Pyramiden • Spitsbergen



• image code: LSC0016
• Long exposured image recorded at Pyrimayden, Spitsbergen
• exposure time 10 econds
GPS location 78°38’47.1″N 16°20’48.8″E

Occasionally an opportunity arises that is like a dream come true.

I was offered a place on board the sailing vessel Noorderlicht, traveling in Spitsbergen. I would be creating a small story for the travel organisation and lecturing about my photography projects on board. The week’s journey left from Longyearbyen exploring the Isfjorden and coastal region towards the next fjord down, the Bellsund. This was a very inspirational trip that ended with a visit to the abandoned mining town called Pyramiden.

Pyramiden is an old settlement founded by Sweden and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927.  For a long time it was the home of over 1000 people working and living around a coal mine. There is a lot of history to the place and it was well documented in a few documentaries. To this day the place attracts many adventure seeking artists who want to capture the mystical and strange atmosphere surrounding the deserted mines.

Myself I was traveling with a few expired 120 film rolls and an old Agfa box camera from the 1930’s. The challenge was to wait until the right moment appears to take only a few photo’s. Although I wish I had more time to research the area, I am happy with the results. The images have become a painterly portrait of a place long gone of activity. This photo is one out of five.


To show you what a trip to Spitsbergen looks like, I created a short film of our journey. I was looking for the right music to accompany it and  I found an extremely fitting theme music is the track Brambles and Thorns by Margriet Sjoerdsma aka Odelion.

Ocean Wide Expeditions
SV Noorderlicht
Margriet Sjoerdsma (Odelion)
Short documentary about Pyramiden
Wiki about Pyramiden
Extra info

The image will be printed onto Hahnemühle Natural Line Fine Art Paper based on hemp and using the Epson Sure Color Printing technique.