From the Cold North – Fujifilm Passion
My name is Gaui H Pic, or that is what people call me. My real name is Gudjon Svanur Hermannsson… A lot harder, right? So Gaui H is easier. The Pic came later when I wanted a short name for my page on Facebook.
I was born and raised in 2 small villages in the westfjords of Iceland, Sudureyri and Flateyri. The population of each town was around 400 people when I was a kid, and it was amazing to grow up in that area! So much freedom to roam around from dusk till dawn without any worries.
That’s where I got my first camera, which led me to my path years later!
My main hobbies and passions are shooting pictures and films. That is why I feel so fortunate to be working in this field full time. But I have a big passion for music as well. I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 14. I bought my own guitar and amp and started teaching myself how it works! There was no YouTube then, so everything was not as easy to reach, haha!
I also have a huge passion for old vintage cameras. I collect and have around 130-140 cameras now. Not all of them are amazing but some I can just watch and actually shoot with for days!
I used to do a lot of snowboarding and ride around on snowmobiles but got into a big accident in 2008… broke some bones and got a headache for 6 years haha. BUT… that is exactly what started this journey!
My interest in photography started when I was about 9 years old… My cousin and I always travelled with our grandparents during the summer. Going to cabins around the country and camping in tents as well.
At the beginning of a summer like that, my grandparents gave us each a Kodak film camera. There was basically no turning back from that day. But it was, of course, just a hobby, something that I had on the side and just did for myself.
In 2001 I got my first digital camera. It was also a Kodak 1.2MP and such an epic camera! Back then… haha.
It was a big change when you could actually just see the pictures straight away. But today, I miss the fact that I stopped developing films, so everything went digital.
Soon after that, maybe 2 years later, I got my first DSLR, a Canon EOS 400D. That sparked an idea that I could actually do this for a living, or at least part-time. But, as I was a fisherman, I had no time.
As I was born and raised between the mountains and the ocean in the westfjords, I have always been close to nature. And that nature can be beautiful, and it can be cruel. I lost some good friends, for example, in an avalanche in Flateyri 1995. But thankfully, I have more good memories than bad from hiking the mountains and playing in the freezing ocean there.
I have always been pulled into landscape photography, and I think it is because of the fact that I was born in such a remote and free place as the westfjords were.
My sources of inspirations are very diverse. Sometimes when I hear a lyric in a new song, I see images in my head that I want to shoot, whether it is video or stills. And sometimes it is the weather. Clouds or snow.
And then, of course, other photographers and the stories they tell. The first photographer to inspire me was, like for many others, Ansel Adams. Not only his photography but what he did to get “The shot”! He climbed mountains with a huge box and film plates just for the shot, and that is inspiring. I think about that when I am shooting in difficult locations.
But what inspires me in life are my kids, my fiancée and my family. The amount of support that I get from my fiancée, for example, is like no other! Especially these days, during Covid times when times were rough… she never lost her faith in me!
It is definitely not the easiest job in the world to be a landscape photographer for a living. But I think it always comes back to you if you put time and patience into your work. Planning has never been my strong suit, as I am highly impulsive, but when I have an idea about a shot that I want to take, I do what it takes to get that shot. Even if it means that I have to return to that location again and again until I am happy with the result.
And for me, if I get “THE SHOT”, even if it is just 1 photo after a day’s work, I am happy.
My fiancée usually hears it when that happens, as I always laugh out loud or act very dramatically when I see the result on the screen, haha!
The camera system I use today is the Fujifilm GFX 100 and the X-T3. I went into Fuji, to begin with, because I loved the look of the X-T3, and after some research, I saw that the images and videos coming from that camera would fit me and my style well.
I have used that X-T3 in so many music videos, and it always delivers. The only problem I have with the X-T3 is that there is no IBIS… No in-camera stabilisation. But they already fixed that with the X-T4, which will be my next camera, of course.
Then, when I heard that Fujifilm was coming out with a 102MP medium format camera that you could actually carry around without any hassle, I had to try it out. That camera is my main camera today! It is amazing that you can shoot those huge images with as little trouble as it is! I was even shooting at night at the new volcano in Iceland the other day, handheld! Show me another medium format camera that does that better, haha!!
I have no complaints about that camera. It has a big camera body, but that fits me very well, and I don’t mind carrying it around even if it is a bit heavy. I mean, the results just speak for themselves!
My camera and lens setup these days are the 2 cameras that I mentioned above, the Fujifilm X-T3 with the Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8, Fujinon XF56mm F1.2 and the Fujinon 23mm F1.4 lenses.
Then I have the Fujifilm GFX 100, and with that camera, I use the Fujinon GF32-64mm F4 and Fujinon 23mm F4. And on the way is the 110mm Fujinon!
My favourite lens from that setup is surprisingly the 56mm 1.2 for the X-T3, even for landscapes – I just love the overall vibe that comes out of that lens! And then the epic Fujinon GF32-64mm F4 for the GFX 100.
These days I am using Lightroom CC to edit my still photos, I love the sync between my computer, iPad and iPhone so I can edit on the go, and then continue with it when I come home! And the fact that Lightroom in the iPad can actually handle the images from the GFX 100. Not the fastest process, but it works.
I always shoot underexposed so I can get details in the highlights. It is so important to me to have the details in the sky or the waterfalls! Then, when I am processing the photos, I import them to LR and use my own presets, which I have “perfected” for my style. Or they are never perfect, of course. Each photo has to be edited specifically, even if you have the best presets, and they never fit all!
Finally, I would like to point out that if you dream of becoming a professional photographer, or just a professional in your field, do whatever you can to make that happen! I was born in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere… I was a fisherman for most of my life… But I always had a dream of being a pro photographer. I worked as hard as I could for about 6 years to make that happen! I mean, I got accepted as a Fujifilm X-Photographer… A small-town boy with a dream. Make it happen, guys!
“I was born in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere… I was a fisherman for most of my life… But I always had a dream of being a pro photographer. I worked as hard as I could for about 6 years to make that happen!”
“My name is Gaui H, and I am an Icelandic Fujifilm X-Photographer based in the Faroe Islands. I am born in the westfjords of Iceland, From the cold north basically, and that is where my interest in photography began!
I mostly shoot dramatic landscapes, but also products and portraits!”