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.
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.
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.
Known locally as Sigöldugljúfur Canyon, the Valley of the Tears is a stunning canyon nearby Haifoss in Iceland’s Highlands.
Arriving in a dusty carpark a short stroll to the edge of a cliff overlooking the valley exposing the stunning vista seen in this image.
As with so many of Iceland’s amazing landscapes, it is difficult to produce an image the brings to life the country’s rugged and amazing beauty.
Sigöldugljúfur is a lesser visited location for visitors to Iceland, but it is certainly well worth the stop on the road to Landmannalaugar. We were fortunate to be taken to this stunning location by our photo guide Kaspars Denisz.
Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park is a spectacular place to visit for great photography opportunities. During the Top End’s dry season it is also a great place to swim and enjoy cool, clear water.1
Waterfalls provide an interesting range of shooting opportunities, with my preference being for silky smooth water as seen in this image.
This image was created in the middle of a bright, cloudless day, so to achieve the silken look I used a Lee Big Stopper 10-stop ND filter. This resulted in a 25-second shutter speed at f/8.0. This slow shutter speed also resulted in a smooth surface on the lagoon, and enhanced the reflection of the waterfall.
F: Lee Filters Seven5 Big Stopper; Lee Filters Seven5 Polarizing Filter.
Always check and heed signage at all swimming spots in Litchfield – dangerous undertows can be present, and this is an area where saltwater crocodiles are regularly seen in the Wet Season, resulting in the lagoon being (sensibly) closed to swimmers. ↩