Iceland Full Circle Photography Tour 2016 Travelogue 4 (Podcast 549)

Iceland Full Circle Photography Tour 2016 Travelogue 4 (Podcast 549)

This is the concluding part of our four part series of travelogue style episodes to walk you through the final ten images from my recent Iceland Full Circle Tour and Workshop.

We pick up the trail on Sept 13 (2016) when we walked up from Detifoss to Selfoss. Selfoss doesn’t have the power that Detifoss has, but they’re definitely worth the extra walk once you are nearby. There is a series of falls all along the right side of the river as you can see in this photo (below).

Selfoss

Selfoss

Again, I wish we’d been able to get to the other side of the falls, but it wasn’t to be this year. What I do like about this photo from this angle though, is that pronounced line of waves in the water, almost making an “S” shape from the front of the main falls, first banking left then coming back towards the middle of the frame and out the center of the bottom of the photo. It almost feels like there’s a giant serpent just under the surface of the water.

This was a 0.3 second exposure at f/14, ISO 100 at 100mm, with my 100-400mm lens. I converted to black and white in Capture One Pro. I haven’t used Silver Efex Pro once since I switched to Capture One, and I’m really not missing it. The biggest benefit of course is that I get to keep my images in their original raw format, so I save disk space, and will benefit from upgrades of the processing engine as Phase One upgrade Capture One Pro.

Lake Mývatn

Later in the day, we visited Lake Mývatn, not far from where we were staying for the two days we spent in this area. In true form for Iceland the rain hadn’t really let up for the last few days, so a people decided to stay on the bus but some of us walked down to the lake, to capture some of the beautiful fall color that we can see in this photo (below).

Lake Mývatn

Lake Mývatn

The overall scene would have been nice in the sun, but I think the wet leaves look nice when they’re wet like this too. The colors literally become more “saturated” when wet. It’s not a coincidence that we use the same word to mean both colorful and very wet. I shot this with a 0.6 second exposure at f/14, ISO 100, at 63mm with my 24-70mm lens. If you didn’t catch it, I released a review of the new 24-105mm Mark II lens last week, and that’s what I’ll be working with in the future.

Dimmuborgir

The following morning bright and early we visited Dimmuborgir while the frost was still on the ground, and had a lovely early morning walk with a blue sky that was nice to see for the first time in a few days. I am actually not a fan of blue skies, but if it’s a toss-up between blue sky and constant rain, there comes a point when the blue sky becomes more appealing.

Shadow Selfie at Dimmuborgir

Shadow Selfie at Dimmuborgir

This is more a fun shot than anything, as it’s a selfie of my own shadow. If you look closely, there’s a figure standing on top of that shadow pinnacle. That’s me with my 11-24mm lens shooting this photograph (above). There’s the shadow of another member of my group to the left of me as well. I really enjoyed this shoot, just because it felt so great to be out in the brisk morning air, but the fall color was a nice added bonus.

My settings for this photo were 1/100 of a second at f/16, ISO 400, at 15mm. I had increased my ISO so that I could hand-hold the camera for this shot. There really wasn’t enough room to set up my tripod on top of the rock on which I was standing.

Asbyrgi

After the morning shoot, we had a long drive up to Asbyrgi, where we took a short walk from the bus to a simply magical lake, that you can see in this photo (below). We had hoped for a windless day for this reflection, and we were lucky enough to get just a slight breeze, so there was only a small amount of rippling on the surface of the water.

Asbyrgi Reflection

Asbyrgi Reflection

There was that solitary white gull on the lake too, which I thought added a nice additional element. I shot this at f/14 for 1/15 of a second at ISO 400, 38mm. Although I was using a tripod for this, I increased my ISO a bit here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the gull was moving around, and I didn’t want it to become a streak of white with a longer exposure. Also, we were shooting from a wooden platform on the lake, and people were walking around, so there was always risk of that causing camera shake, so the shorter the exposure the less risk.

If you click on the image and look really closely at this photo, you’ll see a person in a blue coat just above the trees on the right third of the image. After shooting from the platform on the lake for a while, we went up there, and shot this next photo (below) showing the lake and the cliff wall that encompasses it.

