The Beginning of The Project

It was late in the evening and the wind had finally calmed down. I got my gear together, attached it to the packraft (the inflatable boat that I used on this adventure) and began paddling. The clock had just passed midnight and the lake lay calm as a mirror in front of me.

It was a special moment. The first paddle strokes marked the beginning of my new project Moments in The Wilderness. I was full of excitement – during the next 12 months I will work on my largest project to date.

I’m going to portray the Swedish mountains and old forests throughout a whole year and produce a full-length documentary film accompanied by a limited edition print portfolio.

After months of planning it was finally time to begin the work!

I was heading out for two weeks into the old forests of Pärlälvens Nature Reserve, one of the largest protected forest areas in Sweden. To me it’s important to portray places that are lesser known and quieter. They are definitely more challenging to photograph than some of the more iconic locations but I think it adds something to the work.

One of the things I want to convey with the project is nature’s rhythm and the contrast of the seasons that I will experience during the year. On this adventure I had planned to capture springtime in the forest but the recent heatwaves meant that summer had arrived somewhat early in Lapland. I will get another chance at spring next year.

A rainbow over the pine forest of Pärlälvens Nature Reserve near Jokkmokk in Lapland, Sweden.
Rainbow over the old forest in Pärlälvens Nature Reserve. June 2023.

This is not the first time conditions aren’t what I’ve planned or hoped for. Actually they rarely are. As a wilderness photographer I’ve learned to adapt and work with what I’m given. On this adventure, with mostly clear skies and very warm weather, it meant challenging myself to work in a different kind of light.

Pine tree forest in Pärlälvens Nature Reserve near Jokkmokk in Lapland, Sweden.
The sun rises above the mountain and paints the foreground trees in golden light while the background remains in shadow for a few more minutes. Pärlälvens Nature Reserve. June 2023.

Working with a film project means that I’m not only a photographer but also a filmmaker and sound recorder. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to work with all three art forms at once but it also enhances my experience.

For example, recording nature sounds for the film made me tune in even more to the soundscape of the forest which is simply beautiful this time of year.

I will now have a short summer break until the beginning of August when I will head up into the high mountains of Sarek – it will be a completely different adventure. From then on I will work intensively with with the project as the seasons change from summer, autumn, late autumn and midwinter.

For Supporters I’ve posted a behind the scenes video from the adventure in which I show you the packraft gear I use and my experience with it. I also talk about how I tackle the photographic challenges that too good weather often brings.

I rely on the support of my audience to make this project the best it can be – Support my work with Moments in The Wilderness in the following ways:

I will keep you updated about the project here on the blog. Until next time, enjoy summer!

/ Magnus

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