Sometimes the most memorable images can be the hardest ones to take. But it's in these moments that photography makes sense, offering true escapism and clarity.
A camera is the greatest passport into lesser-known places and hidden cultures, as photography fuels exploration beyond the obvious. And so it was earlier this year, when we flew into Iceland with expedition photographer Martin Hartley. Over the course of three days, we experienced a variety of weather, from driving horizontal rain near the coast to snow blizzards and a wind chill that dropped the temperature to -12ºC. It was a beautiful reminder that the power of nature is far beyond our control; we are merely spectators.
The mission was to take the Frank Hurley Photographer's Jacket deep into the elements for which it was conceived. Hartley, equipped with the Leica SL-System, was tasked with a photographic expedition that took him from the lowlands near the capital Reykjavík far up into the highlands, traversing vast moss fields and wind-whipped ridges to reach remote snow-covered peaks. It is here, far from bright city lights and creature-comforts we now take for granted, that Hartley feels most alive.
After more than 400 days on polar expeditions, Hartley has endured some of the most testing conditions on earth. He knows all too well how the cold will expose any weakness and how it can have an effect on the mind and body, but he has leaned that sometimes the best photos are taken in these toughest moments. You’ll only know if you are still out there.