Iceland: Part 3

Iceland is a land shaped by fire, ice, and water.   It sits astride two major tectonic plates which are being gradually forced apart by the pressure of molten rock deep within the earth.  At the surface glaciers inexorably move through the mountains, slowly carving new landscape formations.  The melting ice from the warming climate and heavy rainfall in the mountains generates innumerable waterfalls, some tumbling over cliffs 200 feet and higher.

As a result, there are spectacular opportunities for the landscape photographer when weather conditions cooperate.  During our time in Iceland, we were treated to a few special moments but more often found ourselves in fairly challenging conditions.  But the challenges are part of what motivates us to take our cameras outdoors whenever we can.  Because sooner or later persistence will be rewarded with a magical ephemeral moment.  A moment you never forget.

One of the favorite spots for photographers in Iceland is the small blue glacial waterfall called Brúarfoss. Although well known to visitors, it can be extremely hard to find.  Fortunately, we were on a photo workshop led by Ian Plant, ably assisted by Alex Mody, and Ian unerringly directed our driver through a maze of unsigned dirt roads to a trail head.  After a short hike we were there and it was immediately obvious why everyone wants to see it, even in poor weather conditions.

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Brúarfoss from the Pedestrian Bridge (wide angle photomerge)

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Brúarfoss, from the Shallows (wide angle photomerge)

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Brúarfoss, from the Pedestrian Bridge (telephoto photomerge)

The next day we arrived at Gullfoss (Golden Falls, located in the canyon of the Hvítá River) for a sunrise shoot, but my efforts to capture the grandeur of the monster cataract were mostly unsatisfactory.  However, a few attempts were OK and are shown below.

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Early Morning at Gullfoss, View to the West

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Workshop Participants, Gullfoss

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Brief (5 seconds) Rainbow, Gullfoss

At midday, we got a break in the weather just as we arrived at Seljalandsfoss, located close to the Ring Road (Route 1).

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Seljalandsfoss at Midday

Seljalandsfoss is a waterfall approximately 200 feet high.  It has a cavern to the sides and rear that allow people to walk behind the falls.  This image is a side view from within the cavern.

To be continued…….

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35 thoughts on “Iceland: Part 3

    • Thanks, Laura. Yes, Seljalandsfoss provided a pretty intense experience because we were able to get so close to it. The random choreography of the wind blown spray wrapping around the powerful cascade as it crashed into the pool made the waterfall seem almost alive.

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    • Thanks very much. It’s a great place to be a photographer, just be prepared for the cloudy weather. I’m told that the best way to do this is to get an RV to maximize one’s flexibility in changing locations at the last minute. That means, of course, one must know where the good locations are but there are resources that can get you to where you need to go.

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  1. Oh… wow! These images are absolutely wonderful! I’m drooling… and a little sad because I have missed Iceland since visiting last Oct/Nov. The shutter speeds here are just right to show the detailed blur in the water and I love the dark mood… one of the wonderful things about Iceland.

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    • Thanks again, Denise. Yes, it’s a great place. How were the weather conditions when you were there in Oct/Nov? DId you see the Aurora at night? We got a weak one on one evening, but September is considered a little too early for it to be really amped up.

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  2. I’ve just found your blog and loving the photos I’ve seen. I’ve also been to Iceland, in fact I only went because a friend suggested it – I hadn’t really given it much thought before then, but I’m so glad I went because it was such a beautiful country, and so full of gorgeous scenery. Thanks for sharing your photos!

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    • Hi, Sarah. Thanks very much for visiting, hope you’lll check back again. The Iceland trip was great, glad to hear you enjoyed your trip there. I will be heading back there in June with two photographer friends so there will defiunitely be a few more stories and pics when I get back.

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