Waiting for the Light..

Driving to Arnastapi on a perfect day for landscape photography, that is, a mixture of sunshine and showers, we came upon a church which I thought would make a nice subject for a picture.  I reversed up and took the ‘road’ towards the church.  The church in question is called Fáskrúðarbakkakirkja at Snæfellsnes in western Iceland.

I could see from the clouds and the wind direction that things were going to get interesting if I waited a little while.  I wanted the church in sunshine but when we arrived it was in the shade.  As it turned out, waiting for the light, I got the church in sunshine, rain and just about everything in between and it all happened within about half an hour. This was the first shot, I could see the clouds gathering. Click on the pictures for a clearer, sharper view.  I hope you enjoy them..

Landscape photograph Fáskrúðarbakkakirkja, church, Iceland, mountains, waiting for the light 29mm f/11 1/25 sec. ISO-100

The clouds gathered and the sun turned them a gorgeous peachy colour, along with the mountainside but the church was still in the shade..
Landscape Photograph, Fáskrúðarbakkakirkja, church with sun dappling on the mountain, rain, waiting for the light, Iceland70mm f/11 1/25 sec. ISO-100

But as the rain swept in from the sea, the sun was obscured, the clouds took on a greyer colour and the mountain lost its warm tones. Now the church was in sunshine.

Landscape Photograph, Fáskrúðarbakkakirkja church with rain sweeping past towards the mountains, Iceland, waiting for the light70mm f/11 1/30 sec. ISO-100

And then the inevitable, as a few drops of rain made it my way and the sun came from behind the cloud, a rainbow appeared.  If only I could have got the rainbow over the church I would have been a much happier man but the rain was moving north, left to right, as opposed to coming straight towards me. The physics was all wrong. Still, it’s always nice to see a rainbow..
Landscape photograph, Fáskrúðarbakkakirkja, church with rainbow, clouds, Iceland, waiting for the light24mm f/11 1/50 sec. ISO-100

Looking north and with the sun fully behind me, I could enjoy the rainbow in all its glory. Unfortunately my camera couldn’t.  I needed a wider angle lens.  24mm just wasn’t wide enough and I knew that by the time I changed my lens, the rainbow would be gone.  I got a good bit of it in the frame..

Rainbow, Iceland, waiting for the light, Mountains, rain and cloud, sunshine and showers, landscape24mm f/11 1/50 sec. ISO-100

I have a clear favourite out of these images and I think you can probably guess from what I’ve said which that is. I wonder which you prefer..? ;-)



78 responses

  1. Beautiful constrast with the landscape and light! Good week end

    December 12, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    • Thank you so much. Have a great weekend too!! :-)

      December 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm

  2. You’ve just shared a perfect example why it pays to go back to the same location over and over (although I can’t believe this was just in one day :) . The weather completely changes the image. Fantastic Adrian.

    December 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    • The weather is incredibly dynamic in Iceland Edith, this really was all within about half an hour! :-)

      December 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm

  3. The weather was certainly having fun playing games. I adore the third shot with the golden glow across the middle (ish) but love them altogether for the dramatic shift of moods which you caught so well!

    December 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    • Thank you so much Patti. The weather was having fun with us. I honestly had to work so hard to keep up with it! :-)

      December 12, 2014 at 8:47 pm

  4. Wonderful sequence, Adrian and a fantastic illustration of why to wait for the moment! Beautiful shots, as ever….

    December 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    • Thank you so much Sue! I’ve spent many hours in Cornwall waiting for the light. Only having to wait half an hour while these different moods played out before me meant I was having to work really hard to keep up with it. A few miles down the road from this location and it was a case of hard on the brakes and another display. Great fun but as I say, hard work! :-)

      December 12, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      • Your hard work certainly paid off!

        December 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      • Thank you! :-)

        December 12, 2014 at 10:51 pm

  5. veramente splendide queste foto

    December 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    • Vi ringrazio tanto :-)

      December 12, 2014 at 8:45 pm

  6. Gorgeous moody pictures!

    December 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    • Thank you very much, appreciate your comment very much! :-)

      December 12, 2014 at 8:53 pm

  7. Pat

    Beautiful scenery, expectations rewarded

    December 12, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    • Thank you Pat, it was a beautiful drive from Reykjavik. The scenery was stunning and the weather dynamic. A perfect combination! :-)

      December 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm

  8. These photos are so wonderful and the lighting is truly beautiful.

    December 12, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      December 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

  9. How fast a mood changes :-) I really love the feel of the third image!

    December 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    • Thank you Sarah, the third image was ‘the one’ for me..! :-)

      December 13, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      • There just seemed to be the perfect balance between the two weather fronts! Very much like a master oil painting :-)

        December 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      • Thank you Sarah! :-)

        December 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm

  10. So interesting to see how different each photo is, Adrian. I really love the second shot. It looks quite surreal.

    December 13, 2014 at 1:10 am

    • Thank you Sylvia, the light was quite surreal at times, along with the landscape! :-)

      December 13, 2014 at 2:13 pm

  11. So very beautiful.

    December 13, 2014 at 3:38 am

  12. Is there a simple way to pronounce the name of the church..

    December 13, 2014 at 3:39 am

    • Thank you Rajiv. Icelandic uses a lot of sounds quite foreign to English at least. I don’t think the pronounciation is a simple one.

      December 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm

  13. These landscapes are beautiful in their own right, but then to throw in a rainbow…wow, great series!

    December 13, 2014 at 6:26 am

    • Thank you so much Randall. It was a very dynamic half an hour. I was orginally just waiting for sunshine on the church. The rainbow was a real bonus!

