Mikkel Beiter is a 30-year-old landscape, travel and wildlife photographer from Copenhagen, Denmark. He won the Open Travel category of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards with his image, 'Shapes of Lofoten'.
He says: "My great passion in photography is within the genres landscape and wildlife photography. To achieve my goals and to challenge myself I often spend my holidays travelling to different parts of the world with my camera. When it comes to landscape photography, I really enjoy the vast and beautiful landscapes in the Arctic Circle, especially the Lofoten archipelago in Norway. I'm a self-taught photographer."
Hi Mikkel. Thanks for taking the time to chat. Please introduce yourself and your photography
Hello there, my name is Mikkel Beiter and I'm a 30-year-old landscape, travel- and wildlife photographer from Copenhagen, Denmark. My passion for photography lies in landscape and wildlife photography. It's no secret that I don't have any educational background in photography and I've learned everything by trial and error. Step by step as you might say. I first picked up a DSLR camera in around 2007 or 2008. During a period of two years, I worked as a nightlife photographer in Copenhagen, Denmark - which is completely different from what I do today. In 2013 I brought my camera with me on a 2-month volunteer project in Botswana - which is one of the southern countries on the African continent. The project was about wildlife and environment conservation and I had plenty of opportunities for taking a lot of wildlife photos and landscapes - I'm pretty sure it was here it all began for me!
I started to travel more and more, I went to Namibia, the Caribbean, Tanzania, New Zealand and Lofoten in Northern Norway. Lofoten was where my way of shooting changed. I started to use filters, tripod, long exposures, etc.
Why photography? What does the medium mean to you?
Why photography? I actually don't know. I have always been an outdoors person and I love to travel. I think I used photography to express myself and to invite people to see my point of view of our beautiful planet. You normally say that "a picture is worth a thousand words", and this is spot on! It's quicker to tell others about a place by showing them a picture and then just a few keywords. My photography is a serious hobby but it's a great way to get out and enjoy the nature.
Tell us more about your successful image, 'Shapes of Lofoten'
I took this photo during a morning walk around Sakrisøy in Lofoten (Norway). There is a lot of classic spots when it comes to photography and my photo with the yellow cabin and the triangle shaped mountain is one of these classics. But I caught something special I think, we had some fresh snow during the night and it covered the mountain perfectly, you can actually see how crisp the snow is when looking at the photo. Combining this fresh snow with a white to grey cloud covered sky made everything to pop in the photo. The mountain stands out and the cabin with its yellow color stands out with perfect contrasts! What makes it even more special is, of course, the triangle shape of the roof and the mountain behind it. I took this photo handheld.
In your opinion, what makes a great travel photo?
That's a hard question. A great travel photo is a photo that is representing the place or area from its best side, it can be symbolic like my photo - where it shows the architecture and the surrounding landscape of Lofoten during winter. The viewer/audience should be intrigued by the photo and it should awaken their lust for travel and exploring - or just make them eager to visit the place in the photo.
Where in the world are you and what's next for you?
I'm currently home in Denmark, working with my full-time job. On the 2nd of June, I'll be off to Namibia for 3 weeks and I'm quite excited about this! I'll be focusing on landscapes, nightscapes and wildlife during this trip. Beside my Namibia trip, I might have a small trip to Lofoten in August to do a presentation and a photo walk. In September I'll travel to Faroe Islands again.