A new book by Sandra Bartocha & Werner Bollmann

Images like these cannot be produced just by force and energy. They can only be accomplished by someone who can adapt their shooting strategies to the heartbeats of untamed nature. By listening to the sounds of the forest, the motion of the waves, the song of the birds and the silence of the winter, these two photographers became one with the surrounding environment and hereby created images of great visual poetry.

From the preface by Hans Strand


Four years, four countries, two photographers, one style of aesthetics for the entire North – LYS. This is what Norwegians and Danes call the light, and this is what this book is all about: It is a tribute to the magic light of the North, a photographic declaration of love to the unique beauty of the great landscapes in the north of Europe.

We would be delighted if through LYS we could share our love for the North with all those of you who already know it, and instil a longing desire in those who have not yet been there – in the land of light behind the horizon up north …

Sandra Bartocha & Werner Bollmann

LYS, a little word with great radiance. LYS, this is what Norwegians and Danes call the light, and what other title would be more suitable for a photography project devoted to the light of the North? For four years we have travelled the Nordic countries to make a dream come true. It was a long time, but essential, because with LYS we were going to create something unprecedented: we were going to cover not only a region, not only animals, not a photographic subject but the big picture – the entire European North, from the bright Danish woodlands and pastures in the south to the blue glaciers of Spitsbergen in the north, from the storm-battered coast of Norway in the west to the dark Finnish forests in the east. In the glow of the midnight sun, under dancing polar lights, in a snow storm over the tundra and on the quiet waters of the skerries. Landscapes, animals, plants. In our very own personal style, far away from documentation, rather sensitive and diverse, just as the character, the soul of the great Nordic landscapes and their inhabitants would demand.

During these years we lived through many adventures, many memorable situations. We were out in our walking boots and snow shoes, in a kayak and catamaran, by snowmobile and dog sled. Freezing, sweating, soaked to the skin and bitten a thousand times. Luck and misfortune went hand in hand, but luck prevailed. And after this long stretch of time, we are full of gratitude and humility for all the exciting moments and quiet times we were allowed to experience in the North.


Sandra Bartocha (*1980)

Photographer, author, head editor of the magazine Forum Naturfotografie published by the Society for German Nature Photography  (GDT) and vice president of the same. Addicted to photographs, creative, technophile and media-oriented. Nonviable without caffeine and input, cold-resistant (at least with a camera in her hand) and barely tired. An inhabitant of Mecklenburg by birth and conviction, as such prefers open landscapes and a close proximity to the sea. Loves music and quiet waters, hates jokes and tomatoes. An award-winning representative of top class nature photography, down-to-earth and stubborn, as tauri often are, and absolutely reliable.

Werner Bollmann (*1966)

Father, geographer and old school natural history scientist. A traveller of the North for more than 30 years, a writer of books and an editor. Loves tranquillity and sleep, hates stage appearances and the winter. A stickler for order and an amateur chef. A Rhinelander by birth, and as such, a habitual lover of wine and words. A northerner by choice, his home is at the firth of Kiel. Admires Scandinavian design and will be forever unable to say whether Stockholm is really more beautiful than Copenhagen.


If you want to join us on our journey to the Arctic Circle and beyond, you will soon notice that LYS is our very own story of the North, written in our images. Images that are the essence of what we have seen, experienced and felt, during long polar nights, on storm-tossed bird islands, in cornflower-blue midsummer nights and silent forests.

We have merged all this in a photo book with convincing high-end features and a generous, clear layout that supports the style of our photography. Short texts in German and English, both poetic and puristic, intensify the emotional aspects that we would like to convey in our images. And as previously mentioned, we have decided to self-publish, because we believe this is the only way to ensure the high standard that we have envisioned right from the beginning. This starts with the choice of images and includes layout, the look and feel of the paper, and cover and slipcase design.

LYS – An Intimate Journey to the North

Photographs: Sandra Bartocha & Werner Bollmann
Foreword: Hans Strand
Texts: Werner Bollmann, puristic- poetic texts in German and English
Chapters: Bright South, Calm Waters, Silent Forests, Open Tundra, Raging Sea, Far North
Size: 24,5 x 28cm, LYS Publishing, 2016, 2nd edition 2019
Pages: 256
Photographs: 139
Paper: Arctic Volume White 170 g/m²
Printing house: optimal:media, Röbel

ISBN: 978-3-00-054106-3

Standard Edition
Embossed hardcover

Special Edition
Limited, signed & numbered special edition
Embossed hardcover & slipcase + 18 x 24 cm Fine Art Print



  • Coffee-table book (signed on request)


  • Limited, signed & numbered special edition (limited to 300 copies)
  • Slipcase LYS (endless light, endless darkness, midsummer and polar night – the range of light in the north inspired us to this design of the cover and slipcase)
  • Incl. 18 x 24 cm Fine Art Print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 g/m²