This photographer spent five months capturing the best views in Europe
Johan Lolos had the idea for the Peaks of Europe project in the autumn of 2016, after spending the three previous summers exploring and photographing places that were far away from Belgium, where he lives. His book is not a traditional landscape photography book. It’s the result of a five-month adventure across 17 countries, told through the lens of a European travel photographer who took 29 years to finally explore the continent on which he was born.
‘When I started taking photos, initially as a backpacker spending two years travelling around Australia and New Zealand, I really had no idea that Europe had so much to offer in terms of landscape and diversity. As an inexperienced traveller, I thought I needed to travel to the other side of the planet to see some unique scenery and experience some unforgettable road trip vibes. It took me years to figure out that my hometown Liège is less than a day’s drive away from the most beautiful mountains in the world – the Alps.
‘As soon as I realised this, I started to list all the places in Europe I would like to visit during the summer months. I had taken some road trips in the past, but they were never longer than three months, which I always considered just the right amount of time. Not too long, not too short, just what I needed before I started to miss home. However, three months didn’t seem long enough to explore most of the continent, and this time I really wanted to challenge myself.
‘I used my Instagram stories to post a series of 20 photos every day, documenting what happened the previous day. My followers really appreciated the authenticity of what I posted, which inspired me to combine the best of these 145 daily series in a book. Peaks of Europe is essentially a travel diary, a continuation of the daily InstaStories I published last summer.
‘The one thing I realised during this is that it’s not the places and destinations you go to that make your trip successful or memorable. It’s the people you get to share it with.’
More than 200 photos take you through three major regions of Europe: the North, the Balkans and the Alps. From the Arctic island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago, to Crete, Peaks of Europe showcases the large variety of landscapes that makes Europe so diverse and unique.
‘Peaks of Europe’ by Johan Lolos and Lannoo Publishers is available to purchase online