Our decision to shoot our Greenland Updated collection in Greenland was a no-brainer. After all, it was a 1966 expedition to Greenland that provided the inspiration for our first Greenland product. But there was also another reason, one that was deeper and more profound.
Since that expedition in 1966, summer melts of the Greenland ice sheet have increased in both scale and length. This particular ice sheet (the second biggest in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet), has a pivotal role in global climate change. Its sheer sun-reflecting ability moderates global temperatures, while its meltwater mitigates ocean circulation patterns. If the entire ice sheet were to melt, global sea levels would rise by 7.2m. Unsurprisingly, scientists are worried.
It’s for this reason we decided to combine our photo shoot on Greenland with a journey of discovery. To do this, we hooked up with two climate scientists: Gabriel Lewis and Karina Graeter. And to ensure we captured both our new collection of clothing and gear, and the vitality and grandeur of the Greenland ice sheet – in such a way as to be able to highlight its plight – we worked with award-winning photographer, Klaus Thymann.
Klaus has worked with visual storytelling since he was 15. Over the course of his extensive career, he has focused on mapping – whether that be physically or sociologically. This led him to initiate Project Pressure in 2008, a charity that documents glaciers around the world in the hope of bringing about change. So he was an obvious choice as photographer and creative director for our Greenland Updated photoshoot.
“Photography has allowed me to pursue what I’m passionate about. Conceptual mapping is ingrained in my work. And with Project Pressure, I’ve travelled to maybe 25 different countries, to places like DR Congo, Uganda and Iran, where people don’t expect to see glaciers, to bring back imagery that can be surprising. I want to tell a cohesive story, but also hopefully bring about change in people’s thinking and lifestyle.”
Klaus is not your average photographer. He’s grown up in a family surrounded by science, with his mother working as a forensic scientist and his father as a veterinarian. He’s even got a degree in environmental science under his belt enabling him to “talk about complex subjects in a way that doesn’t over-simplify, but can still be understood by everyone.”
He’s worked with a wide variety of clients, but always brings a documentary-style to his photography. And this is exactly what he did in Greenland with us.
“Working with Gabriel and Karina was really inspiring. I love capturing people doing their passion. And that work is really important. I think it’s brave of Fjällräven to take this step and collaborate with these scientists like this.”
You can read more about Gabriel’s and Karina’s research here.
Images: Klaus Thymann
Text: Sarah Benton