Aldeyafoss.. At Last!

Aldeyafoss is a waterfall that has eluded me on three separate trips to Iceland.  This trip I finally made it and it was certainly worth the wait.  On previous visits, we witnessed a car being rescued from the snow on the road ahead.  The driver had been trying to get to Aldeyafoss too.  We took the tow truck as a sign it probably wasn’t a good idea to try ourselves.  On another occasion, the mountain F road was open, just, but when the road forked and with no sign posts to suggest which fork one should take, I took the wrong one.  On a third occasion, we very nearly got there but the weather was so awful, I decided it was best to leave for another time.

This trip however, as I’ve said, I made it to the waterfall.  It is a sight to behold.  The water cascades into an amphitheatre of rock, beautifully decorated with basalt columns and swirls and twists in the rock that one would swear must have been created by a sculptor.  It was dull and overcast but that didn’t seem to matter.  We sat for hours just watching the water pour into this giant bowl where it was churned and mixed before being sent on its way, down the river to be churned and mixed once more at Godafoss, several miles back along the road and downstream.

This waterfall is fed by melt water from the Vatnajökull glacier, Europe’s largest, and explains the beautiful clear blue colour of the water.  In fact this is the first thing that strikes you when you see the falls.

Just as we were preparing to leave, the sun finally broke through.  Not quite the right time of year for the sun to completely illuminate the amphitheatre but I wasn’t complaining.  It was a beautiful sight nonetheless.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.. :-)

Aldeyafoss II14mm f/22 1/2 sec ISO-50

I closed down the aperture here and decreased the shutter speed just enough to show the movement of the water and to create this pattern effect.


Aldeyafoss I

As the sunshine was creating very dark shadows, to get this image I blended two exposures using masks in Photoshop.  One exposing for the dark shadows and one exposing for the sunlit parts of the picture.

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44 responses

  1. Mjollnir MacAlba

    What fantastic place and great shots :-)

    October 21, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    • Thank you very much! The rock formations really are amazing. :-)

      October 21, 2015 at 6:36 pm

  2. Lemonpath

    Stunning photographs!

    October 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    • Thank you Debz! :-)

      October 21, 2015 at 6:36 pm

  3. Sue

    Wonderful images of a stunning sight, Adrian!

    October 21, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    • Thank you very much Sue!

      October 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm

  4. I’m not sure what the technical details mean but the photographs are stunningly beautiful.

    October 21, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    • Thank you Carol! :-)

      October 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm

  5. Looks well worth the continued effort to get there. Gorgeous images of a marvelous scene.

    October 21, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    • Thank you Gunta. It was a wonderful place to spend a few hours. Hot flask of soup, a sandwich, this amazing view and a remote shutter release, I was in seventh heaven! :-)

      October 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm

  6. Jeff J Janson

    Beautiful captures!

    October 21, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    • Thank you very much Jeff!

      October 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm

  7. Wonderful images, Adrian. What a marvellous sight to see! :)

    October 21, 2015 at 8:11 pm

  8. Gorgeous Photography

    October 21, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    • Thank you very much Marylou! :-)

      October 21, 2015 at 8:35 pm

  9. So impressive!

    October 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    • It is indeed Bente! Thank you for your comment! :-)

      October 22, 2015 at 7:58 am

  10. Hooray!! Worth the wait Adrian, it’s a stunning example of the power of nature :-) Spot on with the water flow too!

    October 21, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    • Thank you Sarah! It really was worth the wait! :-)

      October 22, 2015 at 7:58 am

  11. Amazing ….the colours are awesome!! So glad you made it there..the blues are surreal!! : )) trees

    October 22, 2015 at 12:19 am

    • Thank you Trees. It was a long time coming but I’m so glad I made it there eventually! :-)

      October 22, 2015 at 8:00 am

  12. Stunning images. They say all good things are three, but in this case it was obviously four. I remember when you wrote about the snow making it impossible to get to Aldeyafoss. But, judging by the photos, it was well worth trying four times for.

    October 22, 2015 at 1:54 am

    • I’d seen pictures of Aldeyafoss of course Otto and it was this amphitheatre of rock into which the water poured that captured my imagination. The basalt columns and rock formations are fascinating. It definitely was worth the wait!

      October 22, 2015 at 8:02 am

  13. Amazing – hard to get it all in! Beautiful images. I bet the sound was pretty cool too. I would have been inspecting the lichens and plants! ;-)

    October 22, 2015 at 2:00 am

    • Thank you Lynn. The sound was tremendous. The lichens and plants are there for inspection only I was a little distracted by the roar of the water..! :-D

      October 22, 2015 at 8:05 am

  14. spectacular :)

    October 22, 2015 at 5:09 am

    • It is indeed Joshi, thank you! :-)

      October 22, 2015 at 8:06 am

  15. Stunning

    October 22, 2015 at 6:21 am

    • Thank you Kitt!

      October 22, 2015 at 8:06 am

  16. Gosh, Adrian, this is MAGNIFICENT!

    October 22, 2015 at 9:12 am

    • Thank you Dina! This waterfall really is something else. Whilst many of the waterfalls in Iceland are very dramatic, Aldeyafoss has the drama and the theatre in which to stage the show. It really is a very special place. :-)

      October 22, 2015 at 11:57 am

      • Obviously! I very much hope to make it there one day and participate in one of your workshops. Is your very special and so beautiful postprocessing a part of the game?
        Have a great time!

        October 22, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      • Hi Dina, yep, postprocessing is definitely part of the game. It would be such a pleasure to meet you and have you along on one of the workshops. :-)x

        October 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

  17. poppytump

    What a spectacular waterfall it is ChillB ! Such an incredibly beautiful view certainly justified the effort to finally get there .
    I can also see you braved taking a lower angled shot than I did ;-) … Bravo !

    October 22, 2015 at 9:23 am

    • Thank you so much Poppy! Ahh it was well worth the visit wasn’t it? That late afternoon sunshine was lovely too but we’d been there all day. It wouldn’t have mattered if it hadn’t come.
      I read somewhere that every Icelander has their favourite waterfall and there are so many to choose from. I spoke to Hulda and this is one she has yet to visit but really wants to. I think you know which is my favourite but this one is a close second! :-)

      October 22, 2015 at 12:01 pm

  18. Magnificent scene, Adrian. So pleased you made it to the waterfall this time and came back with these beautiful photos.

    October 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    • Thank you very much Simon! It was definitely worth the wait! :-)

      October 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm

  19. Amazingly beautiful in the middle of that lava field…. Thank you for bringing it back for us, Adrian. :)

    October 24, 2015 at 1:31 am

    • Thank you so much Scott. It was a pleasure to visit and a pleasure to post the imaage! :-)

      October 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

  20. Brilliant

    November 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    • Thank you, I’m glad I got there in the end and now I know where Adeyafoss is exactly, I know I’ll be back!

      November 4, 2015 at 7:40 pm

  21. Black Lightness

    Fantastic waterfall…I especial like this lake under hime…

    November 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    • Thank you! :-)

      November 26, 2015 at 3:39 pm