Fire Meets Ice in the Naughty Weather Conditions Favoured by This Photographer

In this original Summer series we’re packing our bags and catching up with some of our favourite travel photographers from across the web. These creatives each bring a unique angle to the field; explore their work and polish your own holiday pics.

The art of landscape photography has fascinated Russian creative Daniel Kordan since his childhood, spent roving in the wilderness around a beautiful lake district below Moscow. Whilst Daniel runs photography expeditions and shoots for commercial clients as prolific as Red Bull and Apple, his travel photography has an artful juxtaposition that caught our eye: burning sunlight meets scorching cold.


Daniel’s passion for the outdoors only grew whilst working on his university quantum physics thesis, alongside mountain climbing and guiding tourist groups. The beauty of physics and the beauty of art converge in rugged natural landscapes, and Daniel Kordan is an expert at capturing this dramatic contrast through photography that reflects both fiery sunlight and chill icy climes.

His work has won a number of awards, from 2013′s National Geographic Russia prize, and Best Landscape Photographer at the Trierenberg Super Circuit award. He’s been published in titles from National Graphic to Digital SLR Magazine.


“Nature is my inspiration, with all the beauty and variety of colours and compositions,” Daniel shares, and we’re homing in on one of our favourite of his contrasting themes.

THE PLUS: You capture those rare moments of scorching sunlight on frozen landscapes – where’s the best place to go for this kind of combination?
Daniel Kordan:
I’m an Arctic man. I love the North, I love snow, and tough adventures. Usually in the ice kingdoms of Greenland or Norway it’s possible to capture fire and ice.

TP: What’s the attraction for you about these kinds of landscapes?
It’s an everlasting poem about good and evil, black and white, yin and yang. I love scenes where I can reproduce all variety of colours and tones.


TP: What kind of edit do you use for these images?
Editing is like a cherry on the top of a cake. It’s not the essence, but it wraps the presentation. I use lots of processing techniques, but the idea is to have photo gently processed.

TP: So we wouldn’t catch you using X-Pro II on Instagram…?
The photography world is overflowing with nuked landscapes or terrible HDR images. Nature deserves to be treated with care, even in photos.


TP: Are you a hot or cold weather kind of guy?
I really like cold. Not just because I was born in Russia. My soul is attached to snowy Arctic landscapes with a dramatic mood.

TP: Aren’t they pretty tough environments to work in?
It’s a great challenge to take a good photo in the stormy and naughty weather conditions of the North. But it drives me; I like complicated problems to solve.


TP: Of all the things you see whilst travelling, what makes you stop and take out the camera?
I admire nature. My camera takes me to incredible locations and helps me meet amazing people on my way. So I capture these moments on my camera: people, backstage, small details of nature.

TP: You’re a physicist by training; what influence do you think this has had on your work?
I’m not afraid to take the first step. It’s so simple to open the door and walk. Physicists are childlike by nature: always willing to explore and learn.


TP: Any unusual photography tips you’ve picked up on your travels?
Half of success is good planning. Plan every photo before you start: study the light situation, read travel reports, meet with locals. If you are photographer, travel with the same spirit – mad photographers plan unusual trips and come prepared with ideas.

TP: How can people make the best of their travels?
Just travel. Don’t think about making the best of it, and don’t set too many expectations. Enjoy the journey, no matter the result.


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