Behind the lens

Nicola Abraham: Wandering North



Where are you based?

Canterbury, UK

How do you make a living?

I am currently a full-time psychology student

What camera do you use?

I mainly use a Nikon F100 film camera, and occasionally a Nikon D5100.

How has travel made an impact on your life?

It’s hard for me to express how travel as a whole has impacted my life, as travelling has been a part of how I define myself as a person for such a long time. Each trip I embark on impacts me in slightly different ways, but if I were to try and sum it up; travelling has taught me many things that I didn’t even know could be learned, mostly through people I have met and experiences we shared. Travel has also greatly influenced me creatively. As I started travelling, I began documenting it all through photography which gave me quite a different perspective – I gained a deeper appreciation for smaller details, and learned a new skill at the same time.

What is your relationship to travel/adventure, and what does it mean to you?

Travel and adventure are by far my main sources of inspiration in life. Whether it be a big trip far away, or a small adventure right on my doorstep; the feeling of escaping the mundane aspects of everyday life gives me so much freedom and possibility. The idea of searching for something new to discover always gives me something exciting to look forward to and work towards. Every adventure I embark on teaches something new, about myself, about cultures, and about the world.

This was just as the sun began to set again after a summer of daylight in the most remote settlement in Greenland; Ittoqqortoormiit (perhaps also the hardest to pronounce!). These husky dogs roam the town in the summer months on a break from their winter duties of hunting seal and polar bears, though they’re seemingly always on the lookout.

As the sun began to set and the summer started coming to a close, each evening would be coloured with a beautiful pale pink hue at which time boats would appear on the shores, as if that were a signal for the fishermen to all return home after a long day’s work. 

The landscape of East Greenland is so amazingly wild and untouched. Connections between towns and settlements in Greenland are few and far between, so after taking a tiny plane from Iceland to the northernmost airport on the east coast (basically a hut in the middle of nowhere); we took a helicopter another 50km to the only settlement for the next 900km – Ittoqqortoormiit. The views were absolutely breathtaking; a combination of glaciers, beaches, mountains, and icebergs.

I was blown away by these incredible Norwegian landscapes – towering mountains with perfect symmetry reflecting on the fjords makes for a place of wonder. The winter light created a perfect golden landscape as we cycled along the scenic ocean roads.

I stumbled upon this abandoned cabin during a late afternoon winter stroll in the woods next to where I spent the year living in Helsinki, Finland – the golden light just shone through perfectly. I felt as though I was in total isolation among nothing but peaceful nature, although in reality I was in a capital city – this one of the best things about Helsinki.

This is around 1am in the Westfjords of Iceland, just as the midnight sun skirts the horizon beyond the beautiful fjord, we sat at the top of the mountain for an hour marveling at the beautiful colours projected onto the light night sky.

Swimming in the freezing cold Arctic seas was certainly a memorable experience in Greenland. For this girl, it was a daily ritual – even when there were polar bears nearby! There’s nothing quite like floating among icebergs to wake you up in the morning. 

The beautiful Goðafoss in the north of Iceland. This was my first taste of the beauty the Nordic countries have to offer, and ever since this trip I find myself returning again and again, finding comfort and solitude in the colder, open spaces.

This photo was taken atop the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand. Trips to the top had been postponed a couple of times previously due to terrible weather, so we were so relieved despite the cloudy, overcast day, that we were able to make the ascent to the top. Just as we neared the our ending point, the clouds cleared, and the sun began to shine through, creating a beautiful contrast of golden mountain peaks against the cold blue glacier ice.