Feodor Pitcairn: Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed
Feodor Pitcairn’s book, Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed, is a thrill to experience. Often, viewing photographic work online does not come close to the real thing, and while a book is still not the same as viewing actual prints in a gallery or museum, I feel this book comes closer than many. Primordial Landscapes begins with a historical account of landscape photographers from the West and how it sparked an intrigue in the general public about the wild. Today, landscape photographers search for new and previously unseen places. Pitcairn’s work reminds his viewers that there are still places on this earth that are unfamiliar. In search of true wilderness, Pitcairn journeyed to Iceland in 2011. During his time there, he experienced many aspects of nature; the tranquility of the quiet baron locations virtually untouched by humans as well as the ferociousness of an erupting volcano.
There are over one hundred large images in the book, with an index at the end with thumbnails and descriptions of the locations of the landscapes. Each image is paired with poetry, written by Ari Trausti Gundmundsson, which gives the reader a moment to reflect on the individual images as well as tying the whole book together in a visually poetic journey. I find he honored the environment by avoiding the overuse of computer manipulations. The photos are better with the understanding that the beauty in the images comes from the landscape and not from Photoshop. Though Pitcairn’s work is not directly speaking about global climate change, it is difficult to view this book without pondering preservation, if only to save these breathtaking landscapes.
Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed elegantly explores the diverse and raw beauty of Iceland’s extraordinary landscapes through striking images by photographer and naturalist Feodor Pitcairn and the inspired words of geophysicist, author, and poet Ari Trausti Gundmundsson. This collection illuminates topographical phenomenon shaped and crafted by the most powerful natural forces on earth: rain and glacier melt form thunderous waterfalls and rivers that carve at the earth’s surface; arctic snow and ice peppering the land and sea with striking shapes and patterns, feeding the climate and water cycles; lava flows from active volcanoes that build vast, textured landforms where life can begin and take hold. These are the beautiful and extraordinary results of our planet’s most fundamental geological processes.
Pitcairn’s passion for photography lies in his desire to convey the truest account possible of the natural environments he explores and strives to protect. Each Primordial Landscapes image was made with a digital Hasselblad camera, delivering superior color, detail, and clarity. A map and index provide intriguing geological and cultural information about the content of the photographs.
Feodor Pitcairn is a born naturalist, whose talents as an award-winning photographer and cinematographer convey the wisdom and beauty of nature’s most wild environments. Over several decades, Pitcairn’s work has been recognized internationally in environmental books and publications, documentaries, film-festivals, and galleries and exhibitions.
All images © Feodor Pitcairn and PowerHouse Books
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