Snow and Ice

This picture was taken as a blizzard blew in from the sea on the south coast of Iceland backed by gale force winds.  Within minutes of taking this picture we experienced white out conditions and were very grateful for the yellow markers every few meters along the road that let you know you’re still on it.

The wild, raw nature of the winter in Iceland always makes me want to go back.  When you’re alone in this wilderness you cannot help but feel alive and connected in a way I’ve certainly never experienced anywhere else.  It sounds crazy to some perhaps but when I’m battling the wind, trying to keep my tripod from toppling over let alone steady, trying to keep my lens clear of snow and some kind of circulation in my fingers as the sub-zero temperatures and wicked wind chill get to work on them, I’m really never happier.

snow-and-ice

52mm f/11 1/80 sec. ISO-100

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58 responses

  1. Not crazy. I think that reflects the deep need for the truly wild that many people feel. It’s a need some people push down out of view and others try to fulfill by heavy indulgence in what we call chemicals. So, lucky is the one who can allow the need to take hold, and find satisfaction instead in transmuting it into art. This (and the earlier blizzard image) would be stunning as a huge print.

    June 12, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    • Thank you Lynn! I have recently printed a few of these snow pictures from Iceland. I printed them A2, mounted and framed them in a simple black metal frame and I have to say I’m really quite pleased with the way they look. I’ve got 20 or 30 such images that I’m hoping to exhibit somewhere. Collectively they recreate a landscape that sadly I feel is very much under threat. The ability to enjoy this wild landscape without being hampered by tour buses and hoards of tourists in hire cars with little respect for the very fragile ecosystem is becoming almost impossible.
      The first time I went to Iceland they were building another wing onto the airport but with tourist numbers manageable it was still possible to find oneself alone in this wonderful landscape and to enjoy the iconic locations.
      The fourth time I visited they were starting yet another wing on the airport and Reykjavik was a mass of cranes building new hotels. The mass influx of tourists is benefiting a few but at great cost to many Icelanders who are seeing the landscapes they love being overrun. Things may already have gone too far. On a regular basis tourists on the island outnumber Icelanders.
      We can’t selfishly keep these places to ourselves but sharing has to be done responsibly and with respect. This doesn’t appear to be happening. As ever, politicians just see the tourist dollar and not much beyond. I have to say the last time I left Iceland it was with a very heavy heart. Not because I was leaving but because I could see the place I love being lost in the pursuit of profit for just a few, certainly not the majority.

      June 12, 2016 at 5:40 pm

  2. Sue

    Wow, what a vast landscape! Of coldness…..

    June 12, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    • It is indeed just that Sue! :-)

      June 12, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      • Sue

        Brrr!

        June 12, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      • It’s strange how I simply do not feel the cold when I’m behind the lens and in the zone Sue! :-)

        June 12, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      • Sue

        That’s the whole thing about being ‘in the zone’ – it takes over!

        June 12, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      • It certainly does Sue! :-)

        June 12, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      • Sue

        😀😀

        June 12, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      • Sue

        That’s the whole thing about ‘being ‘in the zone’ – it takes over!

        June 12, 2016 at 7:26 pm

  3. Brilliant…..both the post and the image :0)

    June 12, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    • Thank you Mark! :-)

      June 12, 2016 at 5:40 pm

  4. Simply stunning in it’s simple and powerful beauty.

    June 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    • Thank you very much Tim, for your visit and your comment!

      June 12, 2016 at 6:09 pm

  5. Magnificent photography

    June 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    • Thank you Lou! As very I appreciate your comments! :-)

      June 12, 2016 at 8:04 pm

  6. Such dedication to your photography, Adrian. No wonder you get the most amazing shots. :) This one is no exception.

    June 12, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    • Thank you Sylvia! It’s when it’s most challenging that the best shots follow it seems. :-)

      June 12, 2016 at 8:05 pm

  7. Will be in Iceland at the end of June for 2 days. Do you do photo tours and would a one-day tour hit a few highlights?

    June 13, 2016 at 1:34 am

    • I can’t help you in June unfortunately but a one day tour would most certainly allow you to see some of Icelands most iconic landmarks. Will you be hiring a car? I can certainly give you some pointers as to how to make the best of a single day. Let me know how you’re travelling and I’ll get back to you.

      June 13, 2016 at 6:32 am

  8. Gorgeous Adrian. BTW I forwarded your blog to 2 friends who are traveling there this summer. One is a wonderful photographer so I’m hopeful he learns a bit about the scenery from your beautiful captures.

    June 13, 2016 at 3:10 am

    • Thank you Tina and thanks for passing my blog on to your friends. I hope they get something from it.

      June 13, 2016 at 6:33 am

  9. Stupendous! I’m sorry to hear that the tourists are taking over. It seems that so many folks I know have headed there to visit. I’m still searching out the beautiful corners of this continent when I can, before they too get overrun. I don’t have any desire to go back to National Parks I visited in the ’80s. I remember Yosemite from the late 60s and my last visit a few years ago was pretty heart wrenching. It was so crammed with tourists, it felt more like a circus than a park.

    June 13, 2016 at 4:04 am

    • Thank you Gunta. Your 60’s vs 80’s experience at Yosemite sounds very familiar to me only this has happened in Iceland in just 2 years not 20. The infrastructure just isn’t there to cope with such an explosion of visitors and sites are being damaged as a result. Those building the hotels of course are not building boardwalks and paying for proper car parking at the iconic landmarks that people go to see so people are tramping over plants that have struggled for hundreds of years to take hold and they’re parking their cars wherever they feel like, again damaging the very delicate and fragile flora that exists there. It’s turning into an environmental nightmare sadly.

