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Photo Essay Landscape

A personally curated selection of Magnus Nilsson’s photographs from The Nordic Cookbook, also including previously unpublished images taken during his research.

Given his first camera at the age of six, celebrated Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson has been taking photographs for over twenty-five years. As part of his research for The Nordic Cookbook, Magnus travelled extensively throughout the Nordic countries, not only collecting recipes but also photographing the landscape, food and people.

Nordic: A Photographic Essay of Landscapes, Food and People accompanies a travelling exhibition of his work.



SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: Hardback
Size: 270 x 180 mm (10 5/8 x 7 1/8 in)
Pages: 128 pp
Illustrations: 47 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714872377

Magnus Nilsson (b. 1984) is the head chef of Fäviken Magasinet restaurant in Sweden. After training as a chef and sommelier in Sweden he worked with Pascal Barbot of L'Astrance in Paris before joining Fäviken as a sommelier. Within a year he had taken over the running of the restaurant, which is currently ranked #25 in the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list, produced by Restaurant magazine. Magnus is the author of the Fäviken cookbook, also published by Phaidon. He features in the Emmy-Award winning US PBS-TV series The Mind of a Chef and the Netflix docu-series Chef’s Table. In 2015 he was awarded the White Guide Global Gastronomy Award.

"Sweden's Magnus Nilsson stands out from the superchef crowd... and his skill behind the camera is showcased in Nordic: A Photographic essay" —The Independent

"Thinking about building your dream library and brightening your coffee table with eye-candy and conversation starters? Look no further than Phaidon books."—Big Life Magazine

There’s no place on earth untouched by human activity: This was clear as Lucas Foglia whizzed across the vast, white expanse of Alaska's Juneau Ice Field last summer. He was riding an old pair of skis towed by scientist Uwe Hofmann, who periodically stopped his snowmobile to measure the rapidly melting glacier.

“It was an unforgettable experience,” says Foglia, a photographer featured in WIRED’s December issue. "Being in a place that big and wild made me feel small in a way I had never felt before, yet I knew that humans as a whole were changing that landscape.”

Foglia explores this tension in his stunning new book Human Nature. It features nearly 60 photographs that illustrate the varying ways nature impacts humans and humans impact nature—for better or worse. "It focuses on our relationship with nature, how we need wild places even if they have been shaped by us," Foglia says. "I think of each photo in the book as the tip of the iceberg that hopefully points viewers to the larger story underneath the surface of the image."

Foglia grew up on a farm in rural Long Island. Watching the surrounding fields slowly being swallowed up by housing tracts inspired his work documenting the natural environment—a focus that grew in intensity after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the eastern seaboard in 2012. “Climate change is on the news every day these days, but I realized I didn’t know what the science looked like.” he says. “I felt like photography could clearly describe the process of the science.”

Over the next five years, Foglia trailed scientists in five countries with his medium format digital camera as they took samples of air pollution, studied geysers, and launched ozone balloons into the atmosphere. He also examined governmental efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Singapore Green Plan, for instance, requires developers to include green spaces in new buildings, while the Agricultural Experiment Station in New York helps farmers develop crops that can withstand changing weather patterns (more on that here).

These programs matter not only because people need nature to survive. They also matter because people need nature to thrive. Foglia learned this while documenting the research of David Strayer, a University of Utah neuroscientist who hooks participants up to EEG caps and facial electrodes as they spend time in rugged landscapes. His research shows that unplugging in nature actually increases cognitive function, helping people better solve creative problems. "He said that, in his opinion, time in wild places is part of human nature," Foglia says.

Strayer's idea reverberates throughout Human Nature. It explains the feeling of wonder and freedom Foglia felt while gliding across a remote Alaskan ice field—and further underscores the need to preserve places like it.

Human Nature is out this month from Nazraeli Press.