Jan Erik Waider
with Jan Erik Waider
Shrouded in Mist, Spectral Icebergs Float Around the Antarctic Peninsula in Photos by Jan Erik Waider
In late 2019, Jan Erik Waider boarded the Bark Europa, a 56-meter-long wooden sailing ship constructed in 1911, bound for the Antarctic Peninsula. The Hamburg-based photographer, whose work centers on polar landscapes (previously), captured the multifaceted forms of glaciers and icebergs, steely grays of storms, and shrouds of mist during the 24-day voyage. Waider is known for his documentation of dramatic northern destinations like Iceland, Norway, and Greenland, and a trip to the southern extreme proffered an opportunity to expand on his series of atmospheric vistas with the project A Faint Resemblance.
Antarctica is approximately 98% covered in ice and nearly doubles in size in the winter when the sea freezes around its periphery. In summer, the sheets break up and calve thousands of icebergs, many of which are so vast that they can be measured in square miles. Waider captured the spectral forms of these floating, icy islands as the ship rounded the coastline, drifting through patches of fog that added an extra element of surprise when it cleared to reveal a new scene. “The infinite shapes and textures of icebergs in the polar regions fascinate me again and again,” he says, adding that “the proportions are unimaginable, considering that the largest part is still under water.” Waider is always astonished by the spectrum of the color blue, which on cloudy days can appear even more vibrant, as if glowing from within.
The poles have seen record warmth and ice melt in the past few years, which contributes to rising sea levels and alters the region’s ecosystems. Waider says, “I’m really drawn to landscapes that are transforming or vanishing like icebergs and glaciers. It has a fascinating and also a sad element, and every photo is a snapshot of a moment which is long gone by now.”
Waider is preparing to publish a photo book of more images from his Antarctica trip, emphasizing a holistic interpretation of the continent’s landscape, nature, wildlife, historic sites and the Bark Europa. Find more of his work on his website and Behance.
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Dramatic Ice Formations Mimic Unearthly Creatures Frozen in the Harz Mountains
Hamburg-based landscape photographer Jan Erik Waider (previously) climbed the Harz Mountains in northern Germany last week in search of the otherworldly figures inhabiting its highest peak. A thick coating of ice transformed the evergreens and other vegetation at Brocken, the summit at an elevation of 3,743 feet, into towering beasts and monster-like characters that appear to wander the frozen tundra. “I like the muted sounds and the seemingly endless variations of gray that come with fog,” he tells Colossal. “I can wander for hours as the winter landscape changes and recomposes itself almost every minute.” Pick up a print of Waider’s Mountain Creatures and see the rest of the series on Behance. You also might enjoy these fantastical menaces.
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Sweltering Photos Capture the Charred and Molten Rock Rippling Down from an Icelandic Volcano
Whether shooting in the harsh snowy regions of Greenland or on the basalt-lined waters of Iceland’s Stuðlagil canyon, Jan Erik Waider highlights the textures and fleeting shapes of the earth’s landscapes. His photographs often isolate monumental subject matter like glaciers and deep, rocky canyons in a way that makes the abstracted forms appear like mysterious, otherworldly environments, an approach he continues in his recent LAVA series.
Earlier this year, Waider, who is based in Hamburg but frequently travels throughout remote regions in the Nordic countries, trekked to Iceland’s Nátthagi valley following the Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption. He spent three days getting as close as possible to the magma as it poured across the landscape and using a telephoto lens to document its changing forms in magnified detail, which he describes in a note to Colossal:
I was absolutely blown away by how quickly the lava field changed. Apparently, cooled lava broke open, and thick, fresh lava flowed out and formed new shapes and “sculptures,” which were then destroyed again by new lava a few minutes later. This simultaneously beautiful but also brutal transience was the charm for me. A surreal landscape that in just a few minutes will no longer be visible to anyone.
The resulting images contrast the crispy, charred edges of the cooled rock with its molten underbelly. You can see a portion of the LAVA series is below, but check out Behance for the full collection. All of the shots are also available as prints on his site.
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Moody Photographs by Jan Erik Waider Capture the Rocky Terrain of Icelandic Landscapes
Based in Hamburg, Germany, Jan Erik Waider (previously) frequently travels across Europe to photograph the rocky landscapes and textured terrains of locales like Stuðlagil canyon and Iceland’s sandy shores. On a recent trip to the island country, Waider captured moody images of jagged, basalt-lined waters in four different locations, including Reynisdrangar, Stuðlagil, Kálfshamarsvík, and Gerðuberg. He shares with Colossal:
Not more than 20 million years ago, the island rose out of the sea due to volcanic activity on the ocean floor of the Atlantic Ocean. But even today the landscape is changing due to the constant volcanic activity. There are many places on the island with very bizarre-looking geological formations and I was especially interested in basalt, with its strict and geometric structure and volcanic origin. With the monochrome character of the series, I wanted to focus clearly on the rocks and also give the photos a slightly mysterious character.
Waider generously agreed to allow Colossal to share his photographs on our social media pages for the next few months. To follow his Nordic adventures, head to Instagram and Behance.
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The Diverse and Rugged Beauty of Nordic Glaciers and Icebergs Captured by Jan Erik Waider
Photographer Jan Erik Waider (previously) splits his time between Hamburg, Germany and traveling through the harsh and unpredictable climate of Nordic countries like Greenland, Iceland, and Norway. In each of these locations Waider seeks the most remote and hidden locations, wishing to present rarely seen perspectives of the native landscape to a larger audience. For more than a decade he has captured the monumental beauty of northern glaciers, isolating their color and shape in a way that makes the icy cliffs appear almost extraterrestrial.
In one ongoing series titled Remnants, Waider finds abandoned pieces of icebergs that lay like “stranded whales” on Iceland’s south coast. “Powerful waves wash around them and drag them further ashore, after they drifted aimlessly in the sheltered lagoon for months,” he explains. “The colors tell stories about age and density, and they speak of the history of the volcanoes that let black ash rain down and darkened the skies.”
Waider offers prints of his personal photographs on his website. You can view more images from his northern expeditions on Instagram, Twitter, and Behance.
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The Stunning Glaciers and Icebergs of Greenland Photographed by Jan Erik Waider
Nuremberg-based graphic designer and photographer Jan Erik Waider has traveled on numerous expeditions north to Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, and the Faroe Islands off Denmark where he shot these beautifully surreal landscapes of icebergs, glaciers and cliffs. I first stumbled onto his Icebergs in Fog series shot earlier this year in Ilulissat and Disko Bay in Greeland and then found his website where you can see all of these photographs in much higher resolution, really, go look, just incredible work. Despite the foreboding, harsh climate depicted in these photographs Waider seems to transform the landscapes into something strangely peaceful and idyllic. If you’re interested he has prints available on request and you can also follow him on Facebook. (via behance)
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