A Photographic Tribute to the Beauty of the High Arctic
FROZEN LATITUDES is an extraordinary fine art photo book published by Seltmann and Söhne, Germany, with 288 pages. It is my photographic tribute to the beauty of the High Arctic portraying some of the remotest places on earth. The text chapters in English and German tell stories about my first-hand experiences and look at the scientific perspectives of the Cryosphereand how it is affected by Global Warming written by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Schöner - the internationally renown Austrian glaciologist and secretary of the Austrian Polar Research InstituteAPRI.
FROZEN LATITUDES is presenting rare panoramic views of the High Arctic in Greenlandand Franz Josef Land in the Russian High Arctic. They are solely formed by natural forces such as wind, water and ice and are perceived as existing since the very early times of the Earth's Genesis. Animals and artifacts often appear unexpectedly in these landscapes and set accents that emphasize the vastness of the nature with its inherent impression of permanence. It is my photographic challenge to capture the everlasting natural changes which are hard to recognize by human scales.
Cryogenesis is the process of repeated freezing and thawing of Earth’ materials. Influenced by climate, earth-atmosphere interactions and the properties of the soils, it shapes the morphology of the landscape affected by permafrost which creates an unexpected variety of Frozen Morphs.
My approach is the result of Cryo-Genesis: photos of the cryosphere’s landscape paint a picture of the earth’s Genesis where landscapes are exclusively created and moulded by natural forces such as wind, water, ice and snow. The frozen morphologies show the striking aspects of High Arctic landscapes and reveal the eternal in the transient of Frozen Morphs formed by snow, ice and bare rocks. My photos highlight the incredibly beautiful landscape consisting of simple, naturally shaped forms which have been created over millennia giving the impression of a never changing existence. Human impact causes change at a much faster pace than these natural, slow processes, imposing unpredictable changes on these active natural forces. Due to climate warming changes have accelerated at an unprecedented pace over the past centuries which has lead to a continuous transformation of pristine Genesis-landscape into cultivated land.
“Our inner goal, which gave direction to the outer goal in search for possible routes, was strongly influenced by the desire for pristine landscapes, untouched by humans. The aesthetics of the Arctic landscape, with its sparse nature, reduced to its essence should find room in the depths of our souls. Virtually, we sought for the permanent behind the transitory form or for the imperishable in the transient. Comparable with the desert experiences of the ancient Christian hermit monks hundreds of years ago, our image of Frozen Latitudes became complemented with a spiritual dimension: how will each of us deal with the experience of loneliness and absolute self-reliance?”