A young Nepali lighting candles at Swayambhunath in Kathmandu. As holiday season begins, my thoughts always drift to the spiritual celebrations at this Buddhist temple - where monks and visitors light up thousands of candles that illuminate the whole hill as a beacon over Kathmandu. I'll post a few images to show you what I mean.
Spending a few weeks in one of my favourite places on earth: South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Currently here scouting for a new venture, and its great to be back in the field with old and new friends.
Epic view, huh?
This was one of those mornings after 2,5h of sleep, where the bedroll was trying to trick you back to sleep and you feel the nauesea coming with every sharp turn of the plane. Glad I got up.
Imagine being shut off from the world through winter.
That's what happens when you live in Taasilaq, the largest village in Eastern Greenland. In summer there's just a few icebergs in front of the village, but in winter the whole fjord freezes over! That's why the ships can't come in - for over 6 months - and the villagers have to make do with what they already have.
Two glaciers, slowly moving into the Arctic waters, melting into fjords of Greenland. Even though these glaciers look absolutely massive compared to any other I've seen, the irony is they've never been so small as today.
While out and about with the @auroraarktika this summer, when I shot this frame, we flipped through books of old photos from the same vantage point. Yet we could barely place ourselves in the photos - as the glaciers were so large that time that the fjord wasn't even visible.
Currently researching for a new project on climate change, which is as depressing a subject as it is important. It's simply the one and only story of our common future on this planet.
Natural shapes. In this case, a small iceberg photographed in the middle of the day - with the sun being so strong that mountain shadows turn black on the Arctic sea.
I find it very soothing to revert so classic still photography of abstract shapes sometimes. As we work with 360-video and VR stories, that often focus on being extremely realistic and capturing those all-encompassing views of a story, there's not much room for abstraction.
But yeah. Icebergs.
Few people know that vultures are some of the most endangered species in the world.
Often frowned upon because of their depictions in popular culture (the lion king etc) as well as association with eating dead animals - they should actually be celebrated for just that. Being scavengers that pick up the rest of what other animals leave behind, they're an important part of the ecosystem.
But their numbers are dwindling. Being at the top of the food chain they get the accumulated waste and chemicals from everything they eat. Not surprisingly - they are deeply affected by a human invention: diclofenac. This drug, used in veterinary medicine for cattle, is toxic for the birds and has led to a devastating decline of vultures in India and other places.
This is a White-Backed vulture photographed in South Luangwa last year, as we filmed the #lion360 project.
Fixing a blown tire in the searing heat, while a seasonal storm is virtually already upon you. Zambia wilderness work in a nutshell... While filming the #lion360 project, this was a large part of our daily routine - as the tires go out all the time just because of the heat. I think we had well above 40 degrees Celsius (105F) every single day.
A lioness of Mwamba pride stalking warthogs in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
I remember this moment perfectly, where me and @eriklofblad had been tracking the pride for a full five hours without seeing a glimpse of them. And then she suddenly appeared - ever stalking through the bush of South Luangwa. This was a good day, where we got tons of footage that went into the final film.
My favourite kind of moment. It's 4:30 or something, and the sun is just rising. Yet we've been up for several hours, speeding on the choppy roads of the national park to find what we're looking for: Gibson the lion and his mother.
Filming in remote locations is usually quite exhausting, but moments like these are beautiful counterparts to all the hard work.
This was our life for a month last fall, filming the #lion360 film that you can watch for free on @natgeo's facebook or youtube.
Excited to head back to these great researchers and wildlife protectors soon, continuing to document their awesome work.
A true expert! I love how Nepali shops are often completely focused on one thing alone.
Like Mr. Patel here - an expert in tea. Walk into his realm of leaves from all over Asia, and he'll tell you everything about every aspect, every harvest. His tiny shop in Kathmandu is just crammed full, floor to ceiling, of the thing he loves to sell.
If that isn't love for your trade, I dont know what is.
I'm just back in Sweden - already missing the bustle of Kathmandu. Nice thing I got a little tea with me.
Razor sharp peaks, just randomly popping out of the clouds as the weather moves about you. And then, in an instant, they dissappear in a shroud of white again.
That's pretty much how I'd describe the feeling of being in the Himalayas.
I never get used to this, as the Himalayas always hide something larger and higher behind the next cloud. You never get this kind of sudden glimpses of 6000m peaks in the Swedish mountains... (Perhaps since our tallest mountain is just about 2100m). It's the thrill of being in Nepal - the massive mountains that inspire - but also kind of scare you.