      June 13, 2016 at 6:43 am

      • It’s one of the things that makes me ambivalent about posting images of some of the beauty in lesser known places. On the other hand, if it perhaps gains some love for the marvels out there it’s a positive thing. I follow a blog by someone in Big Sur and the situation there is getting pretty horrific with tourists. That used to be a favorite place back in the 60s for me. Now it sounds to be unbearable… especially for those who used to be lucky enough to live there.

        June 13, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      • I think it’s an issue worldwide Gunta with flights being so relatively inexpensive now the more exotic and remote locations have become so accessible. What once made these places so special becomes lost. I can remember photographing one of Iceland’s most iconic waterfalls on my own. Nobody else around and I was free to take all the pictures from all the angles I wanted to. The last time I visited, I couldn’t get near it for people taking selfies. I stood there chatting to two photographers from the UK who were so utterly disillusioned. They’d gone there, like I did originally to get ‘the’ photograph and it was no longer possible to do it. Photographers, serious photographers, go to Iceland to take the photographs they’ve seen in the magazines and on the Internet but it’s simply no longer possible to get those pictures, unless you want 50 or 60 people in your shot. You can’t even get the pictures at dawn as a ton of people have the same idea that it might be quiet then. This is why I seek the places in between the ‘attractions’. Thankfully I got my shots of the iconic locations before the craziness set in.
        I have friends in the east of Iceland, as far from Reykjavik, where most of the tourists stay, as you can get. I stay with them. Here I can still find the Iceland I first fell in love with but for how long? My friends have very serious concerns that in seeking to recover their economy, the Icelandic government have ruined the country for those that live there and for those visiting.

        June 13, 2016 at 3:51 pm

  10. The images that are hard won always hold a special place in our heart. What strikes me particularly is that sitting here gazing at this image I am immersed in the minimalist beauty of it and complete unaware of the savageness of the conditions that you encountered in capturing it. It’s the calm at the heart of the storm to quote an oft-used phrase. In this image I’m struck by the horizontal score marks on the snow contrasting with the softer diagonal strokes in the sky. This is one of a superb set of minimalist landscapes from this wonderful location, Adrian.

    June 13, 2016 at 7:44 am

    • Thank you very much Andy. It is interesting that the more extreme the conditions encountered the more serene and meditative the resulting photographs seem to have been. Perhaps at the heart of it is that although the conditions are extreme, I’m at peace. When I’m behind the camera, I cease to feel the cold even so caught up in photographing the moment and perhaps it’s the serenity that I feel being immersed in this incredible landscape that is translated to the pictures I produce.

      June 13, 2016 at 10:24 am

  11. Makes me happy too to read how photography makes you happy. It is such a gift.
    Have a great day,
    Greta

    June 13, 2016 at 9:50 am

    • Thank you Greta. Such a lovely comment. I hope you have a great day too! :-)

      June 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

  12. Love the minimalist look of this image Adrian. Beautiful.

    June 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    • Thank you very much Edith! :-)

      June 13, 2016 at 6:08 pm

  13. Stillness…

    June 13, 2016 at 6:21 pm

  14. A beautiful picture – and nothing like the rawness of Mother Nature to make us feel truly alive!

    June 14, 2016 at 10:57 am

    • That’s absolutely true and very nicely put Noeline, thank you!

      June 14, 2016 at 11:59 am

  15. Atiq Liusie General Trading

    Amazing

    June 15, 2016 at 4:15 am

  16. I do understand the happiness you describe when fighting the weather and the natural elements. The satisfaction lies in the moment—but also in the result you are able to capture. This is another minimalist beauty. :-)

    June 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    • I just love it when I’m out there battling the elements Otto. The satisfaction certainly does lie in the moment and if there’s a picture at the end of it, even better. Thank you for your comment! :-)

      June 16, 2016 at 9:11 am

  17. This is very impressive !

    The power of nature always amazing to capture.

    June 16, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    • Thank you Gin! It is indeed. :-)

      June 17, 2016 at 7:48 am

  18. This is simply minimalist GLORY, Adrian. Almost seems surreal. :-)

    June 17, 2016 at 12:44 am

    • Thank you so much Frank! :-)

      June 17, 2016 at 7:48 am

  19. It is nice to see winter in summer. Just looking this picture I start to fell cold. Photo is simple, but she send great messegge. Could winter, simplicity, raw nature…

    June 17, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      June 18, 2016 at 9:33 am

  20. simply, stunning!

    June 19, 2016 at 5:07 am

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      June 19, 2016 at 6:24 am

  21. This is breathtaking and I fully understand your love for these wild, cold places of natural beauty. Maybe it’s not as remote here but the sheer, untamed force of winter is exhilarating at times. You capture the sense of that so amazingly in your Icelandic photos.

    June 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    • Thank you so much Carol. Such a lovely comment. :-)

      June 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm

  22. Aahaa ! What a serene beauty … magic of shades of grey and blue :D

    June 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      June 23, 2016 at 6:25 am

  23. At one with the Nature and all that she can throw at you. Wonderful capture and I understand you thoughts and feelings in the post….I suppose it is the artist and adventurer in us all.

    June 25, 2016 at 10:39 am

    • Thank you very much JD! There really is something very special about being out there in the wilderness, just yourself and whatever nature cares to throw at you. These are the moments I love to try and capture.

      June 29, 2016 at 6:40 pm

  24. A fascinating, almost abstract image with beautiful textures.

    June 28, 2016 at 5:30 am

    • Thank you very much Andrew. Much appreciated!

      June 29, 2016 at 6:40 pm

  25. I love the minimalist style here a lot.
    Brilliant photo!

    July 3, 2016 at 10:53 am

    • Thank you very much indeed! :-)

      July 3, 2016 at 12:09 pm