Of Glaciers and Glacial Lagoons

One of the must see places on most people’s Iceland agendas is Jökulsárlón.  At Jökulsárlón, the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier (an offspring of the parent glacier Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest) spills down from the mountain top to a glacial lagoon where chunks of glacier float sedately in the water before eventually, and this process can take up to five years apparently, they’re  washed out to sea where, depending on the tide, they are washed back up onto the black volcanic beach creating, as you can imagine, wonderful photo opportunities.  The lagoon has seen a four-fold increase in its size since the ’70’s which I guess has to be a fairly clear indicator that things are warming up.

These pieces of ice now floating,  and melting, in the lagoon and ocean were most probably deposited here during the last glacial period, that means these chunks of ice are probably between 11,500 and 21,00 years old.  Makes you think doesn’t it?

Here are a few of my pictures along with a video I filmed with my drone at the Jökulsárlón lagoon along with a closer look at the glacier taken over another glacial lagoon, Fjallsárlón.  Some of these pictures you’ve seen before, some are new.. :-)

Icebergs on the beach - Jokulsarlon - Adrian Theze

24mm f/10 1/400 sec. ISO-100



35mm  f/4 1/160 sec. ISO-100


Black beach at Jokulsarlon by Adrian Theze

24mm f/13 1/15 sec. ISO-100


Ice on the beach at Jokulsarlon by Adrian Theze

70mm f/22 90 sec. ISO-100


Music Le Onde – Ludovico Einaudi


Adrian Theze Photo logo_2




84 responses

  1. Oh Adrian, they are all stunningly beautiful! I love this place – unforgettable since there are not so many of them. So you use a drone? how does that work?

    November 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    • Thank you Leya. I will have to do a separate post about the drone. It’s a quadcopter, 4 rotors so it’s amazingly stable and I fly it by remote control. I have my tablet attaced to the controller and I can see on my screen what the camera is seeing and I can fly accordingly. Flying the drone and controlling the camera together is a little tricky but I’m getting the hang of it. :-)

      November 9, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      • Sounds great fun as well…and the results are amazing. In fact I’m going back to Iceland in January after all these years. inspired by you and Poppy of course. Even if I’m not a photographer it will be interesting to go there winter time. Only a few days with friends, but still…I’m longing for it!

        November 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      • How wonderful Leya. I’m scheduled to be back at the end of January into February. I love winter time in Iceland. I know you’re going to have an amazing time! :-)

        November 9, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      • Thank you! Unfortunately I will visit before you then, but it would have been wonderful to meet you in person. Any good advice as to where to go in wintertime when I’ve only got four days?

        November 9, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      • It would have been lovely to meet Leya, such a shame the dates don’t coincide. Are you staying in Reykjavik? If so, then Gulfoss and Geysir, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss are within easy reach. It’s a long drive from Reykjavik but it can easily be done in a day and that’s Jokulsarlon of course, you can stop at Vik on the way or on the way back and see the rock stacks Reynisdrangar. It will depend on the weather to a certain extent but the Icelandic road authority do an amazing job at keeping the main routes clear. If you could get round to the Snaefellsness Peninsular, it is so beautiful and definitely an enjoyable day. A glacier and ice cave tour is definitely something you should try and do and these can be arranged at several locations including Jokulsarlon. I hope that helps! :-)

        November 10, 2015 at 9:51 am

      • Thank you so much, Adrian! Let’s see what we can do. We have another couple coming along too. The Golden Triangle we were thinking about, as you suggest. And maybe more!

        November 10, 2015 at 4:26 pm

  2. Stunning Adrian. My favourite is no 2 – the colour, the texture, the light. Your drone camera photography is terrific too – you should be working for the BBC nature programmes! How on earth do you film so sharply?

    November 9, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    • Thankk you Jude. The camera records in HD so the quality is superb. The camera is mounted on a gimbal which, regardless of what the drone is doing, being blown by the wind or whatever, keeps the camera completely steady. It’s an amazing piece of kit and I’m now just starting the realise some of the potential but as you can see, I’m not leaving my stills photography behind, this is just a really nice addition to my kit. :-)

      November 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      • Glad to hear it. I love your photos.

        November 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      • :-)

        November 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

  3. Beautiful photos and a beatiful film ! I <3 it !
    Cheers Angela

    November 9, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    • Thank you Angela. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. :-)

      November 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm

  4. absolutely beautiful, the pictures and the music !!!

    November 9, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    • Thank you Gwennie! :-)

      November 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm

  5. Stunning work as always! Absolutely breathtaking! Cher xo

    November 9, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    • Thanks ever so much Cher! :-)x

      November 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm

  6. ¡Nice picture!

    November 9, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      November 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      • I’ve been playing the Music Le Onde today. There are nine pages, and it’s quite easy to sight read, except for a couple of transition bits which I need to work on. I love it because it’s so calming and relaxing to play. Thanks for introducing me to this composer, Adrian. :)

        November 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      • You’re very welcome Sylvia! I’m so glad you’re enjoying playing the Einaudi’s music. I certainly enjoy listening! :-)

        November 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm

  7. Stunning images, Adrian. The video is mesmerising and I love the piano music. I see that I can download the sheet music for free, so will give it a try. :)

    November 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    • Thank you Sylvia. Einaudi’s music is beautiful. I should give this a go myself although I find it difficult to play these days. I bet it’s a lot trickier than it sounds.. aren’t they always? I hope you have fun with it! :-)

      November 9, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      • Yes, I bet it is, but I’m willing to give it a go. :)

        November 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      • Do let me know how you get on! :-)

        November 9, 2015 at 8:03 pm

  8. poppytump

    A very beautiful post ChillB . Each visit there are just more jewels to capture . Superb clarity in your pictures and I do love that star burst of sun .. I feel like making a wish ! Still can’t get over that cosmic co incidence with your choice of music for your video ;-) x

    November 9, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    • Thank you Poppy. There’s certainly never a dull moment on a trip to Iceland. Rather than working out where to stop it’s such a struggle know just where not to stop as you know so well. :-) x

      November 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

  9. Top!

    November 9, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    • Thank you Harrie!

      November 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

  10. Wow!

    November 9, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    • Thank you Bumba, it’s a beautiful place!

      November 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

  11. Magical pictures.

    November 10, 2015 at 12:03 am

    • Thank you Marylou! :-)

      November 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

  12. Gorgeous images, but brrrr it looks quite frigid.

    November 10, 2015 at 2:02 am

    • Thanks Gunta! It wasn’t too cold when I visited this time. It was about to start getting cold though! :-)

      November 10, 2015 at 9:53 am

  13. leecleland

    Stunning images, but boo hoo for some reason I can’t find the link to the video. Am I the only one with this problem?

    November 10, 2015 at 2:37 am

    • Hi Lee, you’re the only one that’s mentioned a problem. The media player is embedded so it should be there. Can you see ‘Music Le Onde – Ludovico Einaudi’ It should be just above that. If not for some reason your browser isn’t loading the player. Not sure what to suggest.

      November 10, 2015 at 9:56 am

      • leecleland

        I can see the ‘Music Le Onde – Ludovico Einaudi’ but there is nothing above that except your beautiful images. Guess I’ll just have to skip this one :( maybe next time. Maybe I could update my media player ???????? that could be it as I’m on an older computer at present because of mobile bandwidth issues to my laptop. Aahhhh technology!

        November 11, 2015 at 4:27 am

      • I’m so sorry you’re not able to see the video at the moment Lee. It will remain hosted here on my blog so all I hope at some point you’ll be able to see the video! :-)

        November 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm

  14. Fantastic shots Adrian ~ the sea spray and sunbursts bring these photos and this land to life (and the video is just smooth and incredible ~ nice music as well).

    November 10, 2015 at 4:36 am

    • Thank you Randall. :-)

      November 10, 2015 at 10:49 am

  15. you’re so right, Adrian. Jökulsárlón is a really amazing place.
    I especially love your #4 – well done!

    November 10, 2015 at 6:51 am

  16. Beautiful images Adrian, love the contrast of the action in shots 2 & 3 with the calmness and serenity of shot 4. And the turquoise colour of the ice is stunning.

    November 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    • Thank you very much Mark. The colours in the ice really are just stunning..!

      November 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm

  17. Beautiful pictures.

    November 10, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    • Thank you! Much appreciated!

