With a total population of only about 320,000, Iceland is a European island that's known for its cold and uninhabitable combination of sand and mountains. Highly geologically active, Iceland received worldwide attention this year after its volcano Eyjafjallajökull caused numerous flight delays across Europe, stranding passengers as they waited for Nature's fury to subside.
Photographer Álvaro Sánchez-Montañés was in Iceland at the time of Eyjafjallajökull's eruption. Having visited the country back in 2008, he had gone back again to find the country's hidden stories. As he tells us, "I was driving in the south part of Iceland driving to Reykjavik when the famous volcano Eyjafjallajökull started thowing ashes. At first I was kind of frightened, I couldn´t even see. When I realized the asses wouldn't kill me or damage my car, I started enjoying them and had one of the best days of my life taking pictures!"
More than just capturing the volcano, Sánchez-Montañés decided to combine his photos from 2008 with his new ones in 2010 to make a photo series about the quiet stillness of Iceland. He titled it Landnemar
which means settler in Icelandic. "I wanted to talk about the really harsh conditions for the farmers in Iceland, you know: volcanic areas, six months with almost no light, extreme temperatures. Making this, talking with them, and entering their houses, I discovered that humans can really live in peace with nature and that we don't really need much to live and be happy."
You may remember Álvaro Sánchez-Montañés as the talented photographer who showed us the Namib desert reclaiming its space
. Love both sets.