The Luminous Landscape Grant
Skiing Under the Northern Lights
Grant Ordelheide - Colorado, United States
Iceland has become a very popular landscape photography destination over the last few years. I have previously spent time in this beautiful country photographing its natural wonders. While many locations are over photographed, I believe there are still opportunities to create unique and significant work. My intent is to combine the human element into the beautiful landscape in an uncommon way. For example, backcountry skiing under the northern lights.
I am a 28 year old photographer living in Denver, Colorado. I grew up in a family that valued the outdoors and my childhood was spent hiking, camping, and skiing throughout the Colorado Rockies. My passion for photography was byproduct of my love of outdoor adventures. As I pursued photography, I began to really focus on shooting the landscape in a meaningful way. As I grew and matured as a person and photographer, I found myself wanting to shoot something more than just landscapes.
I became fascinated by the way humans interact with the landscape. Including people in my landscape photos helped to complete the story I was trying to tell. I try to photograph humans in nature through the eyes of landscape photographer, highlighting the undeniable relationship we have with these wild places.
My goal is to travel to the Troll Peninsula and Western Fjords in Northern Iceland during late winter/early spring to photograph backcountry skiing in these dramatic landscapes. My ultimate prize would be to get a very unique shot of a skier high above the Arctic Ocean with the northern lights dancing above. I am always looking for new and creative ways to photograph the world around us. I have not seen many examples of this particular image from this area and it would truly be a unique capture in a land of over saturation. I have pursued this type of imagery before, but this project would be my most ambitious to date. I recognize that the coordination of weather, aurora, location, skier, and photographer will be a significant challenge, but the vision of combining surrealistic landscapes with the human element is too strong to ignore.
My end goals for this project would be to develop a body of work that is not only uncommon, but highlights the spirit of adventure that is required in this sort of undertaking. I would write a magazine article of the experience as well as produce a video/multimedia presentation. I think this project can help complete a broader portfolio I have been working on and serve as a specific body of work that can help take my career to the next level.
If I am fortunate enough to receive the Luminous Landscape grant, I would use the money for travel expenses to and from Iceland, a camper van to keep us mobile and flexible for the best light, and other necessary gear to pull off these kind of images. The grant would be instrumental in getting this project off the ground.
The photos shown here are a representation of my work and the style in which I would complete this project in.