.
As a master craftsman, he meticulously tones his prints, which in turn helps to produce the images and display the brief moments in time. As a passionate seeker of the perfect mechanical printing method, his own innovative printing techniques and reintroduction of the portfolio form have re-awakened broader interest in published photographic art.