Asbyrgi

Asbyrgi

This beautiful fall color is one of the reasons that I plan my tours for September. The other reason is because many of the summer crowds have also started to leave by this time. I love the color in this shot though, from the oranges in the cliff face to the right, through all of those lush greens, yellows and oranges in the foliage. This was a 1/25 of a second exposure at f/14, with a focal length of 16mm. I was on solid ground now, so I’d set my ISO back to 100 and was using a tripod again.

Goðafoss – Waterfall of the Gods

Making the most of the dry weather, after this, we drove to Goðafoss, and I was very excited to see the sky as we approached the falls. As you can see in this photograph (below), parts of the sky looked like a long exposure, without actually doing a long exposure.

Goðafoss - Waterfall of the Gods

Goðafoss – Waterfall of the Gods

This was actually just a 1/4 of a second exposure at f/16, at 33mm. We had walked down to the river bank for this first image. Again this black and white processing was done in Capture One Pro, and I love the control I have over the tones. In trying to stop the bright parts of the sky from blowing out though, I found that the water in the falls was a little bit too dark, so I brush in a band of Adjustment layer across the falls, and increased the Clarity just for that layer, and this made just the water brighter again.

I did the same with the water in this next shot from the other bank of Goðafoss. Just brushed in some Clarity across the falls and the white water caused by the falls, just to bring some balance back to the image, caused by the sky being so bright in some areas.

Goðafoss - Waterfall of the Gods

Goðafoss – Waterfall of the Gods

Goðafoss literally means the Waterfall of the Gods, and I can see why. I mentioned earlier in this series that Skogafoss was still my favorite waterfall in Iceland, and Seljalandsfoss another of my favorites. After my first visit to northern Iceland on this tour, Goðafoss has secured a solid place in my my list of favorite Iceland falls. I’d been looking forward to Detifoss more, but because we couldn’t get to the other shore, I was somewhat disappointed by Detifoss. Goðafoss though surpassed my expectations, so I’m really pleased we added this location.

Diffraction

My settings were 1/4 of a second at f/22 at ISO 100, and a focal length of 12mm. You’ll probably recall me saying in previous episodes that I don’t like to go below f/16 because it starts to make the image soft due to diffraction, which is when light that is forced through a small hole spreads out on the other side. Well, as expected, this image is just a little bit soft throughout because of diffraction. I couldn’t bring myself to take this into Canon’s Digital Photo Professional just to apply their digital lens optimizer, so I’m going to live with this, leaving it soft for now. If I print this at some point, I’ll use the lens optimizer to remove the effects of diffraction at that point.

Barnafoss

The following day, we had a long drive across what was left of northern Iceland and down the west coast towards Reykjavik. Our last planned stop was for the beautiful waterfalls Barnafoss and Hraunfossar. Here first is Barnafoss, a cascade of glacial meltwater through the rough lava formations (below).

Barnafoss

Barnafoss

This is similar to the shots from previous years, although I do like the sky in this version, with plenty of texture. The fall color was nice this year too, and I think I went a little wider than usual as well, opening up my 11-24mm lens to 11mm. This is a 1.6 second exposure at f/14, ISO 100. I used the Healing brush in Capture One to remove a number of people along the top of the rock on the left side of this photo.

Hraunfossar

Just down from this point are the beautiful cascades of Hraunfossar, that we can see in this photo (below). I’ve not really shot this angle before, but I quite like this, with the actual horizon of the land at the top of the frame, showing the falls in context of their surroundings.

Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar

I shot this with the same settings as the previous image, 1.6s at f/14, ISO 100, but I used my 24-70mm lens for this, at 63mm, so not as wide. I love the silky feel of the water in these falls at 1.6 seconds. It’s a bit long for some waterfall shots, but I think it suits these falls, and the longer shutter speed also helps to make the water of the river smoother as well.

Just outside of Reykjavik, we made a brief stop to photograph these horses that we see in this last photograph for this travelogue series (below). This was a lovely moment as two of the horses touched heads, looking like they were sharing a tender moment.

Lovey Dovey Horses

Lovey Dovey Horses

I really like horses when it’s raining, with their matted hair and manes. I had put my 100-400mm lens on and shot this at 182mm. Because of the long focal length, I increased the ISO to 800 and the shutter speed to 1/320 of a second at f/5.6. I wanted the wide aperture to force the background to go out of focus a little.

