Advice for Photography in Iceland

Advice for Photography in Iceland

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Patience is essential when it comes to photography, while out shooting one is always waiting for the right moment. On my recent trip on the south coast I visited a fabulous canyon named "Fjaðrárgljúfur", which would translate directly to "Feather-River-Gorge" since it looks lika a feather from a flying bird's point of view.

As my trip was an A to A trip, I decided to visit numerous places twice though the weather forecast was similar for both days. I´ve lived here long enough to know that the weather changes rather quickly here and you can hardly bet on the forecast. At least I wouldn´t.

On my way east I had various types of weathers: sun and no clouds - sun with clouds - rain and then again sun, all within four hours. When I finally arrived I had sun with clouds and the light was rather harsh, too contrasty and too many shadows, in other words: not so photogenic. I waited for a while, until I decided to give it a second chance the following day, so I packed my gear and headed further east.

Advice for Photography in Iceland

The next day on my way back I was getting close to this canyon after I had spent the night shooting at Jökulsárlón ( Glacier lagoon ), the weather was not in my favour. The sun was bright and not a cloud in the sky for as far as my eyes could see, so I decided to take it slowly, stopped for a quick meal in the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur and drove around to see if I could find anything interesting to shoot.

In about an hour, something was happening in the sky. There were clouds rolling in and pretty heavy ones too, so I rushed to the canyon to frame up my shot. After a few test shots I came up with this one:

Advice for Photography in Iceland

But there was something missing, not missing, the scene itself was quite something. Since I was shooting with a wide-angle lens and everything appears far-away and small in the frame I thought to myself it would be nice to have some scale in the picture. Then I noticed a couple up on the canyon's edge and they were heading further up to see the canyon, so I decided to wait, and I waited until the fellow stepped in to my frame and looked down the canyon which is 100 meters high at its highest point.

I whistled at him and gave him a sign with my hand to stop and stand still, he completely cooperated with me and I got this shot:

Advice for Photography in Iceland

There you can see the tiny little person up in the right side of the frame which gives the scene a scale and it was worth waiting for.

I know there isn´t always a chance to wait for the right moment, and then one has to make the most out of the situation and the scene. Most photographers prefer to shoot in the golden hour but hey, it only happens twice a day so lucky me since I am a big fan of dramatic sky, Iceland has a lot of it.

If you need more info you´re welcome to contact me. 

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