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.
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.
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.
I didn’t think I had time to visit Litlanesfoss waterfall on this trip, but the road had other ideas. I was following highway 1 around Iceland, making detours at various places to get to spectacular spots. In this case though I had continued on straight thinking I was on highway 1, but at some intersection highway 1 had turned right and the road that continued straight on had become another road… even though it looked exactly the same and there was only a small sign to indicate otherwise. Seems I was meant to come here.
It was grey, windy and occasionally raining, so perfect weather for waterfalls really. The overcast conditions and wet rocks all conspired to bring out the colour in the stone and the ubiquitous green of the stunning Iceland moss. Yes, it really is this colour!
Image shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with the 50mm f4 lens
I’m sitting at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands after 17 hours of flying via Abu Dhabi (that airport is a surreal experience). I have 6 hours to wait until my flight to Reykjavik Iceland, and a well earned (and needed) hot shower.
Then its straight into it, I can’t wait! There are volcanoes erupting, crazy unseasonal storms blowing and the Northern Lights have moved into full swing, sounds like the ideal recipe for some awesome landscapes.
Stay tuned for more…