There has never been a better time to stay home and explore your own country. That is what I did and what I found was incredible!
We have a saying in Denmark that our country is beautiful, but for many years I had a hard time describing it as photogenic. I had an outward look and all the epic landscape photos I saw on the internet, that I could only dream of photographing one day, inspired me. Epic vistas from the U.S., Iceland, Norway, the Alps, and many other exotic locations were all I saw and in that way influenced me to think of Denmark as small and boring. Denmark is also the most cultivated country in Europe. This can give the impression that the landscapes are rather monotone and it is easy to accept the narrative that the country is just hills and fields. However, by traveling a lot, I have rediscovered my home country and by photographing a lot outside of Denmark, I have honed my skills as a landscape photographer and I am now able to recognize the good photograph within my own borders.
Why It Is Fantastic
As I have spent quite a lot of time in both Iceland and the Faroe Islands for landscape photography, I have been used to mountains, waterfalls, epic cliff sides, glaciers, northern lights, black sand, and everything else popular on social media. Denmark does not have these kinds of epic vistas. However, what we do have are forests, endless beaches, areas with big dunes, many kinds of cultivated landscapes, long rolling hills, areas with very flat landscapes, photogenic architecture, and all kinds of seasonal European vegetation growing in the temperate climate zone. Many of these landscapes are not what you would define as “epic”, but most of them still have something beautiful about them. Be sure to check out the gallery below to see what I mean.
We of course also get all the different types of weather and lighting conditions known from the temperate zone. Everything from warm summer days, over autumn colors, snowy winter periods, and spring bloom. It is these seasonal and weather events in combination with the many beautiful areas and non-iconic specific locations, which can make for some incredible photos. Just like in the rest of the world! Check out the video above to see what I have in my backyard.
This is of course not “landscape photography rocket science”, but it did still require some experience for me to reach the point, where I could see the potential in my local landscapes. Furthermore, awaken an interest in photographing the local landscapes, as it was the epic vistas that got me into landscape photography in the first place.
Why You Will Never Visit
Denmark gets many tourists, especially from our neighboring countries (Germany, Norway, Sweden, and The Netherlands), but for landscape photography, Denmark is just not particularly unique. Yes, we do have a few unique places like the lighthouse being swallowed by a dune and maybe some special trees here or there, but dunes, forests, beaches, long rolling hills, and cultivated landscapes can be found in many places in the world both close to and far away from Denmark. Obviously, countries without oceans do not have beaches, but they likely have something else that I would consider exotic. That could be desserts, mountains, or waterfalls.
Despite all this, my portfolio from Denmark is fast becoming my favorite and in many ways also my most unique. I do not rely on the “epic” and iconic location in itself, but many other factors such as season, weather, light, composition, exploration (to find those special and beautiful places of photographic interest), and sometimes that secret ingredient where everything just comes together. Denmark (and almost all other countries) are fantastic exactly because they contain “common” landscapes and thereby the possibility for unique photos – you just need to put in the work.
That is what I want you to take away from this article. Your country might not be anything special to you. It might not be anything special to the rest of us but it is your photographic skills, which makes the heavy lifting when it comes to incredible and unique landscape photography.
If you are interested in more inspiration and photography tips and tricks from beautiful Denmark, which you can apply to your own, be sure to watch my series “Photographing Denmark”. There is a link to my latest and greatest episode above.