Group Comments

As usual, at the end of the tour, I took a digital recorder around the bus and recorded a comment from each of the participants, which I’ll play you now.

[Listen to the audio with the player above to hear what everyone said.]

So, that brings us to the end of my 2016 Iceland Travelogue series. I hope you’ve enjoyed tagging along vicariously over these four episodes. I love doing these Iceland tours, and can’t wait to get back there again next year.

Join us in 2017!

If you think you might like to join us for the 2017 Iceland Full Circle Tour & Workshop, from September 4 to the 15th, please do check out the details at mbp.ac/iceland. As you see, we visit some amazing locations, and have a great time.

Iceland Tour & Workshop 2017

Iceland Tour & Workshop 2017


Show Notes

Check out details of the 2017 Iceland Full Circle Tour Here: https://mbp.ac/iceland

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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Iceland Tour 2015 Travelogue Part 4 (Podcast 494)

Iceland Tour 2015 Travelogue Part 4 (Podcast 494)

Today we conclude our four part series of travelogues to walk you through a total of 40 images from my 2015 Iceland Tour and Workshop with Tim Vollmer and our amazing group for this year.

We pick up the trail on September 29, as we headed over to Fjallsjökull. This is a glacier that you can get quite close to on a promontory on the other side of the lagoon. You may recall from a few weeks ago that I mentioned my decision to take my 100-400mm lens to Iceland instead of my 70-200mm lens. Although the 70-200mm lens is a great workhorse, I really enjoyed being able to zoom past 200mm, even for landscape work.

For this photo (below) I zoomed right in to 400mm to just capture the front edge of the glacier, and a slither of the water in the lagoon for context. Although the height of the pinnacles of ice are smaller, this really reminds me of Antarctica, which is amazing really when you consider how much cheaper it is to travel to Iceland.

Fjallsjökull Glacier

Fjallsjökull Glacier

My settings for this image were 1/80 of a second at f/11, ISO 400. As I mentioned last week, because we had a fair amount of wind, I was often choosing to increase my ISO to avoid low shutter speeds, so that I could reduce the risk of camera shake, even though I was using a good tripod. I didn’t do much to this image in post either. I just added +10 on the Clarity and Saturation sliders in Lightroom, to give the image a very slight boost.

The following day, September 30, we would drive all the way back to Reykjavik from Jökulsárlón, but I ensured that we had plenty of time to photograph two of my favourite waterfalls in Iceland, as we’ll see shortly. On the way though, we made another brief stop at Kálfafell, because there were some beautiful low clouds around the distinctive mountain, as we see in this photograph (below).

Kálfafell with Clouds

Kálfafell with Clouds

There was a good breeze on this day, so we didn’t have the mirror-like reflection that we saw in the image I shared in Part 3 of this series. Because of this, I decided to go a little wider, and include the near bank of the pond, and this of course enabled me to include more of the dramatic sky.

I was fairly undecided as to whether or not to go black and white with this image, but I finally decided on colour and brought out some of the detail and heavy sky with Color Efex Pro, because the original was a little bit flat. As we just jumped off the bus for a quick photo here, I was hand-holding for this shot, with a shutter speed of 1/100 of a second at f/14, ISO 200 and a focal length of 28mm.

After driving for a few more hours, we arrived at Skógafoss, which is the waterfall that probably played the largest part in me wanting to visit Iceland than any other location. Just looking at this photograph, it’s hard to believe that this is just  a few minutes from a car park, and we always have to wait for a break in the crowds of people that flock here each day to not be in the scene, but if you are patient, you can get photographs like this (below) without people in the foreground.

Skógafoss

Skógafoss

On an overcast day like it was when we visited, if you put an ND8 neutral density filter on your lens, you can generally get a shutter speed of around half to one second with an aperture of f/14 at ISO 100. I shot this at 0.6 of a second. You always want to try to shoot waterfalls when it’s overcast, as direct sunlight on a waterfall makes it very contrasty, and in my opinion most of the beauty is lost then.

