The Faroe Isands sit in the North Atlantic, 200 miles north of Scotland, between Norway and Iceland. The rugged landscape is kept above freezing by the Gulf Stream, but life is far from comfortable in this rugged landscape. Global Icon Lars Schneider runs workshops in this stunning location, and he has been nominated for the 2018 Hasselblad Masters photography competition for his work capturing of the desolate beauty of this landscape. We caught up with Lars to talks workshops, photocompetions and becoming a and Hasselblad Ambassador:
Tell us a little more about your work, your beginnings in photography as well as what is it that inspires you?
I have been a photographer for more than 20 years now. First trying as a teenager, and getting published in outdoor magazines and catalogues little by little. Later, in my twenties, things became more professional and after working at an outdoor magazine in Germany for a few years, I became a full time freelance photographer in 2003.
My main focus has always been adventure sports, as I grew up exploring the outdoors with my family and later friends. I went hiking, cycling, kayaking and skiing as much as I could, the further away, the less people, the better. Taking a camera along to document these trips became a real passion.
Today, I am shooting a lot of commercial work and it is not only focused on adventures any more. And when I get a chance and have some free time between work and family, I love to create some landscape work. The wilder, the more inspiring, so I often go north to Scandinavia and often in fall or winter to get dramatic weather patterns.
Not long ago, you became a Hasselblad Ambassador, how did that happen?
I started shooting my landscape work on Hasselblad medium format about 8 to 10 years ago, and somehow they noticed me through an image I uploaded into my account on the Hasselblad website. We collaborated on a few projects over the years, then it went quiet again, and then when the X1D, their new mirrorless medium format camera came out, I approached them regarding an ambassadorship. That camera seemed to be the perfect match to take along wherever I went, besides my DSLR gear that I use for most of my commercial work, to have the chance to shoot special scenes in medium format with the higher optical quality.
Medium format certainly seems a good match for these grand landscapes. Talking of Hasselblad, you’re one of the 10 finalists in the Landscape category of the Hasselblad Masters Award 2018. Can you tell us a bit more about the images as well as the location?
I usually don’t take part in photo competitions but this one of course is a very special and prestigious one. I think I uploaded my image selection on the last night it was possible, as I had stumbled over the invitation again, probably somewhere on social media. I uploaded a few images – you are limited to three photos which made it pretty hard, I felt – from a series I shot on the Faroe Islands last winter. I discovered those islands for me about two years ago and was blown away by their beauty. They are so close to where I am based in northern Germany, you just hop over to Copenhagen and then fly for less than two hours, and I always knew they existed, but somehow, I never really noticed them. Big mistake. I think, it is one of the most beautiful places around the globe.
In terms of the Masters Awards, I ended up in the final 10 of the landscape category. And October is the month for the public votes that then create part of the overall decision that is taken by a professional jury. So anyone who feels like it, go and vote!
This is the link: http://www.hasselblad.com/inspiration/masters/masters-2018
Having been so impressed with their beauty, you now also offer workshops on the Faroe Islands?
Yes, that’s right. I started in February 2017 with one workshop and will offer two in March 2018. The islands offer so much, it is a great place to learn about photography, no matter at what level you are. Especially in that more untypical time of year for Scandinavia, when it can be stormy, snowy or rainy. But that is often, when you get the coolest photos. They might even get you to the finalist round in a photo competition! And the best thing is...there are still a few spots left if someone feels like joining!
Sounds tempting – if a little cold! Where should these adventurous people get hold of you for that?
They can send an email to [email protected] to get in touch for all tech details.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to, Lars, and good luck in the photo competition! Finally, where can people see more of your work?
Everywhere but Europe