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“…whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul… — then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Well, it is a damp, drizzly November where I write this, so it seems about time to join me to the sea!
A seascape is a landscape, just not on the land. "A picture of the sea", clarifies the dictionary.
As such, it is often devoid of the variety of colours and features we associate with an attractive landscape image. The more so, the further offshore it is taken.
This doesn't have to be a disadvantage. The open sea is a fascinating subject, notably in panoramic, where the elements rule the world and the viewer gets embraced by the expanse of the negative space.
Follow me to explore some beautiful seascapes across the Arctic and find the inspiration for your own creative ideas!
Be sure to click the Slideshow button on your left to open the images in a full-screen gallery.
The opening image is a perfect example of an art seascape with just space as its subject.
You could argue that the image lacks the subject and is rather about nothing. Perhaps you are right, on the face of it. But look a bit longer, and you'll discover a powerful and highly emotional display which is truly captivating.
Lay your eyes upon it for a moment—and it will be hard to take them off. The fine tone gradations lead your sight right to the line where the sky and the sea meet, and beyond. The image speaks of calmness, and you can hear and smell the breath of the ocean.
A dedicated page for this art seascape is now available.
Though similar in its subject – the void – to the first image, the emotion here is very different. With the sky taking up most of the view, it is easy to fall for the illusion of the picture being turned upside down.
The longer you look at it, the more overwhelming is the feeling. After a while, you can see movement of water in the skies, which seem so much heavier than the smooth sea underneath.
Seemingly the same composition – and the same nothingness – but a completely different effect. The sky is now unmistakably in the right place, and its clouds form a giant wing covering, hiding the sun like in an imminent threat.
The Phantom Menace would be a fitting title ;-)
This very peaceful image was captured in the Barents Sea, on a very cold day in late June. It is late evening under the midnight sun, the ship skimming the farthest northern coast of Norway.
The title is a reminiscence of a masterpiece by Russian symbolist artist Arkady Rylov—his painting is also known under the title In the Blue Expanse.
Taken under harsher lighting and windchill conditions, this is a very dramatic, in-your-face image. The wide-angle lens creates an illusion of clouds and ice dispersing from the centre in the direction of corners, as if in an explosion. You could swear the horizon is bending upwards.
The same pattern as in Overcast, and just an evening earlier than Blue expanse, with unbelievable colours. The fishing boat and the seagulls add to the sensation, which otherwise would be rather bland.
This is an image which I am quite proud of. The striking backlit scene is decently exposed, and its simple composition does the rest—or vice versa. The sky looks like the mirror image of the sea, the latter being like a mirror itself. Its smooth surface is only disturbed by boat motors, and their traces resemble the clouds above. The wide-angle point of view makes the ship shrink in the vast, unobstructed space.
Our polar regions are blessed with the most beautiful light I ever witnessed. This image, in no way manipulated, was taken a mere couple of hours into the cruise around Spitsbergen. I ended up with 15 film rolls in as many days, for me an incredible output.
This serene seascape, rendered in toned black and white, is extremely rewarding. Divided in two by the horizon, with the wake to the left and scarce clouds and their reflections on the opposite side, it oozes with balance and assuredness.
This is a very unusual image in my body of work, and I don't show it very often. I think the colours are a bit too extreme, especially if you consider where this seascape comes from. I wonder how it turned out that sharp, in the dwindling light. Luck?
“One does not paint a landscape, a seascape, a figure. One paints an impression of an hour of the day.”
Edouard Manet, French impressionist
One photographs that, too.
Tags: #inplainlight #amazingplaces #escapeart
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