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″)
A glacier-capped mountain rises from the cooled basalt lava flows on Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Road through the Basalt Flows, Snæfellsnes, Iceland (16″x74″)
Jumbled Basalt Landscape, Snæfellsnes, Iceland (16″x65″)
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.
Ocean Waves on Basalt Flows, Snæfellsnes, 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.
Red Hut on the Pass (near Búðir), northwestern Iceland (16″x49″)
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 and Falls (near Budhir), northwestern Iceland (16″x41″)