One week in Iceland

MitchellMitchell Major grinsPosts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins
edited June 25, 2015 in Journeys
I spent a week in Iceland in February in an effort to improve my landscape photography and hopefully see some aurorae.

Landed in Reykjavik after a redeye flight and had the day to myself to wander the city.
1. The famous Solfar (Sun Voyager) sculpture as a storm rolled in.
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Wandered around as it began to snow and took refuge in Harpa, the beautiful concert hall on the harbor.

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I decided against renting a bike for the day. :huh
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Trudged up the hill to the highest spot at the city which is home to the Hallgrímskirkja church
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The storm cleared a bit at night and I ventured out for a bite to eat.
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The next morning I met up with my photography group and our guides for the week. We set out in two vehicles and stopped at our first falls for the day. Seljalandsfoss is a lovely falls. You can walk behind the falls but require crampons during the icy winter.

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A few hundred meters from the main attraction is a hidden falls named Gljúfurárfoss. Not much to see from the road and most people did not even make the trek over to see this gem.

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Once inside, the cavern housing the falls was filled with mist. I had only a few seconds to shoot before my lens was soaked. I would shoot, wipe and shoot again.

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Next stop was Skogafoss. Lovely in the fresh snow.

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We continued on to Hofn where we would stay for the next 5 nights.

To be continued.

Comments

  • chaddchadd Big grins Posts: 80Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 2, 2015
    Nice report. Seems like you're enjoying your life)
    It would be great to see the photos from all the places you've been to.
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 2, 2015
    Each morning we would wake up before sunrise and head out to Jokulsarlon. The famous black sand beach with glacial ice. One one side of the road is the glacial lagoon which has a narrow inlet out to sea. The ice would wash out of the lagoon and then get deposited on the beach by waves and wind. I wasn't prepared for the sight when we first arrived. Amazing!

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    Blocks of ice were constantly washed ashore.

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    Many had interesting shapes. We would each seek out our own special blocks to try and photograph as the sun rose.

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    Once the sun was up, we would make our way over to the glacial lagoon.

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    Seals could often be seen lounging on the ice.

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    To be continued...
  • PrezwoodzPrezwoodz Alaska Grinnin Posts: 1,147Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 2, 2015
    Wow and Wow. I loved those iceberg shots. I really wanted to capture those myself when I was there but never did and now you make me feel like I need to go back. I also really loved seeing the waterfalls in a different light. Going in winter doesn't sound so bad now!
  • CavalierCavalier Life is a Bokeh Foresthill, CaliforniaPosts: 1,973Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2015
    clap.gifclapclap.gif These are outstanding. My favorites are the black sand beach - truly amazing landscape.
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2015
    One morning we set off with a guide to view ice caves beneath the Vatnajökull glacier. The guides find these caves which are carved from the warm water which flows beneath the glacier. We were transported to the edge of the ice by a uniquely modified econoline van.

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    We then hiked across the ice to the first cave.

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    Down into the cave.
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    Into a scene I couldn't believe. It took me a few minutes just to take it all in. The light filtered through the ice above us cast a blue glow. The river flowed rapidly through the cave.

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    5. Self portrait. The scalloped patterns in the ice were beautiful.
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    The entrance to the second cave was more broad. Here's a shot with our guide, Oskar, to give some perspective.
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    Not sure why I like this one with the tripod, but it's one of my favorites.
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    To be continued...
  • markl67markl67 Beginner grinner Posts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited May 4, 2015
    Wow, some great images! Please could you share the tour company you used? Did you go an organised photography workshop or did you sort everything out in Iceland?
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 4, 2015
    I went with a fellow named Tony Prower. His web site is Icelandaurora.com.

