Iceland - Winter Landscape Photography Paradise

I truly believe Iceland is the winter landscape photography paradise. Over the past few years, it has become one of the must-go spots for plenty of landscape photographers. For many good reasons that are often discussed on this website and all over the place. What I loved the most during my first two summer visits was the excellent quality of light and angles of sun that allowed to photograph through the (entire) night. I did not mind the community crowd - not too many shot film overnight, their results inspired me and, especially during the second trip, we went quite off the beaten track...

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Icelandic Diary

We are getting a bit frustrated with the weather. This morning, it required a strong character and a big heart of photographer to get out. The wind blew by the friendly speed of 61 km/h, the snow drifted through the road in an uncontrollable manner. Driving was an adrenaline adventure due to zero visibility, photography impossible for the same reasons. After few minutes, we turned the car back. I managed to take the photo of the day, it seems, with my iPhone right after we parked it by the hotel. I tried the same pre-dawn scene on Velvia, hoping to achieve the blue / yellow contrast and eventually to capture some of the mood out there but not too convinced the tripod withstood the wind.

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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.

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From Dusk Till Dawn

This is the enriched re-draft of my older text that celebrated the passion for shooting when the sun stays below the horizon. As it largely influenced my approach to photography, I wanted to post it here and now as well. There are many forms of light but generally a “golden hour” is widely considered as the very best time to take photos. No matter how cliche-ish this sounds. Whoever (landscape photographer or not) gets to any attractive place on  Earth during the “golden hour”, which is something totally different from a common daylight must always be amazed. You just can’t escape, unless your feelings are as dull as a rock on the bottom of a lake. Lighting conditions that are unusual for our eyes change any subject matter to a previously unrecognized quality. The landscape is gaining some extra hues and the real feel of three-dimensional space thanks to a long trip the sun needs to take through the atmosphere and a low angle it is illuminating the ground.

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The Essence of Selfoss

In a couple of weeks, we shall again depart north for our annual photography outing (i.e. no business, no family, no problems - just shooting). Though we initially planned Lofoten, for some reasons we ended up going to Iceland once more, this time in winter. So no wonder I go through my older work when planning the trip. I've posted some texts and images already here and some other, too. And a few more here and even Ota created a video. We simply love the place. I have many more photographs to share but one place was really special. Read on. (Summer 2010)... After having spent few miserable rainy days in the fishermens village near Landmannalaugar, we lost patience and decided to cross the island to try our chances in the north. The journey itself turned into much more adventurous event than what we expected, with rough rocky roads, deep and wild river crossings and endless lava fields to go through.

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