Iceland has an alien quality that defies expectations. Its interior is lifeless and bare with volcanic formations that are reminiscent of what the earth must have looked like in Archean times. Hot geysers, deep mountainous fjords, and glaciers that carve their way into the lowlands are just some of the features that are compressed into this small island nation. It is just such compelling and unfamiliar landscape that makes visiting here an ultimate trip.
My focus was not on the iconic hotspots that made Iceland famous but the less visited and undiscovered features that had their own intrinsic values in texture, form and colour. With each of my five visits I discovered much more by limiting myself to explore and familiarize myself with a small select unknown area becoming more an opportunistic photographer depending mostly on luck to find something that merited my attention. Whether I was climbing for days in the highlands of the interior, skirting calving glaciers, crossing a moonlike landscape or wandering a weatherbeaten shore, Iceland is a photographer's paradise.
About the author
Arnold Zageris - photographer - was born in Germany in 1948 to a Latvian father and German mother. At the age of two and a half years, the Zageris family immigrated to Canada and settled in the remote northern mining town of Rouyn—Noranda, Quebec. Here he was exposed to the vast Canadian frontier, and as young man fully took advantage of exploring this extensive wilderness, always becoming more aware of nature's beauty, variety and fragility.
After obtaining degrees in science and education, Zageris returned to his home town to teach. This gave him the opportunity to use his extended summer holidays to travel, and also canoe some of Canada's more northernly rivers. It was on one of these trips that he took a picture that would kindle his passion for photography. It won the grand prize from Nikon's "Response and Recognition" world photography contest, awarding him a Nikon camera, lenses and binoculars.
This led to photography courses in the USA where he was advised by Eliot Porter (1901—1990) to use a 4" x 5" view camera in order to capture nature's finer details. Eliot Furness Porter was an American photographer best known for his intimate colour photographs of nature. It was a more expensive medium, but it taught him to slow down and see the world more carefully. A single compelling image per week was considered successful, and is a truism he still strives for today.
Zageris has won many awards for his work and has exhibited in public and private galleries across Canada including: Art Bank of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario, and The Rooms in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. He is the author of two books: On the Labrador in 2013 and Antarctica in 2016. His upcoming book, Iceland, Born of Lava, Chiseled by Ice is slated to be published in the fall of 2020.
Zageris now lives with his wife Joan in Peterborough, Ontario. He still travels to photograph remote places, but when not working he spends his free summers on Lac Kanasuta.