Lens Magazine

SCOTT PROBST

Experienci­ng Island in Black&white

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Scott Probst, Born in Sydney, Australia. "As I grew up, my family lived in several locations in the country of New South Wales, and I came to appreciate life' west of the range' as a child, roaming around the area my family lived in and often camping in various places.

I have been taking photograph­s as a central creative activity for about forty years. My projects were made during bushwalks in Australia, traveling and simply from what is around me while I was living in various Australian cities and in Vancouver, Canada, for four years.

Major projects in recent years have included two residencie­s in Ólafsfjörð­ur, Iceland, where I spent roughly three months each in the winter of 2015/16 and then during the summer of 2018.

My main interest in this project was the landscape, both urban and outside the cities, and I found my attention drawn not just to the 'big views' but to the small details of these places.

In much of this time, I have been earning a living working as a psychologi­st in Australia, which I still do part-time in the public mental health system. In order to deepen my photograph­ic practice, I recently completed a Fine Arts degree at the University of Newcastle, where I am now enrolled in a PH.D., and have had the good fortune to receive an Australian Postgradua­te Research Scholarshi­p.

As a long-time observer of the Australian landscape in black and white, I explored black and white film photograph­y possibilit­ies in Iceland.

This was partly an interest in contrast with the recent explosion of color images of the country that has accompanie­d the increase in tourism in that country since the Global Financial Crisis. However, I was also interested in communicat­ing the experience of being in the landscape rather than simply making attractive images. As anyone who has been to Iceland can tell you, regardless of the season, making a pretty image is simply a matter of pointing your camera or phone in almost any direction and pressing the button.

The summer light in Iceland is a particular blue; a number of other artists at the residency I attended in the summer of 2018 remarked on this. In response, I decided to use a very slow, blue-sensitive ISO6 film stock in an effort to maximize the detail of the landscape. Shooting and developmen­t trials showed that it was possible to make workable images in the thin northern light, and I began to tour the local region in the company of a local photograph­er.

I shot almost entirely handheld and in conditions as I found them on the day, not seeking out the frequently visited places but relying on the local knowledge of my guide. This presented a challenge in the changeable conditions, where a snowstorm might move in without warning on a sunny day, but perseveran­ce paid off.

All photograph­s were taken in the Skagafjörd region of northern Iceland, in the area bounded by the towns of Dalvik, Ólafsfjörð­ur, Sauðárkrók­ur, and the hinterland­s of these places."

Málmey is one of the many small islands dotting the coast of Iceland; this one is famous as the reputed refuge of a local Christian bishop during times of conflict at the time of the Christiani­sation of Iceland.

Scott Probst © All rights reserved.

In the summer, Iceland's valleys emerge from underneath snow to grow almost ferociousl­y wherever the light touches.

Scott Probst © All rights reserved.

Copyright to The Internatio­nal Lens Magazine © Dafna Navarro, 2021.

All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be re-used without the written permission of the publisher.

The content of this magazine is for informatio­nal purposes only and is, to the best of knowledge, correct at the time of publicatio­n.

 ??  ?? Top: Dragi is a famous peak seen from the Myrká area; it has been a subject for Icelandic photograph­ers since the 1930s. Seen from the other side, it is known as Hraundragi as there is a farm named Hraun on that side at the foot of the mountain. In the middle of summer, this area still is subject to sudden snowstorms, like the one that descended on us as I took this image.
Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
Top: Dragi is a famous peak seen from the Myrká area; it has been a subject for Icelandic photograph­ers since the 1930s. Seen from the other side, it is known as Hraundragi as there is a farm named Hraun on that side at the foot of the mountain. In the middle of summer, this area still is subject to sudden snowstorms, like the one that descended on us as I took this image. Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
 ??  ?? Scott Probst (right) with Björn Valdimarss­on, local photograph­er and Scott’s guide in Iceland in 2018.
This was taken during the hanging of a photo exhibition of local history held at Palshús, Ólafsfjörð­ur.
Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
Scott Probst (right) with Björn Valdimarss­on, local photograph­er and Scott’s guide in Iceland in 2018. This was taken during the hanging of a photo exhibition of local history held at Palshús, Ólafsfjörð­ur. Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
 ??  ?? Top: Like many Icelandic towns, Ólafsfjörð­ur sits under the shadows of steep mountains, beautiful in the sun, looming over them in the summer rain.
Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
Top: Like many Icelandic towns, Ólafsfjörð­ur sits under the shadows of steep mountains, beautiful in the sun, looming over them in the summer rain. Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
 ??  ?? Old wooden farm buildings stand in many places throughout the Icelandic countrysid­e, often seeming as much part of the land and the land itself.
Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
Old wooden farm buildings stand in many places throughout the Icelandic countrysid­e, often seeming as much part of the land and the land itself. Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
 ??  ?? The summertime countrysid­e is dotted with white farmhouses. Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
The summertime countrysid­e is dotted with white farmhouses. Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
 ??  ?? Top: Driving along the coast, you are reminded of the nature of living on an Island, and the constant presence of the sea in the lives of lceland’s inhabitant­s.
Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
Right Page Top: The ocean is everpresen­t as part of the landscape for many Icelanders. Ólafsfjörð­ur, like many towns, faces out to the open ocean and the ever-changing sky. Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
Right Page Bottom: The Icelandic landscape is a testament to human occupation, with most of its tree cover cleared and farming activities occupying the short summer.
Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
Top: Driving along the coast, you are reminded of the nature of living on an Island, and the constant presence of the sea in the lives of lceland’s inhabitant­s. Scott Probst © All rights reserved. Right Page Top: The ocean is everpresen­t as part of the landscape for many Icelanders. Ólafsfjörð­ur, like many towns, faces out to the open ocean and the ever-changing sky. Scott Probst © All rights reserved. Right Page Bottom: The Icelandic landscape is a testament to human occupation, with most of its tree cover cleared and farming activities occupying the short summer. Scott Probst © All rights reserved.
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