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Using 35mm film to shoot some Travel Photography in Iceland

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY IN ICELAND, THE LAND OF ICE AND FIRE. SEE WHAT THIS AMAZING LIVING WILDERNESS LOOKS LIKE WHEN PHOTOGRAPHED ON 3 KODAK FILMS AND 2 CAMERAS.

Why Iceland?

I had never really been too interested in doing any travel photography in Iceland, or in Iceland itself. Normally a sun chaser, I had a picture in my head of Iceland being a desolate, baron, depressing and dark place. I am not the type of person who likes travelling to the same place more than once. Or, if I really fall in love with a place, more than twice. I like to see new things and new places. Experience new cultures and listen to new languages. Experience new foods and see new fashions. Iceland just seemed… too far down on my list.

When the prospect of taking a trip to shoot some travel photography in Iceland arose, it wasn’t until years after I had already been living in Scandinavia. I was watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a movie every Photographer needs to see, and Iceland suddenly became interesting to me. That, and the prospect of leaving Scandinavia never having seen Iceland was something I was unwilling to put in my journal. So I booked a trip, and from the moment the plane’s shadow touched that vast, volcanic land, I knew I would love it.

Touch Down: Finally arriving.

Iceland is like the last great, real frontier. On first appearance it actually does appear baron. Bubbly volcanic rock forms a landscape that appears almost alien. It’s like nothing you’ll see anywhere else on the planet. Everything looks different. Everywhere you look there is something fascinating to see. And if you look closer, it isn’t as baron as one would first think. It’s thriving! I had a lump in my throat as the plane touched down because I could now see this. I had judged Iceland so incorrectly that my newfound and almost instant love for it was bred almost out of guilt that I felt I had to make up for. Like an internal apology.

Big Choices: What kind of film to use?

However, before that moment of arrival, I had some choices to make. Choosing what gear to take with me to Iceland was hard. I knew I was going to be using film and two formats, 35mm and medium format, but I agonised over which film I would take for weeks. It might be my only chance to see this amazing place, and even if I don’t end up liking it, I still wanted to do it justice visually. I settled on three different films. Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Portra 160 and Kodak Portra 400.

It’s interesting to see how the different landscapes in Iceland lend themselves to the different films I chose to take with me. The conditions in April are cold, but clear and bright. So the Portra 160 and Ektar 100 was perfect for the brightest parts of the days while the Portra 400 I used for everything else. The Ektar has come out as my favourite film for this trip because it shows Iceland’s true face. Colourful, bold and dramatic.

Lasting Impressions: A country that I’ll never forget

Even though Iceland presents herself as dramatic and bold, she’s also quietly unassuming. She strides up to you and looks right into your soul without blinking. She grabs your soul and doesn’t let go until she’s sure you get it. And you do. You get it. You get that the people of Iceland are fiercely independent and proud. They are beautiful and warm and make the best bacon covered dates you’ve ever had!! You understand, finally, why Iceland is called “The Land of Fire and Ice”.

Volcanoes, huge waterfalls, vast clear blue skies, sprawling volcanic fields that go for miles, gigantic glaciers, towering mountains, cerulean blue waters, powerful geysirs, slalom rivers, ailment healing hot springs, world famous horses and hardly any trees. This is Iceland.

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Travel Photography in Icelandpinthis

Film developed and scanned by Carmencita Film Lab

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35mm film and a Forest Wedding

The wilderness in Sweden isn’t hard to find and having a Forest Wedding in the Swedish countryside is no farther away than a 2 hour drive from the nation’s Capitol city.

I travelled to a beautiful but isolated part of the Swedish forest early because rain had been forecast for the day. it concerned The Winters that their forest wedding portraits might be hampered by the bad weather so we started off a little earlier than planned.

Not so long ago The Winters decided that buying a tiny house in the forest was something they desired. They purchased a lovely Swedish country house and spent a couple of years renovating it to perfection. In the typical Swedish red, the house stands on it’s own gorgeous block of land in a tiny town and seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It’s the kind of town that has barely more than a few residents and whom all know each other.

Before the rain

Heading deeper into the forest, the three of us found a secluded spot where The Winters could have their Portrait photos taken in privacy. If you were silent enough, you could hear all the birds and forest animals going about their day and the wind making the trees whisper. It’s the perfect place for a couple in love to bare their souls in front of the camera lens.

With the impending weather closing in, we headed back to the tiny town with just a few sprinkles of rain following us. It looked liked it might hold out and the guests were slowly arriving at the house in preparation for the walk to the Church.

The Ceremony

Their forest wedding took place in the town’s own Church, which is only just down the little dirt road from their house. The guests walked together to the church while The Winters signed their wedding certificate inside and talked with the Priest who was to marry them. Just after they arrived, the sky opened up and unleashed a fantastic rain storm! Rain pelted the church windows like it was trying to break in and the sound of it on the roof was like a song! It was gorgeous. Luckily for The Winters, the rain didn’t last long and the sun came out, filling the church with light, like it had just cleansed the whole place.

A do it yourself style

Everything that was put together for this forest wedding was done so by The Winters themselves. They celebrated at their own country house and decorated with bunting flags and flowers in mason jars that had been picked from the surrounding garden. A relatively private affair, only family and very close friends attended the day. The Winters chose to throw a bigger party for their larger circle of friends the following month. This made their wedding day quite intimate and unique and it was a success despite the rain. But what’s a forest without some rain, right?

I photographed The Winters’ forest wedding using both 35mm film and digital for this amazing day and what you see below is 98% film images.

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Film developed and scanned by Carmencita Film Lab

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