Inside this issue
Hans Strand’s 2013
Interview with 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.
We asked a number of our contributors to answer a few questions on their past year and what 2014 holds.
1) What have you been doing photographically in 2013, anything new & different or exciting trips that got the juices flowing?
I have been doing my regular stuff. A mix of Swedish bread and butter landscapes to keep the financial wheels spinning and some intimate landscapes for my soul. In March I went to The Lofoten Islands in the northern part of Norway. It was an intense 4 days with fantastic beaches and snowstorms. In June made a trip to Iceland including a workshop. The Iceland trip was especially successful this year and I got quite a few new interesting aerials. This since we were flying a helicopter for the workshop and I got the opportunity to fly much lower and slower than I have been doing previously with an aeroplane. In September I had a workshop in Abisko, in the high north of Sweden and in the end of October I went to France to Burgundy and to the Alps. In total 2013 has been an OK year. Nothing fantastic, but not bad either.
2) What have you been shooting with most in 2013?
I have been using my new Nikon D800E with Carl Zeiss lenses more and more, but my workhorse is still my Hasselblad H3DII-50.
3) What is your favourite image from 2013 and what is the background to it?
That is a very tough question, but I will pick this aerial from Iceland. During our workshop we were doing 3 flights of one hour each, taking off from a place near Landmannalaugar. The 3 flights could not have been more different. The first was with mixed clouds and nice light. The second was with overcast and very soft light and the third was in rain and very difficult conditions. However, the few images I got from the last flight were the most interesting. Who would rent a helicopter in rain? These images had a seriousness I have never accomplished in "good" light. A feeling of primaeval nature and of being the first man on the planet. We flew very low, maybe 50m above the ground and the rain clouds were coming in above us. We flew up the mighty Jökulgil gorge and into some side valleys. There I found this gully with a meltwater river and mountain slopes with snow patches stained by volcanic ash. The colours were subtle and the rain was making the shooting a bit complicated. Still, I think this image came out quite nice and is very much is reflecting the naked truth about the Icelandic landscape and climate
4) What does 2014 hold? New books? projects? trips or even new gear… ?
I hope that I will be able to join a film team into Jordan. A Swedish friend of mine, who is a film producer, is planning a film about Petra and the nature of Jordan. If this works out I will join in as a still photographer and hopefully, there will be a book on Jordan as well. I am also going to run some workshops on Greenland, Iceland and in Sweden. I am still waiting for a publisher to publish my book on Iceland, but that seems to be a tough call. This far I have not even got an answer from the publishing companies. Obviously, photographers are very low in the food chain.
In terms of gear I am very curious about the new Carl Zeiss Otus 55mm:1.4 lens. It is supposed to be the sharpest lens ever made and it would perfectly suit my aerial photography needs. You are always between a rock and a hard place when photographing from the air. ISO and f stops and shutter speeds are pushed to their limits quite often. To have a lens that performs perfectly at f 2,8 and at even higher f-stops would be a revolution.
5) Choice of 6 Images from 2013
6) What are your predictions for the industry (either technical or general)?
I think that the digital evolution is still moving forward. Canon will most likely come out with a "Nikon killer" with a resolution higher than 36,2 megapixels. At least they should if they want to keep their high end clients.
I hope that photo buyers will realize that great photography is worth paying for again. Prices on stock images have plunged dramatically over the last 5 years. Great photographers can no longer make their living from photography. I know several who had to give up.
7) What are your personal ambitions or goals for 2014?
Number one is staying healthy. I have constant back problems and that is worrying me. Secondly, I hope for new good images from the places I am going to see and that I will survive one more year in this wonderful job. Though I am still a bit worried that financially, times are getting tougher and tougher for professional photographers.