on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Wild Waters, Wetlands & Ice

No Longer in Abundance

Hans Strand

Hans Strand

Hans Strand is an internationally recognised photographer who has received numerous awards for his work and published three books. He lives near Stockholm in Sweden.

Water has followed me like a wet line since I started photography in 1981. This elusive molecule of hydrogen and oxygen has given me thousands of inspiring moments with my camera. Elusive since it has an infinite amount of ways of showing itself in different forms. Everything from huge waterfalls to tiny little trickles; From stormy seas to lifting mist over calm lakes. Sometimes transparent, blueish and fresh and sometimes stained by peat or glacial silt.

These multiple forms of water were once taken for granted as perpetual, but due to environmental changes and the influence of man we can now see changes happening right in front of our eyes. Glaciers and multi-year sea ice are melting, rivers are being exploited for hydroelectric power, wetlands are drying out. Back in 1995 I made a book on the life cycle of water, “And The Sea Never Rests”. It was my first book and was a result of my passion for the subject. In the book I followed the journey of a water drop from a melting ice edge in the mountains, through creeks, river and lakes to its end station, the sea. It is a journey I am also going to repeat for you here.

In the mountains of Iceland

1. Aerial "The Highlands" Iceland 2013

In June, lots of snow is still left in the highlands. From the air you can see patterns of colourful rhyolite mountains mixed with snow stained by volcanic ash. This blend is some of the most complex sights I have ever encountered from the sky. In august most of this snow has melted away and the landscape takes on a more uniform look. This year I flew a helicopter for three hours over the highlands allowing me to get much closer to the ground than from high winged Cessna.

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