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ARTIST : Kjartan Trana


My mother died of cancer when I was just nine years old. It wasn’t  easy for a young boy to understand why, and in 1977, few people tried to talk about it and help me with my thoughts. I think this is when I started wandering the woods around the small town of Namsos, Norway, where I grew up. I discovered that nature gave me a helping hand and while walking around, my sorrow sometimes slipped away and I observed that dying was not unnatural. 

It did not take long before I took my own camera on these trips and I started photographing the beauty and the roughness I met in nature. Like a photo is built up by light and darkness, so is life and nature. Everything has these contrasts in it when you just think about it, and the beauty of life could not be without the problems and the dark sides. At first I think I just went for the beauty, photographing birds, sunsets and butterflies. I still like to do that, wait for and take pictures of the perfect situations. I admit that I like to look for the light side of every situation.

But little by little I came to understand that you’ve got to love it all. The problems, the dark sides, the colors and the light. Now I try to put this in to my pictures and my stories. Life is a mystery that holds miracles if you just take a deeper look. If you take some time in front of one of the pictures, I hope that you can feel it - a small taste of what is hard to put down in words.

Nature has helped me in many ways, and nowadays I work as a journalist in the national broadcasting of Norway (NRK). My images are used widely in books, on the web, in films, in galleries and in my own work. I have published five big photo-books and, when I have time, am giving picture lectures all over the country. 

Visit Kjartan Trana's Photo Blog here

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