Landscape and Panoramic Photography

Photography

Snæfellsnes, Iceland

Snæfellsnes peninsula pokes out into the northern reaches of the North Atlantic Ocean. A glacier-capped 700,000 year old stratovolcano dominates the landscape in this national park, where craters rise up out of the cooled lava flows extending out to the ocean. I drove out to the western cliffs of Snæfellsnes peninsula to photograph the waves crashing against the basalt.

Snæfellsjökull_Waves_BasaltFlows_IcelandOcean Waves on Basalt Flows, Snæfellsnes, Iceland


Pass near Búðir, Iceland

Near Snæfellsjökull National Park in northwest Iceland, highway 54 turns north and climbs over a pass. I stopped to photograph a lone hut near the top of the pass.

RedHut_Pass_nearBudhir_IcelandRed Hut on the Pass (near Búðir), northwestern Iceland (16″x49″)


Budhir, Iceland

I spent much of my time in southern Arizona searching for desert falls to photograph during the summer monsoon or winter rain storms. In Iceland, sustained precipitation and snow melt generate constantly flowing rivers and streams. Giant waterfalls cascade over cliffs every few hundred meters along the side of the ring road; it was difficult for me not to stop every five minutes, pull out my camera, set up my tripod, and shoot another panorama. Here is one of the many gorgeous locations along the Ring Road where dramatic clouds billow over cliffs disappearing into the distance.

Cliffs_Falls_nearBudhir_IcelandCliffs and Falls (near Budhir), northwestern Iceland (16″x41″)


Öxarárfoss, Iceland

After visiting Gulfoss we drove west back towards Reykjavik and stopped for a quick walk to Öxarárfoss, a waterfall in Þingvellir National Park. The falls cascade over basalt cliffs into the fault line/ravine along the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that separates the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates. As a geoscientist and a photographer, this location was particularly exciting to visit for me. I clearly wasn’t the only one who wanted to see the falls- I ‘had to’ sit and just enjoy the view while waiting for a group of photographers to move on to their next stop before I could shoot panoramas of the falls from a variety of angles without interruption.

Oxararfoss_Rocks_Iceland_Pano3

Öxarárfoss and Rocks, Þingvellir National Park, Iceland (18″x44″)


Gulfoss, Iceland Part II

After photographing Gulfoss from below, I walked up the stairs and out onto the plateau above the canyon to photograph the river as it enters the falls.

Gulfoss_Plateau_IcelandGulfoss Plateau, southwest Iceland (18″x58″)


Gulfoss, Iceland Panorama

In late May, I traveled to Iceland to hike and take photographs. We first visited Gulfoss, a giant set of falls in the canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. Iceland has become much more popular to visit since my last visit 9 years ago, so finding an unobstructed view of the cascading water can be difficult. Furthermore, even in late spring and early summer, strong winds and near constant spitting rain make it hard to keep the camera lens dry while taking long-exposure photographs.

GulfossUpperCascades_IcelandGulfoss Upper Cascades, southwest Iceland (16″x42″)


Rock Prow at Sunset

We scrambled and boulder-hopped onto a small ridge above camp to watch the sun set over the Rincon Mountains.RockProwCloudsatSunset Rock Prow at Sunset, east of Rincon Peak, AZ (12″x18″)


Exfoliating Rock and Clouds

A texture-focused photograph of the exfoliating bedrock and clouds east of Rincon Peak in southeastern Arizona.

ExfoliationsAndCloudsEastofRinconPeak

Exfoliations and Clouds, east of Rincon Peak, AZ (12″x18″)


Exfoliating Rock East of Rincon Peak

Just east of the Rincon Mountains and Mescal Road (Forest Road 35), a second, shorter series of hills pokes up from the desert floor. From a satellite view, I could see waves of rock with nearly parallel fissures running NW-SE through the hills. Sediment is draped over parts of the exposed bedrock like a blanket. This spring, we camped near a stream bed and spent the day exploring the landscape of shattered rock and high desert grass and cacti. I took a series of photographs of the exfoliating bedrock that appears as if it is shedding its old skin.

ExfoliatingRockSlabRinconMountainsExfoliating Rock Slab, east of Rincon Peak, AZ (16″x50″)

ExfoliatingRockandCloudsRinconMountainsExfoliating Rock and Clouds, east of Rincon Peak, AZ (16″x37″)


Lower Tanque Verde Falls

After visiting the Upper Tanque Verde Falls in February (see previous week’s post), I hiked up to the Lower Falls in March. The hike to the Lower Falls allowed for a bit of exploration and boulder hopping, but I preferred to photograph the clearly delineated cliff striations at the Upper Falls. After using an ND filter to make the water flatten out, I was able to walk away with at least one good panorama of the Lower Falls.

GlassyWaterAndLowerTanqueVerdeFalls

Glassy Water and Lower Tanque Verde Falls, near Tucson, AZ (16″x54″)