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Iceland. The Midnight Sun. This June, I will capture the photographs of a lifetime in a location like no other.
Iceland. The Midnight Sun. This June, I will capture the photographs of a lifetime in a location like no other.
Iceland. The Midnight Sun. This June, I will capture the photographs of a lifetime in a location like no other.
41 backers pledged $2,701 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Solstice Project

$2,701

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The Solstice Project

Iceland has captivated artists for generations.  Its stark beauty has no rival in the world.

In the weeks around June 21, the summer solstice, the sun barely sets in Iceland.  Sunset blends into sunrise, and, for six hours, the sky is bright with golden lighting. This makes for the most beautiful photography imaginable. 

Your support would supply me with enough money to travel to Iceland to photograph the solstice’s midnight sun.  After the trip, I will produce a set of beautiful, fine-art prints exclusively for project backers.

I plan to drive Iceland’s ring road for two weeks, spending most of my time at the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Eastern Fjords, and the Southern coastline.  The trip will start on June 13 and end on June 29. 

To maximize the night’s golden lighting, I will live on a reverse sleep schedule, camping during the day and photographing at night.

My sleeping will be sporadic, but it's well worth it for the photos that I'll bring back.  By capturing the landscape during the best light possible, I will elevate my images above the traditional photos of Iceland.  

As far as I know, no one has ever done this before.  The images that I take during the Solstice Project will be one-of-a-kind and amazing, and that's a promise.

I love photographing waterfalls. Luckily, Iceland has millions of them.
I love photographing waterfalls. Luckily, Iceland has millions of them.

My Style

In my photography, I aim for something unique: the Intricate Landscape.  This style centers around the composition of my photos— in certain, beautiful locations, I am able to spend hours refining a single image that I have in my mind's eye.  The Intricate Landscape is my way of describing the "perfect" composition of one scene that results from hours of work.   

Subtlety is key in my photography.  I never use false colors or photographic gimmicks to "enhance" my photos.  I rely on patience and good technique to capture the beautiful tones in my images, not Photoshop.

Iceland is perfect for my style of photography.  I'll be able to scout out the best locations during the day, and I'll have hours to refine the ideal composition when the lighting is at its best.

I am well-qualified for this project.  In the past four months alone, my images have been recognized as Commended Entries and Finalists in three major photographic competitions: Travel Photographer of the Year, Outdoor Photographer of the Year, and SPIE's Year of Light competition. (If you hit control+f or command+f and search "Spencer Cox," you'll find my name on these websites.)

I have the expertise to make the most of Iceland's summer solstice.

Some say that the sunset in Iceland is the most beautiful in the world, especially near the solstice.
Some say that the sunset in Iceland is the most beautiful in the world, especially near the solstice.

My Equipment and Print Quality

I am easily satisfied with the best. 

I carry one camera and three lenses, none of which zooms.  In my experience, zoom lenses tend to sacrifice image quality in the image's corners, or they lose sharpness at important focal lengths.  With my lenses, I never have to worry about that.  Also, to add sharpness, I use the highest-quality travel tripod in existence for every photo I take: the RRS TQC-14.

Because I rely on large-format prints, I will only use state-of-the-art equipment in Iceland: the Nikon 24mm f/1.4, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro, and the Nikon D800e.  I edit everything on a color-calibrated monitor, and I print my photos at the highest-quality photo labs in the United States.  I even have a backup camera in case anything goes wrong.

You simply cannot get a higher-quality image than one of my photos.

Cannon Beach, Oregon, looks remarkably similar to the black pebble beach of Vik in Iceland.
Cannon Beach, Oregon, looks remarkably similar to the black pebble beach of Vik in Iceland.

 How I Will Use the Money

Unfortunately, Iceland is expensive.  A gallon of gas costs about eight dollars.  That said, I'm trying to be as frugal as possible on the trip, at least where my personal comfort is concerned!

I will be camping for most of the trip— I'm only planning to stay in a hotel for three of the fifteen days.  This reduces costs, but I still need funding to make this project work.

I've already put a lot of of my personal money into the Solstice Project, which is why my goal is just $2500.  This will primarily cover airfare costs and car rental fees, and it it is the bare minimum I need to make this trip a reality.  

Stretch goals 

With enough money, I will be able to spend several more days in Iceland and produce more photos than before.  If funding hits 200%, I will hire a helicopter so that I can take aerial photos of Iceland's landscape.  These unique aerial photos would be among the pictures that project backers can print!

I will use the money efficiently and effectively, and I will reinvest all extra funds into making the project as amazing as possible.

Iceland is famous for its rugged coastline.
Iceland is famous for its rugged coastline.

The (Awesome) Rewards

After the trip, I will compile the images from the Solstice Project into two online galleries.  The first will include ten high-definition photos for download.  Access to this gallery is one of the rewards for backing my project, and no one else will have its password.

The other gallery will also be for Kickstarter backers only, but it will contain many more than ten photos.  This second gallery won't let you download the photos— instead, it's where you pick the image you want to print, if printing is included in your reward.  I'll send you the password to the gallery after the trip, you tell me the photo you want printed, and I'll send you the print.  Super easy.

Speaking of the prints, they will be beautiful.  

I print at the highest-quality photo labs in the United States, and the prints have a luminescent quality that can only be witnessed in person.  Every print I make is archival, so they'll last for generations without fading. Also, unlike most fine art photographers, I ship all of my photos ready-to-hang (except the 4x6 inch size, which should be hung with a frame due to its size).  This saves you time, money, and frustration.

No matter how much you pledge, you will be getting more than your money's worth in rewards.

