In the third part of my series showing photographs taken on sunny days as opposed to my preferred, rather more dramatic weather days, I’ve included pictures of some of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks, in the sunshine. Some of these images you will have seen before but I think they can stand a dusting off and a second showing. The reality for a lot of people visiting Iceland is a lot of very grey weather. I’m lucky to have visited enough times now to capture some of these places at their very best.
The Seljalandsfoss pictures were bizarrely taken at midnight after a very long day of commercial photography in the central highlands for a Reykjavik car hire company. Getting back to the apartment late after a long and difficult drive on deeply rutted dirt roads, I saw the barely setting sun and I knew my day wasn’t over. I had to make the hour long drive to the falls. I’m so glad that I did.
Click on the images for a larger, sharper view.. :-)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of Iceland on the sunny side over the last few posts. I’ve been very lucky to visit Iceland many times now experiencing all seasons and all weathers. An incredible and very beautiful place and very warm and welcoming people. I have made a lot of friends in Iceland. Their hospitality second to none.
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!
70mm f/11 1/80 sec. ISO-100
14mm f/11 1/25 sec. ISO-100
I posted some pictures from a previous visit to Haifoss (pronounced How-a-foss) at the end of last year. This waterfall is so high, the gorge so deep, it would have been meaningless for me to put a human being in the picture to give a sense of scale as they’d appear as a meer speck and would be difficult to find. You can see the solution I came up with for my last post below.. I hope you enjoy these latest pictures of this magnificent waterfall.. oh and by the way, these pictures were taken between 11pm and midnight. :-)
I was very lucky, I received a new GPS for my birthday and completely by coincidence, I was given a Garmin which unlike the competition, had maps of Iceland pre-installed. Naturally I took my Garmin along with me on this trip and these maps proved to be invaluable. I was able to pinpoint locations on Google Earth and navigate to the coordinates with ease. Without this tool, I may never have seen Haifoss. As it was, the GPS wanted me to take a track which was in reality, a service road to a hydroelectric installation of some kind and clearly marked ‘staff only’. Back-tracking, I found another road with a tiny sign marked ‘Haifoss’. So easily missed. I hadn’t seen another soul for hours when I turned onto this road. Miles from anywhere, I really started to get a sense of the wilderness that Iceland is. Of all the places I visited in Iceland, Haifoss probably had the most impact.
Coming upon the waterfall out of the mist and rain, I was seeing it just as the first person ever to see it had seen it. There were no fences, no signs warning me that if I were to walk over the edge I might hurt myself and guess what, despite the lack of signs and fences, I did manage to stop myself from wandering over the edge. I got very close to it in order to get my pictures but I’m not stupid..
I stood on the edge of this 122m/ 400ft gorge and I felt very alone and that felt so good. I felt freedom, I felt alive, I felt a tremendous surge of emotion it’s now so difficult to describe. This was nature in the raw, unadulterated by other human beings. I was being given the privilege of seeing this tremendous sight as it’s supposed to be seen. For how much longer I wondered but pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind. For now it is as it is. One of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen.
It’s very difficult to get a sense of scale here. To help, I’ve had a bit of fun with next photo and placed a few famous landmarks in the scene. The statue of Liberty is 93m tall. Big Ben is 96m tall and St Paul’s Cathedral is 111m tall. This waterfall is 122m high, easily out ranking these other landmarks.
I wasn’t given long before this beautiful valley was once more shrouded in mist and rain. I was given the gift of an hour of solitude in this wonderful location to just wonder at the splendour of it all…
Click on the images for a clearer sharper view.. :-)