Guest Post - Volcano Pilot | Mika Aberra
Nordique is delighted to introduce a very special guest post from the hugely talented Swedish photographer, Mika Aberra. We have recently featured some of Mika's stunning work, and are delighted to be collaborating with him again. In this post, Mika tells his story about the incredible project he recently completed - 'The Volcano Pilot'.
"The first time I was in Iceland was in the spring of 2016. Just like anyone who’s been there, I was just completely blown by the beauty and variety of its landscape. I was very certain I would be back someday, but seeing the thousands of images generated from the exploding tourist scene, I started questioning my reason for going there again. The next time I went I wanted to make sure that I was doing something different. I wanted to do something to give more insight on Iceland as a country and also to personally get another perspective on the place."
"Two years after my first visit I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the instagram account 'Volcano Pilot'. As soon as I saw this account, I was completely perplexed - it was just a lot of incredible pictures taken from a small Cessna plane above Iceland. I began to follow the account immediately and I noticed that he was also very active on Instagram Stories. He would record whilst high up in the plane and almost make it seem like a talk show! It struck me then - this would be the project I had been waiting to go back to Iceland for."
"So who is the Volcano Pilot? His name is really Haraldur Diego, a 45 year old man who lives in central Reykjavik with his partner, daughter, two sons and his loyal assistant - Skuggi the dog.
I emailed Haraldur and made a short pitch. Thankfully I managed to convince him about my vision for this project. And so it was done - I booked a 10 day trip to Iceland with a total stranger! When I arrived in Iceland, I thought that I would mainly make a story about the pilot himself and his passion for flying. But Haraldur and I quickly realised that this was to become something much bigger. We came to realise that this was about shared experiences and the longing that we all feel to be part of stories like this. "
"There's no doubt that this was a tough project. I typically work in commercial productions, and as part of that I am normally more restricted in the creative role I can play. But this project gave me complete freedom, and that's why I really felt like I wanted to do it. Even though I was prepared and had done a lot of research there were so many other unexpected factors to take into account - like the weather and just Haraldur's daily life! And following that I wanted to see what happened purely on a creative level when I had a much more spontaneous work process."
"I learned so much from this trip, as well as developing a new close friend, and it makes me very proud. The final result of the project was almost secondary after a while because there was so much personal development that occurred at the same time. But in the end, I am also very proud of the project itself. The biggest reward was when I released the end result, and Haraldur, as well as his entire family, loved how I portrayed this story."