The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is North of Reykjavik and seems absolutely crowded with beautiful scenery. Wild coastline, stunning waterfalls, eerily shaped mountains and lava fields, small stone churches and shaggy Icelandic horses, to name a few of the highlights. This images is shot from the small stone bridge crossing the river just above Kirkjufellsfoss (the waterfall) looking down the falls to the coast at sunrise, just as the clouds had parted and the light poured in. Just a few minutes earlier it was a different kind of pouring as it both rained then snowed on me while I waited for the dawn. Hey, not that I’m complaining, the Icelandic people have many sayings about the weather… the one that is relevant here is… “there is no bad weather, just incorrect clothing”. I had the correct clothing for a change, even my camera had a rain jacket!
Shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with the 28mm lens.
Photographic Tour to Iceland Early Bird Special expiring soon
Hey I’ve got a couple of spots left on my Photographic Tour to Iceland in August this year, and the early bird special runs out in 3 days. It saves you about US$400 so if you are thinking of coming, now is the time to book…
Yet another Icelandic waterfall, Selfoss is about 1km upriver from the massive Dettifoss on the Ölfusá river, in the North East of Iceland. From Dettifoss (previous Blog Post), I ran all the way trying to get a shot with some of that great colour still in the sky… Just made it. The landscape around these two waterfalls is almost how I imagine the moon to be, but with water, or rather as if a glacier had just passed through here. There are no trees and almost no vegetation at all in this region, just miles and miles of volcanic rock and boulders. The only greenery around is the ubiquitous Icelandic moss, that grows over the lava fields softening the landscape. It’s a place where you can really imagine yourself a million years in the past just after an Ice age, or in fact in the middle of one.
This Image of Selfoss in Iceland was shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with the 50mm f3.5 lens.
I think it’s time for a couple more waterfalls from Iceland, the country that has literally thousands of waterfalls! This first one is Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Iceland and thus Europe. The vast volume of water and the huge drop over the edge into the ravine below means that this is a very wet place to stand, the spray from this waterfall sometimes extends hundreds of metres into the air above and around the falls. The day I took this shot I had planned this as my sunset destination, though as I had so many unscheduled stops for roadside attractions (See previous Blog posts for explanation) I barely made it. The weather had been overcast and rainy all day, which is perfect for Icelandic landscapes, but it didn’t look like I would get much of a sunset at all. Well I couldn’t actually see the sun setting, but the clouds opened up enough to allow some great colour just after sunset. The wild colours in the sky, combined with the massive waterfall and the bleak treeless landscape made for a surreal and otherworldly look to the image.
Image of Dettifoss waterfall Iceland, shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 and the 50mm f3.5 lens… with lots of wiping of the front lens element…
A bit of wild Icelandic coastline today, I think it may be time soon for some more waterfalls, or perhaps some ice as Perth swelters at 41° today! Later though, for today it’s Hvítserkur and a piece of wild Icelandic coastline from the Eastern shore of the Vatnsnes Peninsula in the North West Region. The road to this spot is not really a road at all, more of a series of closely spaced potholes strung together in a line… Done is such a cunning way that in avoiding one you hit two or three even bigger ones.
I arrived here late one evening in my camper van, thoroughly shaken about and spent a restful night listening to the waves pounding on the 15 metre high stone stack that is called Hvítserkur, which means “White Coat” in Icelandic, due to all the bird droppings… Not so romantic. Much more romantic is the legend about the monolith. It said to be an ancient troll that was caught in the daylight and turned to stone, preventing it from destroying the bells of the local monastery.
By dawn the sea had calmed and the wind was still, just perfect for a quiet walk down the rocky beach for sunrise.
Both these images shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 and the 28mm f4 lens.
Happy New Year!
I almost forgot, we are starting a new year with lots of new possibilities. Still a few spots on my Icelandic photography Tour in August of this year, its going to be awesome!
This is another almost side of the road shot. I didn’t actually shoot it from the side of the road, but I did see the house as I was driving and so pulled over to have a look (see previous posts about the difficulty of puling over in Iceland). I ended up hiking over fields and climbing over fences for nearly an hour until I could get the view I wanted, with the river and the power lines receding into the background and the little house placed just right to really give scale to the mountains behind it. Or rather, for the mountains to dwarf the tiny house in the landscape.
I don’t think it’s a house that’s lived in all year round, it seems more like a summer pasture house for a shepherd, or perhaps a holiday house for hobbits? Imagine the real estate ad… For Sale, small isolated cottage with large mountainous backyard, ideally situated with river views and plentiful supply of electricity…
This image shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with the 50mm f3.5 lens.
Iceland photo Tour, August 2015 half Full.
It’s only been a couple of days since I sent out the newsletter and my Photographic Tour to Iceland next August is now half full.
This shot is not actually taken from the side of the road, but I did see it while driving. After seeing it I had the always fun adventure of trying to find a place to pull off the road, never an easy thing in Iceland. Then I had to hike back the kilometre or so to get back to the right angle…
This shot is actually taken from the top of a pile of rocks in a cow paddock. I’ve tried reversing the usual very saturated Icelandic landscape and pulled most of the colour out of the image to really concentrate the eye on the stark white of the little church. I do wonder why God would want to live in a little house like this when he can build the majestic landscape you see behind it. Perhaps to get out of the ever present Icelandic rain?
Shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 and the 100mm f2.2 lens from on top of a rock pile in a cow paddock. How mundane.
Iceland Tour 4/12’s full.
Only 8 places left for my Iceland Tour next August, you can read about it here>>>
After many weeks of promising I have finally got all the details up on the webpage for my Photographic Tour to Iceland for August 2015! Its just in time for Christmas for that special someone, or yourself. I think its important to buy yourself a special present at Christmas too, after all, nobody knows what you really want as well as you do right? If you love photography, then this is the present you want.
Iceland Photo Tour details are up.
We will beginning the tour in Iceland in Reykjavik August 19th 2015 and concluding the tour there August 30th. It’s 12 days total, with 10 full days on tour (with a day either side for arrival and departure), with all your ground costs covered while you are on tour, including all your meals. The only thing you have as extras are alcohol and any other extra curricular snacks you may hide in your camera bag. All the details are on the web page, including the booking forms simply click HERE>
Small group with 12 places only.
This tour I am running in partnership with Iurie Belegurschi, a very well known and talented Icelandic photographer. We have a maximum of 12 places available for this tour and a big bus to drive us around, so there is loads of space for all that camera gear and luggage. Have a look at the webpage, and if you have any questions give me a call on +61 415 854 179 or email at email@example.com
These images of Gullfoss at sunset were shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with the 50mm f3.5 lens (above) and the 100mm f2.2 lens (below).
I’m not really doing this in order, at least not chronological order but rather just the images that take my fancy as I troll through my Iceland photos. So these shots are from the day before the last post when I had spent the morning photographing the sunrise over the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon with the Vatnajökull Glacier in the background. It was a clear bright day with no wind, one of the very few like that on the whole journey. I’m not really a fan of clear bright days, at least not for dramatic photography, and the awe inspiring landscapes of Iceland are truly made for dramatic photography, especially with wild cloudy windswept skies; Which is what I got for almost all of the trip.
Clear sunny days are great for relaxing in the sun (especially when its 2 degrees), drinking a coffee at a roadside cafe (or a Glacier side cafe in this case), and going down and photographing the backlit icebergs on the black sand beach at the entrance to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Extreme close up, abstract backlit icebergs. Lots of fun, and a magical place just to wander around and play on a sunny day. I began with a wool undershirt, a fleece jacket, a Canada Goose down jacket, scarf, gloves and beanie, it’s right next to a Glacier remember. After about a half hour I was down to the wool undershirt, and carrying all the rest strapped to my camera bag! That black volcanic sand really absorbs the warmth of the sun, and with no wind it pretty soon got up to the mid 20’s, even with Icebergs all over the place.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the Black sand beaches at the outlet to the sea are truly unique and amazing places, which is why we will be spending nearly 3 days there in my up coming Photographic Tour to Iceland, for which details will be up very very soon…
These Images shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with the 100mm f2.2 lens at f20.
The last morning of my 10 day Iceland trip I had put aside for the black sand Ice beach at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in the Vatnajökull National Park, in Southern Iceland. It had been clear the day before (and I got the Northern Lights the night before), but on the last morning there was no actual sunrise, the dawning of the day was heralded only by a lightening of the shades of grey in the sky. So I stayed in bed in my camper van, being utterly exhausted after 10 days of chasing light. I got up around 8am, which was a huge sleep in, had a leisurely cup of tea, then wandered down to the beach where everything had brightened up considerably, and there was even a little late colour in the sky. Sometimes sleeping in pays off.
The icebergs that break off the Vatnajökull Glacier into the lagoon slowly make their way down the outlet to the sea. Many of the bigger icebergs get jammed in the shallow channel, and then get pushed back in again with the tide, and so go back and forth a couple of times daily until they melt enough to float freely out to sea. Even then their trial is not over, as many of them get washed up on the volcanic black sand beach either side of the outlet, at least for a while. There were some huge icebergs there the day before, high and dry and looking like they would never move, the next day they were gone to be replaced by others.
Date Change for Iceland Photo Tour 2015.
We have had a slight date change for next years photographic tour of Iceland. Rather than beginning August 25th as originally planned, we are now booked for August 19th – August 30th 2015. We had a hotel booking conflict that was easier to resolve by changing dates, so thats what we have done. I have all the info now, itinerary, dates, costings ect… Now I just have to write the web page…
Yet another image shot after pulling the van over to the side of road in Iceland whilst on the way to some where else. Yet another unscheduled stop in a landscape that is almost inconceivably beautiful.
My biggest problem in Iceland was finding places where I could pull over… The roads are all built up quite high above the landscape, I guess they get a lot of flooding there, and there is no road shoulder so no room to pull over. So every 5 minutes when I went driving past something spectacular my biggest concern was finding somewhere to pull over without going off the side of the road into the landscape.
So, just another magic spot somewhere off the road in Southern Iceland.
Shot on the Hasselblad H4d-60 and the 28mm lens, with a 6 stop ND filter. Needs a bit of pst processing work, but I think it has potential…
Iceland Photo Tour Update.
I have the itinerary finalised for the August 2015 tour of Iceland, now I just have to get all the hotels confirmed to finalise costing and then we are ready to start booking. More news soon.