An intimate photographic portrait of a very strange, wild terrain and the people who live there
When we last featured Emile Holba, it was of his portraits of a thriving, intimate community in Geilo, Norway.
The portraiture and documentary photographer has worked with clients including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, Citizens Advice and the Nuffield Trust, among many others, and his latest project is a series shot in the very north of the country on the border with Russia.
Called Arktisk Grenseland, it centres on a peninsula in the far eastern part of Troms og Finnmark in northern Norway. "It's an expansive area of wild terrain running along the Russian border from Grense Jakobselv in the northeast down to Pasvikdalen on the tri-border of Norway, Finland and Russia. Then it goes up to the mainland via Tana and Varangerbotn – before branching out to Vardø and Hammingberg at 30º East and along to Kongsfjord and Berlevåg, both sitting comfortably above 70ºN," Holba explains (if you managed to take all that in – we're impressed).
"The work focuses on the people and their environment and captured on three different trips across summer, autumn and winter," he adds. The images are stunning – not just for the sense of otherworldliness the site itself evokes, but the sensitive way Holba deals with portraiture, that gives a sense of intimacy to the otherwise barren landscapes.