Photographer Magnus Werner
Magnus Werner is a photography aficionado from Stockholm, Sweden, currently based in Tromsö, Norway. He loves an adventure and has travelled around many parts of the world. After leaving work in Austria, he ended up in one of Norway’s many beautiful places, Tromsö, where he now lives, explores and documents in the form of his amazing photography. We found his Instagram account and fell in love.
Hi Magnus! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm going to try not to make this sound like some dating add. Hi there! I'm Magnus, a tall, laidback, longhaired lad originally from the capital of Sweden. I moved away from home at the age of 18 and studied tourism and ski/snowboard instructing in Orsa, Sweden. After graduation I travelled around for many years, working mostly on my snowboard as an instructor/guide. I worked in countries like Austria, Greece, Japan and Australia. When I was not traveling I was back home in Sweden, saving money for my next trip. I’ve always been chasing snow and mountains and never really been able to settle in the big city of Stockholm. During these years I inevitably developed a strong connection to the mountains, and from that came a certain respect and humbleness towards nature and weather. Something I've been carrying with me ever since, always trying to learn more, see more and care more for our precious environment.
How did you end up in Norway?
Somewhere along my travels I found myself working in Austria again. Only this time I met a super smooth Norwegian girl who also worked there. This girl completely rocked my world and her plans after leaving Austria was to study in Norway, in Tromsö to be specific.
I gave it a quick Google and saw the nature and how close to the mountains it was and realised pretty soon that I was going to end up there as well, so I asked her nicely if she would let me move there with her, and she did!
What makes Norway so special?
Well except from the "postcard nature" and surreal coastline I would say from a photographer’s point of view, Northern Norway is special because of the light conditions.
Sitting at 69 degrees north of Tromsö gets what you call a Polar Night, which lasts from November to January, when the sun doesn’t rise at all and opposite the midnight sun, from May to July, when it doesn't set. These periods, and especially just before and after these periods are heaven to shoot in. Just imagine never-ending sunsets and sunrises and you get the idea.
Can you give us some of your golden Norwegian spots?
One of my favourite spots up here is definitely a spot called Grötfjord. It's a small community on a stretch of beach sitting right below the mountains and facing straight out to sea. From the beach you can see auroras, whales and eagles, which sounds a lot like a made up fantasy now that I’m saying it.
Your pictures are beautiful. How and when did you start?
Thanks a lot! I've always had an interest in colours and shapes, and during my school years I would take classes in both art and photography.
It wasn't until later though when I bought an old camera for my travels that it really took off. I realised I enjoyed using the camera as a time machine, trying to capture scenes or moods so that I wouldn't forget them. Always trying to improve my shots and technique.
After moving to Norway some 3 years ago that poor old camera just wasn't enough anymore and I decided to invest in better gear so I could take my photography to the next level, and it's actually just this past year that I've really started to take my photography seriously, I've realised that it took me a lot of time to build up enough confidence to think I could maybe do something with it. So it's a real journey and I still feel like I've just scratched the surface, there's so much to learn.
What camera do you use?
I use a Nikon D750, which is a beautiful and easy-to-carry camera. Attached to it is usually a 24-70mm f2.8, a 70-300mm zoom or "the nifty fifty" (50mm f1.8 prime).
Depending on what I'm shooting I also use a range of filters like a circular polarizer or a big stopper (ND10) for really long exposures.
What has been your most memorable Nordic trip?
My most memorable trip in the north has to be a couple of years ago when me and my girlfriend and some good friends of ours from Australia went to the Lyngen Alps for a week of touring on skis and split boards in the backcountry. We had an amazing guide with us throughout the whole week showing us all the good stuff. It was so cool to experience these mountains for the first time with our buddies from down under and the weather was flawless. Staying in a scenic cabin by the sea, riding all day, eating fresh food right of the fishing boats and sauna and storytelling in the evenings. Doesn't get much better than that.
What's on your to do list for the rest of the year?
The rest of this year is really going to be an adventure; first of all I'm turning 30! And right about the same time (in October) me and my girl are leaving for Central America, so moving away from Norway for a little while. The plan is to not really have a plan, and just enjoy seeing new things, learning new things and kind of take it as we go. We're both really pumped for this, and it's something we've been talking about for a while and finally got a chance to do so.. hyped! And stay tuned.
What makes you happy?
After a long run through perfect powdery snow on my board with my best friends I'm as happy as a human can be. It's so cool how something can just turn you into a little kid again, all your troubles disappear and you're just super thankful for everything leading up to that moment.
What do you do to relax?
For kicking back there's nothing better than putting on some 70's southern soul and pouring a neat Lagavulin 16, calms you right down.
To see more of Magnus and his adventures, follow him on Instagram @wernerhorsepower