Godafoss Dawn

When I posted my photographs from Godafoss yesterday, I mentioned that it was difficult to gauge scale from the pictures and that I would work on that.  This morning I was up at 6am, the weather forecast was good and I thought I might get some nice pictures of the falls as the sun rose on our way to Mývatn, a large lake not far from Akureyri. Pictures from there later..

As it turned out, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise.  According to the old rhyme, red sky in the morning, shepherds warning, we were in for some rough weather later on (it did snow very heavily as we drove home this afternoon) but for me that was fair exchange, as the sun peeked over the horizon, the whole area was bathed in a wonderful pink light.

As I set up to take my pictures, I managed to persuade my friend Chris, without whom this whole trip would be next to impossible, to walk back along the track from where we were parked to the road, cross the river and then hike along the opposite bank of the river.  We’d pre-agreed where I wanted him to stand and with a series of arm waving gestures, he knew when I was about to set off a long exposure and he promised to stand very still.  He stood very still for much longer than was necessary but I had no way of letting him know when the exposure was done.. :-)

I think the tiny figure of Chris, standing on the rocks above the falls does exactly what I’d hoped.. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them despite the frozen fingers in the -12°C morning air.. Click on the images for a clearer sharper view.. :-)

Godafoss Dawn24mm f/11 147 sec. ISO-50

While we were at the falls, I took the opportunity to do a series of long exposures using a 10 stop ND filter.  Here’ another of my pictures from today.  Loads more to follow at some point..

Godafoss Dawn 224mm f/11 30 sec. ISO-50

Extremes of temperature are not good for people with MS.  Extreme hot or cold tends to exacerbate symptoms.  One of the ways MS used to be diagnosed was patients would be put in a hot bath to see if symptoms got worse or new ones appeared.  I knew I was rubbish at dealing with heat.  I was a little worried about how I’d deal with the cold.

The thing about being hot though is, unless you have air conditioning, not something common in homes in the UK at least, you can take so many layers off but it’s very difficult to cool down.  The good thing about the cold, in my mind at least, is that you can usually warm up.

I took precautions before I came to Iceland.  I have two layers of merino wool thermal underwear, thermal socks, T-shit, hoody, fleece, windproof parka, trousers and windproof over trousers.  I have a merino wool balaclava, woolly hat, and two hoods. I have snow boots on my feet and on my hands, I have fingerless gloves so I can operate my camera and windproof waterproof mittens to slip on in between shots.  With all this gear, I’m managing to keep nice and warm and with my usual medication and the help of friends, I’m coping.

It’s a real hassle getting the top layers on and off every time I stop the car because I’ve seen something I want to take a picture of.  This is a frequent occurrence but it’s so worth the hassle.  I used to be a real sun worshiper.  I’d have chosen Florida or the Mediterranean any day but the heat would be so hard for me to deal with now.  This suits me brilliantly and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.  Get out there and get on with it if you can, ask for help and take it when it’s offered..

Tomorrow my friend and fellow blogger Poppy and her husband will be meeting us here in Akureyri.  How cool is that?  I can’t wait.. :-)


83 responses

  1. Terrific shots, made that much more special by the effort of capturing them.

    March 1, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    • Thank you so much! :-)

      March 1, 2015 at 9:28 pm

  2. Beautiful .The water looks like white satin.

    March 1, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    • Thank you Lou! :-)

      March 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    • must be white satin sorry

      March 18, 2015 at 9:07 am

  3. Fantastic images, Adrian! I had to smile at you commenting about your cold fingers, when your mate was standing exposed to the cold on that rock ;) the first image has such beautiful pastel tones… the second, I think, is a great advert for a 10 stop ND. Excellent. And I completely concur with Get out there, and Get on with it (within parameters, like you I don’t do heat)

    March 1, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    • Thank you very much Sue. The 10 stop is such a useful tool to have in the kit bag! :-)

      March 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm

  4. Ha ha ha!! The long exposure is quite dreamy :-) I think the conditions on this shoot make for even more crisp and vibrant.

    March 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm

  5. Still more beautiful images Adrian. Thanks you. I really admire your disciplined determination. Stay warm and keep the images coming.

    March 1, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    • Thank you so much Dave! I will do my very best! :-)

      March 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm

  6. This is what I’m talking about – amazing shots that take my breath away. Love your discussion of your process.

    March 1, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    • Thank you very much Mary, much appreciated! :-)

      March 2, 2015 at 6:11 pm

  7. Wow, good photos, with or withour a hard working model. And what a nature!

    March 1, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    • Thank you so much Bente.. The exercise helped to keep Chris warm! :-)

      March 2, 2015 at 6:12 pm

  8. Astonishingly beautiful. Definitely worth the effort, Adrian!
    I think this place was made for photographing. It is on my must-go-to list.

