I was born and raised in Iceland and developed an interest in photography as a teenager. Since 1999 I have been a dedicated nature photographer and my photography has mostly appeared in books and magazines. I am also involved in nature conservation and sit on the board of directors for Fuglavernd (BirdLife Iceland). I mainly work in Iceland and the High-Arctic regions of Svalbard and Greenland.
My first photography tours in Iceland, back in 2004, were guided for Michael Reichmann of the Luminous-Landscape. It was Michael who encouraged me to start offering photo tours when no other local photographer had started doing so. Much has changed since then and I still offer a variety of tours every year. While anyone can come to Iceland and travel on his/her own to some of the main photography destinations the experience is more relaxing, rewarding and productive with local guidance. And I enjoy nothing more than introducing travelers to this country that I’m continually so fascinated with. My photography tours and workshops are run through my company Natura Travel, a fully licensed travel agency by the Icelandic Tourist Board.
The following text, which includes some thoughts about my country and photography, is an excerpt from Iceland Landscapes, which was published in June 2011:
Iceland’s nature is remarkable. Probably nowhere else on the planet is there such a diversity of geological features in such a small area. It’s a young land in geological terms and its vibrant energy can be clearly felt. We are regularly reminded, with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, that this is a landscape in the making. By living here one learns to respect the forces of nature. When traveling in the mountains a sunny day can be transformed into a blizzard within a matter of minutes. A glacial river that is just a stream in the morning can grow so enormously during a warm summer day that it’s impassable in the afternoon. Traveling in Iceland, especially in the highlands, requires awareness and preparation. But at least you are very unlikely to get lost in the woods. In fact what I love about the Icelandic landscape is how vast and open it is, and even in the most desolate places there is immense beauty and a very powerful spiritual presence. It is this that inspires me to be out in the wilderness, and while many of my most powerful nature experiences have involved contact with wild creatures, some are simply about emotions associated with walking in the wilds, or just from sitting and taking in the beauty of a place. Quite often the simple act of just being in the wilderness with a still mind is the most rewarding experience. Such moments come to me while the camera is still packed away. Once it’s out a different kind of meditation begins – the intuitive process of photography. When I arrive at a location, and start wandering, I respond with intuition to what’s around me; light, form, shape and flow capture my attention. I also feel I need to emotionally connect to a landscape in order to photograph it successfully and such connection often only comes with repeated visits.