Herd Under the Northern Sky

CompanyJourney with Light Photography
PhotographerTien-Chien Chen
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Icelandic horse is an integral part of the landscape and the history. Much like its people, this herd has been living in isolation since the settlement period (AD 874) when the Vikings brought them to the island. Even though considered pony-sized, they are hardy and high-spirited, and most importantly (at least for me who wants to get close to them) they are not easily spooked. During the summer they are free roaming in the highlands until September when farmers ride into the mountains to collect them before winter sets in. On this particular day, hundreds of horses were rounded up in a sorting pen in Laufskálarétt not too far from the Artic Sea. The temperature was just above freezing, the clouds were thick, but the mood was always festive when Icelandic beers disappeared with every horse finding its home...

About Photographer

I am constantly searching for the next landscape. A landscape in the mist, with a slight scent of vanilla permeating the warm, sea-moistened air; the first light of summer burning off the snow on top of the craggy peaks, while down below the alpine lake reflection screaming to become the reality; an ocean as violent as the breaking-loose hell during a winter storm, followed by the midnight snow peacefully falling and disappearing into the darkest wave… Some of these I have seen, some only in dream, and some even beyond my wildest imagination. To realize the dream, I travelled. After travelling for years, it grows on me that the meaning of my journey is to revisit a place – to see what has been changed there, and to learn what has been changed inside me. I see things differently through different lights, colors, moods, and ages. Making images in different states of mind enables me to explore myself in various ways. And the more I explore myself, the more I am inspired by the outside world. I hope my work encourages people to explore their outer as well as inner landscapes.