The

Photo Experience

      

Locations

S. Iceland 15

              

   

Location

Intro

   

 

 

  

 

Southern Iceland 2015

           

  During a 10 day photo tour, we experienced

equal amounts of postcard weather, fine art

weather, and wet windy weather.   

   

Southern Iceland is absolutely beautiful in July

which was technically their summer this year.  Luckily summer was late. 

 

Wild Flowers  (8)

(Folio)   (22)

iPhone Pics

 

 

  

S. Iceland Library   

  

 

 

 

  (Trip Map)

   

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Sun Voyager

Jon Gunnar Arnason 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Stayed at

Hotel Klettur.)

 

   DAY 2 

    

     

   

        

 

  

 

 

 

 

 Hjalparfoss

Falls

 

Lupine Beauty

 

 

Nothing like photographing these neat little falls during the middle of the day with bright sun, the nature photographer's nemesis. The only saving factor was the beautiful Lupine. 

 

Although Lupine are invasive in Iceland,

 they sure brighten up

an otherwise barren landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Stayed at

Hotel Hrauneyjar.)

   

Laugahraum

 

Lava Flow

 

This lava flow was

near the side of the highway on the way

 to Landmannalaugar.

 

 I actually have no clue the name of this place as signs in Iceland are few and far between.

 

   

Landmanna-

laugar   

 

This place is absolutely surreal. This is the view from the main camp ground.  Be prepared to drive your vehicle thru a small river to get there.  It doesn't seem like anyone gets stuck though. 

 

From here, there are several trails that will take you to

even more surreal locations.

   

 

Landmanna-

laugar   

 

Ash on Snow

 

The challenge was to photograph decades of black ash coating a bank of ice while giving the viewer a reference point to what they were viewing .

   

Snaefellsjokull

 

(Hike from

Main Camp at

Landmannalaugar)

 

This was another awesome scenic a couple kilometers hike from the main camp ground.  For regular people, this was a surprisingly dangerous hike.  You could really hurt yourself on this

one, but was well

worth the effort.

 

The following day, we actually hiked to the waterfall in the distance and, while beautiful, didn't make the cut photographically. 

 

   

(East of

Crater Ljotipollur)

 

Again, not too far off

the main highway, but except for some hills which we ended up hiking, the view was

uninspiring.  One of

 the more adventurous photographers hiked

up one the hills a couple kilometers, and lo and behold, what an awesome view.

 

The magnificence of

the scene was impossible

to capture.

 

 

   DAY 3 

    

 

Ljotipollur

 Crater

 

Awesome Lighting

 

Believing it couldn't get any better than the image above, I got ready to leave when I noticed another photographer hiking up another hill.  Hey, I'm here only once so I might as well hike

up that hill also.  Unbelievable, the light was just perfect on a crater that  otherwise isn't very attractive and ignored by most photographers.

 

  Sometimes you just get lucky, twice in a row in one day.

 

 

 

 

 

(Stayed at

Hotel Hrauneyjar.)

   DAY 4 

    

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seljalandfoss

Falls

 

This is another very popular waterfall in Iceland.  There is actually a path that travels behind the falls.  I I walked the path but only shot images through the falls with

 my smart phone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Stayed at

Hotel Hof.)

 

   

Moss Covered

Rocks

 

  One of the photographers mentioned that shooting from the left, path exit side of the falls was outstanding and be prepared to get wet, really wet.  So I worked my way up the left side, working my way through all the tourists. It didn't seem that wet but after taking one image and checking the front of my lens real quick, the camera was soaked.

 

 I figured it wasn't worth the bother to take additional images but I was wrong. If I ever go to Iceland again, I won't let a little water deter me. I was actually prepared for the rain, sort of.

   

    

   

Vik

  

Chapel on Hill

 

Apparently people like to view images of chapels.  I wasn't sure and posted only one until someone who had seen one of my  chapel images, wanted to see another one. I try to take different types of images and am sometimes amazed at what kinds of images people like to see.

 

   Shooting different kinds of images also makes it difficult to create a recognizable, personal style.

   

 

Vik

  

(Behind Chapel

on Hill)

 

This is my attempt at "minimalist" photography.  I really enjoy simple images

 that portray a sense

of being in a place of utter beauty but

without any

overriding element

like a waterfall or

other dominating  feature.  It's just beautiful unto itself. 