      December 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      • :-) You tend to create a lot of luck :-)
        Keep the beautiful shots coming!

        December 14, 2014 at 1:45 am

      • I will do my best Randall, thank you!

        December 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

  14. Like Patti, above, My favourite is the third one, with the church and the base of the mountain in sun, and the swirling ‘weather’ vehind and above.

    December 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    • Thank you Bunty. That was my favourite too! :-)

      December 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm

  15. Stunning

    December 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    • Thank you very much Mark!

      December 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

  16. I love rainbows Adrian, but number 3 has to be my favourite image from a beautiful set.

    December 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    • Thank you Dave. Number 3 was definitely my favourite!

      December 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm

  17. Great shots.My favorite is n°3

    December 13, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    • Me too Marylou! Thank you!! :-)

      December 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm

  18. Don’t know what your fav is, but mine’s the second. Wow, what a get series. So glad you stayed nailed to the spot and caught the rapid changes; they are wonderful to see. And I love the grand, high arc of the final rainbow.

    December 14, 2014 at 1:16 am

    • Thank you Lynn! Mine was number three but number two was a very close second! :-)

      December 14, 2014 at 9:29 am

  19. Great series showing the changing light over wonderfully open vistas – and a pleasant change for it all to happen so quickly!

    December 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    • Thank you Noeline. It certainly kept me busy! :-)

      December 14, 2014 at 4:12 pm

  20. Gorgeous Adrian! I love this images~

    December 14, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    • Thank you very much Robyn! :-)

      December 15, 2014 at 9:57 pm

  21. I thought Welsh was difficult, but that name – the mind boggles. Mind-boggling beauty too. My favourite – has to be the second image The light on that escarpment is just so beautiful. What an experience to watch that unfold.

    December 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    • Thank you Andy! Some of thehe sounds are very alien and difficult to get your tongue around. Lots of rolled rs and clearing of throats. I’m spending time listening to the language at the moment, familiarising myself with the sounds. I will start to tackle some simple phrases, being able to pronounce place names would be nice. This one I haven’t worked out how to say. It was lovely watching the light and mood change so quickly.

      December 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm

  22. Fantastic pictures, Adrian! I like all of them but my favourite is #5 :) I have a weak spot for dark skies.. and that special light.. and rainbows..

    December 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    • Thank you Camilla. I’m with you n the dark skies and dramatic light. :-)

      December 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm

  23. These shots have fabulous attention to detail Adrian! Amazing!

    December 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    • Thank you Marina! Such a pleasure taking these photographs! :-)

      December 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      • You’re mastering landscape photography. Can you believe when we started our blogs? Feels like eons ago!

        December 16, 2014 at 5:27 am

      • A lot has happened in 3 years Marina!! Thank you for the lovely compliment!

        December 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm

  24. A lot of weather can be good for photos. Wonderful Adrian.

    December 14, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    • It certainly can Bente! Thank you! :-)

      December 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

  25. The atmospherics in the third and the last image are my favorites, but then I tend to lean toward the moody spectrum.

    December 15, 2014 at 6:55 am

    • Me too Gunta! Number three was definitely my favourite. :-)

      December 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

  26. smackedpentax

    These photographs are exceptional! The lighting is amazing…just superb!

    December 15, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    • Thank you very much Indeed! :-)

      December 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm

  27. Amazing how much threatening skies and the resulting light can change the look and feel of a photograph isn’t it? Especially within such a short window of time. You can barely say the name of the church that quickly LOL. Beautiful series Adrian.

    December 16, 2014 at 4:05 am

    • Thank you Tina. I think you’re right as regards the church name! :-D

      December 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm

  28. OK, Adrian. Now I want to visit Iceland. There is something about the north that draws me. I too love the 3rd shot but am also very partial to the moodiness of the 2nd one.

    December 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    • When I made the booking for Iceland on the basis of some cheap flights Lynne I thought I knew what to expect. Nothing prepared me for the beauty of this northern volcanic wilderness. I’m returning as soon as I can, in just about 8 weeks actually. I can’t wait! :-)

      December 17, 2014 at 7:17 am

      • Ooohhh then we will expect some more breathtaking images, Adrian.

        December 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      • I hope so Lynne, thank you! :-)

        December 17, 2014 at 5:29 pm

  29. to be honest this is just spectacular :)

    December 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    • It is a spectacular landscape Joshi, thank you! :)

      December 17, 2014 at 7:18 am

  30. A beautiful landscape, great photowork!
    Merry Christmas to you!

    December 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

    • And to you Hans! Thank you!

      December 17, 2014 at 9:29 am

  31. Brilliant! I love them all.

    December 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    • Thank you very much Elena! :-)

      December 17, 2014 at 5:29 pm

  32. Incredible! The surreal lighting on the buildings is just breathtaking.

    January 1, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    • It was all about the light in Iceland, as it is with any photography I guess but with the sun so low in the sky all day long, the light was very special. Thank you again Karen for all your lovely comments. Happy New Year! :-)

      January 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    • It was all about the light in Iceland, as it is with any photography I guess but with the sun so low in the sky all day long, the light was very special. Thank you again Karen for all your lovely comments. Happy New Year! :-)

      January 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm

  33. For me it is the third shot Adrian where the buildings act as a strong focal point – wonderful light

    January 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    • The light on this particular day really was superb. A golden hour that lasted considerably longer.. It was the third shot for me also Scott. Thank you!

      January 2, 2015 at 8:25 pm

  34. The third is my favorite.

    January 2, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    • Mine too Jim, thank you!

      January 2, 2015 at 10:49 pm