Artifacts: Photographer Eivind H. Natvig

Artifacts is a series about physical items that have meaning to photographers in the field. The items are styled, shot, and described by the photographers themselves.

After the better part of a decade overseas, Eivind H. Natvig has spent the past three years traveling and documenting his native Norway. In an effort to reinvent his photography and come to terms with the elusive notion of home, he spent 12 months living out of a vehicle and on the couches of strangers. While working on this project, titled “You Are Here Now,” he formed a friendship with a traveling arctic priest. As trust grew between the two, doors opened and Natvig was welcomed into a beautiful and isolated community whom few, even in Norway, have ever seen.

Natvig’s Artifacts

“Collecting images around the world is just that—collecting. Long ago I stopped buying things while on the road—you just cannot when you spend months and years of your life traveling. A select few items are shown here, an even smaller selection join as travel companions. Some of these items are just simple tools to make life on the road easier or safer, while others have provided a sense of superstitious protection in hospital rooms and dodgy alleys.”—Eivind H. Natvig

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Photographer Eivind H. Natvig’s artifacts

1. A flag from the Maoist guerrillas of Nepal prior to their surrender. This is from my first trip to Nepal, a trip that made a significant impact and had me spend most of the coming five years in South Asia.

2. A tacky zippo from Hollywood.

3. A Libyan dinar I found at the bottom of my camera bag two years after I left Libya. This dinar has been an unwilling and unknown travel companion ever since.

4. Spaceman USB. For documents and prints while on the road.

5. Jesus flashlight with luminous feet.

6. Extreme USB key with 64gb of storage. A backup of essential images and room for $300 USD in the waterproof compartment.

7. The Notebook.

8. Zeiss Nettax. This a wonderful 6×6 camera from the ´50s that is foldable with a built-in light meter making it perfect to bring along due to its small size and high quality.

9. A tortoise I received from a random encounter in Jerusalem in 2003, which has been along as a lucky talisman for years.  Also a reminder of the surprises one can get with a bit of openness.

10. Button opposing oil drilling in the vulnerable area of Lofoten; home.

11. Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim prayers necklaces given to me by monks and holy men to keep me out of harms way—a safe bet.

12. Press passes and business cards in a cardholder I got from the Lehman Brothers after they went bankrupt.

13. Cameras for work. One Leica M6 and one Leica M.

14. Strong flashlight with dimmer. From the dark arctic winter to Ghadaffi’s bunker, let there be light.

15. Strong mosquito repellent. After three bouts with dengue fever I never leave the country without this to ward off my arch nemesis.

16. Old Norwegian almanac with outdated travel advice from 1919—inspirational when searching for everyday adventures.

17. An old tintype of a couple posing, found in Florida. A wonderful reminder of humor in photography and classic techniques.

18. Earplugs to sleep or work in noisy places.

19. An old image of Norwegian poet Henrik Ibsen shot with a hidden camera. A Norwegian photographer stalked him a hundred years ago. He was an early paparazzo, but at the same time provided historic documentation.

20. The tiny Rollei 35S, a fun little companion.

21. Engine safety for boats. An important security feature for a story I´m working on now about a priest travelling to remote locations far off the Norwegian coast. I keep this in case he gets thrown overboard so that I can restart the engine and get him back on board.

22. An Indian lunghi, the male skirt that can double as a towel, provide shade or whatever you can think of. Wonderful to lounge in after a long workday in the tropics. Probably just as usable as the importance given to towels in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

A Selection Of Natvig’s Work:

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An image from Natvig’s ‘You Are Here Now’ series.
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An image from Natvig’s current project.
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An image from Natvig’s ‘You Are Here Now’ series.

Find more of Eivind H. Natvig’s work on his website.

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