For more than ten years, Olaf Otto Becker (*1959 in Travemünde) has been travelling in the high north. Here he searches for the unseen vision of the primal landscape, which confronts the eye with the boundaries of what can be seen and turns nature into a mirror of the soul. He observes geographical oddities and patiently waits for the ideal light conditions.
Then, and only then, he sets out – sometimes in the middle of the night – to capture even the smallest nuances with soft light, armed with a heavy large-format camera. Becker's intentionally subjective perspective transcends the mere reflection of reality and creates visuals of great clarity, width and concentration.
Many pictures are created during the diffuse light of the night, between 9pm and 6am or under the milky light cast by rain. He calls this light 'the light of the north'. To him, it is just as important as the motif itself. “We only see through light and this very light can transport any form of atmosphere.”
The publication brings together already published and new pictures from Iceland, which show primordial landscapes juxtaposed with traces of civilisation or even the economic crisis. For example, the Icelandic flagship store of the BAUHAUS DIY-superstore chain by Reykjavik was never opened and has been standing there ever since, a deserted concrete monument of forlornness in the landscape of Reykjavik.
Olaf Otto Becker first began working on his project back in 1999 and his most recent trip to Iceland was this summer in 2011. The result is a very personal landscape portrait of the island. He visits some of the locations time and time again and he documents the changes as well as what remains the same.
Olaf Otto Becker was born in Travemünde in 1959. He studied communication design in Augsburg as well as philosophy and religious studies in Munich. Following a career as a communication designer for international companies, he chose to dedicate his talents to photography.
Apart from the photo book, which will be released in October, desired motifs can be acquired directly via Hatje Cantz.
Olaf Otto Becker
Under the Nordic Light. A Journey through Time
2011. ca. 144 pages, ca. 84 coloured pages
34,00 x 27,00 cm, Linen
Release date: October 2011
Hatje Cantz Verlag