► Volker von Bonin (1924–2006) was a photographer who captured masterful impressions of Helsinki, indeed his iconic photographs are known far better than his persona. The German-born photographer settled permanently in Finland in the 1950s after securing a position at Tilgmann’s printing house. Alongside his day job, he made a practice of photographing the city and its people. Over the course of many decades, he assembled a vast body of work comprising thousands of photographs and twenty photographic volumes about Finland and its capital.
Von Bonin left school to join the army during the Second World War. He mastered the art of photography after returning to war-ravaged Germany from a Russian prisoner-of-war camp. He embraced the principles of Humanist Photography, which left its mark on the style of his future immortalizations of Helsinki. In his day, Von Bonin was celebrated as a famed portrayer of Helsinki and Finland. This book presents a selection of Volker von Bonin’s iconic Helsinki images from the collections of the Helsinki City Museum, rounded out with a pick of some of his lesser-known photographs.