Lómagnúpur is one of those colossal rocks in Iceland which many people find fascinating, but you usually pass simple because you’re in a hurry to photograph a lot of other amazing locations. If you however spend a little time here you can get some absolutely breathtaking photos.
You can literally see Lómagnúpur from miles away. Actually on clear days you can easily see it from Skaftafell national park, which is located about 30km away on the other side of the black dessert. Safe to say it’s easy to find along the main road A1 in southern Iceland as it goes straight past the rock. It is easy to find a place to park in the area without having to park on the main road, so be sure to drive off the road before turning off your car.
For a long time I’ve wanted to dedicate some time to photograph this fascinating 764m tall rock, which reminds me of the buttes in Monument Valley in Arizona. Admittedly it’s one of the less prioritized locations for landscape photography in Iceland and that’s sad as you can get some stunning photos from here. I’ve visited Lómagnúpur on several occasions but not before the winter of 2018 did I actually go for both drone, night and golden hour photography here.
If you only have a few days, this 5-day tour brings you just by Lómagnúpur.
Lómagnúpur makes for both a great sunrise and sunset location most of the year. During daytime I can recommend aiming for a grey day, where you potentially can have some thin low hanging clouds adding a dramatic atmosphere to the rock. During night the rock also makes for a great foreground for Northern Lights photography, as you’ll be pointing towards north. Just take the main road into consideration when choosing your vantage point. The main road towards west is fairly long and as cars do pass rather often, the headlights can be within your frame for a long time ruining your night photos. It can also be extremely windy at this location, even though there’s no wind towards west or east, so be sure to dress properly. In regard to the focal length I’d suggest bringing a 16-35mm and for night photography I’d go with 14mm.
The area around Lómagnúpur is full of potential foregrounds. Pools for reflection, gravel roads for leading lines, the main road A1 (careful of the traffic), and black sand and small rocks all contribute to making Lómagnúpur a very cool location for landscape photography.
Of course I could not go to such a beautiful location on a morning without wind without flying the drone. The area east of Lómagnúpur is the black dessert and on the border into the dessert there is a glacier river. Over the past many years this river has carved beautiful patterns and lines into the dessert. All these patterns and lines makes for beautiful straight down photos and strong foregrounds leading up to Lómagnúpur.
The conclusion I can make from spending both a night and a morning next to this fascinating rock must be if you dedicate time for even the less photographed locations you can really end up with some beautiful photos. If you need a lot of time, I can highly recommend to go for a couple of weeks. If you're on a budget, that's no problem either!
If you want to see even more from this beautiful location and other places in Iceland, be sure to check out this video: