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Gudvangen, Norway - 2023

56” x 68” Unframed 71” x 83” Framed Edition of 12
37” x 45” Unframed 52” x 60” Framed Edition of 12

The village of Gudvangen, in western Norway, offers the filmmaker every opportunity to tell Viking stories. It is trapped at the end of an almighty fjord whose steep mountains bully the small hamlet below. My creative leaning was to make a photograph with enough layers for a full narrative and the narrowness of the fjord was a helpful start.

The lead character needed to have a formidable look and jump from the pages of a Viking saga, otherwise the intended menacing vibe of the shot would be lost. My sense was that 10th century seafaring warriors would have cut uncompromising figures, much in the same way that the defensive line of the Minnesota Vikings do not look like the most inviting of ensembles.

In storytelling, there seems little merit in downplaying the central characteristics of the protagonists. If anything, they should be exaggerated. We are told that Vikings were tough so far better to play to that lore rather than challenging it.

The weather that day in Gudvangen was bleak and angry and that was welcome to the overall mood of the shot. This was never going to be a “blue sky” storyboard. ~ David Yarrow

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