Jarrad Seng has already made his mark as a photographer, but he’d never tried his hand at aerial photography until a recent trip to Iceland opened up some new possibilities.
To hear Jarrad Seng tell it, it’s all the fault of Tegan Thorogood, one half of Voltaire Twins. It was because of her that Seng found himself on holiday in Iceland, casting about for interesting things to see and do.
“We both have pretty hectic lives as creative people,” Seng says by way of explanation. “Always at gigs and concerts and shoots and everything, so we thought we’d take a couple weeks out of our lives and go to Iceland. It was all her idea. She’s obsessed with Iceland. She’s a big fan of Bjork and Sigur Ros and all the music that comes out of there, so she’s had here eye on Iceland for seven years now.
“I brought my gear,” he continues. “But I didn’t have a project in mind – we were just relaxing. But while I was there I did a bit of research just to give us some ideas for things to visit and I came across some aerial photos that a Russian photographer had taken and they were just so unreal – they were out of this world. They looked like paintings – I couldn’t believe they were photos. I thought, well, since I’m here, I’ll regret it if I don’t give it a shot. So I used all my savings to hire out a plane to fly around the southern coast for six hours.”
And that was pretty much that – almost on a whim, Seng found himself in a light aircraft, hugging the Icelandic seacoast, looking for interesting things to shoot. He had no plan of attack, no end goal part from seeing what he could see. “It’s completely different to everything I’ve ever done, really.”
Looking at the striking images that Seng managed to capture on his flight, it’s almost deflating to hear how little preparation went into their capture. “What we did was, I was in a little Cesna plane with a pilot, and we’d fly around and he’d take me to spots where he thought there were images I might like and once I saw something of interest I’d point it out and he’d start circling around and, at the same time, tilting the plane downwards on my side so I was nearly facing straight down and I would open the window and hang out the plane a little bit and shoot downwards.”
Indeed, what’s remarkable is how close the whole endeavour came to never happening. “There was no game plan, I just put my total faith in this pilot. It was on our last day in Iceland, too. We were trying to organise it and the weather was not great and the dates kept changing and finally, on the last day, the pilot said we could do it.”
Jarrad Seng’s exhibition, alltervatn, runs at the new Feast Your Eyes Outpost from October 6 – November 3. Go here for more information.
_ TRAVIS JOHNSON