 

   

Chapel

On Side of Road

 

OK, I cheated on this image.  If you have already seen this chapel, there is actually a small ugly, tool shed just below the tree.  Miraculously, it's now gone. I didn't alter the horses but it would have been a better image if the brown horse had raised his head, but he didn't.

   

Asolfsskalakirkia

 

Iceland

Ponies

 

Nibbling

 

There were a couple dozen Iceland Ponies, with crazy mains,  grazing in a field on the side of the highway.  This is one of those times when you can take hundreds of

images and not really capture anything exciting. So I decided to focus on the one pony nibbling on the rear of another pony.

 

 I was using a 70-400 zoom lens but I also wanted to get some background in the image so at least you knew the image was taken in Iceland.  I also wanted to see some teeth.  All the elements seem to have come together at least in this shot.

 

   DAY 5 

    

 

 

 

 

 

Vatnajokull

Glacier

 

Unbelievable

   

This image of a glacier is a 3-capture stitch, converted to monochrome, and sepia toning added.)  The original image just wasn't very inspiring.  The final image captures more of the "feel" of the glacier

 

 

 

 

(Stayed at

Hotel Hali.)

 

   

Jokulsarlon

Lagoon

 

Terns

 

The Jokulsarlon Lagoon has got to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Island. I might even postulate that it was crowded.  Between the icebergs in the lagoon, glacier in the back ground, tours on Avon's around the icebergs, chunks of ice on the black sand beach on the other side of the highway,  this was a happening place.

 

   

Jokulsarlon

Lagoon

 

(Man on Avon)

 

(Taken for the perspective.)

   

Jokulsarlon

Glacier Lagoon

(Beach Side)

  

Black Sand Beach

Ice on Beach

 

 

I really didn't know how to approach the ice on the beach so I took a number of close-ups and this general view. The objective is to capture the waves flowing around the ice in slow motion.  I really didn't want to get wet so I thought I would do it when we were scheduled to visit the same beach a couple days later.

 

 Unfortunately, when we returned and I was better prepared, both

 the ice and the required rising tide were long gone. 

 

   

Bird on black

sand beach

 

 

This may be a tough image to view for some but there was little evidence that this bird died from predation.  It's simply in too perfect condition.  It just looked artistic to me. I really can't explain what happened.

 

 

   DAY 6 

    

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hang'n in there.

 

This goat had hollowed out a nice little pad to hang his foot and watch everyone go by on the freeway which he did for at least the hour we were there photographing horses run around the fields.

He was just "chillin".

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Stayed at

Hotel Djupivogur.)

 

   

 

 

 

 

Iceland

Horses

 

You what!

 

 Actually, the activity in this image only lasted a fraction of a second and I was lucky to just capture the image.  I didn't even know I had it until I reviewed my images after the shoot.  During the shoot, I did focus my attention on these 2 horses after noticing their interaction with each other.

 

This image also demonstrates the value of a fast DSLR in order to capture "peak" action.

 

   

 

 

 

Iceland

Horses

 

Hi Luv!

 

 

These horses spent quite a long time hanging together which gave me the opportunity to photograph them from several angles.  Again, I tried to also capture a few additional elements in the image which gives the viewer an idea the image was actually taken in Iceland.

 

The horse in the background is intended to add  a little depth to the image.

 

   

 

Common Snipe

with chic

      

Being prepared is half the challenge for my type of photography.  As we were leaving the hotel, I noticed this little Common Snipe protecting her chic in a bush near the driveway. Keep in mind that when I say hotel, I mean a place to stay on a hillside by itself in the middle of I don't know where.  Of course, to Icelanders it's somewhere but they haven't experienced a major metropolis with over 10 million people.  Many of their towns have 20 to 300 people.  It's a relative size comparison.

   

Flaajokull

 

Desolation.

 

As we were walking to one of the glaciers, it's pretty much eyes forward towards to the glacier.  But it's also important to look to the side and be open to changing one's mindset to a different kind of image.  This scene was pretty flat and the colors uninspiring so I decided to keep it very simple and convert it to a monochrome image in post processing.  I knew in advance what I was looking at and was really excited about the scene's simplicity and minimalistic beauty.

