The perfect structure / by Alexander Nikolis

The search for the perfect structure

Aside from shooting cosplay, I also do some landscape shooting which I consider very important personally. If the "party-person" me is the cosplay shooter, then the solitary me is the landscape photographer. Last week I visited one very remote place in the north of Sweden, Abisko. Everything was just covered in snow, more snow than I had ever seen before. This place was like a desert of snow, with storms and snowfall bringing a new shape to the landscape every day. Like a new face in the morning, getting a little torn up from human activity, and then refreshing itself again the next morning. We had been hoping to see aurora, but saw none of that because nature had decided to apply a white and cloudy mask to its face for many days.

I'm somewhat of a geometry nerd, which in this case means I won't be happy with a landscape shot unless it's both beautiful and all objects in the image to line up to create an interesting structure (not necessarily symmetrically, but balanced. More about that another time). Usually when I find a scene the colours of the objects (such as trees, ground, rocks etc) play a big role in defining the "weight" of them. An object with a colour that stands out from the rest will be heavier than an equally sized one that blends in with the surrounding. 

In Abisko I feel like I encountered my first ever chance to find winter scenery that suits my style (and to enjoy with my own senses of course), and we never really have snowy winters in Gothenburg. The landscape in Abisko was effectively black and white, with a slight tint of blue. This complete lack of colour to help me find the perfect structure in my scenes proved to be very challenging. Now all I had in front of me was a tangle of black lines cutting across a mass of white fluff. My friend would freeze and beg to go home while I could stay for half an hour adjusting my composition (If you're going to live for a longer time with a landscape photographer, being patient will help you). But after some trial and error I think I managed to capture what I wanted in many of the scenes. Having your gloves become frozen and almost getting lost in a snow storm was worth it after all!

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