Exploring Mordor: Combining Fantasy & Photography With Jakub Polomski

For Jakub Polomski, “photography means travels, light and time.” He’s been to a bunch of countries, from Nordic Europe to South America, photographing a variety of subjects, from mountains to fjords, animals to sports. One of his recent projects was a Mordor-inspired series (yes, Mordor the fictional realm that serves as the backdrop of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) featuring the Austrian and Swiss Alps. The dark and gloomy effect was achieved in the post-production process by adjusting levels and curves and implementing cold tones after converting the images to black and white.

We were curious about why he was inspired to create this series, what his favourite subjects to photograph are, where he’s particularly liked exploring… Take it away:


The first Tolkien book I read was The Hobbit. I remember I was amazed by the world described in this short novel. I love the world he created – I mean landscapes, characters, and creatures. I also adore the magical and specific atmosphere of this world.

Patagonian landscapes have impressed me the most till now. This land is incredibly extensive with high variety of beautiful landscapes from endless deserts to huge glaciers. My next aim is New Zealand and to photo journey to ‘Middle-earth’ landscapes, but I will probably need some support for this project.

I photograph landscapes most often, and I like it the most. However it doesn’t mean that I do only this. I like trying new things. Last year I took my first steps in time lapse technique – something between movie and photography.

Equipment used to capture and create such gloomy moods:

I use Canon 5D II + Canon 17-40 F/4 + Canon 70-200 F/4 + graduated filters. In the post-production process I convert photos to black&white with specific tone colors and curves adjusted to high contrast.

Advice for other aspiring photographers:

You should be patient. You should believe in yourself, but without overdoing it. You should learn from critiques, not refuse them.


Find the rest of Jakub’s haunting images on his website, or connect via Facebook.

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