I spent some time at the most southerly point in Iceland on a couple of occasions. It’s beautiful, wild, put simply, stunning. The first time we stopped by was at the end of a long day visiting waterfalls. I saw a road that appeared to lead to the beach so I took it. This road seemed to be a sort of causeway between two large bodies of water, leading to a large mass of rock jutting out into the ocean. This is the view from the top..
This is an ideal place from which to watch puffins apparently but puffins spend the winter at sea so no sign of them.
This might be a good time to talk about cloud. The Icelandic Meteorological Office forecast three levels of cloud. Low level, mid level and high level. It’s the high level cloud that keeps the sunshine milky, it’s the mid level cloud that delivers the rain/sleet and snow apparently and the low level cloud, this hovers around 3 inches off the ground and we got to experience all three sorts most days during our trip in Iceland. Having seen the view from the most southerly tip, I was keen to visit again at dawn for a sunrise perhaps. I wanted to take pictures of the lighthouse too so would kill two birds to coin a phrase. With plans to return the following day, I was content with the picture I took above.
Returning at dawn the following day (remember first light is around 8.30 – 9 am at this time of year) it felt like I was visiting Cape Horn, that other most southerly point, infamous for its stormy seas and violent weather. As first light appeared, a severe gale was blowing and it was pouring with rain. We were definitely experiencing that 3 inches above the ground cloud I mentioned along with the other two I think. Here’s the lighthouse, I took the shot as the mist and cloud cleared for a second or two and I was able to wipe the rain droplets from my lens..
Standing on the edge of a friable, crumbling clifftop in a howling gale, the ‘low cloud’ threatening to envelop me once more and with the rain hitting me, and my lens, full in the face, I was determined to get a picture of the rocks that makes this a popular place to visit.
To get the shot I increased the aperture from my usual f/11 to f/5.6 in an attempt to decrease the shutter speed required to get a good exposure. By getting more light to the sensor, the length of time the shutter would need to be open would be decreased. The less time the shutter was open, the less chance the lens, after a quick wipe, would be splattered with water by the time the picture was taken. I was still needing a shutter speed of 3 seconds as the light levels were so low and to be honest I didn’t expect to get a picture. Taking lots of pictures in Cornwall over the last couple of years had prepared me well however. This is the only picture I took that doesn’t bear the tell tale signs of water on the lens. It’s nothing to write home about but it’s a picture taken under extreme conditions. . ;-)
Clearly we were not going to get a lovely sunrise so decided to push on to our next destination. On the way down the view east became clear, momentarily, well sort of. Appearing just like the Loe Bar in Cornwall, this bank of sand and shingle separates the ocean from a fresh water lake.
This was the worst day of weather we had in Iceland. From here on in, I spent time each evening studying forecasts and satellite images and planning our excursions according to where the better weather was likely to be and it worked out well..
Click on the pictures for a clearer sharper view..