As we evolve in more and more urban environments, many photographers leave to attack the landscapes of the North.
Treks on glaciers, hiking through Scandinavia and diving in the warm Icelandic baths, the trend is in the far north. Many Instagram accounts and blogging bloom on these new adventurers who decide to leave everything to meet the great outdoors.
If the surfers often share their travel stories, it is the photographs of these majestic landscapes that have the wind in their sails … Do not we say that a picture is worth a thousand words?
A desire to let go
More and more of us are living in cities (about 33% of the world’s population lived in cities in 1960, compared with 53% in 2015, according to World Bank data), increasingly connected and always closer to each other – geographically and numerically. Yet at the same time, more and more of us are dreaming of great spaces, solitude and adventure.
And the cold countries of the North seem to polarize these ideals of exoticism. Could it be our fear of seeing cities devour every ounce of nature that makes us rush to these great spaces? These new explorers are numerous to share the photographs of the breathtaking landscapes they encounter along their way. And the success that these images encounter is rather revealing of our desires: more than the pictures of futuristic skyscrapers that could impress us several years ago, it is the images of spaces extending to infinity that make ‘Ecstasy the Internet.
Some professional photographers specialize in taking pictures of these vast snow-covered expanses. They often employ their talents in working the brilliant lights of the snow-covered panoramas, or those of the aurora borealis or the peculiar phenomena of the North Pole.
These photographers often put themselves in extreme situations to immortalize the beauty of the backdrops of the North. They are transformed into true speleologists, adventurers of the pack ice and seasoned explorers. This is the case, for example, of photographer Paul Zizka, who describes himself on his site as a passionate explorer, creative vision and fierce determination.
Zizka often finds himself in incredible situations to take his pictures. Plunged from the waist to the feet in the lake of a glacier or party to the hunt for the dawns from dusk to dawn, it brings back impressive images.
From anonymous to Internet superstars
Professional photographers are not the only ones who specialize in the glacial landscapes of the North. Amateur adventurers also immortalize the majestic landscapes they encounter, and often document these images on their websites. This is the case of Adam and Martha, a couple of Poles who share on his site, Bite of Iceland, his Icelandic adventures.
The couple began writing on his website early in 2016, while living in Iceland for more than a year. Adam said that he could not do without his camera, photographed everything around them and decided to start a blog to share all his images and tell about their northern life, which they fell in love with. He tells us about the problems of outdoor photography and how he captures the Icelandic landscapes:
“It’s very challenging to take pictures in Iceland’s weather conditions, it’s cold and windy, the wind is sometimes so violent that you can hardly stand up, you have to work fast enough. To reach certain places, it is necessary to carry a lot of equipment, a tent, a sleeping bag and other camping equipment.This coupled with the photographic equipment is very heavy. Do you want … I love nature. […]
I especially like taking pictures in bad weather. If there is fog, rain or snow, I keep on shooting. And this is a common time in Iceland. Thanks to these meteorological conditions and the very soft light that appears in these moments, my photos have a very special aura. ”
Marta and Adam see themselves as buffers of Iceland. For them, the northern lands are a childhood dream, a legendary fairytale territory that seems “not even to be part of our world.” The couple no longer imagine without these vast open and magical landscapes, and understand why so many people are more and more thirsty for polar nature:
“There is a real explosion of people visiting the countries of the North, and in particular Iceland. Regarding this country in particular, I think it all started in the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which stopped air traffic The whole world has turned its gaze towards this small island in the North of the Atlantic.
The country has slowly begun to appear on the bucket list of many people. Most of those who visit Iceland end up coming back again and again. A trip to Iceland is never boring. It is the paradise of nature and lovers of the open air. ”
Instagram is full of these photos, often presented with a lot of hashtags, which transpire serenity and pure calm. Landscapes are often sufficient in themselves in these photographs. As proof, the recipes of images of this kind are quite similar. The plan is always wide, in depth. It is the impression of infinity, imbued with a certain minimalism, which must emerge at first glance. Thus, several layers often appear, with a clean foreground and a background that evaporates and extends as far as possible.
“I don’t care if Monday’s blue…” 🎶 You are looking at the end of a mile-wide, 350 ft thick slow moving river of ice 21 miles long. The Marjerie Glacier is unique in that it is not receding (like the majority of glaciers these days) not advancing. It is a tidewater glacier terminating in Glacier Bay, Alaska. The thunderous sound of icebergs calving from its face echo throughout the bay. #marjerieglacier #glacier #landscapephotography
That morning in Alaska… We rarely see the effort that goes into making an image. For this one, we waited for a week. Such calm conditions are rare in this part of the world. We would come here before the sun rose just to hear big waves on the lake. Other times we would be greeted by heavy rain and little visibility. The same thing happens with social media. We imagine that people live perfect idyllic lives as portrayed on their feeds. The truth is, there are a lot of rainy mornings. Hard times, a lot of second guessing yourself and the constant drive to do better. Freelance life is not for everyone but once you get going it’s hard to imagine living any other way..