Connection to the Landscape
Landscape photography is universally appreciated by all, in part because all humans have a connection to the physical world our ancestors have walked for millennia. Of course, this connection to the environment in which we live is felt stronger by some, especially by outdoor photographers and by people who live more dependently off the land. The Faroese people, for example, have this deeper connection to the natural world; it is inescapable and unforgettable wherever one goes among the Faeroe Islands. There are no big cities to get mentally lost in and forget about what lies beyond – only picturesque villages in idyllic settings nestled along the ocean and backed by mountains. As a professional landscape and adventure photographer myself, I spend much of my life in the outdoors, exploring the land via my feet or via my camera, and thus I feel deeply connected to nature as it provides part of life's meaning to me. I would lose touch with reality if I stayed away from the landscape too long.
The Faeroe Islands are among the most visually and spiritually alluring islands I've visited on my travels to many wilderness places in the world, and part of what makes them special is the feeling of closeness to the land that they generate, being small windswept islands in the middle of the vast and cold North Atlantic Ocean. I first saw the Faeroe Islands from the deck of the large Smyril Line ferry while travelling between Iceland and Norway, on route to photograph the Aurora Borealis of the Arctic night sky. What initially impressed me were the striated layers upon layers of the pyramidal shaped mountains rising out of the middle of the ocean. I had never seen such visually unique and appealing mountains such as these, and immediately felt the land calling to me, beckoning me to come explore and stand on its narrow mountain ridges with the white-capped ocean channels surrounding me on all sides. I stayed for a mere week in the Faroe Islands, on my return to Iceland after surviving week-long solo snowshoe and ski trips in -22°C weather in some wilderness of northern Norway. The wind, though blowing fiercely, was warm, moderated by the ocean waters surrounding, and I felt true freedom as I wandered the Faroese hills. But I also felt secure, unlike in Norway, looking down from the mountainsides at the idyllic little fishing villages nestled cozily into each cove along the shoreline. Ubiquitous tunnels brought me through mountains and dipped me under the sea, only to have me re-emerge in a totally new and enchanting valley, on another island altogether.
The photos you see here and on a Faroese postage stamp illustrate my passion in life to explore and photograph our world's wilderness areas. Photography also helps me to slow down in my wanderings and notice the details and wonder at the beauty that nature exhibits every day, all over the world, whether anyone is there to witness it or not. A main goal in my photography is to make the viewer of the photograph feel like they are really in the scene, and not just looking at a photograph, and I feel the encompassing panoramic format helps to achieve this feel. I believe that if a viewer feels they are part of the scene, they will connect with it, and the wilderness landscape it depicts, better. Connection with the landscape then leads a person to value it, which leads to true appreciate and even better connection to the natural world.
The Faroe Islands I am sure allure many travellers and residents, as they still do to me. I can only imagine the idyllic fields of wild flowers and green grassy mountainsides of summertime sweeping down into the ocean. In summer 2011 I'm leading a photography workshop and tour circumnavigating Iceland, another enchanting and friendly yet wild island, which I've fallen in love with. But I can feel the Faeroe Islands calling out to me again across the Atlantic Ocean; and if I can hear their call all the way over here in North America, don't you think I might feel their call to me even more strongly and loudly, while I sit atop a mountain of the East Fjords of Iceland, looking out across the Atlantic to the east, knowing what lies beyond that watery horizon?
Values: one stamps of 10.50DKK
Date of issue: 28-IX-2011
Author: Jonathan Esper
Printer: LMGroup, Canada