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.
A few posts ago I published a picture taken from behind Seljalandsfoss in Iceland. The image below was taken from the slightly drier side of the waterfall. If you look closely, you can just see the path that you can take to get behind the falls. That’s if you don’t mind getting extremely wet that is. The photograph was taken at 12 minutes before midnight incidentally! Midnight sunshine is a feature of the Icelandic summer that takes some getting used to for those of us living in more southerly lattitudes. :-)
35mm f/4 1/60 sec. ISO-125
I took this photograph hand-held with my Sony A7R. I certainly wouldn’t be able to hand-hold my D800e and get a sharp picture at 1/60 sec. which adds to this cameras versatility. There’s a lot to be said for a light compact mirrorless camera.
I’ve just returned from another trip to Iceland. I was asked by an Icelandic hire car company to take some photographs for them, more of that to follow, but having been given the keys for one of the company’s flagship super Jeeps, a Toyota Land Cruiser Adventure model, I set off last Sunday for few days that would allow me to visit some of my favourite places as well as some new ones.
Being the time of year it is, the category ‘F’ mountain roads have just been opened in Iceland allowing access to the highlands and the interior of the island. These areas are cut off and inaccessible for much of the year but with a vehicle specially adapted with 33″ wheels and jacked up for greater clearance to allow for fording of rivers and streams, I was looking forward to some adventure and some great photography. The cars are adapted by the same company that has provided similar vehicles for BBC’s Top Gear Icelandic Adventure programmes so I knew that being in charge of one of these vehicles was going to get me to where I wanted to be, having a lot of fun in the process.
As the end of the first day of shooting came around and the sun began to sink lower in the sky, I looked around me, standing outside my apartment in Selfoss, and I knew that the day wasn’t going to be over quite so soon. I would have to be off out again after something to eat. No rest in the land of the midnight sun, the conditions were good for a particular shot I have been wanting to take ever since I started visiting Iceland.
Seljalandsfoss is a very beautiful waterfall with the added bonus that you can get behind the falls, if you’re prepared to get very wet and I knew, by consulting the Photographer’s Ephemeris, (an application that allows you to gauge the position of the sun at any given time and season, anywhere in the world) that the sun would be in perfect alignment with the waterfall as it started to set at around midnight. This I knew had the potential to make a very nice photograph.
Behind the falls with a tripod, my D800e and my 14-24mm super wide-angle lens, I had to the equipment to hopefully make the best of what was shaping up to be a very nice sunset. I say sunset, the sun barely dips below the horizon meaning sunset rolls into sunrise. The D800e is weather sealed so it can take a certain amount of soaking, a very important feature I realised as the amount of spray the water was generating became apparent to me. I was quickly soaked, as was the camera and lens but with a chamois leather at the ready, I was able to remove the lens cap, quickly wipe the lens and fire of a couple of shots before the lens was covered in water droplets. I repeated this process until I was sure I had my shot. At least I hoped I had my shot because as the temperature started to dip along with the sun, I was getting very cold as well as very wet. I beat my retreat.
Here’s the shot I came away with. I think it was worth the discomfort and it was good to know how well the camera and lens coped with the wet. I hope that you enjoy the photograph. I enjoyed taking it despite, or maybe because of, the difficult nature of the shot and ending up drenched in the process of taking it.. :-)
14mm f/11 1/10 sec. ISO-50