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Photo Essay: Discovering Latvia for the First Time

A Natural Baltic Story

Author: Pierre-Louis Ferrer

After the lockdown of 2020, I decided to visit Latvia to meet a good friend. As with all my trips, I took my converted camera and infrared filters to focus on the unique natural environment of this country. My equipment consisted of a full-spectrum Canon RP, 35mm and 100mm lenses, and a 550nm infrared filter. 

I could travel light and deal with most subjects I wanted to shoot. The result was a vibrant and saturated nature where leaves became red. Let me show you the places I enjoyed visiting. 

Kemeri National Park, a haven of nature and calm

In Kemeri National Park, I discovered swamps surrounded by conifers and birches. I traveled across raised wooden paths to avoid interfering with the park’s biodiversity.

The weather was very mild — the blue of the sky matched the blue of the water where the clouds were reflected. This park also has an observation tower in the middle of the walk, offering an impressive panorama of the whole place.

The Salaspils Memorial, a witness of history

The gigantic statues at the Salaspils Memorial testify to the scars of Latvia’s different periods of war and occupation. The Memorial itself, looking like a Soviet spaceship, exhibits photo archives of World War II and the construction of this historic place.

A sound system emits heartbeat sounds from the forest, making the visit to this place intensely emotional.

Sigulda, its caves and abandoned factory

Sigulda is a beautiful town located about fifty kilometers from Riga, in the Gauja National Park. The region has many rock formations to visit, between natural caves and spaces carved into the rock.

Another point of interest is the old paper factory and its industrial remains. If the factory is difficult to access, the few abandoned buildings in the area are prime photo subjects!

The place beyond the pines

The forests of Latvia can be navigated by observation turrets that offer panoramas above the treetops. Swirls of smoke come from the mists on the ground evaporating throughout the day.

About the author:

Pierre-Louis Ferrer is a professional French photographer and an expert in infrared and ultraviolet photography. He works with the biggest beauty companies, health organizations, and cosmetic laboratories worldwide to develop new ways of delivering dermatologic information and skin cancer prevention through UV imagery.

In addition, he has developed a sensible artistic approach based on the revelation of our natural heritage and its confrontation with human activity. His infrared series are regularly exhibited in galleries and art festivals and acquired by art collectors and companies.

You can discover his work and services on his website or professional portfolio. You can also follow him on Instagram and Behance

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