Front Runner 4 x 4: Sixteen Questions with Benjamin Hardman
by Andrew Pasquella
In 2015 Benjamin Hardman left his native home of Australia after quitting his accounting job to follow his passion for the landscape photography. He booked a one-way ticket to his new home, Iceland, where he had visited two years prior and it was love in first visit.
He works to blend digital media with fixed aesthetic principles through textural contrasts and natural obscurities within the landscape. Channeling between portrayals of stark wilderness and refined conceptual pieces, his work encapsulates the seasonal change that grips Iceland throughout the year.
What is your top, must-have item for exploring/off-roading? For exploring in the darkness in search of the Northern Lights, the 40" LED bar mounted on the Slimline II is super incredible. What is the best thing you’ve seen while adventuring? The mid-winter arctic sunset over in Greenland is pretty insane. What’s your nickname? Ben. Benno. Benny. Depends on the country haha! What charity do you identify with? I am a huge supporter of Landvernd for their efforts in conservation of the Iceland landscape. You’re going on a road trip; what 3 people do you bring with you, dead or alive? Damn, it's too hard to answer that question! What’s your current road trip playlist? I listen to a pretty strange mix on the road, bands such as Citizen and Nothing, mixed with Olafur Arnalds and Daughter. Name somewhere you’d like to visit, where you’ve never been. Antartica for sure! What’s your most embarrassing moment while exploring? Tripping over on the side of a hill while trying to catch my drone and the drone crashing and me further fumbling like a fool, all while a bunch of people were watching. What has been your most dangerous moment while exploring? Getting the Rover properly stuck in the snow near to the middle of the Icelandic highlands in winter. Endless digging while waist deep in ice water and then six hours of waiting in a blizzard in the dark to be pulled out. Lesson to self: never venture out there without a convoy. What are you most grateful for? To be happily situated in my favorite place on earth with my beautiful partner, Amy. What is your favorite word? I say gnarly way too much, but it's pretty gnarly. What is your least favorite word? After much consideration I'm actually not the biggest fan of the word gnarly. What is your favorite vehicle? Big fan of the 70 series Land Cruiser but definitely a Defender lover. What is your least favorite vehicle? Dacia Dusters are like scooter riders at a skate park. Who is your role model? Hard to pinpoint a specific role model. I look to the landscape for inspiration. Sum up your life’s philosophy in 3 words. Cold. Gnarly. Bangers.