A large part of landscape photography is getting to know your subject, thinking about where you want to go and perhaps taking a closer look on Google Earth before you visit is a good idea.  Once there, you can take a good look round in person, thinking about angles and composition.  Once you know your subject, you can put yourself where you want to be at the right time and hopefully under perfect conditions and light.  All the things we can’t control have to come together to make a great landscape photograph but if you know exactly where you want to be to take that photograph, when all the variables come together, you’re in with a good chance.

I have visited Gullfoss quite a few times now.  It’s one of the top attractions in Iceland and with good reason.  The falls are immense.  I’ve explored the falls from all directions now.  On my last visit I went the other side of the river (this is where Google Earth came in for me, finding the track less travelled), the opposite side to the visitors centre and the usual spots for taking pictures.  I thought I might get my shot from this side of the river but it wasn’t to be.

The light wasn’t right, the weather not great and as it turned out, I didn’t get the shot I wanted because I wasn’t in the right place but now I know exactly where I want to be next time.  Hopefully it’ll all come together but I’ll have to be there either at dawn or dusk, the blue and golden hours.  All that aside, from the opposite side of the river, I did have the sun behind me allowing for a nice rainbow to form in the spray from the falls and I did get a shot from a different angle to most..

Gulfoss waterfall in summer showing a rainbow above the falls.14mm f/9 1/200 sec. ISO-50

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35 responses

  1. It’s like somewhere out of a fantasy or fairytale!

    August 2, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    • It is Sarah, thank you!

      August 3, 2015 at 8:04 am

  2. Wonderful shot, Adrian. The almost double rainbow, makes it even more special. :)

    August 2, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    • Thank you Sylvia! The rainbow was a definite bonus! :-)

      August 3, 2015 at 8:04 am

  3. a beautiful landscape

    August 3, 2015 at 12:20 am

    • It is Shimon, thank you!

      August 3, 2015 at 8:05 am

  4. Pat

    Beautiful. Love the rainbow.

    August 3, 2015 at 2:42 am

    • Thank you Pat! :-)

      August 3, 2015 at 8:05 am

  5. It is certainly beautiful, Adrian…well done.

    August 3, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    • Thank you Scott! :-)

      August 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm

  6. Black Lightness

    Wonderful shot and I like it becouse this two rainbow what u capture…how lucky are you…

    August 4, 2015 at 8:12 am

    • Thank you! :-)

      August 4, 2015 at 9:10 am

  7. Exciting place and amazing photography

    August 4, 2015 at 10:04 am

    • Thank you Lou! :-)

      August 4, 2015 at 10:06 am

  8. I know it can be very frustrating when you have a shot in mind and for one reason or another it doesn’t work out the way you wanted, but in this case the shot you captured is still very impressive….the rainbow and sky are great.

    August 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    • Thank you Mark! I was glad I made the effort to get to the other side of the falls. It gave me a new perspective and enabled me to see exactly where I want to be next time which hopefully, isn’t too far into the future.. :-)

      August 4, 2015 at 5:51 pm

  9. that is one superb shot :)

    August 5, 2015 at 9:40 am

    • Thank you very much Joshi! :-)

      August 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm

  10. No need to feel frustrated, you got an amazing shot from an unusual angle (most people are on the other side of the falls?) :) I like it a lot!

    August 5, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    • Thank you Camilla. If you Google ‘Gullfoss’ most shots you’ll see are from the other side. My next shot will also be from the other side but again, the angle will be different to the usual, at least I hope it’ll work out. :-)

      August 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

  11. Reblogged this on itsabreezeshopping and commented:
    Iceland is on my bucketlist…I believe I have cousins there …

    August 5, 2015 at 7:21 pm

  12. I know your deliberate approach can be wise, but I rarely can put that together. I do find that researching maps and google earth before taking a trip can be really helpful. Otherwise, my time for photography is limited to weekends, so the weather is what it is. That being said, the more I’m out there, especially with the same subjects or in the same landscape, the more I can adapt to whatever the weather may bring. So certainly there IS some deliberation going on inside my brain as well.
    The rainbow is a big plus but I can imagine what you’re thinking about the way this place must look with a much lower sun, maybe some mist, or a bit of snow… :-)

    August 9, 2015 at 1:55 am

    • Thanks for your comment Lynn! It’s certainly true that sometimes we don’t have the luxury of really getting to know a particular location, we may just be visiting an area the once which is why Google Earth can be so useful. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the spontaneous and sometimes, those are the best shots but we have to be lucky given all the factors that have to come together. Knowing a particular location well will certainly give us the best opportunities for that special picture, as will visiting regularly of course. I can’t make Iceland every week unfortunately but I’m I’ve a few more trips planned.. ;-)

      August 9, 2015 at 11:51 am

  13. Gullfoss is really a stunning place. I have been there – many years ago. Somewhat unfortunate that you didn’t quite get what you wanted this time, but Gullfoss will not go away. :-) I like the rainbow and the dark clouds looming over the waterfall in this photo.

    August 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    • Thank you Otto! As you say, Gulfoss will not go away and I am sure to visit again soon. :-)

      August 13, 2015 at 3:57 pm

  14. This shot looked like you were in the perfect spot at the perfect time :-) Wonderful view, and so true about how a bit of research and planning can make a photoshoot. I’ve spent many hours/days of wasted time with photography in the sense that I did not read-up or investigate the area well enough and spent too much time trying to find the spot instead of shooting…and alas, when the lighting is perfect there is no time to mess around which I’ve learned the hard way. Cheers Adrian to the info provided with your words and inspiration with your shot. :-)

    August 15, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    • Thank you Randall. I think Google Earth is such an invaluable resource as is the Photographer’s Ephemeris. We can get an idea of a location and know exactly where the sun will be at any given time of day giving us a huge headstart. I too have wandered around fruitlessly in certain locations knowing there’s a shot there I want but being unable to find it. I’ll be glad when, along with street view in Google Earth, we also have footpath view! :-)

      August 17, 2015 at 7:59 am

  15. And even if you didn’t get what you want, you got something else and it’s gorgeous. Gullfoss will wait for you. Lovely capture, Adrian.

    August 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    • Thank you Dina! The rainbow was a bonus as there was so little sunshine that day. I now have my spot picked out and I have another trip to Iceland planned so I hope to get my shot next time! :-)x

      August 16, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      • I’m sure you will, Adrian. Good luck!
        I’ms so glad that Icelandic weather agrees with your MS. By the way, do you have an Icelandic sweater? :-)

        August 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      • Thank you! I haven’t bought an Icelandic sweater yet but it’s an item that is definitely on my shopping list for my next trip! :-)x

        August 21, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      • :-) Great!

        August 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      • :-)

        August 21, 2015 at 2:22 pm

  16. I have never before seen such a dynamic rainbow! Beautiful.

    August 18, 2015 at 11:51 am

    • Thank you Elena! The rainbow was unexpected on such a dull day! :-)

      August 19, 2015 at 8:54 am