Sunset photography captures the quite moments of peace when the world is settling down to sleep; quiet, vast, and always beautiful. As famed photographer Ansel Adams once said “I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.”
Dagur Jonsson's photography illustrates that and more.
An Iceland based photographer with a passion for shooting the Reykjavik capital area and Icelandic landscape, Dagur's stunning images portray the beauty of sunsets, the last moment of a day when life seems to stand still. Vibrant, tranquil and beautiful, his photography shows how magnificent the earth truly is.
"I have always considered myself an artistic person and have always been involved in art in one way or another. Photography is an exciting form of expression for me. I love capturing moody shots with lot of emotion and try to process the images so they look a bit dramatic with a story to tell.
Winter, Northern Lights and Sunsets are of a special interest to me. In Iceland we have probably one of the most interesting sunsets in the world. We have limited sun during the winter months making winter sunsets very interesting, then we have the midnight sun in the high summer with its 24 hour light that gives us very stunning colors.
All the four seasons provide fantastic opportunities
to capture stunning sunset shots."
StudioVox had the opportunity to talk with Dagur about his incredible work and creative process:
How did you become interested in photography?
DJ: I have always been searching for activities that I can forget myself and focus totally on and photography is one of those hobbies. I have a background in drawing and painting and I look at photography as a similar way of expression like painting is. I came upon photography by luck, two-years ago and found straight away that it gave me a similar feeling of timelessness as when I was drawing as a kid. For some reason I decided to pick up the camera it was like my inner voice told me to do so. I have been involved in music and many web projects over the years so photography for some reason seemed to be the next step.
Why sunset photography?
DJ: I am a lover of paintings and I like colors a lot. Sunsets give me a visual feeling similar to looking at a painting. Also the strong colors appeal a lot to me. Sunsets can be so different each time and you can always see something unique in them. Also I tend to be up late and afternoon and evening photography is therefore ideal for me. For that reason I have picked up a lot of evening subjects, sunsets, northern lights, dark clouds and so on.
What are some of the challenges you face when trying to capture a sunset shot?
DJ: You have to be on time and you have to know where the sunset will happen. Also sunsets are different during the seasons here in Iceland so during the summer they happen quite late. You have to be able to use manual setting in the right way to capture the sunlight in a good way so practice is very important to get good sunsets shots.
What does your creative process look like? How do you choose what location to shoot?
DJ: I just go with my feelings and emotions. I am no expert when it comes to technical issues with photography. I don’t spend much time processing my work and I don’t think much about what I am going to do. I just have my camera with me and when I see or feel something I go after it. Maybe I will do more location picking in the future but now I just follow the image I see in my head.
Do you have a dream destination to shoot and do you have any upcoming locations your planning on for this year?
DJ: For me I am just starting on my photography journey and I am in no hurry to get to all the destinations I want to shoot. I want to cover as much of Iceland as I can in the coming 2 years, there are plenty of places I need to re-visit with my camera, jokulsarslon and Vestrahorn are among those places. As soon as possible I need to take my camera on the ring road here in Iceland and just snap what I see. I have done the ring road without a camera but now I need to take it with me. Some other day I hope to be able to go to Greenland as well as Lofoten in Norway and the Scottish highlands. It would also be interesting to visit the Faroe Islands.
Any particular photographers works you admire?
DJ: I live in a very visually world. I learn and see in pictures so I have always sounds and pictures in my mind/head. I am a big fan of painters; I truly wanted to be good at oil painting but did not have the time to master it so I guess paintings do affect me and my work a lot. Also everything I see is a big influence, I see pictures all the time and of course I process that in my head. But I do not think too much about what others are doing or what I want to do. I just go out and when my feeling tells me to snap a shot I do.
What’s your ideal goal with your photography?
DJ: I want to create my visual world, be creative and a bit different than others. I want to take everyday shots that express my feelings and the mood I am experiencing each time. I tend to look at my photography as a photo blog so the journey is more important than any particular picture. I learn by doing so I want to continue to learn and hopefully people will like my work and I will be able to get better. I tend to look at my work as an artistic expression so I do hope one day to have an exhibition and maybe publish a book. I am though very humble in my photography and just excited to see what kind of shots I will manage to get in the future. Mostly I am doing this for me but I am super glad if somebody enjoys what I do.
What advice do you have for the aspiring photographer?
DJ: Always have your camera on you. Listen to your inner voice, be humble about your work. Don’t listen to naysayers. Find your own style that you are happy with. Be nice to others, remember that karma is out there and you never know when she visits you. Enjoy the journey and remember that art is not a competition and not everyone will love what you do. Keep on snapping and share your work.