    Three of the six guests on our group were from the UK. Really a nice bunch and Tony ran a great tour for everyone.
  • ThelensspotThelensspot Mentally grainy! Posts: 2,041Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 4, 2015
    Great images Mitchell. I have this place on my bucket list! clap.gifclap
    "Photography is partly art and partly science. Really good photography adds discipline, sacrifice and a never ending pursuit of photographic excellence"...ziggy53

  • Tom FosterTom Foster Major grins Edinburgh, UK.Posts: 284Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 5, 2015
    Tonnes of great shots! I spent about a month working in Iceland a couple of years ago and would love to go back just for photographic purposes at some point. At least twice actually, once in winter and once in summer! :)
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 6, 2015
    One afternoon we hiked to Svartifoss. This beautiful waterfall is a 2 mile hike but worth every step. The icy trail kept others away from the site. Our group was the only one there for our entire visit.

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    On the way back to our guest house, we spotted some lovely Icelandic horses by the roadside. These animals love to pose.

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    We also stopped a iconic Mountain Lómagnúpur. I was amazed at the scenery by the roadside.

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    This little falls was just down the road.

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    Off we then went to watch the sun set at Vesturhorn. This beautiful beach had tufts of grass which made a nice contrast.

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    The sky quickly added some dramatic colors as I move over onto the beach.

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    On our last night we finally had some clear skies and were thrilled to see a weak aurora. What a great way to end our trip.

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  • Tom FosterTom Foster Major grins Edinburgh, UK.Posts: 284Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 6, 2015
    More great shots, really like your ones of Svartifoss and Vesturhorn!
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 6, 2015
    Tom Foster wrote: »
    More great shots, really like your ones of Svartifoss and Vesturhorn!

    Thanks. That second shot from Vesturhorn is one of my favorites. I printed it 20x30 on metal and it came out really nice.
  • Tom FosterTom Foster Major grins Edinburgh, UK.Posts: 284Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 6, 2015
    Sounds good! I need to do some bigger prints actually... Only done up to A3 so far!
    Oh I think I remember Lomagnapur now, I've probably got a few shots of it from a bus window (ie. Much worse!) somewhere!
  • ThelensspotThelensspot Mentally grainy! Posts: 2,041Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 6, 2015
    Mitchell, the landscapes in #'s 5,6,7 and 8 are just beyond words. You nailed those shots in every way. clap.gifclapclap.gif
    "Photography is partly art and partly science. Really good photography adds discipline, sacrifice and a never ending pursuit of photographic excellence"...ziggy53

  • lilirishangellilirishangel SnapLoon Posts: 166Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 26, 2015
    Just spectaular and to have a week, wow.. Must be on my bucket list..

    Bravo on the shots , simply perfect
    "MOTIVATION WILL ALMOST ALWAYS BEAT MERE TALENT." Anonymous

    www.snaploonphotography.com
  • FlyNavyFlyNavy John L Posts: 1,349Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 24, 2015
    Wow! Spectacular work. Serious some of the best ever!!!
    How much was your trip? Can you break it down for me: Airfare, guide service, lodging, etc? Would you have done anything different?
    Thanks,
    John
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 25, 2015
    FlyNavy wrote: »
    Wow! Spectacular work. Serious some of the best ever!!!
    How much was your trip? Can you break it down for me: Airfare, guide service, lodging, etc? Would you have done anything different?
    Thanks,
    John

    John, thanks for the kind words.

    I went with a fellow named Tony Prower. His web site is Icelandaurora.com. Tony is from England but now lives in Iceland year round. He's a great photographer and provided us with excellent guidance. The trip was very well planned. We were a small group and traveled in two vehicles. Tony's friend Owen was our second guide. Owen is a geologist who provided great insight into the geology of Iceland.

    I was in Iceland a total of 9 days. Airfare from Florida was about $1000. Pretty easy flight.

    The rest of the trip cost about $5500. I felt like it was well worth the price, and I would go again.

    I am very glad I went in the winter. There were plenty of tourists, but nowhere near the numbers they get in the summer months. The only thing I would do differently is to stay a bit longer. Two weeks would have been perfect, but I simply cannot get away for that long.
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