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Nordic Light Festival Review

Back in December I wrote about being included in the Nordic Light International Festival of Photography in Kristiansund, Norway. The festival was April 22 – 27th, and was SUCH A BLAST! I’ll say this for Norwegians- they sure do know how to party!

Leaving Baltimore to go to Norway in April was an interesting challenge. Just as the weather was warming up here, the temps in Norway were topping out in the 50’s. Although you wouldn’t know it from the photo of Kristiansund above, there was also occasional rain, sleet, and snow to boot. We had come prepared, packing winter coats and cold weather gear, but arrived to find that our suitcases had (of course) not made it.

Patricia and I with Marian, decked out in our Nordic winter gear!

Fortunately, our host Marianne Andersen was prepared, and was so gracious to provide us with coats, scarves, warm socks and shoes. We were promptly taken care of, and felt so warm and welcome despite the chilly weather.

The festival featured a slew of excellent and talented photographers, including Alex Webb, Chris Rainier, Steve McCurry, Leysis Quesada, Nelson Ramirez De Arellano, and Pedro Abascal. It was exciting to meet so many amazing photographers from around the world and hear them talk about their work and processes. It made for a truly invigorating and inspiring atmosphere. The festival included 15 impressive exhibitions, great panel discussions, and even photography trivia at night in the local bar!

My visit to the festival included a presentation where I had the opportunity to discuss my work and the creative process, and it could not have been more well received. Everyone seemed to really respond to my images, and I was flattered to have the talk end with a standing ovation!

In addition to the wonderful experience we had at the festival, the Norwegian landscape was breathtaking. Norway is known for it’s beautiful fjords– long, deep inlets of the sea formed by glacial activity between high cliffs. We managed to take a trip outside of Kristiansund to see some and they were stunning. The water there is an amazing shade of blue and the Norwegian countryside was simply gorgeous.

The trip to Norway was one I will never forget. I have had a number of fortunate opportunities to travel to various workshops in the past year or so, and it has been a real privilege being able to meet so many people from around the world who share a passion for photography. Again and again I have been amazed at the power visual language has to transcend cultural differences. The potential for connecting to other human beings on real, deep, and meaningful levels through the medium of photography is astounding, and never ceases to astound me. With more workshops just around the corner, I can hardly wait to see what lies ahead…

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