In Iceland, Huldufólk are the hidden people: elves, trolls, gnomes, faeries, etc., who cannot be seen by humans unless they want to be. I’m not Icelandic, but I have always loved Iceland and their folklore, and I have been wanting to create this design for a long time. For this image, I incorporated two of their folktales with my own artistic spin (please forgive me if I butcher any of these tales in my short descriptions).
Jónsmessa (Midsummer’s Eve): If you sit at a crossroads where all roads lead to a church on this night, the elves will attempt to seduce you with food and gifts. If you break down and give into temptation at any time during the night, woe will fall upon you. You will belong to the elves forever, go insane, or experience bad luck. However, if you resist their offers until the sun rises (which isn’t until 11:00am), the elves will leave and reward you will all of the gifts they offered throughout the night.
In this image, I am clearly about to regret my decision to give in to their offers!
Reynisdrangar (The Trolls of Vik): These are basalt sea stacks in the ocean off the black sand beach near the town of Vík í Mýrdal. According to legend, the rocks were once two trolls. The trolls were standing in the water dragging a ship to shore, when they got caught in the sunlight at dawn and turned to stone, which is what happens to trolls if they stay out after dark. The trolls of Vik do not have the appearance of a person, like the one in my image.
My idea behind my troll was that he got his feet stuck in a geothermal pool and, as he attempted to hack his way out, the sunlight touched him and he turned to stone.
For the landscape, I combined 8 stock photos from Iceland to create a unique and magical crossroads scene. I also used a more traditional perspective on faeries and elves, though they do appear different in Icelandic lore.
Sorry for the long description and for not posting in a long time; I have been really busy with coursework. I hope you like it! Thank you for all the wonderful stock photos below!
Lava hill with the cave:
Mountains, hot springs and forest on right:
Mountains & hills on left:
Public domain image: Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights shine above Bear Lake in Alaska
Stone Troll (I'm sorry for turning you into a troll!):
Model: Josh P
Female elf in white:
Fairy in peach:
Fairy in blue:
Male elf squatting:
Male elf inside cave:
Elf Ears for the three elves:
Me! (because I find it humorous to use myself)
Blueberries inside bowl:
Gold coins inside chest:
Floating city, castle towers, and castle windows:
Water spouts below fountain:
Stone ground and bridge surface:
Flowers in front of castle:
Arches with portal:
Portal entrance swirl:
Flowers around large tree:
Lake and mountains:
Cloudy sky around sun:
Man pulling rope:
Turtle walking through barrier:
Small school of fish:
Large school of fish:
Pair of purple/red fish:
Ocean Surface & Sky:
Cracked Stone Floor:
Sand (ocean bottom):
Rock under sea tree:
Water splashes for fin & buoy:
Caution Tape on right:
Caution Tape on left:
Drawn by me
Human tug o’ war victim:
Me (because I find it humorous to use myself in my manipulations)
I am new to Photoshop, but I am thoroughly enjoying using it for photo editing and manipulations. I'm no professional, but I thought I'd start sharing some of the things I've worked on, rather than keeping them on the computer where they'll never be seen.
I hope you enjoy my work!