Photographer thrills internet with ethereal shots of Poland’s rugged wilds
Working under the handle of Erinthul, a photographer has found her work going viral after publishing a series of ethereal images and self-portraits shot in the misty woodlands and atmospheric mountain ranges of Poland.
Tolkienesque in their style, the gently haunting photographs have swept social media despite facing censorship for their depictions of nudity.
Speaking to Petapixel, the photographer said: “I would love to show that a naked woman’s body doesn’t always have to be sexualised and that it can be viewed as something natural. Social media these days censors every photo that even has the slightest bit of nudity… Can you imagine a Renaissance painting with black square over the body parts? That’s just hilarious.”
Despite this battle against bots and algorithms, Erinthul’s work has been met with acclaim and accrued a cult following, not least for the way in which it has tapped into the public’s appetite for such fantastical imagery.
Revealing her inspirations, the photographer said: “In my photography, I was inspired mostly by tales from Polish folklore and of course Nordic and Celtic mythology – not to mention Lord of the Rings.
“I was also inspired by the places I found while hiking as well as the weather – I love snow, heavy fog and the dancing mists you find in summer. I think that’s why I went into creating more dreamy – and occasionally dark – photos.”
Having first dabbled with photography several years back (“I remember taking ‘artsy’ pictures of my friends and family – they weren’t good at all,” she says), Erinthul found herself again wielding a camera when she enrolled into college.
“I actually wanted to go into the military,” she says, “so I thought this was my last chance to try something different.”
Largely reliant on a Canon 6D camera, she soon found herself amassing a following that today numbers in excess of 30,000 on Instagram alone.
The snapper confesses that the idea behind her self-portraits was born from her febrile imagination: “I wanted to create my own little fantasy world to which I could escape whenever I wanted some space,” she says.
“That’s where the idea of creating self-portraits came from. I like being alone, and using a model just wasn’t an option – it would have been quite limiting to wait for something every time I wanted to take a photo. Where nature photography is concerned, timing is really important.”
Defined by their subtle sensitivity and intriguing landscapes, the images balance the untamed and indifferent power of nature against the delicate vulnerabilities of the human body.
“I’ve always liked the contrast of showing a naked and fragile human body in a raw and sometimes dangerous environment,” she says.
Rarely planning her shoots, Erinthul says that hours are regularly spent plunging deep inside the wilds of Poland in her search for the ideal backdrops for her work. “I look for weird or cool trees and rocks,” she says, “but I also pay a lot of attention to the light as when that is right, even the most boring place can look magical.”
That much is evident in her captivating work. Touting an almost mystical quality, it has enthralled a growing sub-section of the internet.
“I love a picture that tells a story,” she says. “The story doesn’t always have to be clear to those viewing it, but I like to see that a photographer has put some thought into it.”
For more on Erinthul’s work, see: https://www.instagram.com/erinthul__/