Jan Erik Waider is a visual artist and fine art photographer from Hamburg. His core focus is on abstract landscape photography of the North: Norway, Iceland, Greenland and beyond. Jan says his approach to photography is based upon the concept of slow, conscious travel. The North is a rough terrain and taking stunning landscape photos of the area, takes alot of patience.
Jan is interested in capturing the remote, and the unseen. His work explores the cold, raw beauty of his surroundings, which takes on the form of meditation for him. His personal projects are reflected through the conceptualization of a visual journal, or a glimpse into his imagination.
We asked Jan to pull some of his most inspiring works and he states, “I usually spend several weeks at each location, speaking with locals and discovering the small, hidden spots and unique stories. I’m truly fascinated by the periphery, places where people have settled in seemingly impenetrable landscapes. The vast expanse, dotted by remnants of civilization: abandoned houses or remains of old and forgotten industries.
This selection of photos currently represents my body of work best and what fascinates me about abstract landscape photography: surreal and organic shapes and textures from the air or from a macro perspective, a seemingly endless palette of colors and often a complete lack of reference to scale.”
We asked Jan to walk us through some of his most incredible shots…
“Tiny Volcano (Iceland)”
With the last volcanic eruption on Iceland at Fagradalsfjall Mountain I was most interested in getting as close as possible to the action and using a 500mm prime lens to capture those bizarre and beautiful details and after a couple of hours I discovered this beautiful “tiny volcano” which became my personal favorite photo of last year.
“Basalt Canyon (Iceland)”
Stuðlagil Canyon in Iceland has become quite popular over the last couple of years but I wanted to offer a new perspective and took my drone up in the air and came up with this composition which really documents the beauty and uniqueness of this place for me.
“Blue Cosmos (Iceland)”
This image is part of a series called “Blue Cosmos” and I really love the colors and almost complete lack of reference to scale with these icebergs in a lake. The black color is coming from ash and sand that was frozen in the iceberg and is now melting into the lake with its deep blue color.
“A Colorful Flow - №1: Between Turquoise and Blue (Iceland)”
Often inconspicuous from the ground, these beautiful, winding waterways offer breathtaking spectacles of colors and textures when viewed from the air. Most rivers have their source at one of the numerous glaciers, and flow towards the sea. Along the way, they transport vital nutrients for the ecosystem in the form of sediment, which results in the often very abstract colors. As the flow of the rivers declines, the sediment is deposited within the riverbed, temporarily leaving small islands of sand which cause the river channels to further divide and branch. This was captured with a drone at around 80m from the ground.
“A Colorful Flow - №3: A Touch of Violet (Iceland)”
See last image / similar characteristics
“A Colorful Flow - №2: Almost like Amber (Iceland)”
The image shows a lake colored yellow by fine sediments close to the coast in the south of Iceland which I always wanted to explore with my drone. Not only did the color of the water look even more surreal than expected, but also the shoreline with the structures in the sand.
“Mars 2139 (Germany)”
This is some kind of personal interpretation of what planet Mars might look like after successful terraforming. A version of the red planet with atmosphere, clouds and rivers. The textures and original color palette is based on bauxite residue, an industrial waste generated during the processing of bauxite into alumina.
“Glacier Ice: A Macro Perspective (Iceland)”
Ice fascinates me from all perspectives and especially from very close up. Here I stood in a glacial lake with the macro lens and documented the exciting inclusions in the ice of the smaller icebergs close to the shore, rotated them and played with the light refractions in the ice.
“Abstract Tidal Landscapes (Iceland)”
Sometimes the first impression of a photo is something completely different than what it actually depicts. Here, many viewers see snakeskin, while it again documents a small river carrying sediments on its way to the sea, seen from about 20m above ground.
Often you don't have to travel far to find exciting abstract motifs in nature. This photo shows an air bubble frozen in ice, which was taken in a particularly cold winter in the forest near my hometown of Hamburg.
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