At the Heart of It – Iceland Landscape Photography of Agustín David

Agustín David (b.1969) aka Agustín David Forner is a photographer from Spain. He takes pictures on a variety of themes, from minimalistic landscapes to impressive fine-art and wedding images. These very beautiful Iceland images are from his photo series “At the Heart of It”. Iceland is one of the least populated countries and offers amazing natural beauty ranging from volcanic mountains to glaciers to its visitors. Agustin’s handling of large format film also makes these images more realistic, magically. Absorb the tranquillity of this beautiful land while I ask him some questions below:

Please tell me about yourself:

My name is Agustín David Forner. I was born on January 1, 1969 in Spain where I reside and work.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (2)What does photography mean to you? What do you want to express from your images and how do you view your evolution as a photographer?

Photography has been the medium I have found to express myself in very intimate way. I have always been in close contact with art in many different ways. Music and photography are the disciplines through which I am able to “speak” more comfortably. I’m quite a solitary and, maybe, a bit introverted person, I find that both of these are languages that let me express from my inner side.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (3)My images are somehow an extension of my personality – an interpretation of what I see and how I manage to re organize or isolate the scenarios I find interesting. I like to think about them as sculptures. Sometimes, I don’t know exactly what I want to express with an image, it is not a a very rational process, it has more to do with emotions, vibrations. I would say that some environments can touch me in very specific way moving some deep personal feelings.

As I grow as a photographer I find that I need to include less elements in my photographs, as if I should synthesize, and I realize that there is in me a strong searching for tranquillity and solitude.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (4)Tell me how did you develop a keen interest in fine-art or documentary (documentary-style) photography?

I don’t know if my photography can be considered as fine-art or not, maybe is the process behind it what I could call that way. I like the artisan character, intense and serene rhythm imposed by the analogue photography and the medium and large format cameras. A state of full consciousness as to what the “photographic moment” means. I feel some kind of necessity of physical contact with the whole process to get the final picture, loading the film in the camera, for example, makes me think about what I’m going to do and obligates me to stay within some boundaries… I work much better with limitations.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (5)Tell me more about this projects and its artist statements:

“At The Heart of It” is my latest project and it is based on the images taken in Iceland. In this series I try to show what I felt when I was driving through this country by Road 1. I wanted to make simple, clean and intimate landscape portraits of, what for me is, this vast wilderness, colorful, dark and at the same time luminous and plenty of water country. My main concern was to show all these portraits in the form of stages, straight visions of places in which I could show the immensity of the Nature and its violent processes that we are not able to see in our routine lives.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (6)What are your method(s) or critical approaches of shooting? How much of your work is carefully planned vs. instantaneous?

As I said before, sometimes I feel surprised by a place, environment or something, it is like that the place finds me. But many other times I look for a very specific aesthetics or subject. Then I visit many times the same location to find what I’m after. I can take pictures with my mobile as sketches just to see if they are what I really want. So I can say that my work can be very spontaneous as well as very planned… I’m opened for all surprises.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (7)Do you believe you’ve found your style or signature? What elements of a place or an environment influence you most?

I think it is difficult to say it, probably would be easier to ask others about that. I feel  comfortable with my way of shooting and with the subjects I choose. There’s is a whole process in which I apply my criteria to finally select the images I think fit better in a series, so in the end all this filtration makes some king of signature or style in my work.

Nature in combination with the man made landscape, the absence of human presence and the ambiguous relationship between these are very usual elements in my imagery. Tranquillity and solitude are concepts I like to work on.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (8)Tell me about the equipment (camera, lenses, software, etc.) you mostly use and why:

My preferred photographic equipment is based on film cameras I have. A Wista 45 SP large format field camera and the latest one is the fantastic and robust Pentax 67. I have to say that I find the Medium format is the perfect combination of quality and portability… and most importantly, when I look through its view finder is when I know what my picture will be like. Normally I like to work with just one lens or two, no more than that, limitations as a way to get your signature as an artist. One of my favorite lenses is the Pentax 67 SMC 105 f/2.4… I like to call it an “honest lens”.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (9)What are your future plans/projects, ambitions, inspirations etc.?

I’m working on different projects or series at this moment and all of them have to do with the impact of the human activity on our environment. It has a double reading – on one hand there is some kind of fascination about the aesthetics of destruction and at the same time questioning about what we are doing as a species.

Please share your favorite stuff: photographers, quotes, films books, music etc.:

Ansel Adams, Dan Holsworth, José Manuel Ballester, Andreas Gursky, Todd Hido, Edward Burtynsky, Michael Kenna, Bas Princen or Darren Almond are some of my references as photographers.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (10)I have read all of Haruki Murakami’s books, I love his poetic and direct way of telling stories. I love reading in general.

Music is a very important part in my artistic education, I am a musician myself. The Mars Volta, Matmos or Queens of the Stone Age are some of the many bands I’m hearing lately.

Something to say to our readers or aspiring photographers:

Don’t stop taking photos and asking questions.

Agustin david Iceland Photography (11) Agustin david Iceland Photography (12) Agustin david Iceland Photography (13) Agustin david Iceland Photography (14) Agustin david Iceland Photography (15) Agustin david Iceland Photography (16) Agustin david Iceland Photography (17) Agustin david Iceland Photography (18) Agustin david Iceland Photography (19) Agustin david Iceland Photography (20)All photos © Agustín David : Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.

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