The slew of winter storms that throttle us each year should always induce daydreams of another sort of ice: crushed, in a cocktail glass, by a pool, filled with booze.
Therefore it’s hard to fathom the obsession with coordinates to the north—snow-drenched locales that barely see the sun this time of year. Still these stark landscapes are the backdrop for some of the most beautiful photography. Northerly latitudes encourage us to travel to regions to search for moose, listen to endless echoes between mountain peaks and gaze across frigid waters. But where exactly to go to freeze your tail off while being inspired? Six Instagram accounts help sate, and stoke, that desire for wintertime travel in cold, yet magnificent places.
1. Montana: Collective Quarterly
Collective Quarterly is a magazine of discovery, and the latest issue turned the publication’s writers and photographers loose in Montana, specifically a subrange of the Rocky Mountain’s called Absaroka. Print pages of snow-capped mountains spill over to the mag’s Instagram account (see photo above). It’s not just the nature and the wild under CQ’s lens; every part of the culture a traveller would encounter is fleshed out here in length. CQ’s Instagram account is currently filled with house-made and submitted pics of the rugged Montana wilderness.
2. Japan: Tomoyasu Koyanagi
Photo by Tomoyasu Koyanagi
The photos taken by Tokyo-based photographer Tomoyasu Koyanagi don’t necessarily scream adventure. Based out of one of the world’s busiest cities, Tomoyasu and friends escape the city as often as possible, dragging along 35mm, large format cameras, and smart phones, naturally, and head to the coast, expansive fields and abandoned farm buildings. Even the few frames captured inside Tokyo’s city limits feel more backcountry than urban. Visit Koyanagi’s Tumblr for a fuller spectrum of the photographer’s outdoor work.
3. Atlantic Canada: Tim Foster
Web designer and brand manager Tim Foster is like the rest of us, stuck at a desk most hours and dreaming of the outdoors. But give the man a free minute to pack his tent, and he’s off. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the whole of Atlantic Canada is within Foster’s reach, and he usually brings a mountain bike along. Foster’s December hike through Duncan’s Cove in Nova Scotia shows how beautiful and remote the region can be.
4. Alaska: The Young Kimosabe
The Alaskan photographer who goes by the name Young Karliss drags other young, hip, visually-minded photogs through snow and ice, at least this time of year, to capture their home state’s natural beauty. Karliss’ devotion to promoting Alaska’s wild is so heartfelt that he offers many of his photographs as free downloads through a link provided in his Instagram profile.
5. Iceland: Absolute Iceland
Photo via Instagram/absolute_iceland
Maintained solely by Icelandic native son Árni Ví?ir Hjartarson, the Absolute Iceland account documents the ice sheets, frigid wildlife and brightly-colored clapboard domiciles that exemplify this Nordic nation’s countryside. On Fridays, Hjartarson opens up the account to follower submissions, adding the lenses of traveling photographers to the mix. A follow of Hjartarson’s Facebook page only helps to further one’s desire to fly to Iceland.
6. Siberia: Artem Vladimirov
Based in Krasnoyarsk, the third largest city in Siberia, Artem Vladimirov documents his home with a mix of gloomy portraiture, sneaky street photography and composed landscape. Siberia’s vast forestlands are nearby Vladimirov’s urban home, giving his camera plenty of icicle-dripping trees to capture. But the snow-blanketed industrial cityscape of Krasnoyarsk is equally enticing, the white sheets adding mystery to urban decay. For a fuller picture of Vladimirov’s Siberia, check out his Tumblr.
André Gallant is a writer and photographer based in Athens, Georgia. He blogs about farming, fishing and food.