Where Water Falls From Heaven

It takes 500 kilometers to get from Reykjavik to the Lake Myvatn, which is about 6 hours of non-stop driving. It's actually a very interesting route for the most of time, passing through couple of mountain ridges and valleys with some spectacular views. We had dropped Ota at the airport on Friday morning and decided to drive over to Myvatn for the weekend, sort of fed up with the southern sceneries. The plan came out quite well despite the tight schedule - we aimed to stop at Godafoss for sunset shooting. One more hour of drive to Myvatn. We would definitely used some more time to explore the location but what actually helped was that we have been there before 2 years ago. Unlucky though then, leaving with few documentary shots only. I now happened to have a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do there. And that was to get off the official parking place to the other side of the river. The short walk to the waterfall allowed for a little bit of time to absorb the surroundings while the lighting that was turning to get quite dramatic and beautiful.

  Capture: Godafoss at Dusk, Camera: Hasselblad H1, Lens: 35mm, Film: Fuji Velvia 50, Filters: Lee ND Graduated 0.6 Soft, Aperture: f/11, Exposure: 0.8s

Capture: Godafoss at Dusk, Camera: Hasselblad H1, Lens: 35mm, Film: Fuji Velvia 50, Filters: Lee ND Graduated 0.6 Soft, Aperture: f/11, Exposure: 0.8s

It is undoubtedly an amazing place but it has been heavily over-visited (and over-photographed) because it's located right on the main road. An extremely easy access does not particularly appeal to me so I did not set my hopes too high when we arrived but at the same time, I did not want to waste so good looking sunset and there was not other spot I knew of within our reach. But as we left the car (and a nearby hotel) behind getting deeper into the valley and closer to the waterfall, my perception has started to change. Perhaps it caused the combination of a seriously cold weather, approaching darkness, people-free emptiness together with water roaring stronger, I suddenly got to understand the fascinating yet rough beauty of the place. Photographing from the edge of the rock cliff above the waterfall's rim, I knew this had been why I was here - to come nearer to who I am through having my mind flourish on a desolate, lonely, empty land...

  Capture: Blue Essence (of Iceland), Camera: Hasselblad H1, Lens: 35mm, Film: Fuji Velvia 50, Filters: Lee ND Graduated 0.6 Soft, Lee ND Big Stopper, Aperture: f/5.6, Exposure: 64s

Capture: Blue Essence (of Iceland), Camera: Hasselblad H1, Lens: 35mm, Film: Fuji Velvia 50, Filters: Lee ND Graduated 0.6 Soft, Lee ND Big Stopper, Aperture: f/5.6, Exposure: 64s

So I've had my vista shot with some faded but nicely pastel colored sunset. The film (Fuji Velvia 50) did it a great justice capturing the rich tonality and adding its typical post-dusk blue to emphasize the cold. After the light had disappeared, I decided to head down to the river to look for something less obvious, something mine own. I tried to get as close to the waterfall as possible to simplify the scene to just the water and sky, noticing clouds moving pretty fast. And the water was falling straight from heaven. You never exactly know what you get on your slide but I felt I had got it right with this one. This is the photograph I believe the best expresses the (blue) essence of the place as I experienced it. This is the last photograph I took that day.

PS. On the way back from Myvatn couple of really cold days after, we saw icebergs sailing down the stream, which added another dimension to how to perceive this place. Unfortunately, we have not had time to arrive at the right time therefore I only took this time-lapse from the viewpoint just below the parking place. Still, it shows how gorgeous Godafoss is.