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″)
Hverfjall is a 1km wide tephra/tuff volcano in northern Iceland that erupted ~2500 years ago. I climbed to the lip of the volcanic crater and shot a series of photographs as I walked along the trail. Here are two of my favorite panoramas from the series.
Hverfjall Carter (#1), northern Iceland (16″x65″)
Hverfjall Carter (#2), northern Iceland (16″x70″)
Selfoss pours over and through jumbled basalt columns a few hundred meters upstream from Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Selfoss and Dettifoss are both formed by the Jokulsa a Fhollum river in northern Iceland as it flows from the glacier Vatnajokull’s to the Arctic sea to the north.
Selfoss, northern Iceland (12″x18″)
After photographing Goðafoss from the cliffs on the north side of the river, I set my tripod up on the south and took a few bulb exposures looking down at the falls. This panorama is one of my favorites from the morning: constant mist billowing up from the cascading water changing into misty silk in the bulb exposure.
Looking down on Goðafoss from South (Bulb), northern Iceland (16″x48″)
Rivers and streams flowing down to the ocean create a tremendous number of waterfalls in Iceland. On my trip around the ring road, I stopped to photograph one famous set of waterfalls – Goðafoss – where a river pours over a shelf of rock creating five falls of various sizes. Driving rain kept me in the car for a few minutes, but the cloud passed and I was able to photograph the falls from a few angles without getting my camera too wet. I first took a few photographs after rock hopping to the cliff at the top of the falls (first photo below- no ND filter). I then walked down stream and set my tripod up so I could take a bulb exposure looking back up at the falls (second panorama- with ND filter). Note the dark rain cloud that is looming in the upper right corner of most of my photographs on this day.
Looking down on Goðafoss, northern Iceland (16″x54″)
Goðafoss (Bulb #2), northern Iceland (16″x54″)
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″)