Hallvard Kolltveit – Celebrating the magnitude of nature

A surfer riding the wave in Arctic waters.

A man will forever be inferior to the powers of nature, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it.

Hallvard Kolltveit fell in love with photography in Hawaii while doing his BA. The combination of action sports, mountains rising straight up from the ocean and the vibrant colours simply took his breath away.

The passion was further intensified in 2014 during a surf trip in Iceland. After a week of rain and miserable conditions, they finally got an amazing surf session going during sunrise on a black-sand beach in the middle of nowhere. The photos shot there at 3 in the morning Hallvard still considers some of his best.

As an action sports photographer you get to take part in the action. To experience the power of the ocean and share the special moments with friends. This is what made Hallvard decide to make it his profession. “When you do what you love, you end up spending so much time doing it that you eventually become very good at it. Then people will start paying you,” Hallvard explains. “That has been my mantra since day one.”

Hallvard names Chris Burkard as his idol, a role model and a source of inspiration. Burkard’s work has inspired Hallvard to push himself and to go discover new places where he is able to find his own unique adventure. In new places and situations, the brain needs to create new patterns, which feeds creativity.

Nature acts as a source of infinite inspiration. The sunrises and sunsets. The storms. The snow. The surf. “It’s amazing to see weather systems sweep over the landscape” he explains. “My style is all about that: a small person and a big landscape. I love showing the magnitude of nature, and how people have fun pushing the limits.”

Currently Hallvard’s ultimate dream shot takes the form of a big, beautiful wave with a good friend inside it, snowcovered jagged peaks in the background and the sun shining, making the azure blue water of Lofoten Islands pop.

Hallvard Kolltveit, action sports photographer
Hallvard Kolltveit, 30
Action sports photographer

The most important tip Hallvard has for aspiring action sports photographers is to view it as a lifestyle. Chasing extreme experiences often means you have to sacrifice a lot for it, and maybe move to a place where they are more easily available. You also have to invest as much in outdoor gear as you do on camera gear, but once you are set, all you need to do is let nature and the weather carry you to places where it’s impossible to get a bad shot.

Of course, it is not only about getting your stuff together and going out there; photographers also need to do their homework creatively and technically. Learn the ABCs of their camera gear, so that they are ready to shoot when the moment is perfect.

“If you climb up to a 1000-metre summit, looking down at the ocean in the winter sunrise on the Lofoten Islands and you are shooting for a brand or a magazine, you can’t screw it up,” Hallvard concludes.

Hallvard Kolltveit’s kitbag

Hallvard Kolltveit’s favourite kit includes Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, EOS 5DS R, EOS C200, RF 15-35MM F2.8L IS USM, RF 24-105MM F4L IS USM, RF 70-200MM F2.8L IS USM and two Speedlite 580EX IIs.

Hallvard Kolltveit’s kitbag contains Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.