I have spent years carrying around and shooting with a Hasselblad H4D-60 with a selection of beautiful Hasselblad (Fujinon) lenses, and the results have been outstanding. The image files are razor sharp, have wonderful smooth tonal transitions and are an absolute dream to work on. So why have I gone over to the dark side, traded the faithful Hasselblad for the Phase One black box? Read the rest of this entry »
Dark moody skies are my favourite type of lighting, especially for the stunning landscape of Iceland. Beautiful little timber churches also look magic contrasted against the surreal green/yellow of the Icelandic landscape with jagged peaks receding into the distance behind them, especially with low clouds moving in on the tops of those peaks. Bright blue sky and sunshine is lovely, don’t get me wrong, lovely to sit in the sun and watch the world go by, but I usually leave my camera in the bag then. I’d much rather brave the cold blustery conditions and risk getting rained on to get that lovely soft diffused light you only get with dark stormy skies.
This year has been a huge year for travel for me, I’ve had Photo tours to Bhutan, Cambodia and Iceland with a few weeks scouting trip to Norway for tours next year, and in a few weeks I’m of to Bhutan again for the second time this year… I have so many new images that I don’t know where to start!
So, for want of a better plan I will begin with an image from my most recent trip to Iceland, where I ran two photographic tours back to back with Iurie Belegurschi. One of the locations I was really keen to go to on this trip was the Southern Highlands of Iceland with its amazing volcanic landscape and the painted hills. Read the rest of this entry »
I wonder if the views I found so spectacular in Iceland are so spectacular to an Icelandic resident who grew up there, or is it just that it’s so different to where I am from that makes Iceland so unique to me? I wonder if I will ever truly know the answer to this question, and in fact if it actually matters?
Kirkjufellsfoss on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland has got to be perhaps the most ideal of landscapes, it’s a landscape photographers dream location. First there is the mountain, Kirkjufell, which from this angle has a lovely alluring shape, especially with a sprinkling of snow on it. Then there is a beautiful glacial river and waterfall that runs right past it, and then from the waterfall to Kirkjufell you are facing roughly North-West, which is ideal for dawn colours in clouds. The trick is to be prepared for those random rain showers, snow flurries and near cyclonic winds, but it’s ok, it doesn’t seem to last very long so you just need to wait it out to get your shots.
This is of course the same location as the previous post, and a much earlier post from several months ago Kirkjufellsfoss at Sunrise, all three images were shot on the same morning only a few minutes apart from different spots around the scene. I’m sure there are many more possible shots at this lovely location and I’m looking forward to returning later this year with my Photographic Tour to Iceland to explore it a bit further.
This image shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 and the 28mm lens.
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 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>>>
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.