I have just landed back home in Melbourne after two months of adventures in Europe. I spent an entire month photographing the landscape of northern Norway in the winter months of late January and early February with a good friend from Australia. We spent significant time photographing the Lofoten Archipelago before flying to the island of Svalbard to explore the northern most city on the planet, Longyearbyen. At this time of year the sun never rises above the horizon, the only clue that it is infact “daytime” is when a faint blue light illuminates the snowy mountains around mid-day. Two hours later the light is completely gone. The people there have not seen the sun since October, and will not see it again until March. Keeping track of time in Longyearbyen seemed a futile and almost irrelevant exercise, the cycle of day following night of which I was so accustomed to had taken on a dream like and somewhat detached existence.
Our arrival to the island was plagued by a very unusual stint of rainy weather. As a result the snow was melting fast, making day trips to the glaciers via snowmobile impossible. The man at the post office informed us that he had not experienced rain here in twenty years as the cold climate turns the moisture into snow before it reaches the ground. As we were now confined to the town I shifted my allegiances to focus on landscapes of an unexpected kind. I love when nature forces you to re-evaluate your plans, it is a reminder that we are still at the mercy of the elements. Mankind with its developing civilisation and evolving technology is still no match for the raw power of an indifferent mother nature.
The body of work produced on this trip will be combined with the photographs created in Iceland last year. These images along with photographic essays will form the basis of an upcoming book, Chasing Arctic Light. The plan is to return to the Arctic one more time during the summer months to photograph the influence of the midnight sun on the landscape and people who dwell here. In the meantime please find a small selection of my favourite images here.