 

   

Pedestrian Bridge

 

This is definitely an image that everyone in the group bypassed to get to the glacier, which by-the-way, appears to be receding quite rapidly. I liked the image because it tells a story about how far the glacier had receded with a single person crossing the bridge.

 

 It also illustrates the absolute starkness of this wonderful Iceland landscape.

   DAY 7 

    

Southern

Highlands

(Near Hofn)

  

Pastoral Scene

 

A viewer commented  how beautiful the landscape was, not what a great image.  This is actually a compliment because I didn't want the print to take away from the actual experience.  I have other images that do that. 

 

 The image is actually what I thought I saw and experienced but not close to what the scene looked like on the digital capture.  The image actually consists of a 2 frame panorama, highly cropped, and a lot of cloud and color modification.) 

 

 

(Stayed at

Hotel Edda Hofn.)

   

 

 

STOKKSNESS

Vestrahorn Mtn.

(Near Radar Dome)

 

Sometimes when you shoot with a group, if the group isn't motivated to photograph the landscape, they can move pretty slow, especially when I was stuck in the back of the van.  They were all waiting for an awesome sunset but I thought the lighting was pretty good without the sunset.  They thought the sunset was the subject; I thought the grasses in the foreground were the subject. As a general strategy,  

 

I will always take advantage of the immediate situation, but if something better happens later on, that's just "icing on the cake". 

 

   

Muddy Lagoon 

 

 

I didn't think this was much of a scenic but some viewers were fascinated by the muddy water which probably resulted from the glacier grinding the earth as it moves forward.  Most glacier lagoons have great greens and blues but not this one. Opening up the muddy icebergs was a post processing challenge. 

 

Generally, you won't see  a whole lot of images of muddy lagoons.

 

   DAY 8 

    

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Southern

Highlands

  

Pastoral Sheep

 

If I'm not going to be

able to photograph

natty looking Musk Ox,

I can settle for natty looking sheep. I still

can't figure out why I was the only person photographing the sheep.  I thought they looked kind of cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Stayed at

Hotel Dyrholeay.)

 

   

Snaefellsnes

 Peninsula

 

This is the type of image that isn't supposed to work.  Strongly lit background and dark foreground with lacking detail.  For some reason, I was able to retrieve an unusual image in post processing. The curves of the black sand beaches help the image pop.

 

The high dynamic

range of the latest

digital cameras make

this exposure possible.

 

   

  Puffin

 

We pretty much joked the first 8 days that a trip to Iceland isn't complete until you've had a chance to photograph Puffin. We finally got to photograph them on some cliffs.  The first images were uninspiring so I kept looking for more Puffin and continued shooting along the top of the cliffs.  The images kept getting better and better.

 

Finally, I was able to spot these 2 Puffin uniquely close together with a nice blown out ocean in the background.

 

   DAY 9 

    

Reynisfjara

 

(Basalt Columns)

 

A lot of wind, cold, and flat light  can really kill one's enthusiasm for photographing rocks such as basalt columns.  I'll assume they are great subjects but they sure didn't appear that way the morning we were there.

   

Instead, the main subjects were a couple  of sea stacks in the ocean even without a sunrise or sunset.  The trick is to take a 2 to 3 minute exposure using a 10 stop ND filter.  However, most DSLRs don't focus or expose properly over 30 seconds so all camera controls have to be adjusted manually.  I really need to work on this technique and use it more often. 

   

Skogafoss

 

Rainbow

 

If you're a tourist on holiday, it doesn't get any better than this.  Throw in a rainbow, all natural, and you have a  post card image. Check out the person at the bottom left who I included for perspective. He just happened to be there so I kept him in the image.

 

 

   

 

Bones on rocks.

 

I have always appreciated good looking rocks.  It's just me.  When I saw the bones laying on the rocks, that was a bonus.  This image has not been altered or the rocks moved around to make it look better.  It's all nature's work as are

the vast majority of my images.

 

   

 

Urrioafoss

  

Composition Chaos.

     

This was the last location on the trip.  I remember overhearing  the leader saying what

a photographic mess. Between the river, small water falls, and just general compositional chaos, this was going

to be a challenge.  Of course I like challenges and actually specialize in complex compositions.

   

The clouds were good, the rock islands from bottom left to right, the slow motion flow captured with a slow shutter speed, and green hills in the background seemed to all work together.

  

     

  

< Iceland Library

(additional images)

 

   

 

07/17/15