“Off the Grid” is In Sight’s new weekly feature, spotlighting the work of photographers who document lifestyles a little further and farther afield from the bustle and chaos of modern civilization. We are seeking stories from the remote corners, quiet nooks and deserted lands of the world. To submit your series to In Sight for consideration, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Armed with a 4×5 camera and a desire to be re-inspired, photographer Roman Jehanno and his girlfriend fled to the fjords of Norway in the summer of 2014 to capture the region’s serene beauty. Its undisturbed nature and isolation a welcome antidote to the fury of cities.
“I was having a very dense year of work,” Jehanno told In Sight. “And in 2014 I wanted to go back to the roots of photography. I wanted to forget for a week about all of my digital gear and just go have a road trip in a wild place looking for people and strong landscapes. Norway came up very quickly, and in about a week the whole trip was planned, and my girlfriend and I were on the road. This trip was a way to get back the pleasure of shooting with this large-format camera. The only rule: to shoot only one frame for each picture. This was very intense and offered long waiting times in front of amazing landscapes to achieve the perfect light. I think this way of work is the best way to feel in the moment. I wanted the viewer to be totally captured by the landscape in the same way I was when I shot it. That’s why all the prints are so big (150 x 120cm). They were made to be meditative pictures, the ones you sit in front of and become introspective, letting your eyes wander where they want as if you were physically there.”
When did you start your ‘Norwegian Episode’ series, and what compelled you?
The first part of 2014 had been a great year for me, with a lot of advertising work and winning the Hasselblad Master contest. So when August came, I felt the need to take a real break from the everyday way of life. After a few days of research, I booked tickets for Norway, booked a car and grabbed my tent and my Sinar camera for a week of analog photography in the amazing lands of Norway. On this little 2,300-mile road trip, I really tried to avoid any big city and enjoyed going back to the roots of nature and photography.
We spent one day walking on the Nigardsbreen Glacier, where we met Sebastian (fourth photo), who I photographed at the end of the hike. He is a guide on the glacier during the summer and goes back to Sweden during the rest of the year, where he looks after his bees and beehives to make honey. I then went straight to the Atlantic Road, passing through unbelievable lands. On our way back to Oslo, we had to go through the Dovrefjell and Rondane national parks.
How would you define living life off the grid?
The main thing I note is how easy it is for people to talk with you about real things and not complain about nonsense the way so many people do in big cities. On my trip in Norway, we talked about very deep and intense things. I think that’s the best definition of living off the grid these days.
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