Hjállparfoss is a wonderful waterfall on the road to Landmannalaugar in Iceland's highlands. Meaning 'Help Waterfall', Hjállparfoss is actually twin waterfalls that feed from a common source, and merge back in a common pool. Hjállparfoss is easily accessible and well worth a stop. There are several vantage points for the falls, having tighter shots (like this one), or other shots from further back.
Known locally as Sigöldugljúfur Canyon, the Valley of the Tears is a stunning canyon nearby Haifoss in Iceland's Highlands.Arriving in a dusty carpark a short stroll to the edge of a cliff overlooking the valley exposing the stunning vista seen in this image.As with so many of Iceland's amazing landscapes, it is difficult to produce an image the brings to life the country's rugged and amazing beauty.
This is without a doubt one of my favourite images from our Iceland trip in September 2019. We visited the fabulous Landmannalaugar region on a day trip from Reykjavik, leaving very early, and getting back at around midnight. The day was quite overcast, largely with a soft, kind of boring sky. With our guide, Kaspars Dzenis, we set out to climb one of the mountain trails, up a peak known as Blahnukur. The rhyolite of the ranges around Landmannalaugar was magnificent, and so we focused on some more intimate landscape imagery, ignoring the sky. We noticed two hikers approaching a trail on one of the adjoining ridges, and set up and waited for them to get further along the trail. I love the way the hikers provide not only a sense of scale, but also a sense of mystery - I can only wonder where they are going, and where the trail leads.
Blahnukur (Blue Peak) is an amazing blue-tinged mountain in the incredible Landmannalaugar area of Iceland.We visited as part of a personalised photo tour, trekking a fair way up this peak, before returning to the base and then hiking around an adjacent lava field.Landmannalaugar is an area that represents so much of Iceland in my mind. It is an absolutely massive landscape in a reasonaby small area.This image of the two of us was captured by Kaspars Denisz of Iceland Photo Tours, who conducted a fabulous tour.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day so I wanted to present an image the shows nature at it raw finest. This was an image made over a valley between a lava field and the incredibly colourful rhyolite ranges in the Landmannalaugar region of Iceland’s highlands. We visited this location on a photo tour with our guide Kaspars Dzenis. Clearly the weather was quite overcast, but the muted light only served to bring out the incredible colours of the rhyolite, the grassy valley and the blackness of the lava fields. We love the Landmannalaugar area, and reviewing these photos is a special opportunity to think back on one of the most special hiking photography experiences.
Iceland's highland region of Landmannalaugar is notable for the spectacular rhyolite mountains, valleys and hills. It is also known for several surrounding lava fields. For photographers, these features make for spectacular subjects, but a good photograph has a good subject and great light, and Landmannalaugar is also well known for the spectacular light that can be experienced. After quite an amazing trek up Blahnukur, we explored the adjacent lava fields, and found several vistas showing both the hills and fields, but the light in this vista really took my imagination. It was simply spectacular. An all day trip to Landmannalaugar allowed time to explore, and you really need to be able to take the time and let the light conditions progress. No need to rush.
Located near the town of Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Kirkjufell may well be the iconic image of Iceland. There is a reason this sight is so well photographed—it is very accessible, and has the whole package of distinctive mountain and two waterfalls in the scene (the second one is on the bend on the lower right of the image—the white water is beneath the fall). Being so well photographed, the challenge with a site like Kirkjufell is to make an image that is unique. Over the course of a couple of days I was able to get several different perspectives, and was happy to get some real drama in the sky on in several images.
The Black Church of Budir is one of those Icealandic photography locations I had seen in various Youtube videos and guidebooks, and the look of this quaint, black, church intrigued me enough to ensure a side trip to visit the location while staying on the Snaefellsness Peninsula.This was early in our trip to Iceland, and the skies were not promising. As we drove over the mountain pass from Grundarfjordur (the town adjacent to Kirkjufell), the heavy rain and low clouds did not give me great confidence of great images.We of course persevered, and the cloud did not lift. If anything, it set in even further, with the surrounding mountains shrouded in a heavy cover.So while not ‘ideal’ the conditions challenged me to look around, and instead of using the mountains as a backdrop, I changed composition to show the sea.As with many locations in Iceland, the beauty of the scenery is often enhanced by the ever-present cloudy skies, bringing out the saturation in the grasses. In this case, the black church provided a stunning contrast to the church grounds, and the skies enhanced the mood of darkness that the church naturally evokes.
Near Lake Myvatn in Iceland's north, Grjótagjá is a cave formed from lava with a geothermal pool where the water is about 50C. It is very easy to access, with the entrance to the cave only metres from the car park. A short scramble in the cave brings you to the pool with its crystal clear waters. This is one of the many fascintating places you can discover if you take the time to slow down and look around. As an aside, this cave was the famous location where Ygritte and Jon Snow got together in the fifth season of Game of Thrones.
# Storm over Godafoss Godafoss was one of the key photography locations that I was looking forward to seeing and capturing during our visit there in September 2019. I can’t remember exactly how and when I first learned of this stunning waterfall, but it certainly came up regularly as we planned our trip. We based ourselves out of Akureyri in northern Iceland for a couple of days, and made the journey out there on our second day. Of course the weather was quite overcast, and the distant mountains were completely hidden in the cloud. We still spent some time hunting for composures and hoping for the weather to clear. It didn’t, so we continued on to visit other locations around Lake Myvatn. While I got a couple of nice images, I was not able to get the image I had in my minds eye—and had travelled half way around the world to capture. The next morning was our last in Akureyri, and I planned to get up early to try again for the image I wanted, but the weather was even worse, so we had a leisurely breakfast, explored Akureyri and set off early afternoon for our next destination. Our route would take us right past Godafoss, but the weather was still poor. As we neared the waterfall, we decided to stop anyway. I got the camera gear out, covering it up a raincover. Suddenly there was a break in the rain, and the cloud lifted just enough to expose the distant mountains. The drama in the sky added to the natural beauty of this ‘waterfall of the gods.’ A little bit of persistence, and an equal measure of luck, helped me to get the photo I imagined.
On the drive from Seydifjordur to Hofn we chanced by this scenic lake on the side of the road. With time in our schedule, we were able to take a moment and stop to reflect on the stunning landscape.After several overcast days, the reflections in the water on the sunny day were spectacular.A brief stop provided some lasting memories.
The first time I saw images of Iceland's Vestrahorn I knew that I had to visit and photograph this magnificent mountain range. It is simply one of the most spectacular ranges right on Iceland's south eastern coast. Vestrahorn is quite accessible from the nearby town of Hofn, and makes for stunning sunset photos in any (every) season. Vestrahorn requires a wide lens—this images was made with at 8mm on my m43 camera (16mm FF equivalent). Alternatively it is a great scene for a panorama. In fact, if you wanted to get any closer to the range you would need to go pano unless you have a super-wide angle lens.
Having driven from Seydifjordur we arrived at the Fosshotel Vatnajökull, our lodging near Hofn, after dark. On waking the next morning we looked out the hotel-room window to discover something quite unexpected—a beautiful view of a glacier.This is actually one of approximately 30 'outlet glaciers' of the Vatnajökull glacier—the largest ice cap in Iceland, and the second largest in Europe.This was a wonderful site to take in, and we adjusted our schedule on our second morning to delay our departure so we could sit a while in the hotel lounge and enjoy the view while having a hot chocolate.