WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Commended 2012


Hans Strand, Sweden

The great Maelifell

Hans had photographed the extinct Maelifell volcano, icon of the Icelandic highlands, many times. On this occasion, though, he wanted to show it towering over the massive Myrdalsjökull Glacier, through which it emerged some 10,000 years ago. Today the cone is cloaked not in ice but in a type of cushion moss, which is a coloniser of lava and is vibrant green when wet. Hans also wanted to set the glowing green cone against the sea of volcanic soil surrounding it, encircled by the ice-water streams flowing down from the glacier. To do this, the pilot had to fly much lower and closer than usual. In fact, the plane went so fast, says Hans, ‘that I managed only one single frame. It was like trying to shoot clay pigeons.’

Technical specification

Hasselblad H3DII-50 + 35-90mm f5.6 lens at 35mm; 1/500 sec at f5.6; ISO 200.

Maelifell , Iceland: latitude 64.1019, longitude -21.1989 Maelifell , Iceland: latitude 64.1019, longitude -21.1989

Maelifell , Iceland

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Hans Strand, Sweden

After a nine-year career in mechanical engineering, Hans decided to devote his life to landscape photography – a decision he has never regretted. His work has been published in international photography magazines and displayed in exhibitions. Hans has received awards for his photography, and has published five books, including Iceland: Above and Below.

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