Haifoss – On the edge!

Of all the places I’ve visited in Iceland, none has had more of a profound effect on me than Haifoss.  Haifoss (pronounced How-a-foss) reduces me to tears whenever I’m there.  The raw, unadulterated beauty of this remote location moves me beyond words.  These falls thunder some 122 metres or just over 400 feet into a gorge that stands at the head of a very beautiful valley.

It’s a remote location, off the beaten track and this means that whenever I’ve visited, I’ve been completely alone other than the companion or companions that I’ve had with me.  There are no signs, no ropes, no walkways.  It’s up to you to deduce that walking over the edge is likely to hurt quite a bit.  It’s nature as it should be without all the nannying that is taking the magic away from so many places.

On this last visit, it was a real pleasure to introduce my good friends Poppy and her BB to Haifoss for the first time.  As a group, we did attempt a visit back in February but snow meant the track was impassable.  They were debating whether to join us this time but with a little persuasion along the lines of ‘it really is worth a visit’ they decided to come with us.  Approaching the gorge they were silent, standing and staring I knew they were as moved by what they were seeing as I have always been.

Having my UAV (otherwise known as a drone) with me this time, I was able to enter the gorge and film the falls from above and below.  You  can hike up the valley and enter the gorge on foot but it’s a long hike and certainly not one that I could manage.  The drone is allowing me to go places I’m now longer able to as well as giving, quite literally, a bird’s eye view of the world which is really quite magical.

I’ve posted the film below with original music by composer and very good friend Christopher Hartley.  I was a little cautious filming here as there really is a lot of spray and my drone isn’t waterproof.  That coupled with this only being my fifth flight.  My apologies to those with slower Internet connections but this is HD video and I wanted to maintain a certain level of quality.  I think it’s worth the wait.  About half-way through, I’ve added an arrow to show where I am, up on the edge of the gorge.  Just a reminder of the sheer scale..  Enjoy!

A picture of the rainbow created in the mist at the foot of Haifoss, Iceland's second highest waterfall by Adrian Theze

70mm f/11 1/80 sec. ISO-100


A picture of Haifoss, Iceland's second highest waterfall, by Adrian Theze

14mm f/11 1/25 sec. ISO-100



Adrian Theze Photo logo_2



67 responses

  1. Wow how beautiful is that!

    November 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    • It really is a very special place Jane. Thank you for your comment! :-)

      November 4, 2015 at 7:38 pm

  2. I would love to go there! Your rainbow falls shot is mesmerising.

    November 4, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    • Thank you Rachael. It would be a real pleasure to take you there. Perhaps we can work something out. I’ll email tomorrow.

      November 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      • :)

        November 4, 2015 at 9:49 pm

  3. Fantastic; wonderful place. Positive use of the drone.

    November 4, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    • Thank you very much Harrie!

      November 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm

  4. poppytump

    After another incredibly long gravel track of which I think eventually I got the hang of …. with just *keep the speed up and you won’t notice the bumps* advice from both you and BB I have to wholeheartedly agree ChillB . It was SO worth it . No one except us around … it filled the senses in many ways .. when that rainbow appeared as the sun shone it was truly magical . I think your photos show that for sure .
    Lovely to see more HD drone film and Christopher’s composition really does add that little extra specialness.
    I shan’t forget this trip in a hurry x :-)

    November 4, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    • Neither will I Poppy. It was an amazing trip in so many ways. The weather wasn’t always kind but somehow, strangely it was always fine when it counted most and yes, you tackled driving conditions that you were quite adamant you wouldn’t at the start of the journey. Fording rivers and driving up the sides of mountains and yes, discovering how a little speed really did smooth out those bumps in the gravel roads. Fabulous! :-)x

      November 4, 2015 at 8:32 pm

  5. leecleland

    Awesome! in the true sense of that much over used word. I wanted the video to go on and on. The shots at the base of the falls with the colour band of red and orange really shows the forces at work here and I doubt that a single image could capture this power in quite the same way. A location that hopefully doesn’t get ‘loved to death’ like so many other wonderful soul stirring places.

    November 4, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    • Thank you very much Lee. As you say, it really is awesome. When I’ve posted about Haifoss in the past, I’ve had several comments from people who’ve said they tried to find the falls but couldn’t.. There are no signposts.. I very selfishly do hope there are no plans to put any up. The solitude and peace that I have found here, (I love your phrase soul stirring places), is something I really treasure. I don’t want that to change. At the moment it seems you can’t turn a page in a magazine or turn on the TV without seeing something about Iceland. The Icelandic government is doing an amazing job at promoting the country and tourism is booming. This I know is of great concern to many Icelanders. Politicians have their eyes on the economy and the interests of businesses and not necessarily the interests of Iceland in the longer term. Time will tell. I hope they don’t destroy what it is that makes the country so special. It’s a very delicate balance and politicians are notorious at getting these things wrong as they dance to the tune of the puppet masters, banks and business.

