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Mountain Light, Lapland, March 2014
(View it larger by clicking on the image)

During the second half of March I was out for two weeks in the snow covered mountains of Lapland. For me it was an eye-opening and truly inspirational experience. Although I’ve been in the mountains during the winter months before it was a few years ago and my photographic eye wasn’t as developed then as it is now.

I enjoy photography the most when I’m challenged, both photographically and physically. A journey on skis in the mountains brings you both. The landscape is very barren in the winter with much less feautures than in summer or autumn and it can be both good and bad for a photographer. I tend to like minimalistic composition but sometimes it can get to simple. The light however can be extraordinary. Because almost everything is covered with snow the landscape picks up light in a very different way than in the summer months. It takes some time to get used to.

The cold can make it hard to do photography and everything takes longer time to set up. Also you want to make sure you don’t ski into your compositions. It’s like working in a desert or on a beach, you have to be careful about how you move.

This image was made during a wonderful morning. I had made another photograph in the early morning light and decided to ski up on this plateau to see how the light would develop. A couple of minutes after I got up, rather sweaty, the light started break through and together with low clouds that circulated around the peaks created a great atmosphere. It was fantastic experience and a morning that I will remember for a long time.

As everything happened rather quickly I didn’t have time to change lens so I did a three image panorama with a 24 mm lens to get the “the whole picture” of the mountain peaks and ridges. I decided to make the image black and white to emphasize the light and mood.

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Desolate, Lapland, Sweden – August 2013

This image was made during a hike in the mountains of Kebnekaise in August last year. I remember seeing these clouds coming from my campsite and decided quickly to get up on a (not so high) peak to get a somewhat higher vantage point. Usually as the clouds roll in the light goes away but it wasn’t the case this time. It stayed around and I got a wonderful hour or so with magnificent light.

For this image I used a 90 mm tilt-shift lens and used the shift to make two horizontal frames which I then stitched together in Photoshop to get this slightly wider format. In this case I think the format is key to the success of the image. The whole concept of it being the sweeping movement horizontally and the feel of light and shadow as it brings shape and form to this otherwise flat landscape.

The name of the plateau is Cievrraláhku and is one of my favorite ways to get into the mountains in this area.

View it larger in the Gallery

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Watercolor, Isle of Harris, Scotland – November 2013

In November I travelled to Scotland and the Outer Hebrides for more than a week of photography. Aside from the fantastic landscape two things struck me, the ever changing weather and the wonderfully kind people of these isles. This is one of the photographs I made during the week.

When I look at paintings I often have a hard time with the bold colors of oil. Instead I find the more subtle and, in some ways, richer tonality and colors of watercolor much more appealing. In photography bold and dramatic light can give results equal to oil paintings while a softer light renders the scene in a way not far away from that of a watercolor painting.

One thing I constantly search for when I’m out with the camera is dimensions. Things that can give the viewer a deeper experience. I love when I can make a photograph in which one can find a lot of interesting details that might not be apparent at a first glance. In this case I find that the way the water is rendered in the foreground, translucent with the sand beneath shining through is one of those dimensions.

In November 2014 I will be arranging a photo tour to Scotland and the Outer Hebrides. You can read more about it here (in Swedish). I have had a lot of interest for it so it’s already fully booked.

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Shells
, Öland, Sweden – May 2010

I’m back from Vårgårda Nature Photo Festival here in Sweden where I gave a speech about my experiences in the wilderness with images from the mountains and coast of Scandinavia. One of the images I showed was this one. It was the first time as I have always felt a bit reluctant to show this image. I was even close to not take it as I found it to emotional, but the beauty of it made me change my mind.

Nature can be both harsh and beautiful at the same time.

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Breakthrough, Sarek National Park, September 2013

In mid September I made a two week trek in Sarek National Park. It became one of the rainiest couple of weeks I’ve ever had in the mountains. The first three days I had good weather, then it changed and the last ten days was almost completely about rain and wind. I only counted some twenty or so minutes of sunlight during these ten days. Needless to say, it was quite miserable. However, when you are in the middle of it you have to be optimistic. You have to hope and believe that better weather might be coming. You have to hope for dry feet!

This image was made during a morning when the sun did break through the cloud cover. I was in my tent waiting out the rain when I realized that there was something happening. It suddenly became lighter inside the tent so I took a look outside and saw some wonderful light on the outer side of the valley. I got my camera gear ready quickly and ran down to the river to try to find a composition that would work. I hadn’t thought about this image possibility before so it took me quite some time to find a composition that I was pleased with. By that time the light was gone, but luckily I got one more opportunity at it. The wind this morning was quite high, blowing the low clouds over the peaks, but I was lucky it did calm down a bit when the light was good which allowed me to work and get sharp exposures.

September in the mountains is just wonderful and even though the end of this trek pushed me to my mental limits (or at least that is what I think) I look forward to going back next year again to continue to work with what I love the most.