    March 1, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    • Thank you Karen. It is breathtakingly beautiful and loves the camera! Iceland is a photographer’s dream location for sure! :-)

      March 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm

  9. Such lighting and wow, you capture it all so well. Stunning shots ~ there is something very mysterious and alive with these long exposures. Keep them coming Adrian, and good of you to be feeling so well, take care :-)

    March 1, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    • Thank you very much Randall. It’s nice to throw in a few long exposures when visiting waterfalls I think. :-) It certainly seems to give a dream-like, otherworldly quality to the image.

      March 2, 2015 at 6:17 pm

  10. They are both incredibly beautiful photographs. And you have an incredibly good friend!

    March 1, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    • Chris is indeed a good friend Jude! Couldn’t do the trip without his help!

      March 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm

  11. I do love these pictures. But even more, I admire your dedication to the art. Because of my heart problems, I have similar difficulties with extreme temperatures. I used to love heat, but now live with the help of air conditioning. So I know what your going through, and really admire your courage.

    March 1, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    • Thank you very much Shimon. You’re very kind. The heat does take its toll when you’re fit and healthy, much, much harder to deal with when you are not. Wishing you well my friend!

      March 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm

  12. Brilliant images Adrian. I think placing Chris where you did does just want you intended. I must get to Iceland one of these days.

    March 2, 2015 at 1:29 am

    • Thank you Edith. Later on in the morning, there were quite a few people milling around to provide scale to the images. I’m very happy I was able to take the pictures with just Chris up there on the rock. It does to get up early, even in Iceland where there are so very few people comparatively. I hope you make it here one day Edith. I know you would love it.

      March 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm

  13. Crazy beautiful. :)

    March 2, 2015 at 2:27 am

    • Thank you so much Scott!

      March 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm

  14. Beautiful! I have never been on Island myself, but after seeing this pictures I would definitely wanna go there sometimes soon :)

    March 2, 2015 at 2:41 am

    • Thank you very much. I hope you do make it to Iceland one day!

      March 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm

  15. Well, it took me a couple of seconds to spot tiny Chris. :) That landscape is so incredible, and your photos are stunning, Adrian. So happy you’re able to do this trip, and congratulations on thinking of everything you might be in need of. :)

    March 2, 2015 at 3:23 am

    • Thank you Sylvia. It is quite a grand landscape and to put one person in the picture certainly adds to the context. It’s always a good idea to plan well for tough environments of course. I know you’re a past master with all your travels. Thankfully my planning seems to have worked out OK. :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm

  16. The blues make the scene more like a dream. I can’t find another way to describe how it makes me feel. A dream in winter. Winter DreamScape. Perfect.

    March 2, 2015 at 3:28 am

    • Thank you very much. I’m so glad you enjoyed the pictures! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm

  17. While you were freezing your butt, I was braving the heat of the Mojave Desert. The lengths we go to for an image! That first image is fantastic, though the rest are pretty damned good, too. ;) Poor Chris standing there freezing his buns. Sending him warm thoughts.

    March 2, 2015 at 3:46 am

    • Thank you Gunta, Chris got to warm up hiking round the falls, he was very grateful for the opportunity. I didn’t keep him hanging around too long.. :-D

      March 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm

  18. Your captures of the wintery scenes are breathtaking Adrian – both figuratively and I’m sure literally! Glad to hear you were prepared and are tolerating the cold. You are one amazing guy!!

    March 2, 2015 at 3:51 am

    • Thank you Tina, you’re very kind! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm

  19. anroworld

    So great photos, speechless!

    March 2, 2015 at 8:32 am

    • Thank you so much! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 11:58 am

  20. poppytump

    *WoW … this is what it’s all about … a fabulous opportunity to push the boundaries and capture some stunning shots .
    No escape now ChillB !! We’re on the move onwards and upwards ;-) xx

    March 2, 2015 at 8:38 am

    • Thank you Poppy! It certainly is.. Onwards and upwards around the island of Iceland.. Marvellous :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 11:58 am

  21. lensaddiction

    Yes the person to add context to the scale is an excellent choice, tho I had to see the big size to see him :)

    ADORE your long exposure!!! ADORE – I just got my Big Stopper and having to stop myself from using it everywhere but it was PERFECT here :)

    March 2, 2015 at 8:40 am

    • Thank you Stacey! The Big Stopper is a really useful addition to your photography kit bag. No harm in lots of practise if you’ve just bought one! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      • lensaddiction

        Im heading to Tasmania soon and hoping it will get lots of use there :)

        March 4, 2015 at 6:29 am

  22. Reblogged this on djlsinclair8.

    March 2, 2015 at 11:53 am

  23. Wow, great shots!!!

    March 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    • Thank you Rexlin! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 12:01 pm

  24. That’s how I dress for skiing in -16C!! The figure really does give a sense of scale and the water looks silky smooth. Best wishes to Poppy when she arrives.