      November 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      • leecleland

        Even Downunder Iceland is being promoted widely, so lets hope they get that balance right. So many other countries haven’t, surely Iceland will learn from the others mistakes! Enjoy your second home.

        November 5, 2015 at 7:46 am

      • Thank you! :-)

        November 5, 2015 at 9:05 am

  6. Magnificient pictures

    November 4, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    • Thanks ever so much Lou! :-)

      November 4, 2015 at 10:15 pm

  7. Wow! This is so spectacular, Adrian. It’s just jaw-dropping to be taken around there by your clever drone, or maybe it’s more the expert operator. :) Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

    November 4, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    • It’s a pleasure Sylvia. Thank you for your lovely comment. A spectacular location in every way! :-)

      November 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm

  8. Really stunning Adrian! The top image with the rainbow is quite abstract :-) Really love it. Breathtaking views on the video too!

    November 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    • Thank you very much Sarah! :-)

      November 5, 2015 at 9:06 am

  9. Quite wonderful, having the drone’s eye view. I have to (regretfully) say, the video does a better job at showing the sheer immensity of this site. You did a beautiful job editing, and I found the music to be an interesting counterpoint to the powerful waterfall, which I’m sure is incredible loud. But like you said, one is silent in the face of a place like this, and the music expresses the delicacy of that feeling.
    I love your use of the word nannying – funny! But a serious point and yes, it’s a treasure to be in a place that is not over-loved or over-signed or over-used. Nature as it should be, indeed. (p.s. -for me, no waiting for the video to load)

    November 5, 2015 at 2:56 am

    • Thank you Lynne. It is really difficult to give scale to these falls without the usual references in a photograph. You may remember I photoshopped a statue of Liberty and a couple of other famous landmarks into the scene when I posted before. Being able to move through the gorge certainly helps. The drone doesn’t have a mic but I did video with my D800e and do have the sound of the falls so I perhaps should have edited that into the soundtrack too. Perhaps I’ll do that next time around. I’m glad the video loaded OK for you. :-)

      November 5, 2015 at 9:53 am

  10. Just beautiful. How amazing is technology! Thank you for sharing that. Very Special.

    November 5, 2015 at 3:46 am

    • It’s a pleasure, thank you very much! :-)

      November 5, 2015 at 9:05 am

  11. Wow this is so beautiful! Really great video! I’m visiting Iceland for the first time in January and may not get to visit here if the roads are bad – thankyou for sharing!

    November 5, 2015 at 9:24 am

    • Thank you very much Alice! I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time in Iceland!

      November 5, 2015 at 9:54 am

  12. Wonderfult shots! The first photo is a beautiful abstraction.

    November 5, 2015 at 11:25 am

    • Thank you very much Isabel! :-)

      November 5, 2015 at 11:51 am

  13. Adrian these photos are amazing…such a unique area and while the shape & cut out canyons reminds me a bit of the SW of the USA – the vegetation water and mood of these shots are simply other-worldly. Stunning… And then you add some amazing drone footage :-) You’ve outdone yourself, which I thought would have been impossible to do!

    November 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    • Thank you once again Randall! I really liked the term Lee used to describe such locations, soul stirring places and Haifoss really does it for me. It was so cool to be able to drop the drone into the gorge and get a view looking up. This is something I’ve wanted to do since my first trip but even if I could get down there, I’d never get back up again so this is a great addtition to my kit.

      November 5, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      • It is a tribute to travel, to find those “soul stirring places” ~ and I think to be able to also use a drone to help capture the essence/soul of a place is brilliant. Well done.

        November 6, 2015 at 3:29 am

      • I think so too Randall! Thank you.

        November 6, 2015 at 3:33 pm

  14. Amazing place. I can see it how it w
    ould leave a powerful memory.

    November 5, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    • It certainly does that Gabi, thank you.

      November 6, 2015 at 3:33 pm

  15. You continue to amaze me Adrian. Drones?! Gettin’ high tech over there ;) I need to visit Iceland.

    November 6, 2015 at 4:16 am

    • I can thoroughly recommend it Marina but I think you probably guessed that already! :-)

      November 6, 2015 at 3:34 pm

  16. Thoroughly enjoyed this Adrian. The video from the drone is truly remarkable. Christopher’s music is superb too. Your piloting skills are top class!

    November 6, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    • Thank you Simon. Piloting the drone isn’t so difficult, piloting the drone and operating the camera so you have usable footage, that’s taking some getting used to but I’m getting there.

