What was the trip concept?
To join a week long sailing and running adventure in Iceland with an athlete. We were invited by Thule Trails, who specialize in guided running tours and were based on a 60ft ketch during the trip, which we used as a roving mountain hut –we would sail deep in to a fjord, anchor, spend the night, then early in the morning Siggi, our salty old sea dog captain would drop us off and we would then spend the best part of the day running to the next fjord where he would meet us with his yacht.
We were running between 20km and 40km over hugely mixed terrain. We’d go from sandy beaches to glacier within 300m of elevation! A lot of it was exploratory running; we seldom had a trail to run on. The northwest tip of Iceland is the remotest part of the country. The area has been uninhabited for more than 60 years and has allowed the wilderness to flourish. With no roads, this area is only accessible by sea.
But you like the physical part?
Yeah, I particularly like those shoots that demand physical and camera skills in equal measure. I come from a competitive sport background, adventure racing, kayaking, running, biking and swimming. Getting to keep up with an athlete satisfies my competitive instincts. In South Africa for the Drakensberg Grand Traverse project, I ran the entire 180km route during the recce.
What was the most challenging part this time?
Trying to put the camera down. In mid July it doesn’t get dark. The light is good almost every hour of the day. One of the standout things about this part of Iceland is the variety of photographic locations. Around every corner was something different to capture, towering cliffs with millions of nesting seabirds, waterfalls that plunge straight into the sea, glaciers, lush valleys, and of course the running. It was non-stop.
We saw a number of Arctic fox along the way including on one morning, an adult fox carrying a dead seagull back to its den. We followed the fox and were rewarded by getting to see her three young cubs. It’s very special encountering wildlife on foot – a sensory overload of sorts, being confronted by smells, sounds, sights you don't get in any other way.
Who was the story for?
It was a joint project for Thule Trails and Nathan Sports. These days, with trail running, I often get asked to capture less race and performance focused stories and more lifestyle orientated stories. This was all about selling the running lifestyle and Iceland’s a great place for that.
Photographing a 600 nautical mile yacht race around the Mediterranean for the Red Bulletin. I’ll be on board a 70 foot trimaran documenting the race. Should be wet and wild.
Make sure to check out Kelvin's finalist entry in the Gallery as well as the work of all of the other Red Bull Illume photographers and vote for your favorite photograph for the Public Choice Award, which will be handed out mid-2018.