The Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (as well as the autonomous Nordic regions of the Aland Islands, Faroe Islands and Greenland) – have captured the imagination of artists for a long time. The bleak, barren landscapes, the unique soft lighting, the other-worldly displays of the Aurora Borealis and explosive volcanoes have made the Nordic countries a particular hit with travelling digital photographers in recent times. However, who better to capture the regions atmosphere than the photographers who live there.
We spoke to a selection of the best photographers from the Nordic countries to ask them what it is about their home that makes it such an attractive place to photograph…
1. Mikko Lagerstedt – Finland
“I first started photography in December 2008 and from my first moments in, I fell in love with it. I love to create visually and emotionally interesting photographs and my goal is to capture the feeling I had when I took the photograph.
“The changing weather, lakes and seasons make Finland an atmospheric place to photograph. I love capturing simplistic Finnish landscapes and fleeting moments.”
Creative Drum had the pleasure of interviewing Mikko recently about his dream-like Nordic photography that’s proving to be a big hit right now. You can read the full interview here or see more of his atmospheric Nordic photography on his website.
2. Rafn Sigurbjörnsson – Iceland
“It’s an ideal place geographically for a photographer to be placed in the north. In the summertime we have endless soft light with late sunsets and early sunrises, which are among the unique features that make it the most magical place for photographers and landscape lovers.
“The light in the wintertime is something that you have to witness because it’s impossible to write about. We have ice caves, frozen waterfalls, Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) shimmering in the sky, great glacier views and the contrast in the landscape is far beyond your imagination.”
See more of Rafn’s incredible photography, including some images of spectacular Icelandic volcanic eruptions, on his photography website.
3. Bjorg-Elise Tuppen – Norway
“I am lucky to live in a part of the world where stepping outside means getting a huge dose of inspiration; the rapidly changing weather, the contrasting seasons and the dramatic landscape makes sure of that. Here, we can have four seasons in a day.
“This mix of expressions produced by the climate and landscape does not only inspire you to only reflect the beauty in the surroundings, it also speaks to you on a darker level, where the inspiration comes from the absence of light and the harshness of the nature.”
Bjorg-Elise is building a big following online for her photography work from around her home town of Harstad. You can see more of Bjorg-Elise’s Nordic photography over on her website.
4. Eydfinnur Olsen – Faroe Islands
“The Faroe Islands are wonderful for photography. In the summertime the days are long and around summer solstice it does not get dark at all. There are endless possibilities for outdoor photography and potential opportunities include landscape, seascape and wildlife photography.
“The long days in the northern hemisphere also mean that the twilight lasts longer in the summer than it does in the lower latitudes, and thus there is a prolonged golden hour for photographers. The colours of the landscape are very vivid in the summer. The rest of the year darkness sets in and the days get increasingly short. Rain and storms also limit the potential possibilities during the winter. For the persistent photographer though, the potential possibilities are still around in the winter time, and if you are into capturing stormy grey weather and breaking waves, the Faroe Islands are likely to deliver ample opportunities.”
Eydfinnur is the only photographer on the list from the Faroe Islands, and he represents his homeland well with the stunningly beautiful landscape above. You can see more of his landscape photography from around the Faroe Islands on his website.
5. Greta Tuckute – Denmark
“Nordic countries have a very raw, barren and cold landscape, which completely lacks the colour and diversity of many other countries. Scandinavian art and style is usually very simple, pure, understated and earthy – personally I have been influenced a lot by the Nordic perspective and nature.
“I always prefer to keep my photographs minimalistic, clean and try to find beauty in especially harsh scenery.”
Greta is a versatile Nordic photographer with portfolios in fashion photography that are just as accomplished as her Scandinavian landscape photography shown above. Visit Greta’s website to see more of her great work.
6. Ragnheiður Arngrímsdóttir – iceland
“The constantly varying illumination of the sky, the clean air and how easily accessible the Nordic countries are; I believe that’s what makes them popular for photographers to visit.”
Ragnheiður Arngrímsdóttir makes the most of her privileged position as a photographer living in Iceland. See more of her spectacular Nordic photography on her website.
7. Kim Høltermand – Denmark
“I think the Nordic countries represents some of the best canvases for photography. There is something about the nordic “mood” that you don’t find anywhere else.
“I feel like a kid in a candy store when it’s the foggy time of year.”
It’s no wonder that Kim gets so excited about fog when he can capture the haze so effectively. You can see more of his work on his website.
8. SÉBASTIAN DAHL – NORWAY
“In my work I focus on the positive aspect of how our world is changing; I want to counter-balance the stigmatizing image that mass media creates of the world. The reason people are afraid of one another today, is because we only hear about the bad things happening and because of the “sensational” front pages of our newspapers. It is a sad fact that those covers sell better than more down to earth covers.”
Sebastian Dahl is an emerging travel photographer taking his photojournalistic style around the world. His collection from Beirut is a particular achievement of note and can be seen on his website.
9. ØIVIND HAUG – NORWAY
Oivind Haug is an accomplished Norwegian photographer and has worked for a host of big name clients including Conde Nast, Scandinavian Airlines and (as in the photograph above) for Norwegian State Railway. You can view other examples of his work on his website.
10. Sune Kohl Bomholt Rasmussen – Denmark
“The Nordic countries have absolutely everything that states the term “beauty”.
“From silky sand-hills, a roaring coastline, differentiated wildlife and snowy mountains to dark woods; not to mention the Aurora Borealis, of course.”
Sune’s photograph above captures the essence of the Danish countryside. However, he is also a keen traveler and has photographed the many countries he has visited on his travels. You can see his travel collection and more of his photographs of Denmark on his website.
11. Karl Lundholm – Sweden
“To have 4 seasons like we have in Sweden gives you as a photographer both challenges and inspiration.”
After refining his photographic technique in Sweden, Karl moved to Australia where he now captures some brilliant photgraphs of his local surfers. You can see the results on his website.