      November 6, 2015 at 3:58 pm

  17. One word will suffice, Adrian: YOWZA. :-)

    November 7, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    • Thank you Frank! :)

      November 7, 2015 at 2:11 pm

  18. Wow, what a gorgeous place! Amazing. Great images & video, cool use of the drone. :)

    November 7, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    • Thank you Camilla. A beautiful place to visit for sure! :-)

      November 7, 2015 at 3:41 pm

  19. What a landscape…..amazing. Love the first shot, it’s like an abstract painting.

    November 7, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    • Thank you Mark! :-)

      November 7, 2015 at 6:45 pm

  20. this is just breath taking :)

    November 7, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    • It is an incredible sight Joshi! :-)

      November 7, 2015 at 7:13 pm

  21. Amazing Adrian, I can see why this place has such a special place in your heart. How terrific that you added the drone footage to the post. Loved it – but loved your still shots even more!

    November 9, 2015 at 12:52 am

    • Thank you very much Tina. The drone is fun and is going places I can’t but the D800e is my first love. :-)

      November 9, 2015 at 12:18 pm

  22. Amazing place Adrian. Nicely done, love the rainbow.

    November 9, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    • Thank you Jim. I’ve usually managed to arrive at Haifoss either too late or two early to catch the sun illuminating the gorge. A bit of research beforehand, consulting the Photographer’s Ephemeris, definitely paid off!

      November 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm

  23. I’m glad you have found a pristine area of such amazing beauty. I hope it will stay that way. Your pictures are dreams.

    November 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    • Thank you so much Leya. I certainly hope it remains that way. Thankfully the people of Iceland, if not the government I think, are quite determined not to see their beautiful island ruined. At the same time, many Icelander’s are doing very well out of the incredible growth in tourism. It’s a very delicate balance that I hope they get right.

      November 9, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      • Many have failed at this – but I think and hope that the people up there are as clever as they were in the old days .

        November 9, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      • Certainly the Icelanders I know are! :-)

        November 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm

  24. Stunning, really took my breath away.

    November 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    • Thank you JD, much appreciated! :-)

      November 10, 2015 at 3:12 pm

  25. Your drone has certainly added a new perspective Adrian! You’ve done a brilliant job in getting the footage in the first place and then editing it so sensitively. I particularly like the descent into the gorge and the sequence of the water hitting the rock to create a rainbow is just sublime ….

    November 29, 2015 at 10:33 am

    • Thanks so much Noeline. The drone is a lot of fun and it’s really interesting to be getting this new perspective on things! :-)

      December 2, 2015 at 5:22 am

  26. Well done! I was in Iceland earlier this year, and took some lovely photos there too. Such an amazing place for photography. Just spectacular. Your images are great, I will be following you! :) Happy travels to you!

    November 30, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    • Thank you Anita. Happy travels to you too! :)

      December 2, 2015 at 7:26 am

  27. A gorgeous place – and gorgeous photos of it. Fun to read about your use of a drone. It’s become quite a versatile tool for photographers, hasn’t it.

    December 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    • The drone is a brilliant addition to the kit Otto. I must admit I am enjoying videography as much as photography! I’ve got quite a bit of catching up to do but the films I made in Iceland were made the first few times I’d flown the drone. We made 5 flights in all so not too bad. :-)

      December 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm

  28. Marvelous. Those colors and textures are fantastic.

    December 8, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    • Thank you Elena! :-)

      December 15, 2015 at 7:17 pm

  29. Brilliant. Haifoss is now on the top of my “must see” places on Iceland. 👍🏻😊

    April 26, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    • Haifoss really is a stunning waterfall. Definitely my favourite in Iceland. Perhaps being so far off the beaten track meaning you can enjoy the spectacle by yourself and truly be with nature in every sense adds to its attraction for sure! :-)

      April 28, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      • Yeas, Adrian, you sound very persuasive. ;-) Now, half a year later, I have just watched the film for the second time and once again enjoyed the music by Christopher Hartley, a brilliant match, this coproduction. This is such a beautiful, heartwarming post, quite outstanding in every respect.
        But what a pity, Poppy has closed her blog, I’m sure she took loads of great photos as well …

        September 1, 2016 at 11:21 am

      • Thank you so much Hanne. Chris’s music really works so well with the films that I make with my drone. He very much feels the way I do about Iceland and this comes through so very strongly in his music.
        Poppy is in the process of starting a new blog having spent some time just concentrating on her photography and processing. She does indeed have many lovely pictures from Iceland and I’m sure she will get around to posting some of them. I’ll let you know the address of her blog in an email.. :-)

        September 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm