An exclusive interview with DANIEL KORDAN
Lens Magazine|February 2021
Daniel Kordan is one of the most influential adventure and landscape photographers worldwide.

Daniel is an International award-winning photographer with significant clients such as Apple, Gazprom Neft', S7 Airlines, and RedBull. Currently based in Tuscany, Italy. Kordan grew up in Moscow and started his photography journey in early childhood while focusing mainly on nature and wildlife photography.

Through his university studies (Physics and Technology), he also gained experience in mountain climbing and hiking, guiding tourist groups in winter and in summer, and became a guide of photo-workshops and the chief editor of Continent expedition magazine. Today, Daniel is considered one of the most influential photographers globally by many social media followers (over 1 Million). His successful workshops continue to be the rising star in Nature and landscape fields. During the past ten years, Kordan received respectable international awards, including the Golden Turtle' 13 Nature nomination winner, National Geographic Russia contest 2013 winner, Best of Russia'13, '14 '15 winner, bestphotographer'13, Trierenberg Super Circuit award (best landscape photographer). His work has been published in many international publications, including Digital SLR Magazine, U.K., Photography week, Photography MasterClass, National Geographic, Discovery, Photoworld China, Digital Photo (Bauer Media) magazines. Daniel Kordan is an official Nikon. Gitzo and Lucroit ambassador.

It is a great pleasure to feature an interview with such a fascinating photographer!

Lens Magazine: Thank you, Daniel, for this interview. We have so many questions about your future photography traveling workshops, but first, let's focus on your background. Through your university studies in Physics and Technology, you also started your professional journey as a nature photographer. What led you to become one of the most experienced photographers in the world? What was your career path?

Daniel Kordan: Thank you, It's a pleasure having an interview with Lens Magazine. In my early years, I attended an Art school. I was a student at this school for six years. I learned painting techniques, which undoubtedly extended my understanding of beautiful compositions and harmonious color palettes. I also learned to understand that finding and presenting unique moments depends on much more than pure technique. I learned to understand the value of intuition. It's a central key to achieve impressive results. The Art studies really helped me to evolve this property. I'm grateful for this. In addition, my Art teacher told me to be bold with colors. He told me never to use black. I listened to him, so I actually never used black in my painting. Instead, I learned to bring out hidden details in dark parts of pictures.

When I had spare time, I was always eager to be in Nature with my friends. We were often driving on bicycles and swimming in the lake. Today, it's strange to think about how different life was in these days. So much has changed since.

About 10 years ago, I started as a guide in a mountain club. This gave me the opportunity to travel to amazing places. Many of these guiding tours enabled me to experience beautiful sunrises (above the clouds). This made a significant impact on me. I had a desire to document and share these beautiful moments with others. In addition, I met a lot of wonderful people and experienced different cultures. And that's precisely what I love about it: your camera brings you to meet other people and new places.

It was hard for me to choose between working with science or photography. My strongest passion had always been science, and I admired doing scientific work. Compared to this, photography was more like pure passion.

After thinking thoroughly about the matter (working with physics or photographing as an occupation), the decision was made.

I choose to photograph and travel. It had become what I love most in my life. Now that I've become a full-time landscape photographer (and a Nikon Ambassador), I still don't consider my photography workshops as work. It's because I'm so emotionally involved. Photographing has become an essential part of my life.

L.M.: Tell us about your traveling photography workshops, are they mainly focused on the Lofoten Islands, Norway?

D.K.: I'm a partner in Iceland's photo tours company. We have workshops in about 45 countries around the world listed on our website, making our company the biggest official tour operator focused primarily on photography tours and masterclasses. My most favorite ones are in Antarctica and Greenland. In Antarctica, we charter a 100 passengers Greg Mortimer supermodern vessel for our 2-week itinerary.

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