Rafn Sigurbjornsson – “the contrast in landscapes are far beyond imagination”

March, 2017
Reading Time
4.5 mins
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Image © The Interviewee

Rafn Sigurbjornsson talks about his Icelandic photography

This week Creative Chair has got its warm coat on as we’re in Vogar, Iceland talking to Rafn Sigurbjornsson about his mesmerising landscape photography.

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

Rafn has a talent for conveying the unparalleled natural beauty of Iceland. I guarantee that his portfolio will have people checking out air fairs to Reykjavík!

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

We caught up with him to find out more about the man behind the camera.

You can see a lot more photos from Rafn Sigurbjornsson on Behance, Discover Wild Iceland, and Ice Stock Photos.

Who is Rafn Sigurbjornsson, – Photographer?

I am an Icelandic freelance photographer. Since I was a young boy, I have focused on raw nature and landscapes.
All my life I have been hiking in the Icelandic highlands and low lands. I know the Icelandic nature and the hidden spots like a true native.
I’m a self-educated photographer and have worked as a freelance photographer for more than thirty years. I’ve got my photos published all over the world, in magazines, books, postcards as well on the internet

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

I’ve published eight photographic books about Iceland called “WILD ICELAND the untouched nature.”

Each book features a collection of the best and most sensational nature of the individual parts of Iceland; photographs of the south, south-west, west and Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland north, east, west fjords and the highlands are contained within these eight books.

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

I live my passion for photography by teaching, travelling, and exploring the nature of Iceland

Rafn Sigurbjornsson

Along with running the stock photography website www.IceStockPhotos.com I have worked on various photography projects, I offer private photo tours and workshops in Iceland with max three photographers each time as you can see if you visit my travel web: www.discoverwildiceland.com

How did you get into photography?

It actually all started when I was standing out in the cold painting the landscape in front of me. I thought “Why don’t I take a photo of the object and paint it at home, it´s much warmer”. I bought myself a camera and took my first photo for that purpose. Wow, it was a bad one ha ha ha ha. Well, I painted the landscape from that photo, and slowly I learned through my paintings what kind of light, composition, framing, angle, etc. I was looking for.

The 62nd 366 Award goes to Rafn Sigurbjornsson for his outstanding creative work.

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

By doing it this way I wanted to find my own style, and I think I have found it. Yes it was a struggle and much more struggle than I thought but I learned all that was needed the hard way and on that path I learned much more about the camera than people usually do as I had to read all the manuals from A to Z and test everything while I was reading it to get what I was looking for.

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

Actually, my official study is on the internet as you can find all the best photographers, good lectures and you can study it all when your time is right to do it.

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

By browsing the internet, I also have found out that the more I learn, the less I know

Tell us more about ‘IceStockPhotos.’

Ice Stock Photos.com is my private stock website with a large collection of high-resolution images, ready for printing and other publications. Everyone can sign up and buy the photo they need. It only holds a small part of my BIG collection, but it’s slowly increasing as I develop them. You are always welcome to www.IceStockPhotos.com

Your work is naturalistic in style. Why do you prefer this approach, as opposed to manipulating the images to a greater extent before publication, either in-camera or using Photoshop?

When I was finding my own style I took the same picture of the same object again and again and again from different angles and settings and in the end this is what I found:

 “Be the object you are shooting, seen from the ground you are at.”

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

In other words “how would the spot you are on see the object you are shooting at” “Stay low with good foreground which leads you to the object and gives you the three-dimensional effect in your two-dimensional photo”.

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

Iceland seems to have abundant natural beauty. What is the most beautiful place in Iceland that you’ve photographed?

For photographers, Iceland is geographically ideal. I am very lucky.

“ endless soft light, early sunsets and late sunrises make it a magical place for photographers and lovers of landscapes”

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

During summer, unique features such as endless soft light, early sunsets and late sunrises make it a magical place for photographers and lovers of landscapes.
The light during winter is almost impossible to write about as it needs to be witnesses. The frozen waterfalls, ice caves, great glaciers, Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) shimmering in the sky and the contrast in landscapes are far beyond imagination.

Discover Wild Iceland - Landscape from Hrafntinnusker

Iceland has many beautiful locations, and it’s hard to pick one out. They are all different with a different beauty.

Rafn Sigurbjornsson Iceland

If I have to choose one location, I would say the Highlands. The reason is “Less is more.”

And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

Wild Horses – Rolling Stones

Wild Horses"
Wild Horses (1971)
The Rolling Stones
Play on Apple Music
Play on Spotify
Play on YouTube
What began as a fun question to end an interview, has now become a wonderfully eclectic collaborative playlist by 161 people (and counting).
Rafn Sigurbjornsson
Our Forest