I converted this to black and white in Silver Efex Pro, and made the rock and green moss either side of the falls very dark, giving this look that I love for most of my Iceland waterfall images. The white specs that you can see on the cliff face are seagulls, which hopefully gives you a little bit of scale too. The falls are actually 25 metres (82 feet) wide with a drop of 60 m (200 ft), so they are quite a site to stand in front of.

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss

The second waterfall that we’d photograph on this day is Seljalandsfoss, which is just a 10 minute drive from Skógafoss.

As we can see in this photograph (right) although the drop is the same at 60m, this is a more slender waterfall. I always think of Skógafoss as the sumo wrestler and Seljalandsfoss as the lady in a kimono, although that’s my Japanese influence sneaking in there of course.

One of the things that I love about this waterfall is that the wind easily catches the streams of water as they fall, so you get these beautiful curves in the water as it moves in the wind.

For this image, again shot with the ND8 attached to my lens, my shutter speed was 0.8 seconds at f/14, ISO 100.

Once again, I’ve made the sides of the falls very dark, although they are green in reality. I just much prefer this look, as it enables me to reduce the scene to almost black with the beautiful delicate streams of water and the cloud of mist that raises up from the pool at the bottom of the falls.

While we’re talking about this waterfall, I’d like to mention that two of my Iceland images from 2014, including one of these falls, are currently in a collection of prints available from a company called West Elm, who have tied up with Offset, the stock agency that I license my work through. You can see the collection and buy reasonably priced prints of any of the images at mbp.ac/westelm if you are interested.

Seljalandsfoss from behind

Seljalandsfoss from behind

Although photographically I prefer the front view, you can actually walk behind Seljalandsfoss for a view like the one we see in this photograph (right).

Again, I shot a number of images because of the way the water moves in the wind, and chose this one for the patterns that the water make as they hit the pool below the falls.

Also, if you look in the bottom left of this image, you’ll see a bridge over the stream leading from the falls. That’s where I stand for my main shot of these falls. It’s always fun though, because if anyone walks on the bridge during your exposure, it moves, ruining your shot, so you have to ensure that no one moves, and time your images when no tourists are about to walk on the bridge.

I also waited a while for most of the people walking up the bank in the bottom right of this shot to move out of the photo.

It’s important to note too that you are basically photographing in a shower at this point, with the spray coming off the falls falling right onto your camera and your lens.

With light spray or rain, I usually use my air blower to blow the droplets of water to the edge of my filter, but in this much spray, you have to wipe it. I also hold a cloth over the front of the lens as I wipe it, to stop more spray hitting it as I wipe, and I leave the cloth over the front of the lens until I am ready to actually make the exposure. In fact, I use a 2 second timer, and remove the cloth a split second before the time elapses, and this enables me to get shots without droplets on the filter, as those droplets will usually ruin your photo.

After spending an hour at Seljalandsfoss we continued our drive back to Reykjavik, for two more nights. On October 1, the last shooting day of the tour, we travelled north east of Reykjavik, to the small but very wide waterfall at Hraunfossar (below). This photo actually only shows a small percentage of the 900m wide series of falls as water flows from ledges of less porous rock in the lava field.

Hraunfossar (Falls)

Hraunfossar (Falls)

I’ve never liked my photos here when I go really wide, trying to include all of the falls, as the details are lost in a wide shot, so this photo (above) is about as wide as I personally like to go, at 50mm focal length. I used an ND8 here too for a 2.0 second exposure at f/11, ISO 100. It was raining at this point, so the sky was very dark giving me a good long exposure, even just with the ND8.

As you can see, this is one of the few places where there are enough small trees to actually enable the fall color to play a part in the image. This is one of the reasons that I time these tours for September, as well as the fact that most tourists have left by September as well. 🙂

I also used my 100-400mm lens at 100mm to zoom in and shoot more details, such as the angel that Tim Vollmer often points out to the group here (below). The shape of the water just to the left of centre looks a little bit like an angel with its head and wings spread.

Hraunfossar Angel

Hraunfossar Angel

I actually changed my ISO to 200 here, and to counter that, changed my shutter speed to 1 second, as that’s plenty to get the beautiful silky look in the water, and it also helped me to reduce the movement in the trees as they caught the wind, although I don’t dislike capturing that movement in my images either. I think it adds to the dynamism of the shot.

