Island – A Book By Hans Strand

What’s On Kevin’s Bookshelf

The Ultimate Coffee Table Book On Iceland

I don’t know too many photographers who haven’t been to Iceland. I took my first trip to Iceland in 2004. At that time, there was no tourism there. The loop road wasn’t paved in many places, and you never had to worry about a hotel reservation. Times have changed, and these days as Iceland is overrun by tourists. Even so, you can always find a place to be by yourself and take amazing images, if you know where to look. Hans Strand, the author of Island, certainly knows all the hot spots, and you will see in this book that I mean that in the literal sense.

Iceland is one of the most picturesque places on the planet. It’s a photographer’s dream come true. Over the years, I thought I had an extensive collection of images from my many trips to Iceland, but they pale in comparison to what Hans Strand has amassed for his book Island. “Island” is what Iceland is called by many, mainly because it is indeed an Island. This is a retrospective of 23 years of work by Hans photographing every corner and season of this fantastic place.

This book is one of the finest photography books I have seen in a long time. Hans Strand is a long-time friend, and I have always admired his photography. This project on Iceland is just incredible. Hans is from Sweden and has been a fellow workshop instructor in the past. He’s an amazing photographer, and the images in this book prove how excellent his photographic skills and talent are.


Images throughout the book illustrate some of the greatest locations in Iceland. There are a large number of aerial photos, too. Iceland takes on a whole different look from the air. Concerning that, it’s noteworthy that Hans is prone to motion sickness, so I know he had to have experienced some pain for some of these images. There are beautiful waterfall images, volcano eruptions, ocean views, and all the images we would expect from this gorgeous land.

The paper used for publication is smooth with a luster finish that makes the images pop off of the pages with no noticeable bleed-through from the opposite side. The binding and build quality of this book is exceptional. There is one catch, though—the book is written in German with no English translation. That means you’d purchase this book for the joy of seeing beautiful photography only unless you speak German.

Island is 14.75 x 11.75 inches in dimension and is 1.75 inches thick with 330 pages. As you can see from a number of the images in this article, the spreads are just beautiful. This book has earned its place on my coffee table and not my bookshelf. My guests at our home love to look at the images in the book and can’t believe that Iceland has all of the beauty portrayed inside.


While I wish there were English translations for what I am sure are great descriptions in this book, the photography alone makes the book worth purchasing. To my friend and fellow photographer: “Great book, Hans. This is a masterpiece and showcase of your talent.”

This book is not available in North America unfortunately unless you order from the Publisher or Amazon in Germany.  In our next article, Hans will share what it took to put this book together and publish it.

Kevin Raber
December 2019
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: Reviews, Columns, MISC

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