Swedish Laponia

 A couple of years ago, on a National Geographic assignment, we had the privilege of uncovering some of the most captivating landscapes of the Laponia World Heritage Site. This mission inspired us to seek a deeper understanding of the region's unique ecosystems, as well as the colours, forms and patterns of the landscape. We looked for an intriguing texture and detail, or the unexpected moment of light that brought atmosphere or magic to the landscape. Furthermore, encountering wildlife that trusted our presence, created unique opportunities to portray some of the characteristic species of this region in their natural environment.

 

 

The huge distances were the biggest challenge throughout our exploration of Laponia's 9400 square kilometer expanse of forests, mountains and mires. We roamed for long periods in remote areas—up to five weeks at a time—hiking, canoeing and skiing. We had to rely on our equipment and our own skills to accomplish these trips, in areas without trails or mobile phone connection. We have never experienced such a level of disconnection from society, both physically and emotionally, as when working in this region. Getting away from the noise and stresses of the wider world, we found ourselves absorbed in the endless landscape, open to the flow of all of those unexpected events that nature will certainly surprise us with if we tune in, ready to see. Mastering the challenging forces of nature presented to us day after day over a long period of time, filled us with contentment, and the desire to embrace this anew has had a great impact on our choices ever since.