Distant Shore : Making Of

september 11, 2015

music : Dynfari – Vegferð Tímans
drink : water
mood : thoughtful

i never really tried to document the process of any of my projects and a backstage shot is a true rarity for me, mostly because i always work alone, and there is no assistant around to take some snaps during or after the shoot. this time though i knew i wouldnt manage on my own as there was some heavy lifting and fire involved, so i asked my other half for help, and as a result i have some (hopefully) interesting stuff to share with you 🙂

“Darkwood” has definitely opened a new chapter in my artistic journey, and it took me a while to fully realize where i am actually headed now. i know it might be disappointing for some of my old fans but i guess the times of self-portraiture are over : as my ideas evolved, it became gradually more and more difficult to use myself as a model, and my interests have shifted as well.

final selfie. time to say good-bye!

the idea for distant shore has been forming in my head for quite a while, and i was supposed to shoot in april, but one thing led to another, and i was still not done by mid-july. dont get me wrong, i love summer (norwegian summer, that is! +17 and occasional rain) but i find it almost impossible to work outdoors, with all the green stuff filling the frame, which totally ruins the gloomy ambiance i am usually after.

i scouted the place on the island called Gressholmen, which is located rather close to oslo harbour and is reachable by boat. the initial plan was to shoot directly on the shore, to avoid any trees or grass getting into the picture. but as luck has it, i bumped into a small bay, which had plenty of mud and small rocks during ebb-tide, reminding me a lot about “Valhalla Rising” – the movie which was my main inspiration.

my original location

still from “Valhalla Rising” (what? you havent seen it? do it, now!)

i did some research on my runic “totem” which combines 2 runes (3 – if you count the main stave) and believe it or not, i put the whole damn thing together myself (except for dragging the components out of the woods – that’s where my boyfriend’s strong hands came in handy). i love making props for my shoots and i find the whole preparation process very fascinating, nearly as much as the shoot itself.

getting ready for the venture (my ever-present cat included)

A photo posted by @dariaendresen on

carpenter at work

almost there

for my exquisite torture i chose a good (courageous!) friend of mine and a wonderful model Ingvild Eiring, who fearlessly let me blindfold her, tie her up and put her in the mud. my boyfriend had to suffer too, kneeling in that same very mud and holding a heavy 4 meter totem as straight as possible. oh, and in case you think i had it easy, standing on the clean grassy shore on the side, well no, i ran back and forth, guiding my blind model – my poor dr martens being a living proof of that. all in all it was much fun and i am really thankful to my contributors for all their efforts.

setting up gear

prepping the model

ready to shoot

our pretty shoes right after

my initial plan was to put the totem on fire but unfortunately it proved to be rather difficult thing to do, i guess the wood wasnt dry enough, so after some tryouts we dropped it. furthermore, just several days after the shoot a new video of Myrkur had been released, featuring the runic construction, burning at the sea shore, so yes, my fire idea didnt make it to the final round.

we tried..

well, that was pretty much it, regarding the shoot itself.
i obviously changed the background (in case you’re wondering, those are the mountains from Odda region, which i visited some time ago) and tweaked some stuff in the foreground as well, which resulted in what you can currently see in my gallery 🙂

Distant Shore

thank you for reading, i hope this gave you some insight into my mysterious work process.

autumn is finally here, and that means the next shoot is just around the corner.
as always, stay tuned!


  1. Heia… Talked to a student of mine about you and your work; inspiration 🙂 And came to your new site, looking at your work and found this new one… its amazing, as usual 🙂 Lets meet for a drink soon.

  2. on se connait pas particulièrement mais je vous suis depuis pas mal de temps , votre travail est très intéressant et je dois dire me rend accro , toujours en voir plus …. bon un peu de sérieux je tenais à vous dire que votre travail est phénoménal et très intéressant
    alors bonne continuation et surtout merci à vous

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