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An Icelandic Easter

Wild winds and snow across the fjord at Borgarnes.

An Icelandic horse in the Hóp bay.

Last week, Ruthie and I headed to Iceland for a quick Easter break. It was the first time that either of us had been there, despite having both dreamed about going for years. The weather was characteristically cold, windy and moody (including snow, rain, 100km/h winds and big sunshine all within an hour) but fun was had by all. In order to make the most of our limited time, we rented a car after one day in Reykjavik and headed up north, first to Akureyri (the second biggest city on the island) and then lake Myvatn. Our plans of going whale watching in Husavik were foiled by the high winds, but the views across the fjords made up for it. Finally, on the last evening, I gave a very nice slideshow at the Icelandic Alpine Club. All I can say is that I really wish to be back soon!

In the meantime, enjoy a selection of my images from the trip!

(Note: hover on an image to read the caption, and click for high resolution)

View from the Reykjavik harbor.

A scout march in Reykjavik, to celebrate Easter.

The view from the Reykjavik harbor.

The lavish new Reykjavik Opera House.

Mossy volcano near Borgarnes.

A fence near the crater of a volcano.

Running to the top of a volcano on the road to Akureyri.

The road to Akureyri.

Ruthie near Blönduós.

Geothermal power plant near Myvátn.

Myself jumping across the chasm in Grótagjá, near Myvátn.

High winds across Husavik.

A beach in Husavik.

Gulls play in the wind near Husavik.

The powerful waterfall of Gaddafoss.

Details of the Goddafoss waterfall.

Icelandic horses minding their own business in Hóp.

Looking inland from the Hóp bay.

A fence in the Hóp bay.

Hvitsekur, in the water.

Snowfall and volcanic ashes near Borgarnes.

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Reykjavik and Copenhagen slideshows

Copenhagen Climbing Club panorama.

Just a quick note before hopping on a plane and trading Danish sunshine for Icelandic rain: I will be giving two slideshows next week. The first one (not fully confirmed, but most probably happening) will take place at the Icelandic Alpine Club in Reykjavik on Monday (25th) evening, details TBA. The second one will be at the Copenhagen Climbing Club hall in Sundholm, on Thursday (28th), at 20:00. In both cases, I will show some of my favourite mountain pictures from the last few years and tell some of the stories behind them, as well as give some advice for photography in the mountains. If you are around in either location, don’t hesitate to drop by and say hello!

In other news, Remote Exposure has been getting some great reviews!

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It’s official: my first book, Remote Exposure, is now published!

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One and a half years ago, in a small Indian restaurant in Copenhagen, my friend Rune and I were having dinner after a good climbing session at the local wall. At some point in the conversation, he suggested that it could be a good idea for me to write a book about mountain photography. I had published a long article on the subject on the website Luminous Landscape but it had not occurred to me that I could go even further.

Rocky Nook was a natural choice to pitch the idea, as they are well known for the great quality of the writing of their photography books, as well as for printing them beautifully. Much to my surprise, they liked the concept right away and before I really knew what had happened, I had a publishing contract in front of me!

Fast forward a year of writing and collecting photos, followed by painstaking editing and, at the last minute, swapping out lots of images to make room for some of my latest photographs from Nepal, and the book is finally real. I received my advance copy a few weeks ago and was extremely impressed with the layout and the quality of the printing. Being a child of the digital age, it is fairly rare for me to see my images in print, so this was a double treat.

Well, the last stage of the publishing process is finally there: the books have reached the main warehouse, pre-orders are being shipped as I write, the press release went out, and Amazon US shows it in stock. Unfortunately, European readers will have to wait a few more days for enough copies to cross the Atlantic, availability is planned for around April 22nd.

To say this is exciting for me would be a huge understatement. I can’t wait for the first reviews to appear and for readers to start giving feedback. If you receive your copy, please drop me a line with your first impressions. I would also be eternally grateful to anyone who writes a review on Amazon (even if it’s not a five stars one).


In the meantime, here is the full text from the press release that Rocky Nook sent out yesterday:

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Remote Exposure: A Guide to Hiking and Climbing Photography

Santa Barbara, CA—April 5, 2011—Though many hikers and climbers carry cameras with them, they often come away feeling disappointed because their images fail to visually translate their experiences. In Remote Exposure(Rocky Nook, $29.95 USD), Alexandre Buisse goes beyond the mere basics of photography and gives you the tools needed to create images that are not only of good technical quality but that are compelling as well.

This book will guide you through the various options for equipment, since the requirement for lightweight gear that is able to withstand cold, adverse weather conditions presents unique challenges. Learn about the importance of having an efficient carrying system and a logical, planned workflow.

Throughout the book you will find advice on where to point your camera and how to compose a strong image. Included are specific requirements for rock climbing, hiking, mountaineering, and camping. More advanced photographic topics are also covered such as digital capture and optimization techniques like high dynamic range imaging (HDRI), panoramic stitching, and how to achieve excellent results without a tripod.

The pages are filled with 100 stunning images captured by Buisse as he hiked and climbed through mountain ranges on four continents. Photographers of all levels and those who just appreciate beautiful images are sure to be inspired by this book.

Foreword by Cory Richards (member of the historic climbing expedition that recently reached the summit of Gasherbrum II in winter).

About the Author

Alexandre Buisse was born in Lyon, France. Growing up there meant frequent trips to the Alps, often to the Chamonix valley, which planted the seeds for his love of the mountains. Ironically, it wasn’t until he moved to flat Scandinavia that, pushed by a friend, he took up climbing. He has since traveled and climbed on four continents and in most major world ranges.

Alexandre began taking a serious interest in photography in 2005—just in time for his 20th birthday—and hasn’t put his camera down ever since. His initial motivation was to record and share the wonderful views that he encountered while hiking in the French Alps and, later, on his mountaineering expeditions. Though he also shoots in urban environments, his heart decidedly lies with nature and adventure photography.

He currently lives in Denmark, where he is switching careers from academic research to full-time adventure photography; he plans to move back to France soon.


You can buy Remote Exposure from Amazon US and Amazon UK or in any good English language bookstore.

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A great honor: wallpapers for Alpinist magazine

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In the world of climbing and outdoor magazines often riddled with ads, printed on thin paper and with relatively shallow articles, there is one publication that really stands out: the quarterly American magazine Alpinist, often closer to a thin illustrated book than to a real mag. Not only is it great to keep in touch with cutting edge mountaineering (which doesn’t get reported nearly as well as more quantifiable sport climbing and bouldering ascents), but it is also an amazing source of inspiration. I always know that within minutes of picking any issue up, I will be psyched to go climbing something big and scary. As a photographer, I also really appreciate that they promote such good and creative photography and pay special attention to their printing on beautiful, thick paper. It is the only magazine I am subscribed to, and I even went as far as paying good money to acquire some of the back issues (sadly difficult since a fire destroyed most of them a few years ago).

For all these reasons, I am very happy to report that their web editor chose a selection of my images for the wallpapers that they make available on their website. You should go take a look over there: Alpinist wallpapers.

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