Would you mind introducing yourself? My name is Linus Michael Bergman. I’ve been photographing since my early 20's (I'm currently 27). I’m from mid-Sweden, a small town out in the deep woods. I grew up on the only mountain (actually more like a hill) in our town. Which gave me a happy childhood close to nature. Currently living in Oslo, Norway. Which is a great location to go out exploring ”fjord-life."
Linus' Instagram - @linusmountainman
Your photos often seem to be taken in colder, foggier environments, which gives off a wonderful mood/vibe. And the aesthetic that you have created is so unique. Is there any specific way you would describe your style of photography? I lived in Finland a while back, went to a nature photography course. We had many books laying around in the classroom. I stumbled upon an interview with Michael Kenna in a Swedish magazine called Camera Natura, a renowned fine art photographer. He shoots B&W on medium format. I was instantly drawn to his minimalistic, almost haiku feeling, aesthetic. This lead me on a path through the world of minimalism, which is deeply rooted in what I do, with or without a camera.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? It was an ”aw” moment when picking up my first film camera in high school. Though it took me several years to follow up on that love.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? Once upon a time in Vietnam. We took the ferry from the mainland to the Cat Ba Islands. As we stood out on the deck, I saw a small island, where there were small fishing huts on stilts. I instantly felt the need to go there. A couple of days of heavy negotiations with the locals. I was told this guy who only spoke Vietnamese, would take me aboard on his fishing vessel. I went on board one early morning. Him and me. We traded nothing but smiles and silence for hours. Finally there, he showed me he couldn’t get closer with the boat due to low tide. So he showed me his clock, he gave me 3 hours and then pointed that I had to swim. I borrowed his fishing pants, jumped over in the water. The ground was mud, which made me sink down half a meter. Tried to balance this expensive photography gear (didn’t have any dry-bags at the time) and struggled physically more than I ever had before to get to land. That was a puzzle! Haha. Took me 30 minutes to get to the island, but I did it (with everything intact). Was a beautiful moment, and the photographs turned out okay as well.
What inspires you to take these wonderful photographs? I mean, even the beauty of the smallest things on this earth is enough to get me outside shooting. As of now I just enjoy being out and free, close to the mountains.
What kind of camera do you use? Sony A7II with a sigma art lens, as well as an iPhone 8.
What is your editing process like? For black and white images, I used Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro2. For colour work that isn’t film, I like the simplicity of Lightroom. So now that’s the only program I use. For the phone, I use VSCO to edit. And before posting on Instagram I use Afterlight and Unfold to create borders.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Not really, haha. And with that I mean, photography (and all that it includes) is so unique to every individual. One has to study, go out and try, fail, learn, fail again to create your own voice. I use very simple things such as contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. The biggest advice I could give is, being out in there when most people stay inside when the storm hits. Then you get unique photographs.
What are some of your passions/hobbies other than photography? Reading. Writing. Travelling. Running. Drinking coffee, and many other things!
Do you have any photography related plans for this summer that you would like to share? I just ended the lease on my apartment. I quit my day job as a teacher this spring. Now, I'm going try to live in my van and have Europe as a home base! Which will give me loads more time to focus on photography and many other projects I'm passionate about.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? Josef Hoflefner, Michael Kenna, Sebastian Salgado, Irene Kung, Cody Cobb, Dan Tom, Forrest Mankins, Kevin Russ, and many more. Each Sunday I will be sharing a "photographer of the week" in my stories over on Instagram. My hope is that it will inspire others to get out there and start creating!
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? I’m split between two on this one. Hawaii and New Zealand!
Anything extra you would like to share? Stay true to yourself! Remember WHY you began shooting in the first place. Probably because you thought it was fun? Let it stay that way!
Linus was kind enough to send us loads more photos as well, so your eyes can have themselves a treat or two while scrolling through his gallery below!