Island has always been at the top of my to-visit list and this summer I finally had the opportunity to hop around this amazingly beautiful place. For four weeks my default mode basically was to stare around me, either looking out from the car or while hiking, taking in the sights of the fjords, glaciers, lava fields, alien basalt formations, geysers and over abundance of mountains (The Netherlands are about as flat as a pancake so any elevation over 5 meters are highly appreciated).
This piece (above) is the first I’ve finished since I got back and is inspired by a hike we did at Stokksnes, located at the South East coast. It was a rather wet day, with lots of drizzle and very low hanging clouds and it was only when I got back and looked up images of the place online that I realized what epic mountain peaks we missed out on! But, to my opinion, the view with the clouds cutting off the mountains was perhaps just as impressive. Or should I say bizarre? It looked like ‘someone’ forgot to photoshop the upper half of the landscape into the picture.
The image turned out like a still-life/collage of elements of the beach that stuck with me: the ash grey sand, the wall-like mountain slopes that were cut off by the clouds, the radar installation and the whale skeleton we saw close to it.
As I started working on the composition I kept fiddling with where to put the focus of the image. In the end I decided to start at the whale skull in the foreground and then to direct the viewer from there to the seaweeds on the left and then up to the radar installation. Working with very pixelated vs. smooth anti-aliased parts worked very well to accentuate this and guide the viewer along. The above two images are a depth render and an output test in which I used the depth render to isolate the colored areas to the front of the image. I didn’t follow through on this path in the end. The green dune grass contrasting so beautifully with the grey sand also didn’t make it into the final piece as I felt the color brought too much noise to the overall scheme I was going for, but I’m sure they’ll be given a spot in another piece :)
Below are some photos I took during that hike: