A couple of weeks ago I received an email from my Iceland friend and photographer Daniel Bergmann that his new book ‘Iceland Landscapes’ was now finished and available for order. I was just passing my laptop on the way to bed when I saw his email but could not resist the temptation and ordered a copy then and there on the spot. I have subsequently been eagerly waiting for it to arrive; which it did yesterday and I have now had a chance to sit down, read, and absorb the wonderful photographs contained therein.
I spent a couple of weeks travelling through Iceland with Daniel Bergmann in July and August, Summer 2010 and have visited many of the locations photographed in this new book. Indeed, I feel a personal connection to some of the photographs as I was standing alongside Daniel (or, was at least in the nearby vicinity) when they were taken. As such, I have a wonderful emotional connection to the photographs that is for me at least quite visceral. Photographs of locations I have not yet visited – well; they inspire me to return to this amazing country to seek out the light and subject captured by Daniel.
Iceland Landscapes includes 110 landscape photographs from Iceland, mostly taken during the last five years. The book is in English and covers both the locations photographed along with technical information and thoughts on photography. Renowned English landscape photographer David Ward wrote the introduction and an Icelandic author, Pali Asgeir Asgeirsson, wrote the preface. The book is 144 pages long and is 24 x 28cm. It was printed in Iceland on high quality semi-gloss paper. It is self published by Daniel Bergmann. The print quality is extremely high and the colours and beautifully reproduced. This is an extremely well produced book.
Iceland Landscapes is not yet another tourist book on the amazing geological landscapes of Iceland. It is rather a successful effort to capture the essence, soul and stunning light found in Iceland. It is a book that is going to appeal to photographers and those who appreciate fine art photographs on many levels. It will serve as an inspirational guide to those wishing to travel to the remarkable country of Iceland for Photography and inspire them to visit some of its many wonders. It will also fill the cup of those who want to experience Iceland through the pages of a fine art photography book. David Ward eloquently sums up Iceland Landscapes better than I can in this excerpt from his introduction –
… More extraordinarily, the photographs reveal that Daníel can find new perspectives in subjects that are familiar to him. This requires a particular openness of mind that, as I know from my own struggle, is extremely hard to achieve. American photographer Wynn Bullock wrote, “Mysteries lie all around us, even in the most familiar things, waiting only to be perceived.” The photographer needs a desire to explore, a yearning to look in new aesthetic directions as well as to tramp all points of the compass. Only by prolonged and in-depth observation can a photographer begin to see beyond the expected and reawaken a childlike sense of wonder. In this way one might begin to see one’s homeland, as Daníel does, with the eyes of a stranger. And imagine what a gift that is…
Daníel Bergmann’s images in this book succeed as both distillations and revelations of his country’s amazing landscape. Both beauty and the sublime are evident in his photographs, and his work even manages to transcend Iceland’s amazing subject matter.
I encourage any photographer (or non photographer for that matter) who may only have even a passing interest in the amazing, varied and often primordial landscapes of Iceland to purchase a copy of Daniel’s new book ”Iceland Landscapes. The photography and print quality are wonderful and having spent time in Iceland can say with some degree of experience that Daniel has captured the soul of his countries amazing landscapes in this new work.
I already had plans in place to return to Iceland in July next year 2012 for a couple of weeks with Daniel. Now that I have read Daniel’s new book I feel totally re-ignited to get out in the amazing landscapes of Iceland.
Iceland Landscapes can be ordered online at HERE and shipping is available worldwide. I highly recommend this book.
Conclusion: **** You should own this book and consider it an important part of your photography library.