Halfhearted Promise (PS)


Páll Stefánsson's picture

In my new book, Iceland Exposed, there are no pictures from Dalasýsla region, in West Iceland.

That is nothing new. In none of my books featuring the Icelandic landscape, from LIGHT, the first one, twenty eight years ago, has a picture from the region made it in.

In a way strange, I like Dalir, as the region is called. But it does not have the striking features of the nearby Snæfellsnes peninsula, or the West Fjords, the region north of Dalir.

The new book is a collection of my best work from the last five years on the road, collecting stories, and images for the Iceland Review magazine.

LIGHT was created the same way, but what a difference in technique and style. In LIGHT, I used whole arsenal of lenses, had fifteen Canon FD lenses, from 14mm to 800mm, and Leica M lenses from 21mm to 75mm. The most used lenses, 21mm and 200mm, I would guess. And everything shot on Kodachrome 25P, a film, only ISO 25. And it was never a problem, the slowness of the film.

The new book, Iceland Exposed, was mostly shot on just three lenses, all from Zeiss, Sonnar 35mm on Sony RX1R, Sonnar, 55mm on Sony A7R, digital cameras, and Planar100 mm on Hasselblad 503CW, and Velvia 100 film.

All lenses you might call normal lenses. All super sharp.

But one thing has not changed in the thirty plus years I have worked as photographer, I have never owned or used a zoom lens. I have tried, and they have failed me every time. Not only are they slower than prime lenses, and not as sharp. The main problem, I zoom with my feet. I think it very strange to do it with the lens, not only changing focal length, but also the perspective. That disturbs me the most.

And the fact that I have never published a picture from Dalir region in a book.

I will fix that problem in my next book about Iceland, a halfhearted promise.

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.