Among the myriad of waterfalls in Iceland, Seljalandsfoss is unique in that you can easily walk behind the falls to gain a spectacular view through the water curtain over the adjacent plains.
We visited this site on a (typically) overcast day, and got some good images. The following day was much sunnier, so as we drove back to Reykjavik we made a quick stop, which paid off with this image.
Like the nearby Skogafoss, the challenge for photographers is to create images that reduce the crowds. The best way is to get there early before the tour buses from Reykjavik arrive.
An additional approach is to setup a composition with an angle that minimises crowds, and then pick you moment!.
Another challenge here is the spray from the waterfall. It is intense, so you need to setup your composition, cover the lens and the rip off the cover, shoot, wipe and repeat. Needless to say, plenty of microfibre cloths are essential.
This is one location where a very wide lens helps get the full scene, and exposure blending techniques will be useful to balance the very dark to very bright, especially on a sunny day.
Located in the south of the island, between Vik and Reykjavik, Skogafoss is special in that you can walk right up to the base of a fall that drops over 60m, or climb the steps up to a viewing platform overlooking the waterfall.
Behind the viewing platform is a pathway that is the start/end of a 25km hiking track, with numerous additional and unique waterfalls along the glacier-fed river that leads to Skogafoss.
Skogafoss is busy, making it difficult to capture images like this one with few people. The trick is to get there early or late in the day. This image was captured in the morning before day-trippers from Reykjavik arrived. I setup and composed my image, then waited patiently for no-one to be in frame.
I love this site, and look forward to revisiting in winter or spring when there is snow on the surrounding peaks.
The first time I saw images of Iceland’s Vestrahorn I knew that I had to visit and photograph this magnificent mountain range. It is simply one of the most spectacular ranges right on Iceland’s south eastern coast.
Vestrahorn is quite accessible from the nearby town of Hofn, and makes for stunning sunset photos in any (every) season.
Vestrahorn requires a wide lens—this images was made with at 8mm on my m43 camera (16mm FF equivalent).
Alternatively it is a great scene for a panorama. In fact, if you wanted to get any closer to the range you would need to go pano unless you have a super-wide angle lens.
Located near the town of Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Kirkjufell may well be the iconic image of Iceland.
There is a reason this sight is so well photographed—it is very accessible, and has the ‘whole package’ of a distinctive mountain and two waterfalls in the scene (the second one is on the bend on the lower right of the image—the white water is beneath the fall).
Being so well photographed, the challenge with somewhere like Kirkjufell is to make an image that is unique.
Over the course of a couple of days during our Iceland adventures I was able to get several different perspectives, and was happy to get some real drama in the sky on in several images.
Iceland’s highland region of Landmannalaugar is notable for the spectacular rhyolite mountains, valleys and hills. It is also known for several surrounding lava fields.
For photographers, these features make for spectacular subjects, but a good photograph has a good subject and great light, and Landmannalaugar is also well known for the spectacular light that can be experienced.
After quite an amazing trek up Blahnukur, we explored the adjacent lava fields, and found several vistas showing both the hills and fields, but the light in this vista really took my imagination. It was simply spectacular.
An all day trip to Landmannalaugar allowed time to explore, and you really need to be able to take the time and let the light conditions progress. Don’t rush.
The Black Church of Budir is one of those Icealandic photography locations I had seen in various Youtube videos and guidebooks, and the look of this quaint, black, church intrigued me enough to ensure a side trip to visit the location while staying on the Snaefellsness Peninsula.
This was early in our trip to Iceland, and the skies were not promising. As we drove over the mountain pass from Grundarfjordur (the town adjacent to Kirkjufell), the heavy rain and low clouds did not give me great confidence of great images.
We of course persevered, and the cloud did not lift. If anything, it set in even further, with the surrounding mountains shrouded in a heavy cover.
So while not ‘ideal’ the conditions challenged me to look around, and instead of using the mountains as a backdrop, I changed composition to show the sea.
As with many locations in Iceland, the beauty of the scenery is often enhanced by the ever-present cloudy skies, bringing out the saturation in the grasses.
In this case, the black church provided a stunning contrast to the church grounds, and the skies enhanced the mood of darkness that the church naturally evokes.
Precisely one year ago we visited Cape Otway on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, staying at the Cape Otway Lightstation for a milestone birthday treat.
There are three or four cottages or studios in historical buildings in which you can stay at the Lightstation. On this occasion, we are pretty sure we were the only guests staying overnight, and given the staff don’t stay on site, we had this incredible piece of history to ourselves overnight.
I haven’t done a lot of night sky photography, but with a clear night and a new moon in a remote location I had to take the opportunity.
Staying overnight provides the opportunity to scout out compositions before dusk, and the use of the PhotoPills app allowed me to plan the time of night when the milky way would be aligned above the lighthouse.
While I am sure that there is a lot of room for improvement, I am very happy with this image. Not only it is a decent image of the magnificent night sky, it brings forth great memories and wonderful imaginings.
Photography is a medium for story telling. This image provokes thoughts of the vastness of the universe, it is a reminder of the danger of navigation along a treacherous coastline. These threads combine—for me—into thoughts of exploration and journey.
Godafoss was one of the key photography locations that I was looking forward to seeing and capturing during our visit there in September 2019. I can’t remember exactly how and when I first learned of this stunning waterfall, but it certainly came up regularly as we planned our trip.
We based ourselves out of Akureyri in northern Iceland for a couple of days, and made the journey out there on our second day. Of course the weather was quite overcast, and the distant mountains were completely hidden in the cloud. We still spent some time hunting for composures and hoping for the weather to clear. It didn’t, so we continued on to visit other locations around Lake Myvatn.
While I got a couple of nice images, I was not able to get the image I had in my minds eye—and had travelled half way around the world to capture.
The next morning was our last in Akureyri, and I planned to get up early to try again for the image I wanted, but the weather was even worse, so we had a leisurely breakfast, explored Akureyri and set off early afternoon for our next destination.
Our route would take us right past Godafoss, but the weather was still poor. As we neared the waterfall, we decided to stop anyway. I got the camera gear out, covering it up a raincover.
Suddenly there was a break in the rain, and the cloud lifted just enough to expose the distant mountains. The drama in the sky added to the natural beauty of this ‘waterfall of the gods.’
A little bit of persistence, and an equal measure of luck, helped me to get the photo I imagined.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day so I wanted to present an image the shows nature at it raw finest.
This was an image made over a valley between a lava field and the incredibly colourful rhyolite ranges in the Landmannalaugar region of Iceland’s highlands. We visited this location on a photo tour with our guide Kaspars Dzenis.
Clearly the weather was quite overcast, but the muted light only served to bring out the incredible colours of the rhyolite, the grassy valley and the blackness of the lava fields.
We love the Landmannalaugar area, and reviewing these photos is a special opportunity to think back on one of the most special hiking photography experiences.