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Vincent Skoglund Talks About Light Years

Vincent Skoglund is one of Sweden’s most respected Photographers. His remarkable depictions of the, then emerging, snowboard scene, set his name on the map in the early 90’s. Since then he has received numerous honors, covered various subjects and situations such as fashion, action sports, documentary or journalistic endeavors, music and art. Having lived abroad for many years, prior to settling down in Stockholm last year, his travel schedule saw him on the move more than 300 days each year.

Born in the small Swedish village of Kniva Dalarna, his LIGHTYEARS series is in many ways a homecoming and explores the forests of his childhood by experimenting with light. The images appear at once meticulously defined and fairytale abstract, as if a giant brush had swept the landscape. These are not touched up. There is no digital reworking. I never thought I’d fall in love with a photo of a landscape, but in a creepy fairytale sort of way these drew me right in and left me waiting for the rabbit. I’m the one whose fucking late. While I was waiting I asked Vince to talk to me a little bit about how he came to freeze these lovely scenes.

Where was this series shot?
The series was shot all around the area were I grew up. Lots of deep forests. I shot it while I was living in London. I think that was a reason for me to go back to were I grew up and the place that has ment so much to me.

Did you retouch the photo after?
They are shot on large format and scanned when scanned I go through and get the colors the way I want and such, darken, lighten etc. The final image is printed with Light jet as a digital C-print. 125 x 100cm. So yes photoshop is always a tool it is more or less used. That said, I am not so much interested in the effects of making photoshop my main tool like some other photographers do. The image shot on location is more or less it.

What sort of lights and exposure did you use?
I used a big theater light very heavy and not at all made for carrying around in the woods, that’s for sure. The exposures were really different from image to image, all depending on distance and ambient light.

What were you trying to do in this series?

Did it work?
Yes. It did. It was very interesting and I went out and shot at numerous occasions and each time I would change something and learn to adapt to what’s out there.

Did something else happen?
There was a big brown bear scare around Sweden at this time it was all over the news this fall. We were shooting lots of these images right around in the forests were these bears live. So me and my assistant were keeping contact on the radio and trying to be noisy to scare them off. I think it worked. We would see some bear poop every now and then so they were out there in the dark somewhere.

What equipment was involved? Did the selection of tools have a relationship to whatever goals or ideas you might have had for the work? If yes, how so?
Very basic. Just a big light and and large format camera. I like the simpleness of less equipment. It is good it keeps me focused on the idea.


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