Following on from my last post, here’s another frozen waterfall. This one is Gulfoss, one of the main attractions on the ‘Golden Circle’. The golden circle takes in a number of Iceland’s iconic landmarks, the ones that are within a reasonable distance from Reykjavik that is, making them ideal destinations for tour bus day trips.
For this reason, if I’m going to visit one of these destinations, I usually do so very early. Usually before breakfast has finished being served in the many hotels that are springing up in Reykjavik to serve the dramatic rise in Iceland’s tourist industry.
These pictures were taken at dawn on a bitterly cold -10°C day. The wind was blowing hard giving rise to a significant wind chill but properly togged up, this wasn’t a problem. As the sun began to rise, I began to shoot.
24mm f/11 1/40 sec. ISO-100
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..