A 12x18 inch paper print, mounted and ready to hang.
A 12x18 inch paper print, mounted and ready to hang.
The mounting foam is 1/4-inch thick.
The mounting foam is 1/4-inch thick.
All prints over 4x6 inches ship with a hanger on the back.
All prints over 4x6 inches ship with a hanger on the back.
The modern, borderless prints complement most decorations perfectly.
The modern, borderless prints complement most decorations perfectly.
A 16x24 inch print is a beautiful fit in any room.
A 16x24 inch print is a beautiful fit in any room.

Thank you for your support!  I truly cannot complete this project without you. 

Risks and challenges

I do not see there being any difficulties in completing the Solstice Project exactly the way I describe it. I have the expertise to make it work perfectly, and I have the time.

If a print gets lost in the mail, I'll replace it at no charge. I will insure all high-value packages, and I'll send everything tracked so that you'll know where your package is at all times. Please note that I cannot sign prints shipping internationally, as they will ship directly to you from the printing house.

The trip ends on June 29, so all emails will be sent out in July. Sorting, processing, and printing photos takes some time, but I work quickly. The finalized galleries and prints will be sent out in mid-August. Assuming that nothing gets delayed in the mail, you'll have your prints before September.

If you aren't happy, I'm not happy. I will make sure that you are thrilled with your reward, no matter how much you pledged.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A personalized THANK YOU email after the trip ends. Also, you get updates on the progress of the Kickstarter campaign.

    $1 may be small, but it matters a lot to me.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You get access to a portfolio of 10 HD digital images from the trip (1920 pixels on the long edge). You can download these images to make beautiful backgrounds for your computer or tablet!

    Plus, a personalized THANK YOU email after the trip ends.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An archival 4x6 inch print on fine-art paper of any photo you want, from the body of work I produce during the Solstice Project.

    Plus, a personalized THANK YOU email after the trip ends.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The $10 reward. Also...

    An archival 8x12 inch print of any photo you want, from the body of work I produce during the Solstice Project.

    The fine-art paper print is mounted on a solid foam backing and is ready to hang.

    Retail Value: $90

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    GREAT VALUE!

    The $10 reward. Also...

    An archival 12x18 inch print of any photo you want, from the body of work I produce during the Solstice Project.

    The fine-art paper print is mounted on a solid foam backing and is ready to hang.

    Retail Value: $175

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    GEAT VALUE!

    The $10 reward. Also...

    THREE archival 8x12 inch prints of any photos you want, from the body of work I produce during the Solstice Project.

    The fine-art paper prints are mounted on a solid foam backing and are ready to hang.

    Retail Value: $270

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    BEST VALUE!!

    The $10 reward. Also...

    An archival 16x24 inch print of any photo you want, from the body of work I produce during the Solstice Project.

    The fine-art paper print is mounted on a solid foam backing and is ready to hang. Plus, I'll hand-inspect your print and sign it on the back!

    Retail Value: $300

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The $10 reward. Also...

    A HUGE archival 24x36 inch print of any photo you want, from the body of work I produce during the Solstice Project.

    The fine-art paper print is mounted on a solid foam backing and is ready to hang. Plus, I'll hand-inspect your print and sign it on the back!

    Retail Value: $400

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    The $10 reward. Also...

    A 12x18 inch print of any photo you want, printed on ACRYLIC. This is the single most beautiful way in existence to print a photo, and they come ready-to-hang. Plus, I'll hand-inspect your print and sign it on the back.

    I only print each photo a maximum of ten times on acrylic, so this reward is truly collectible. I will number the back of the print out of ten.

    Retail Value: $550

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    GREAT VALUE!

    The $10 reward. Also...

    A 16x24 inch print of any photo you want, printed on ACRYLIC. This is the single most beautiful way in existence to print a photo, and they come ready-to-hang. Plus, I'll hand-inspect your print and sign it on the back.

    I only print each photo a maximum of ten times on acrylic, so this reward is truly collectible. I will number the back of the print out of ten.

    Retail Value: $1000

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The $10 reward. Also...

    A HUGE 24x36 inch print of any photo you want, printed on ACRYLIC. This is the single most beautiful way in existence to print a photo, and they come ready-to-hang. Plus, I'll hand-inspect your print and sign it on the back.

    I only print each photo a maximum of ten times on acrylic, so this reward is truly collectible. I will number the back of the print out of ten.

    Retail Value: $1750

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    The $10 reward. Also...

    The only copy in existence of your favorite photo from the Iceland trip. Printed on ACRYLIC, ready to hang, and 30x45 inches large.

    Yes, you read that right.

    Retail Value: Priceless.

    (I will sign and number the print on the back as a 1/1 edition. I will never print that photo again as long as I live, on any material, at any size. I won't even submit it into a photo competition, because they tend to print the winning photos.)

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    How about some of everything?

    - The $10 reward.

    - Three 12x18 prints and three 16x24 prints, all on ACRYLIC, all signed and ready to hang, of any six photos you choose.

    - You get to send me your best ten photos, and I'll write you back a full, detailed portfolio review within two days.

    - A handwritten postcard from Iceland, because you deserve it.

    - The feeling that you alone were responsible for funding the world's coolest photography expedition.

    Think about it— for $3000, you can decorate the walls of your home with six of the most beautiful photos you'll ever see. Plus, you get to have your own portfolio reviewed by an expert. This reward is an unbelievable value.

    Remember, I only print each of my photos a maximum of ten times on acrylic, so the prints in this reward are truly collectible. I will number the back of each print out of ten.

    Retail Value: $4650, not including the value of the portfolio review or the amazing feeling that comes from funding my entire project singlehandedly. (3 x RV $550 prints, and 3 x RV $1000 prints)

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Funding period

- (31 days)