A few minutes walk upstream take you to Barnafoss, which we can see in this image (below). I shot longer focal lengths here too, like in previous years, but here I used the new Canon 11-24mm f/4 lens at 12mm to capture the entire flow of the water that can be seen from this spot, from when it enters view in the top right, down to where it flows out of view on the left.

Barnafoss in Fall Color

Barnafoss in Fall Color

Going wide here also enabled me to capture almost equal amounts of colour in all four corners of the image as well, which I quite like. This spot is quite popular with day trippers and school trips at this time of year too, because of the beautiful colour, so we had to be patient here too, waiting for the tourists that walk along the rocks in the top left to leave. I think I ended up cloning out one person for this particular image. This was also shot with a 1 second exposure at f/14, ISO 200.

We keep our eyes out for some nice Icelandic horses throughout the trip, and Tim generally know where there are some that are more friendly, or less shy, and we stopped to photograph some of these on our way back to Reykjavik after photographing the falls, as we can see here (below).

Icelandic Horses

Icelandic Horses

The difficulty with ad-hoc horse shoots in Iceland is that they usually come over very close to the wire fence around their enclosure, so you have to frame your shots in such a way as to not include the fence. That’s partly what I was doing here too, but this one grey horse that lifted its head up above the others for a moment caught my eye, so I couldn’t resist shooting this. I’m not sure exactly why, but I quite like this, despite it being a little bit busy, and I’ve cropped the nose off the brown horse to the right. Maybe it’s the waves formed by the various heads, with just the grey horse sticking his head up above the rest that appeals to me.

We’ll finish our 40 images that we’ve looked at over these four episodes with this last somewhat humorous shot of the horses, with the grey one sticking its tongue out at us. This was actually just part of a yawn, but there was a moment when the tongue was sticking out, which kind of makes me smile. 🙂

Icelandic Horse Sticking Tongue Out

Icelandic Horse Sticking Tongue Out

Under the heavily overcast sky, both of these images were shot at ISO 1600 to give me a shutter speed of 1/400 of a second with an aperture of f/8.  I wanted a fast shutter speed as the horses were moving and their hair blowing around too, but also so that I could safely zoom in to 400mm if I needed to, without worry about camera movement as I was hand-holding.

This became our last shoot of the tour, so as is customary, on the bus on the way back to Reykjavik we recorded a brief message from each of the members of the group, which I’ll play you now. John, who starts off totally cracked us up reading his message from his iPhone screen. Take a listen…

[Listen to the recording with the player at the top of this post to hear what everyone said.]

What a brilliant group we had again this year!

Greenland 2016

Before we finish, I also wanted to mention that in addition to my 2016 Iceland Full Circle Tour, I have teamed up with Tim Vollmer for a new tour in Greenland, that promises to be pretty amazing!

We’ll be visiting the eastern side of Greenland with fjords and beautiful scenery, glaciers and huge icebergs which we’ll explore from boats and helicopters, and we’ll be on land too, shooting both the incredible scenery and a number of cultural experiences as we photograph the local people making kayaks and performing an Inuit Drum Dance. For details and to book your place, visit mbp.ac/greenland2016.

Greenland Tour & Workshop 2016

 


Show Notes

Details of our Greenland 2016 Tour and Workshop: https://mbp.ac/greenland2016

Details of Iceland 2016 Full Circle Tour and Workshop: https://mbp.ac/iceland2016

West Elm X Offset Print Collection: https://mbp.ac/westelm

Martin’s work on Offset: https://mbp.ac/offset

Martin’s Iceland Prints

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

Iceland Tour 2014 Travelogue Part 4 (Podcast 446)

Iceland Tour 2014 Travelogue Part 4 (Podcast 446)

Today we complete our four part series of travelogue episodes covering my September Iceland Tour & Workshop with Tim Vollmer and our amazing group of photographers.

We pick up the trail on September 29, 2014, when we started our day in the Jökulsárlón lagoon. It rains a lot in Iceland, and the group was getting used to working in soggy conditions. But this day was set to bring us some high winds as well. So high that our driver would be prohibited from driving our bus from around lunch time, but we decided to go into the lagoon for a few hours in the morning.

