- in In Pictures
Seaside swimmers, snowy landscapes and the aurora borealis are some of the contrasting local scenes captured by pairs of photographers working over 800 miles apart.
Professional and hobbyist photographers in Portobello, Edinburgh, and Akureyri, Iceland, connected online over their mutual seaside locations.
Despite their distance, virtual pairs produced images on shared themes around their local areas.
An outdoor exhibition of their work, Two Places at Sea, forms part of Edinburgh’s Art Walk Porty 2020 festival.
Here is a selection of some of the pairs’ photographs, and their comments on their work.
In_pictures Theme: On the way home
Poppies by the Sea (Deplasólir við sjóinn) – Jon Davey
“During the Scottish Covid-19 lockdown, I kept to a relatively strict pattern of activity, staying indoors except for twice-weekly visits to shops, even when the restrictions allowed outdoor exercise.
“I think the stress of shopping in those early days put me off from venturing out for any other reason.
“It was only as things eased further and we all became used to the ‘new normal’ that I resumed walks along the beach to Joppa and beyond.
“This view from Joppa looking back towards Portobello and home after a longer walk to Musselburgh also represents my personal journey back to being the sort of person who walks along the beach where I live.”
Kvöldkyrrð (In the Still of the Night) – Kristjana Agnarsdóttir
“One night I was strolling around my neighbourhood, which I think is the most beautiful part of Akureyri.
“The old town by the pond.
“It is so peaceful in that area, enjoying the stillness and the birdlife, people walking, one or two cyclists, geese raising their young ones and the sun sinking into the sea in the north.
“It was waving goodnight to me on my way home.”
In_pictures Theme: Life on the Beach
Sunrise Swimmers (Synt við sólarupprás) – Anna Moffat
“I’ve lived in Portobello for 14 years and often noticed small groups of swimmers out in all weathers.
“It was not until around a year ago that I was persuaded to give it a go, and in an instant was hooked.
“The cold water hit is addictive and the feeling of togetherness enriches my life in so many ways – there’s no better way to start the day.”
Vetrarbirta (Winter Light) – Lilja Guðmundsdóttir
“There is not much going on at the beach during this time of the year, but sometimes we get visitors who make us happy and are fun to photograph.
“In the wintertime the daylight is often very beautiful, and occasionally the frost fog brings a fairy-tale glow to the environment.”
In_pictures Theme: Looking Out
Do Whatever Makes Your Heart Smile (Gerðu það sem fær hjarta þitt til að brosa) – Jennifer Elliot
“It was the light in the jasmine plant leaves that caught my eye while making dinner for the family, but this window gives me a lot of pleasure.
“I’ve gathered friends and family there.
“The purple plant was a gift from my French mum; the paper flower was made by my mum and daughter a few years back; the jasmine is a survival story; the glass jars a wedding gift from the Danish friend who introduced my husband and me; an Ocean Fire pot; the candles and other plants were gifts; the paint brushes drying – a result of my lockdown DIY frenzy; the crabs and scallop shell gathered by my son; my wedding rings on the window ledge; and all looking out to our own birch tree and wee walled garden.
Útsýnið úr stofuglugganum (Living Room With a View) – Guðný Pálína Sæmundsdóttir
“I’ve lived in the same house, built by my parents when I was three years old, for most of my life.
“I did move out when I met my husband and we lived in Norway for a while, but when moving back to Akureyri we bought the house from my mother (then a widow).
”This photo, taken in January this year, shows the view from our living room window at sunset.
“Having such a wonderful, ever-changing view is one of the reasons I’m not so keen on selling the house, even though it has become too big for us now that our children have left the nest.”
In_pictures Theme: My Favourite Place
From the Ground Up (Frá jörðu til himins) – Tommy Black
“We both chose photographs taken from the beaches to the west of our respective communities, which we love for the sense of space.
“My photo was taken one evening as lockdown started to ease, at 22:44.
“It was one of those summer evenings that seems to go on forever.
“A few folk were having fires just behind where the shot was taken.
“There was a feeling of lightness as I walked out along the sand (tunes on, of course).”
Frá jörðu til himins (From the Ground Up) – Guðrún Kristín Valgeirsdóttir
“I chose this place because this is where I go to relax and gather my thoughts.
“I take my dogs there, allow them to run free in playful games.
“This is also my favourite spot to capture the auroras while they dance in the night sky in their most beautiful way.
“I know few other things that are more fulfilling than to stand there with my camera and stare at those lights while they brighten up the cold dark winter sky.”
In_pictures Theme: Expand Your Horizon
Crossroads (Krossgötur) – Adam Varga
“The west end of Portobello has been influential to the town, as the local industry and industrial landscape dominated the town’s life, both socially and economically.
“The post-industrial changes brought new horizons into the life of the people of Portobello, as recently the Baileyfield area has been redeveloped with housing and expanded our community.
“We are here to celebrate the new landscape and the people who will live in and transform this landscape.
“My picture reflects on both the post-industrial transformation and serves as a memento in the history of the ever-changing west end of Portobello.”
Speglun (Reflection) – Berglind H Helgadóttir
“I have often stopped the car at this exact place close to Akureyri to take a picture over the fjord.
“It has usually been at sunset during summer, when the sun shines golden or red light on the clouds and the sea.
“This time it’s not the redness in the sky that makes me step out of the car, but the light and the gloomy cloud that lies over part of the fjord.
“Luck is with me because as soon as I have placed the tripod and adjusted the camera, the streetlights in the town turn on and the sea calms down.
“I take a few pictures and observe the interplay of light and shadow as the dark cloud spreads.
“Underneath it, the town looks a bit small and at the horizon you can see the mountain Kaldbakur bathing in the spotlight.”
Part of the Art Walk Porty 2020 festival,
Two Places at Sea runs from 5 September-31 October 2020 in Portobello, Edinburgh. A simultaneous outdoor exhibition is being held in Akureyri, Iceland.