On the drive from Breiðdalsvík to Jökulsárlón in southern Iceland, I stopped along the Ring Road to photograph the cliffs disappearing into the clouds in the distance. The eroding red paint on the house stood out against the grays and greens of the landscape.
Cliffs and House along Southern Coast, southeastern Iceland (16″x53″)
We drove through a thick fog bank on the pass between Egilsstaðir and Breiðdalur valley in East Iceland. As we continued down the ring road towards Breiðdalsvík, we dropped below the clouds and could see the 1100 meter high mountains disappearing into the rain on either side of the valley.
Rain Clouds and Mountains in Breiðdalur Valley (#2), East Iceland (16″x64″)
The Garðar BA 64, a steel fishing vessel that was retired in the 1980’s, was run aground in Skápadalur Valley in the Westfjords, where it sits rusting on the beach as clouds and storms roll in off the Atlantic and Arctic. I wish I would have stopped here for longer to photograph the century-old vessel- a great example of how time, wind, and water slowly eat away at the human creation.
Garðar BA 64, Skápadalur Valley in the Westfjords, Iceland (12″x18″)
At 44m tall and 100m wide, Dettifoss is a spectacularly large curtain of water pouring over a shelf of rock in northern Iceland. Sediment turns the waters (from the melting Vatnajökull glacier) of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river a strange grey. Mist billowing up from the canyon makes bulb panorama exposures near the falls difficult to shoot (the camera gets wet quickly, and the lens gets covered in water spots). To give a sense of the size of the Dettifoss, I also included a single-frame bulb photograph of the opposite bank (note the person in the red rain jacket standing on the rocks above the falls)
Dettifoss and Jökulsá á Fjöllum (Bulb #4), northern Iceland (16″x66″)
Dettifoss (Single Frame, Bulb #2), northern Iceland (16″x16″)
We crossed from fjord to hilltop to fjord as we drove from the Westfjords towards Akureyri. The wind was so strong that I had to stand at an angle when photographing the fog hanging low over a mountain. We stopped on top of a pass near Varmahlíð to photograph the clouds as they broke like ocean waves against the mountains on the other side of the next fjord.
Rain Clouds Breaking over Fjord, near Varmahlíð, Iceland (13″x”50″)
As the sun was setting around midnight, I took a walk down to the water among grazing sheep and Arctic terns.
Sunset over Westfjord Cliffs, near Hnjótur, Iceland (16″x”64″)
After visiting the puffins nesting along the cliffs of the Westfjords , I stopped to take a long-exposure (‘bulb’) panorama of the ocean crashing against the empty beach near Breiðavík.
Ocean, Rocks, and Clouds (Bulb), near Breiðavík, Iceland (16″x”34″)
Shifting cloud cover creates ever-changing summer light and shadow over the cliffs of Iceland’s Westfjords near Hnjótur.
Shifting Light over Westfjord Cliffs, near Hnjótur, Iceland (16″x”59″)
On Snæfellsnes peninsula, streams flowing off the flanks of the mountain cascade over basalt cliffs, forming a series of falls in the shifting clouds.
Ólafsvík Falls (#3), Ólafsvík, Iceland (16″x40″)
Snæfellsjökull sits atop a stratovolcano overlooking the Snæfellsnes peninsula in western Iceland. To get a closer look at the mountain and snowfields, I hiked up a path that eventually disappeared into a landscape covered in spongy moss and grass. I stopped mid-hike to photograph the clouds and shadows hugging the flanks of the mountain.
Clouded flanks of the Stratovolcano (#2), Snæfellsnes, Iceland (16″x”85″)