    March 2, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    • It’s certainly so important to keep warm and dry in these conditions as you Know Andy. I have passed on your best wishes to Poppy. We had a meal together last night and are looking forward to the onward journey! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 12:27 pm

  25. You do have a VERY good friend. His presence sure does make the scale obvious, and adds to the photo. I look forward to more of your trip photos.

    March 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    • Thank you so much Bunty! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 12:28 pm

  26. Two stunningly beautiful images Adrian

    March 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    • Thank you very much Mark!

      March 3, 2015 at 11:55 am

  27. Really amazing images! Let’s see if Poppy can take some good ones as well :-)

    March 2, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    • I’m sure she will Rhys! Thank you! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 11:55 am

  28. Glorious! Beautiful setting.

    March 2, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    • Thank you Isabel! It is very beautiful!

      March 3, 2015 at 11:56 am

  29. Just wow . . . . everything!

    March 3, 2015 at 12:04 am

    • Thank you Patti! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 11:56 am

  30. Breathtaking shots, can’t help but gasp. Hope you stay on top of your health issues and manage many more of these :-)

    March 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    • Thank you again Sonja. Another week and a lot of sights to see. I hope I can capture a few more like this too! :-)

      March 3, 2015 at 2:52 pm

  31. These are some stunning photographs. What a beautiful area, and so well captured.

    March 4, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    • Thank you Claire! Iceland is wild and very beautiful!

      March 4, 2015 at 5:17 pm

  32. Gorgeous pictures, Adrian, with extraordinary light, And yes, Chris does provide a sense of scale. And I admire you willingness to face really cold weather and I presume some nasty winds at times as well.

    March 5, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    • Thank you Otto! There have been a couple of very wild days, but the dynamic of this country is what I love so much! It feels so alive, I feel so alive being here! :-)

      March 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm

  33. amazing shot !! Godafoss is one of my favourite waterfal :-)

    March 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

    • Thank you! Glad you liked this shot of the falls!

      March 6, 2015 at 4:17 pm

  34. The photographs are beautiful, but maybe more than that, I so appreciate your sharing what you’ve learned about yourself, how you accept and work with the challenges instead of railing against them. It’s all pretty damn brilliant. And tell Chris it was good of him – great idea to put him over there for the scale and human interest.

    March 7, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    • That’s very kind of you to say Lynn. I think in this life acceptance is a far better route to happiness and serenity.. you have to work with what you have. I will pass your message on to Chris! :-)

      March 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm

  35. Glorious nature! Truly wonderful shots with extraordinary light, Adrian. What a joy to see your work.

    March 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    • Aww thank you Dina. It was very, very cold but so very worth the discomfort to experience the sun rising on such a beautiful waterfall. :-)

      March 10, 2015 at 9:59 pm

  36. Gosh, How I admire both your artistry and your determined spirit. Exquisite.

    March 12, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    • Thank you Elena. The morning I took this picture of the waterfall was just magical! :-)

      March 12, 2015 at 4:44 pm

  37. The blues and the golds. :)

    March 17, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    • They do make the picture.. thanks Jim!

      March 17, 2015 at 4:45 pm

  38. Remarkable images, an incredible experience. Having just begun to peruse your posts, I am enthralled with the adventure, and of course your photos. In the words above, you’ve answered a question I left earlier tonight in a comment to your 2013 post “Trebarwith Strand – Dawn” concerning ND filters. Thank You!
    Enjoying your circumnavigating Iceland in winter series, relates to a post I published last month about my first encounter with driving in a major winter snowstorm, 50 years ago, found on WordPress at http://wp.me/p37YEI-1sk. And my first use of Neutral Density filter was comical, on a very rudimentary set-up back in 1970 in which I managed to record images of that year’s total solar eclipse in the US. http://wp.me/p37YEI-1t3 Sincerely enjoying your work/pleasure posts….Marty

    April 9, 2015 at 1:04 am

    • Thank you Marty! I enjoyed your posts very much so thank you also for the links!

      April 9, 2015 at 1:07 pm

  39. Iceland is such a beautiful place and you’ve captured it excellently.

    April 9, 2015 at 11:03 am

    • Thank you very much!

      April 9, 2015 at 12:57 pm

  40. i love this place. i can’t wait to go in the winter and see what yu captured so well in these shots.

    May 16, 2015 at 3:51 am

    • Many thanks JP! I hope you get your pictures!

      May 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm