Photography is an art in which time stands still.
Whether it be a human being or nature itself, it facilitates the immortalization of the subject. In particular, nature photography is perhaps the purest form of capturing the ever-changing planet. Done correctly the image transports the onlooker to these wild and often inhospitable places.
There are few who do this better than Tobias Hägg, a Swedish-born photographer and filmmaker based in Eskilstuna. Inspired by nature and the beautiful things we usually take for granted, Hägg cinematically captures and shines a light upon nature’s beauty from a unique perspective. It is impossible not to be drawn into his images – you can almost taste the salt in the crashing waves and sense the danger that comes with being so far off-the-beaten-track.
Building on his trademarked series of aerial photos, Hägg journeyed to the island of fire and ice, turning his lens to the most remote areas of Iceland, many of which are only accessible by jeep. The resulting images are minimal, abstract and moody, presenting a rare overhead view of the oft-photographed country.
Recalling the highlights of his Icelandic journey, Hägg shared his experience alongside the following photo series on his blog, Air Pixels, stating: “Iceland, home to many dreamers and a dream for many. I myself have been dreaming about this amazing country for as long as I can remember.”
Known for its otherworldly landscapes and rich folklore Iceland has become the premier destination for adventure seekers, who are not afraid to get a little dirty. “We have all seen the pictures from Iceland but to actually experience the country is something I will never forget,” he added. “The scenery will leave you speechless in any form mother nature reveals itself.”
The tiny Nordic island nation, is defined by its harsh weather and rugged scenery with solidified lava fields, glittering glacial lakes, roaring waterfalls and interminable plains. Heavy rain and fog were a constant element throughout the trip and without a set itinerary, and only a few hours of natural light per day, Hägg had to capitalize on every minute.
Along the Ring Road (Iceland’s main highway), he went weaving around the island in search of the perfect photograph. “As you travel the Icelandic roads you are guaranteed to see beauty everywhere you turn your head. To access the more remote parts of Iceland you have to put your trust into your vehicle,” said Hägg. “I wanted to experience the more remote parts of the country – I drove almost 1 hour inwards and behind every turn, I was greeted by amazing landscapes. A landscape so beautiful I could spend years trying to capture its beauty.”
The possibilities of things to do and see are endless–visitors can explore the volcanic lakes of Mývatn, look for elves in the Dimmuborgir area, get lost in the endless lava fields and take in the majesty of Skógafoss a 200 ft waterfall that consistently produces, a single or double rainbow. If relaxing is more your thing head to Reykjanes Peninsula and take a dip in the world famous blue lagoon or explore Reykjavik, the country’s capital which is celebrated for its bustling art and music scene.
One location not to be missed is Reynisfjara beach, located along the island’s South Coast. With its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas, and jet black sand made from lava. It served as the perfect place for Hägg to put his signature as a photographer on. “We walked the shoreline, we witnessed the waves break right in front of our eyes and once again we were left overwhelmed by the experience and the fantastic Icelandic atmosphere,” stated Hägg. Being in a constant state of awe and understanding the fragility of the Earth’s rapidly changing environment are two underlying themes that visitors to this tiny rocky island in the North Atlantic Ocean take away.
“Anywhere you choose to go, Iceland is simply beautiful and has something to offer for everyone,” Hägg concludes. The charm of Iceland and its unique landscapes are hard to beat, making it a dream for photographers and travellers alike.
Images © Tobias Hagg