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Moodscapes | A small chat with icelandic photographer Rebekka Gudleifsdottir and her recently released book

Moodscapes Rebekka Gudleifsdottir

Today I am launching a new space on my blog where I will be inviting photographers that have somehow inspired me on becoming a travel photographer to have a small chat, talk about their work, techniques and share their experience in all the different aspects involved in being a photographer these days.

I’m delighted to have as my very first guest the icelandic photographer Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir. Rebekka masters the art of landscape photography, named the “Web’s Top Photographer” by the Wall Street Journal and I’ve been following her work now since 2009.

I’ve just finished reading her recently released book Moodscapes – The Theory and Practise of Fine-Art Landscape Photography, a very pleasant and easy readying. The book covers a wide variety of subjects from the origins and basics of photography (both digital and film photography) to post processing methods and the definition of moodscape.

Rebekka also suggests a few good ideas to try out along with how you can find inspiration for your images. She also explains how the online communities and social media usage helped her to stand out from the crowd.

Throughout the book you will also be able to appreciate a few of her portfolio images, including the killer self-portraits within the beautiful and unique Icelandic landscape that Rebekka is very well known for.


Moodscapes – The Theory and Practise of Fine-Art Landscape Photography | Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir

I took the opportunity to have a small chat and ask her a few questions:

What inspired you to write Moodscapes and how long did it take to complete it?

Ilex Press actually approached me with the idea for the book. They had already come up with the title, and thought I would be the right person to write it. More than a year passed from the time we first started talking about it until it was published. The actual writing process took me around six months. I had wanted to do a book about landscapes for a long time, so I was of course thrilled that the publisher actually came to me, and not the other way around.

What was the main challenge that you faced to write Moodscapes?

I faced a lot of new challenges while working on this project. I needed to be extremely organized, which is not one of my talents, and of course I had to do a lot of research in order to make sure all the facts I state in the book are correct. At the same time, I tried my best to make it an enjoyable read while still being educational, and was very stressed about making mistakes and having them pointed out to me online after publication. So far that hasn’t happened, thankfully :)

Did you shoot any of Moodscapes’ photographs specially to be featured in the book?

I shot quite a few new images for the book, but probably more than 70% of them existed previously, many of which I’d never shared online and were just waiting to be used in a book like this. Most of the northern light pictures were shot specially for the book, and some of the photos in the film chapter. There are also quite a few illustrations and photos meant to explain things I discuss in the text, which I made for the book specially.

Can you name 3 locations outside Iceland where you would like to shoot self-portraits?

Good question.. Let’s say northern Finland, the Australia, and Greenland.

How much are you active within the social media today (Flickr, 500px, Instagram, etc..)?

I’m not nearly as active as I was first when I was establishing myself as a photographer. Like most people I spend way too much time on Facebook, but I don’t post as often to Flickr as I used to. This is mostly because I’ve been so extremely busy with “real life” stuff, like dealing with my two teenagers, spending time with my boyfriend when he’s not out at sea working, and making a living somehow (I’m currently working as a preschool teacher), that I’ve had much less time to just be creative with my photography. When I was most active on Flickr I was an art school student living with my parents, on student loans, and could spend pretty much 90% of my time creating stuff. I do miss that. I still have lots of ideas though, and I believe I still haven’t created my best work.

Are you working on any other project at the moment? Can you tell a bit about it?

I’ve been working on a book project with my boyfriend since 2011, which we finished photographing this summer, called Weather Experience. I now need to finish writing the text for that and see if I can get it published. I have several other book ideas floating around in my head, as well as ideas for photo series that I’m looking forward to creating. I’m never satisfied that I’ve reached my potential, so I just plan to keep working on getting better at what I do.

Rebekka Gudleifsdottir

© Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir

Thanks Rebekka for taking the time. Needless to say that we are looking forward to see the new projects already.
Meanwhile, here is where you can find more about Rebekka and keep updated about her recent work: Website | Facebook | Flickr.

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