Ása Steinars didn't always find Iceland so impressive. Moving there from Norway aged seven, it felt to her more like a small town than a country. But, returning years later after working abroad, she began to see the land of fire and ice in a wonderful new way.
Today, Ása's photographs and videos of her adventures at home and abroad have earned her a social media following of 700k. Through her mastering of the "scenic selfie", which turns humble selfies into monumental shots of Scandinavian vistas, her Instagram and TikTok accounts are ever-growing tributes to Iceland's otherworldly wonders – from craters, volcanoes and black-sand beaches to fjords, glaciers and waterfalls.
Her landscape photography often incorporates people, usually herself. These aren't simple selfies; they're about inviting the viewer to put themselves in her position – something that seems especially important when posting on social media. "I want to create the feeling in the viewer of imagining himself or herself in the picture, the feeling of wanting to go there and experience the nature, rather than only looking at it from afar," says Ása.
To do this, Steinars' pictures usually engage one or more senses: you can almost feel the warmth from the campfire on a cold day; hear the sound of the waterfall crashing; taste the hot coffee after a long hike. "To me," Steinars says, "photography is about creating this feeling – a feeling of wanderlust, happiness, or simply inspiration to go out and hike up a mountain. Nature photography is always linked with exploration of the outdoors, so I like adding a person to tell the full story behind it."
Here, Ása explains how she does it, sharing tips to take your landscape photography to the next level, so you too can see the natural world in a completely different light.