Marc Jovani composes the music for Elements of Iceland, an outstanding tour to the greatness and beauty of this Nordic island nation, defined by its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, hot springs and lava fields.

Shooting and direction by Adrien Mauduit. French photographer and film producer who loves taking shots of the different parts of the world he visits and specially the outstanding Scandinavian nature.

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(Original text from the video)

As Iceland’s tourism is presently skyrocketing, probably out of recognition after one of its volcanoes (Eyjafjallajökull) erupted in 2010, it was imperative for me to get there while the nature is still preserved. Rest assured that there were other reasons! To see some decent northern lights for one, or also an overwhelming and virtually uncharted wild life, for the sake of the few organisms that live there at least. During my week of backpacking with my roommate Ulrik Møller from Denmark, I was struck by how mineral Icelandic landscapes are, underlying harsh and inhospitable living conditions. The biting cold, the constant moist and the nutrient-poor soil offer shelter to only the most docile species. Although barren in appearance, Iceland is far from being boring. The experience of a week and the whole impression of the country helped to find a fitting title for this short film: ‘Elements of Iceland’. If the land is not defined by its biodiversity, it surely constituted by the elements.

The canvas of my film was to present Iceland in a different way (as there are a myriad of beautiful videos out there), by juxtaposing all the elements that highlighted my seven days in the country. I also tried to put them in an order that would allow me to find nice transitions, from ice to liquid water, from Earth to air and from light energy to heat energy. The challenge was for me to showcase the elements without any human interaction in the frame to get a purer picture of the mineral nature of Iceland. I stayed in the south-west part of the country and was based at 10 kilometers from Þhingevellir national park where I shot the oceanic rift scenes and all the northern light pictures. We drove all the way to Vatnajökull glacier and Jökulsárlón lagoon to get the ice pictures. The hotspring/steam/geyser scenes were shot in Geysir and Reykjadalur. We also shot at some remote locations, such as near Mount Hekla, Friðland að Fjallabaki, or Eyjafjallajökull…

The very first challenge was to get a maximum of clips and pictures under almost constant rain for a week. It took a serious toll on my cameras, as plastic bag protection obviously wasn’t enough (my Sony a7r2 almost died!). My roommate and I drove and hiked each day in specific locations, most of them being far from tourists. We saw the sun just a couple of times, and a lucky window of 3 hours of ‘cloud-free’ (said the Icelanders 🙂 ) gave me the opportunity to shoot some beautiful green and purple aurorae.The second challenge was the wind: being allowed 23kg on-board our flight, I only took the lightest tripods, meaning that they weren’t as sturdy as those at home, and a lot of my shots needed post-process stabilization. 

Even if the video hardly gives a foretaste of how truly majestic the country is, one can only appreciate its grand nature while being there. It’s merely a humbling experience when you are standing next to throusand-meter-thick glaciers or when the mountain in front of you looks close but actually is 20 miles away. There really is something spiritual about this place, hidden beneath a seemingly desertic and elemental mask. All nature-lovers will adore roaming its breath-taking landscapes, as I did.

You can find more information about the film at adphotography-online.com. All shots have been recorded with Sony a7r2, Sony a7s and Canon 6D and iPhone 7. Thank you for watching and I hope you enjoyed the marvels of Iceland as much as I did. Don’t hesitate to like, comment, share and of course follow me for more 4K videos!

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