Icelandic Photographer, based in, Iceland, Landscape & Travel: Rafn Sigurbjörnsson
1) What Photobooks are you currently looking at?
At this moment I’m looking at black and white photos made by the great American scenic photographer Ansel Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984), a pioneer in the movement to preserve the wilderness and one of the first to promote photography as an art form.
2) What was the last truly inspiring Photobook you saw?
All the hundred and thousands of beautiful images on the Interned are my inspiring Photobook all year round. It doesn’t matter where I am, what I’m doing I can always browse through that “book” on my cellphone or my computer to get inspired.
3) Give us the name of your favorite overlooked or underappreciated Photographer?
All the unnamed outstanding photographers on the Internet that haven’t been discovered yet. There are so many gifted people out there so it’s impossible to name one.
4) What are your photographic guilty pleasures? Do you have a favorite genre/style?
As a Landscape photographer I’m guilty of not be able to bring the whole beauty, silence, smell and taste of the experience I’m witnessing out in the field. Not be able to bring you the emotions, thoughts and feelings that go through my mind and body. Not be able to bring you the happiness I feel in my inner soul. That’s what I’m guilty of - but I try my best with every photo to show you what is in my mind and I’m trying my best to get you into my emotion. I really do hope it’s working a little bit.
5) If we came to your studio what would we see?
As a Landscape photographer my studio is the landscape in the highlands and the hidden gems of Iceland, I’m spending most of my time outside my home studio, so right now you would see my Super Jepp. Actually he is my Studio most of the time.
My studio at home is filled with Oil paintings, computers, Audio instruments, recording equipment’s and other related things. Shure I also keep my lamps and backgrounds witch I put op when I need it. The Inside studio shootings have increased a lot so if you ask my again later I would probably answer in a different way.
6) What’s the best Photobook on (Your nationality) Photography you’ve ever read?
My last series of 8 books I call “Wild Iceland” the untouched nature
The Wild Iceland series consists of eight pocket – sized photo books. Each book focuses on a selection of the most eye – catching natural formation in individual parts of Iceland; South Iceland, Southwest Iceland, Reykjavík capital, West Iceland, Westfjords, North Iceland, East Iceland and the Highlands.
7) What subject other than photography, are you interested in? That nevertheless informs your work?
I have been working in the Audio field for the last 40 years or so and painting in oil, so whenever I need to escape from my photo work I dive into making music or paint what is in my mind. It all depends on the mood I’m in.
I have recorded two CD’s. One is a children record named Uss… Uss… and the other one is more of a Relaxing meditation music called Reiki 1.
8) What was the last Photobook that made you happy?
When I sat down after hard work of making my “Wild Iceland” books.
It was a hard work as I also made the layout and all the Graphic design. I found out that it’s more harder to make Pocket sized books then A4 sized books so all would fit in perfectly.
9) What was the last Photobook that made you sad?
I don’t spend my time and effort of doing or reading something that makes me sad. My time is too valuable for that. I´m very selective when I need to choose a book to read so I’m sorry I can’t pick one out.
10) What kind of person were you as a child? And what were your favorite childhood memories, which made you a photographer? how have you grown over the years what has changed what remained the same?
In Iceland where I grow up, children have all the freedom in the world. I spent most of my time somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be, exploring and getting lost in the wilderness. Hiking along with my camera, to places I thought I discovered (until I heard a car passing by on the other side of the hill). Come to thinking about it, whenever I had the chance to go to the Highlands I went, and I went alone. I wanted to experience the raw nature from its first hand and I completely fell in love with it. I wanted to bring home some good shots so I could paint it in oil and relive the moment again with my own expression. It’s still the same but more effortless. I jump alone into my Super Jeep, go up to the mountains and vanish into the nature.
11) Whom do you consider your Photographic Masters? Do you believe in mastery?
I look at the landscape as my real master in photography. The challenge of light and forms. The desire to take the perfect shot and show the nature as it is. (Still looking for it).
12) Which Photographers have had the most impact on you as a Photographer? Is there a particular Photo that made you want to be a Photographer? Please upload an image to justify your statement?
All the photographers who have been in my Photo Workshop tours in Iceland.
All there knowledge they have shared to me.
All their different vision of my home land I didn’t see.
All there happiness of doing what they like to do – Photographing
13) What gear do you use, and how does your gear, support your photographic vision. How would you describe your photographic Workflow what software, hardware, storage, & filters do you use?
I’m using 2.pc of Canon EOS 7D. with EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Tokina SD 11 – 16 F 2,8, Tamron SP 24-70mm Di VC USD, Manfrotto 190 Tripod’s with 498C2 heads. Large set of all kinds of LEE filters (Like ND, Stoppers, Graduates, Colors and so on). In the field I take all my photos in RAW even it takes a lot of space. When I’m back in the studio I start by backing all my shot to a special hard drive witch I usually keep outside my home in case something will happen like robbery, house burning etc.. When that is finish I copy my photos to my working hard drive, open them up in Lightroom and mark the interesting shots with one star for further investigation (It is now I format the card in my camera because I’m sure they are all on my hard drives). In the next round I look at all the shots marked with one star, narrow them down and mark the one I like with another star. In the third analysis I mark the two star shots I really like with the third star and those are the shots I find good enough to work further on. I work all my photos in Lightroom and if there is something special I have to do which Lightroom cannot handle I take them into Photoshop and finish them there.
14) Do you have any regrets with regards to your photography especially when starting out? What would you do differently?
No I don’t have any regrets and I probably would do it just as I did if I had to do it all over. It has been and still is a great adventure and I really hope it will continue to be so.
15) In your genre style of work, what are the challenges/opportunities to your business? How do you envision yourself 5 years from now?
The challenge is to keep on documenting the landscape for the coming generation so they can see where our mistakes were made. I will continue to fight for the environment / pollution so the coming generations can see the beauty this World has to offer I will keep on leading Photo Workshop tours in Iceland and show my clients all the beauty that Iceland has to offers as well as my hidden gems.
16) In your photographers Imagination, how do you perceive India. What photographs would you like to make of Her?
Sorry. I haven’t been there but I know it’s a treasure for photographers.
What fascinate me as a photographer is the colorful wedding ceremony and the people of India. Hopefully someday I will be able to go there.
Biography In His Own Words
It's all about LOVING IT
Rafn Sig,- is well known freelance Icelandic photographer who have focused on the raw nature and landscape since he was a young boy. He has been hiking in the Icelandic highlands and low lands all his live and knows the nature and the hidden spots like a true native. Rafn Sig,- is a self-educated photographer and has worked as a freelance photographer for more than thirty years. He has got his photos published all over the world, in books, magazines, postcards as on the internet
Rafn Sig,- lives his passion of photography by traveling, and exploring the nature of Iceland as well as other countries.Along with running a stock photography website, Rafn Sig,- works on various photography projects, offers photo tours and workshops in Iceland and around Feel free to send your request or call to book a photography tour, order the books, images or other requests.