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.
Dettifoss is situated on the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum which originates as melt water from the Vatnajökull glacier as well as collecting water from a large area in north-east of Iceland. Dettifoss in Europe’s most powerful waterfall in terms of the sheer volume of water that flows over the 100 metre or 330ft drop to the gorge below.
I tried to reach Dettifoss on my previous visit Iceland. You can read about that attempt here, suffice to say, Iceland’s winter weather beat us. Given that the pictures below were taken in May and we tried to visit in February, it’s not really surprising we didn’t make it. I was glad to have been able to visit this time and hope you enjoy the pictures I brought back.
In the first picture below, I transferred a figure from the cliff in the top right of the picture to the edge of the falls on the other side of the river to give an idea of scale. You can just make them out, right on the edge. The opposite side of the river is only accessible in the summer sadly. This is where you can get really close to the river bank and the falls. I’ll have to save that for another visit.
The final photograph is of Selfoss. This waterfall is just a little upstream of Dettifoss. At just 11 metres in height, Selfoss is dwarfed by Dettifoss but a nice waterfall nonetheless. You’ve probably gathered by now, from this post and others about waterfalls in Iceland, that the Icelandic word for waterfall is foss. There are hundreds of waterfalls in Iceland so when travelling around, if you see something ‘foss’ on the map, it’s probably worth investigating. If you like waterfalls that is.. :-)
A few nights ago, our last night in Akureyri, I had a bright idea.. Following reliable information from the Icelandic Met. Office that the Aurora was in an active phase and we were in for a clear night. How nice it would be I thought to photograph Godafoss under moonlight with the northern lights thrown in. A plan was duly hatched to leave Akureyri at 2am which we did, in sub-zero temperatures and snowy roads.
Completely dark and clear skies are best for viewing the Aurora but even with a full-ish moon, if activity is good, the Aurora can be seen. We got the clear skies, the Aurora however, failed to show.. in super sub-zero temperatures, there is only so long one can hang around waiting. That said, we were at the falls for about three hours. As we left, mainly due to the cold having got through to our bones, the first rays of the dawn could be seen.
As we drove on, we were treated to a quite extra-ordinary sunrise. The colours were so vivid, rather than upping the saturation a little, which is usual with a RAW file, I was seriously thinking I would have to desaturate. As it is, I’ve left the colours just as nature presented them to my camera, nothing added, nothing taken away..
This post has been sitting around unfinished for a little while which as the last few days have been very intense, photography and travel wise, and there just hasn’t been time which, on reflection, is just how it should be. Click on the images for a clearer, sharper view.. :-)
The guidebook describes Skogafoss as, excepting Gullfoss which I’ll come to, one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. It really doesn’t disappoint in sheer power and immensity. Tons of water cascades over the 62m/ 204 ft drop every second with a tremendous roar. It’s a truly beautiful sight.