      November 12, 2015 at 5:38 pm

  18. Stunning photographs.

    November 10, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    • Thank you Mary! :-)

      November 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm

  19. Wow, stunning! I just nominated you for an award… http://wp.me/p48mv6-p9

    November 11, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    • Thank you very much Ash! :-)

      November 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm

  20. that is so dramatic :)

    November 11, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    • It is Joshi, thank you! :-)

      November 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm

  21. Spectacular! I am really blown away with your photos. Thanks!

    November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

  22. Breathtaking!!

    November 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    • Thank you Missy! Another one of Iceland’s gems! :-)

      November 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      • Iceland must be Great!!!

        November 12, 2015 at 10:49 pm

  23. The cold these photos convey is just about palpable, Adrian. I love the second and fourth shots.

    November 15, 2015 at 3:12 am

    • Thank you Lynn! I just love the colours and shapes of the ice sculpted by the elements! :)

      November 15, 2015 at 9:45 am

  24. *Love* these shots, Adrian! Especially the sea sprays, fantastic. :) Are you using a Lee filter?

    November 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    • Thank you Camilla! I wasn’t using a filter for these shots other than the long exposure where I used a Lee Big Stopper. :-)

      November 24, 2015 at 7:28 pm

  25. Spectacular images Adrian.

    November 15, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    • Thank you so much Edith!

      November 24, 2015 at 7:28 pm

  26. Gorgeous photographs! I went there in August in the afternoon and my photos aren’t so dramatic…. Yours are awesome!

    November 19, 2015 at 11:32 am

    • THank you so much Mercedes! Isn’t Iceland magnificent! :-)

      November 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      • I’m still dreaming about that trip! Iceland is amazing!
        Funny thing, I also wrote a post about Jokulsarlon, haha. But your photos are incredibly more beautiful than mine! So much to learn from you!

        November 24, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      • Your pictures are very beautiful Mercedes! If you do ever have any questions though that you think I might be able to answer for you, please just let me know!

        November 24, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      • Thanks!!! I’m just beginning so I have soooo many questions… hehehe… For the moment I just write as a hobby, I just don’t want to have all my photos forgotten in my PC forever unseen…
        Any advice for a newbie????

        November 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      • Just keep taking pictures Mercedes. That really is the key to photography, any art or craft for that matter. You can read any number of books but it’s the taking and keep taking of pictures that makes the difference, along with really engaging with what you’re photographing of course. :-)

        November 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm

  27. Stunning images, Adrian. Full of the energy of water and ice. Gorgeous colours.

    November 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    • Thank you very much Otto! :-)

      November 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm

  28. Beautiful Adrian. Love the flyover but it can’t compete w your stills.

    November 24, 2015 at 2:26 am

    • Thank you Tina! I love the flying but I’ll keep taking the pictures. There’s nothing like a still image. A moment captured. You can do so much more with a photograph too I think. Video film is just that whereas a picture, as the saying goes, can paint a thousand words! :-)

      November 24, 2015 at 7:42 pm

  29. Adrian, What an exciting series. The light and colors are spectacular. The waves hitting the chunks is particularly stunning.

    November 24, 2015 at 5:31 am

    • Thank you Tina. I got very wet taking the waves through the ice shots and as the pictures suggest, the water was very cold. Worth it though! :-)

      November 24, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      • Great- and this is Jane 😉

        November 24, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      • I’m so sorry Jane, I was replying to a few comments that had stacked up. :oops: That was supposed to produce and embarrassed smiley. Must be old code. Not doing terribly well here.. :-/

        November 24, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      • Haha! Looks like we are from the same era 😁

        November 24, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      • :)

        November 24, 2015 at 9:56 pm

  30. Those blues…gorgeous.

    December 8, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    • The blues in the ice really are incredible! :-)

      December 15, 2015 at 7:18 pm

  31. Beautiful series Adrian. Thank you.

    January 7, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    • Thank you very much Jim!

      January 11, 2016 at 9:05 pm

  32. Outstanding! Bravo, Adrian. Great images and lovely comments.

    April 26, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    • Thank you so much Hanne! :-)

      April 28, 2016 at 8:15 pm