This little town, Namche Bazaar in Nepal, has a quite unique history. If it wasn't for the proximity of Mt. Everest this place would probably still be just a farm haven with a few fundred people. That's what it used to be.
But Mt. Everest is close. And that's why, every year, over 30 000 people pass through here. This year it might be as much as 50 000. Most of these are not climbers, but hikers and travelers - eager to see the beauty of the Himalayas.
This has shaped the town in all aspects - it's people are now completely reliant on tourism and it's very expensive compared to the rest of Nepal - even Kathmandu. There are no farmers left. The expansion of tourism has helped in many ways - but there are also lots of negative effects. Not least on the environment.
I've been working here on and off for several years, and coming back I realize actually know a lot of the people here by now. It feels great to be back.
Alpine boots, hiking poles... And a rifle. Exploration in Greenland has that extra twist to it - with potential polar bears around every corner.
Growing up in one of these remote villages, you learn to handle a gun early on. I've never held a rifle in my life, but luckily we had some experienced members on the team looking out for us while we climbed.
Photo from our last few weeks exploring with @auroraarktika, as we did a day trip to the summit of Polheim close to Tasiilaq.
Human existence. About 100 people live here in Tiilerilaaq.
Arriving in East Greenland after getting through the belt of ice, the populated villages looks like this. Compared to West Greenland, which houses a lot of peoole, this side of Greenland is almost completely wild.
It's difficult to even imagine the hardship of living in these extremely remote villages.
Right now, they're green and open. Beautiful, rugged houses and small ports - with people out and about on summer errands.
In the winter? I think this place is a tough place to hibernate.
You can see the ice has just broken off in a few pieces? That's because @katjaado just had a morning dance on top of it - and had to jump onto the bowsprit rigging as the ice broke with a loud crack. Her toes touched the water, barely escaping the 0.5°C warm water.
After two full days crossing the Greenland sound, and another full day finding our way through the belt of ice, we finally arrived to Greenland.
Photo from the mast of @auroraarktika
I just can't wait to get back on this ship. Just spent two weeks aboard this beauty - the @auroraarktika - exploring the wilderness of Eastern Greenland.
Here, the ship is neatly anchored a few hours from the small village of Tiniteqilaaq, with the crew out exploring in the mountains. I've seldomly been on a trip as exploratory as this one. From day one, we simply had no idea of where to go - just that we wanted to explore. And it turned out to be quite an extraordinary journey.
Not the crossing from Iceland to Greenland though - that had me floored for about 4 days in a row. Even though I lost several days to the sea sickness, seeing this absolutely magnificent (and gigantic) continent of a country up close was definitely worth it.
Thanks to the crew - but most of all to the machine of a man @aurorasigjons - for taking us there. And back again.
I love their character among other birds. Gulls and other seabirds are a pain to be around, living in pits of their own shit and screaming rheir lungs out 24/7.
Puffins, however, are completely quiet. And they live in small burrows on the cliff, kind of like the bird version of hobbit houses.
I have a thousand shots of these guys - and they're always cute up close. But I like layerad shots like this one more. You can see the dramatic cliffs of the Faroe islands in the background, and get a sense of what kind of frontier-living bird this is.
That, and the fact that it's a spectacularly beautiful animal.
The Faroese Sheep are everywhere on the islands: they say there's more than two sheep for every person living here.
On Lítla Dímun, the island in the previous photo, sheep are held in so high regard that people spend lots of time going back and forth to the uninhabited island - to keep the roaming sheep well fed and clean (hence the annual shearing). It's also so the sheep don't overheat, since summers can get up to 20°C (about 68°F). That's considered a hot summer in the Faroes.
This photo was actually captured on the island of Mykines - but it was the most charming guy we met. While all the others ran at the sight of us, this guy stuck around - curiously posing for photos.
Or to be more specific - the smallest one of them.
Lítla Dímun in front, Stóra Dímun in back. Lítla Dímun is the smallest of the main 18 islands, being less than 100 hectares in area, and is the only uninhabited one. Unless you don't count the 300 sheep who live here alone.
Me and @rapparsven were fortunate enough to go here last week - as one of the very few people who set foot on this island every year - with the Faroese crew who went to shear the sheep.
Shot from a drone (my longest flight yet - probably 1.3km from me) last week on an exploration trip with the @ivarsthlm team
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Another great view of the Droid making its way into the Mwamba pride in Zambia, during our shoot for #VRLions. After a while, the lions completely accepted its presence - even sleeping next to it at times.