Feral Fjords : Photography of Steve Léon Brown

‘Feral Fjords’ is a series of images shot in Iceland by English/French photographer Steve Léon Brown (b.1988). Steve recently cycled around Iceland for 31 days and captured the beauty of the region through his point and shoot camera.

About me: My name is Steve Léon Brown. I’m half French half English & currently residing in Brighton, Uk. I am an emerging Visual Artist, with a degree in Graphic Design & Photography from Kingston University London. I’ve always been aware of Art & Photography especially, but it become a lot more apparent when I started using a simple point & shoot camera to document my day to day activities with friends, where I was going, things I was seeing. This evolved somewhat once I started studying photography, I was now seeing it as a medium to communicate things I found interesting, to share with others, expressing myself photographically was far easier for me than to communicate through writing or speech.

Steve Léon Brown photography (2) Steve Léon Brown photography (3) Steve Léon Brown photography (4)My artist statement, etc: I would say when I think about creating a new piece of work or a series, its very much spontaneously planned, it is often influenced by the places I visit or the people I am with or the situation I am in. I generally just photograph what’s going on around me, like I’ve been doing for many-many years. Eventually I pick up on a trend of a particular place or subject and the idea evolves from that. I am very influenced by the New topographic movement in the U.S.A in the 1970’s. The cinematic shot’s created by scenes of suburban sprawl, emphasizing the relationship between man and nature. I was hugely inspired when I came across this new perspective & has defined me more as an artist. I am most creative when I am somewhere I am not familiar with & I tend to keep away from photographing people, what captivates me the most about photography is being able to capture the atmosphere of a certain place for what it is.

Steve Léon Brown photography (5) Steve Léon Brown photography (6)I shoot only on analog camera’s mainly simple point and shoot’s. I like the relationship one builds with a particular camera, for me the Yashica T4 never fails! It’s easy to use, has great results, I like the aesthetic & the non technical approach to photography using this camera. I would like to start shooting on medium format, I am currently planning a cycle trip from Brighton to Montpellier in France, documenting all the places of significance to me growing up between the UK and France, I am hoping to achieve this using medium format.

Steve Léon Brown photography (7) Steve Léon Brown photography (8)My photo projects: ‘Feral Fjords’ is my latest series, it’s a documentation of 31 days in Iceland, travelling by bicycle and living wild around the Island, this series came about because I wanted to cycle around Iceland, with two friends of mine so it seemed only right to document the Journey & make notes about events that happened along the way. For me it was slightly out of my comfort zone to create a series like this about a journey between people in a wild landscape, it is not something I have touched on within photography before, but I really enjoyed the spontaneous unplanned nature of it.

Steve Léon Brown photography (9) Steve Léon Brown photography (10)‘Feral Fjords’ Synopsis - Feral Fjords is a touch on simplicity, journey, freedom and satisfaction. The series is a documentation of a month journey around Iceland achieved on bicycles. The journey was to focus on being temporarily free from the modern pressures of society that is now increasingly unavoidable. Without such restrictions we were free to appreciate the notion of time and travel at leisure experiencing Iceland in it’s rawest form. It’s a journey of friendship, patience, endurance and living outdoors for 31 days. By travelling in this way we were able to camp wild, fish, replenish water from glacial rivers, bathe in natural hot springs, be in direct contact with Iceland’s irrational climate, enduring cold, wind, rain but also the magic of the endless midnight sun. Being face to face with the brutal force of Iceland was refreshing but testing for the mind and body, away from technology and the control of modern society. Cycling is quite possibly the most gratifying way to experience a landscape, it’s only then possible to understand the trance like euphoria of cycling head on into Arctic winds over gravel mountain passes and plateaus, to be attacked by territorial sea birds, infested by swarms of midges, drown by endless rain, but then cruising down long roads surrounded by fjords on either side with a steady tailwind pushing you all the way! Iceland still remains extremely wild due to its small population, its position on the planet and its volcanic nature. I hope that it will remain that way in the future for others to experience its natural beauty and defying challenges.

Steve Léon Brown photography (11) Steve Léon Brown photography (12)My influences and favourite stuff: I would say my influences outside of photography, would somehow still be influenced by photography. For me being an Artist or Photographer is not a job or a hobby its a complete way of life. I can’t go anywhere without my camera, or without thinking ‘wow that would make a great photo’ hence carrying a camera at all times avoids those situations. Travel is very important to me and is often the influence behind a series, going on vacation is not for relaxing it’s for discovering and creating a new series of work. Social or geographical culture is also strong presence in my work & how we as humans adapt to our ever changing planet.

Steve Léon Brown photography (13) Steve Léon Brown photography (14) Steve Léon Brown photography (15)All photos © Steve Léon Brown : Website | Instagram


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.