on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Iceland from above

Making the impossible possible

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.



I was never meant to be flying. Ever since I was a child I have suffered from motion sickness. Even going by bus was a challenge for me, I always needed to sit in the far front of a bus in order not to vomit. In 1995, during my first visit to Iceland, I discovered a book with aerial photographs of Iceland by German photographer Klaus Francke. I was blown away by the colours and the complexity of the Icelandic landscape. I did not quite believe the authenticity of the colours though; I thought that must be some technical mumbo jumbo hidden behind unbelievable hues.

Such yellow, orange and red colours could not simply exist. The secret must be perhaps using infrared film? This book made me eager like crazy to go back to Iceland again and to try some aerial shooting myself - but how the heck should I be able to do it with all the motion sickness problems in my genes? It took me 5 more years before I went back to Iceland. In August 2000 and with a triple dose of anti-motion sickness pills in my veins, I was finally sitting in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk looking down on the Icelandic landscape. Believe it or not these surreal colours really exist. 



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