The Story Behind “Endless Dream”


Iceland’s weather is not for the faint of heart.

This unbelievable land is known for cycling through every season within one day, often in the span of a few hours. The environment there is humbling and makes you in awe of mother nature.

However, this land of unpredictability is also home to extraordinary natural features that seem to defy reality, making its weather-related challenges worth it. From waterfalls to black sand beaches to cool blue glacial water, there is nowhere else on Earth like Iceland.

In addition to the surreal natural sights are the resident horses that have created their own fortune in this difficult yet beautiful land. For my latest series In the Realm of Legends, I framed these storied animals against the most unbelievable backdrops I could find. As I spent time with these horses while creating my work it became hard to imagine them living anywhere else. Together, the horses and land have a synchronistic relationship that, over hundreds of years, has crafted their intertwined mythology.

The image Endless Dream is especially evocative of this unreal feeling because on that day it seemed as if there was an extraterrestrial force at play.

Drew-Doggett-In-the-Realm-of-Legends-Endless-Dream.jpg

As I set up to take this shot, the snow started to fall but the sun stayed out, illuminating everything in a blanket of light that would be impossible anywhere else in the world. As a photographer, you start to notice how the light and its tactile qualities are different depending on where you are in the world, and here it created a unique, divine haze that encased these two horses in a protective veil of snow and light.

Although the horses look calm and collected, yards from where they stand the powerful waterfall Skógafoss pounds thousands of gallons of water into the pool they are in, yet the gauzy light obscures it from sight and the horses don’t seem to mind at all. The conditions to create this photo were near miraculous, but so is Iceland.

Like my series from Camargue & Sable Island , these horses are blissfully unaware of how incredible they are framed against their natural backdrop – except this landscape looks more closely like an imagined fantasy. It appears idealized and reminiscent of collective imagining – but it is actualized here, it is real life.


View more work from this series here 

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