The path along the shore at Rauðanes which is in east-Iceland is about 8 km back and forth. The parking lot is few hundred meters from the sea, but as soon as you arrive at the shore you see the photogenic rocks. The day we arrived at Rauðanes the sky was heavy but most of the time no rain. The rocks are amazing and every 100 m there is some photogenic rock to stop photographers. I did some experiments with a Hi-Tech 10 stop ND filter for the Nikon 14-24 lens. To make a long story short the rain made long exposures virtually impossible. However it was possible to get few shots with the filter taken around 1 minute when the rain stopped.
The sea was calm and it was low-tide. It was great being there and I can´t wait to get a opportunity to go there again in windy weather when the sea will create more movement in the photos. Walking there is relatively easy. One canyon is named Mannskaðagil which might be translated to Dead Mans Canyon. There are though no dangerous paths there and it´s just a easy walk.
We arrived in Drekagil late evening after a long drive on a road which is actually not much of a road. After a good nights sleep we woke up early to start walking. Even in July it took us a 4,5 km walk in snow to get to the Askja area in the central highlands of Iceland. This summer the snow was taking longer than usually to melt. The snow was heavy, wet and difficult to walk in. The weather was cloudy but the sun appeared once in a while which made the contrast in the landscape great. Shortly after we arrived at Víti dozens of tourists and photographers arrived.
In Icelandic Askja means box or caldera. Askja is actually a stratovolcano surrounded by the Dyngjufjöll mountains which rise 1,510 m. The area is only accessible few months a year and is almost as remote as remote can get in Iceland. The astronauts of the Appollo program used the area for preparation for lunar missions and it´s easy to imagine that this is how landscape on the moon looks like – except the snow.
Lake Öskjuvatn (Lake ash) and the crater Víti (Hell) are very popular tourist locations for a good reason. The landscape is spectacular and for some reason this is a location which reminds us how small we are. Öskjuvatn lake is close to Víti and is the second deepest lake in Iceland at 220 m deep.
On the fun side it is possible to swim in the water of the Víti crater if you don´t mind the volcano smell. The water is around 8 m deep and is between 20°C-60°C. Tourist often swim in Víti and since there are no dressing–cabins one should not be surprised to see naked people swimming. One should though be careful. Swimming in the crater can be dangerous because carbon dioxide can accumulate on top of the water on calm days causing you to pass out. Not much fun in that.
Most of the photos in the gallery from Askja are taken with the Nikon 14-24 lens and the SW-150 filter holder and softgrad. It takes effort to get to remote locations like Askja. Besides capturing few good photos there, experiencing this lunar landscape is worth the heavy steps in the snow and mud.
When driving to the western Iceland and the Snæfellsnes area there are many opportunities to stop and photograph the wonders of the area. Snæfellsjökull glacier is probably the most famous site. It´s in the most western part of the peninsula in Iceland. Along the shore at Arnarstapi and Hellnar the rocks form many shapes which can be of interest to photographers. Arnarstapi is a busy harbour for pravate fishing and recreational vessels, but Arnarstapi is also a popular destination of tourists in summer.
The following photo is taken by Einar Gudmann this summer. Click to see the album.
André Öberg just released a video on Vimeo from his visit to Iceland. He drove almost 3500 km, hiked around 100 km, met lots of people and saw “unbelievable landscapes”.
Putting those 19 days in four minutes and a half was the most difficult part, he says.
Travelling to Iceland is an overwhelming life experience, and he definitely wants to come back.
Iceland in photos is the concept behind icelandinphotos.com. Simple, but hopefully the name says it all. Zillions of websites blog about Iceland and its wonders for photographers, but only a handful of Icelandic photographers blog in English. Behind this website are few of the – not so many Icelanders - who love to travel around the country photographing and this website is intended to cover or showcase photographers work who´s subject is Iceland.
Tourism in Iceland regarding photo-workshops is increasing rapidly and the need for information about locations and opportunities in Iceland for photographers is great. Icelandinphotos.com is not selling guided tours or any other tourist related services in Iceland. The readers of IcelandInPhotos.com might simply find it interesting to read a blog dedicated to photography in Iceland.
You will not find hidden salesman propaganda here about workshops or photographer services. Photography in Iceland is what this site is all about and the purpose is to be a center for blogging about landscape, nature and wildlife photography. Wildlife and nature photography is the passion behind IcelandInPhotos.com and hopefully this editorial direction is going to be of benefit to all photographers.
Walking in a snowy mountain under northern lights in northern Iceland on a Saturday night is my idea of a quality time. No moonlight but clear sky and bright stars all around. For some reason light pollution is the main problem when photographing stars. By walking up the mountain I got rid of most of the light pollution and had a great time taking few frames on the Nikon D3 with both 16-35, 14-24 and 24-70 lenses. Most of the photos are taken on 3200-6400 iso at 15-30 seconds. (Gallery)
What do you do when there is only two hours of daylight and no birds or creatures of the animal kingdom to photograph? In Akureyri photographing snowboarders is an option. Yesterday I shot some photos of snowboarders flying high at the local training facility. To begin with there was a bit of sun, but soon it faded. Using the Nikon 14-24 gives an extra dimension in this since it can to my humble opinion give a great perspective. When the sun was completely gone I switched to Nikon 24-70 and made experiments with the R1C2 ringflash – only two SB-R200 flashes. Most of the time I don´t like using flashes for action or situations you can´t control well and this was no exception. They did though a better job than I expected. At least I had fun.
The image above links to the gallery.
For the past two or three years I have been wondering what is it that makes other photographers photos get this fantastic control of light. Browsing the photos of my favorite photographers albums has shown some distinct, but clear difference in the way light is handled in landscape photos. Since I am still using Nikon D3 for all my needs I had the idea that this absence of clipping in levels and no burned highlights was possibly due to better dynamic range of the sensors which the D3x, D800 and now the D600 have. Yesterday I got the answer. The magic of light control is due to the filter system. I have been using all kinds of circular ND filters so far – not bad filters – mostly the best brands – but not the Lee filter system until yesterday.
My wife Gyda, (www.gyda.is) gave me the Lee starter kit for Christmas. It includes one two stop ND filter and one Hard Grad two stop gradient filter and a holder. Driving off from Akureyri to Myvatnssveit and taking the first stop at Godafoss waterfall it became obvious what these filter systems have to offer. Since there are only two to four hours of light we arrived at half an hour before noon and started shooting. I was using Nikon 16-35 with the Lee starter kit. It took only few frames to see that something was happening in the photos which I had not seen before in my photos. The effect of the Hard Grad filter on the orange sky was dramatic. It kept the control between the ground and the sky in perfect balance.
I know some think at this point that “this guy is new to filters – where has he been!” Sure, I am always learning new things, but the fact is that these filters are doing much more for light control than circular filter ever can. They also explained the massive control of light I have been wondering about in other photographers photos. Sorry to say for you like-minded geeks out there, but gear matters.
Taking photos in snow on Námaskard geothermal mountain my wife had a look at my screen when we were trying to capture the same scene “I want this!” she said.