My husband and I had the complete treasure of an opportunity to stop in Iceland on our way home from Europe last winter. Last night I found myself tossing and turning, restless and wanting to take photographs. My second best option was browsing old ones and during that time I came across a set of film scans -- photographs I had written off as "not good enough", and vaulted.
And here we find ourselves in a little Iceland story. We only had a couple days to take in the terrain, and upon arrival we were hit with a massive storm in 70mph winds. I had become sick on the plane and was in pretty bad shape. When we met our Airbnb host she walked us up a spiral staircase to a cozy shelter from the storm, with a view of the ocean and fresh bread and eggs on the table. It was the perfect equation for some rest and recovery.
If you've never visited Iceland, you must make it over there sometime (preferably in summer, not in winter like us! Unless that's how you roll). It's a bit of a "moon-like" feel when you step off the plane. It's vast and rugged and dormant but violent. It's like nothing I've ever seen. But just as desolate as it appears, it's lush with green and wildlife and sparkling with life. It's people are friendly (and so are it's ponies) and you really feel like you are at the mercy of nature. Which is a humbling and good place to be.
Mamiya 645 AF | 80mm F/2.8 Lens | Fuji400H Film | Scans by Photovision
I tend to be a perfectionist about anything I do, particularly in the creative realm. I don't like sharing photos unless they are flawless. And even then I never accomplish that. I just didn't quite expose these images brightly enough and they feel a little shaky due to the intense storm that was engulfing me while I shot them.
I'm slowly learning to embrace and celebrate my flaws. It's sounds so cliche...so "after school special". However, it's been completely essential for me to heal the deep wounds of self hatred and impossible standards I placed on my shoulders for years. It's become apparent that I cannot love people well or even run a business well with out imposing grace towards myself.
So today I want to celebrate these not quite perfect film images. I can see the beauty in the moody darkness of them now, in the muddy grain that I'm not always drawn to (but am loving lately)...these photographs represent our arrival to Iceland so completely. A dark, violent terrain set against the peace and calm of ponies and hot tea. I guess the images are growing on me. Not EVERYTHING can be light and bright and covered in flowers. There is also a certain Icelandic pony (see above) who is getting a lot of love over at my Minted Print Shop, if you want to take a look!
Thanks for reading the wee story. I'm thankful.