Skaftafell Glacier

Skaftafell Glacier
This is a shot of one of the immense glaciers meandering down the mountains in Skaftafell national park in eastern Iceland.

I spent most of the day hiking in the park – with the weather alternating between sunny and warm, and cold and raining! Typical Icelandic weather… At the end of the day I got back to my car and was heading back to my hotel, when I spotted a small road heading off towards a glacier in the distance. I followed it, and boy was it worth it! At the end of the road – a beautiful view of this glacier with a light blue tinge.

Seyðisfjörður – Morning Panorama

Seyðisfjörður - Morning Panorama

More than a year ago I took 2 shots in the beautiful town of Seyðisfjörður in eastern Iceland – you know the type; good enough to keep, but not special enough to post. Then recently I decided to look back through my pictures and came across these 2 shots which just so happened to be taken from the same spot but looking at slightly different angles – perfect for a panorama!

Sunrise in Seyðisfjörður

Sunrise in Seyðisfjörður

It’s been more than a year since my trip to Iceland already, but I’m still finding pictures in my Iceland folder which are worth posting!

This one was taken at sunrise in Seyðisfjörður in eastern Iceland. It’s a small town at the end of a fjord, and is the only place where you can catch a ferry from Iceland to Europe (or vice versa).

I only spent one night there, but that morning when I got up for the sunrise it was perfectly still, resulting in flawless reflections on the water. The light was just touching the top of the fjord peaks, and the town wasn’t stirring yet – there was complete silence except for a few birds. A truly spectacular start to the day!

Stokksnes

Stokksnes

This is a view of Stokksnes, located close to the town of Höfn in eastern Iceland.  The beach is covered in fine volcanic black sand, and there is a very thin layer of water on most of the sand, extending several hundred meters out from where I was standing for this shot.  Because the water layer is so flat and thin, it is almost perfectly still, creating a spectacular reflection (not really visible in this shot).  Stokksnes is several kilometers down an unpaved track from the main ring road, so it’s one of the lesser-visited spots of Iceland.  I had the entire area to myself for several hours; the only sounds were the wind, a few birds, and waves breaking far out in the distance – definitely one of the most magical moments I had in Iceland!

Stormy Reynisfjara Beach

Stormy Reynisfjara Beach

This is Reynisfjara Beach in southern Iceland, near the town of Vik, shot on a stormy afternoon in early October.  There were two other photographers on the beach at the same time, and we were all busy taking pictures not paying particular attention to the waves.  All of a sudden a huge wave washed up the beach – so the three of us were suddenly running in front of the wave, carrying our cameras on tripods, trying to avoid getting wet!  Definitely one of the funniest photography moments I’ve had!  We all had a laugh together after, and of course paid more attention to the waves after that!

Jökulsárlón Lagoon

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Jökulsárlón Lagoon is on the coast of eastern Iceland.  It is a glacial lake, formed by the retreating Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.  As icebergs calve off of the glacier, they drop into the lake below.  These large chunks of ice gradually melt down until they are small enough to leave the lake, taking the short trip to the Atlantic Ocean.  With incoming tides these icebergs are often washed up on the beach, which is also covered in black volcanic sand.  The contrast of the ice sitting on the black beach is spectacular, especially with the light from either sunrise or, in this case, sunset.  Unfortunately, the glacier is continuing to retreat, and the lake is estimated to have already quadrupled in size since the 1970’s.  In the next few decades the lake and beautiful nature that it presents will probably become “just” a new fjord.

This view shows the shoreline next to the lagoon, looking inland, and the mountains nearby.  The glacier is hidden in a shroud of cloud on the left of the picture.

Skogafoss

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Skogafoss is easily accessible, located just next to route 1, the main ring road around Iceland.  It’s also one of the largest waterfalls in the country, and is therefore also one of the most photographed!  I got there quite late in the day, and since it was a cloudy day the light was fading fast.  I decided to shoot a long exposure shot in order to blur the waterfall and river in the foreground, using a Hoya NDX400 filter (9 stop filter).  This also gives the shot a slightly blue and darker hue, which I always think gives a kind of sad or mysterious atmosphere.

Jökulsárlón Ice

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Jökulsárlón Lagoon is on the coast of eastern Iceland.  It is a glacial lake, formed by the retreating Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.  As icebergs calve off of the glacier, they drop into the lake below.  These large chunks of ice gradually melt down until they are small enough to leave the lake, taking the short trip to the Atlantic Ocean.  With incoming tides these icebergs are often washed up on the beach, which is also covered in black volcanic sand.  The contrast of the ice sitting on the black beach is spectacular, especially with the light from either sunrise or, in this case, sunset.  Unfortunately, the glacier is continuing to retreat, and the lake is estimated to have already quadrupled in size since the 1970’s.  In the next few decades the lake and beautiful nature that it presents will probably become “just” a new fjord.

The beach with the icebergs is a very popular destination for photographers in Iceland – when I turned up there were several dozen cars and vans parked there already, and the beach was crawling with people with cameras and tripods.  The picture makes it seem very peaceful, but unfortunately it wasn’t!  I assume sunrise is a little quieter!  This picture is a single shot, taken with low ISO and high f/ number for a slow shutter speed (0.6s).  This is long enough to get a little bit of blur in the waves washing up on the beach next to the ice.