Even in this first photo (below) you can see the texture in the water from the heavy rain, despite this being a 0.4 second exposure. I was attracted to this scene because of all the beautiful curves in the ice, almost like Guadinian architecture.

Gaudinian Icebergs

Gaudinian Icebergs

As we photographed this scene, there was a guy in a kayak that kept getting in the way. Doug Kaye, who you may know from the This Week in Photo and All About the Gear podcasts, was loving it being a street photographer. He was trying to include the kayaker in as many shots as possible, and I was getting frustrated because he kept paddling into my scene just as the ice moved into what I considered the optimal position.

It was at this point that the waterproofing on my rain proof pants finally gave in too. By the time we finished this couple of hours shoot, I was wet through to my underwear, so I wasn’t too disappointed when the wind started to pick up more, and we had to retreat to our hotel for the afternoon.

We actually spent a few hours going through images together in the hotel dining area, and then borrowed the hotel’s projector for a critique session. Everyone submitted three of their images from the tour so far, and the entire group spent a few minutes each commenting on them. I always love doing this when time allows, and the group always find it useful too, so nothing was wasted despite rain and high winds stopping play.

On the morning of September 30, we headed out for a fun All Terrain Vehicle ride to the face of a glacier. Scenery-wise it’s pretty, but this is more about letting rip on the four-wheeled ATVs, and just having a lot of fun. It rained the whole time of course, so instead of the sandwiches that we often take with us for lunch, we arranged to go back to the hotel for some hot soup and freshly baked bread, which made a welcome change.

Then in the afternoon, we went back down to the beach where there was usually ice, as we saw in last week’s episode. We had been surprised to see that there was no substantially sized ice there when we visited the lagoon the previous day, so everyone was happy to see a lots of beautiful ice on the beach as we approached in our bus on this afternoon.

A few of you that listen to the This Week in Photo podcast, which I guest on sometimes, emailed about a photo that I’d mentioned during a guest spot a couple of weeks ago. I’d said that this next photo was probably one of the best landscape photographs I’ve ever made, and although that feeling is starting to fade a little now, I’m still very excited about this photograph (below) which I’ve called “Jewel on the Shore”.

Jewel on the Shore

Jewel on the Shore

I had found a beautiful group of growlers, which you might remember from a previous episode are car sized icebergs that get their name from the sound that make as they roll along the hull of a ship. As you can see, there were various textures, and one was a beautiful translucent blue. I framed the scene, initially with my tripod at full height, and started making long exposure shots. The sea would come in and wash around my boots every so often, so I was initially trying to shoot this with all of the foreground flooded with water.

I looked at the images more closely on the back of my camera, and realised that the horizon of the sea over the top of the ice was distracting, so I lowered my tripod to about kneeling height, and as I started to make a few more frames, the clouds opened up a little, and the sun started to shine directly between the two large growlers on the right, illuminating the small piece of deep glacial ice in the middle of the group, and that started to reflect the light down onto the black stony beach like a prism. I couldn’t believe my luck!

I continued to make a few more 4 second exposures, but now I was hoping that the water didn’t flood the scene for the entire time, and this was the frame that I consider the best of the batch. The light is perfect, the colour in the ice is beautiful, and the dark sky over the left of the frame really all came together perfectly. I’m really proud of this shot, as you might have realised.

We spent a couple of hours on the beach, and I got a number of other shots that I’m happy with, and the group were all having an amazing time. Then, we continued the adventurous theme for the day, and went over to the lagoon for a Zodiac ride. Zodiacs are the large rubber boats that you might have scene used to ferry people to and from shore from large ships in Antarctica, and we spend a lot of time cruising around in them down there too.

On this afternoon, we loaned some even warmer overall style clothing from the Zodiac tour company, and split into two groups, one with me and one with Tim, to go out for around 90 minutes around the lagoon. Although you can see the face of the glacier in the distance, it’s not always obvious from the shore that we usually shoot from, but the lagoon is quite expansive, so there’s much more out there than initially meets the eye, like this first iceberg photograph (below).

Blue Fissure

Blue Fissure

During our 90 minutes, we were treated to varying skies, but as we approached this beautiful blue iceberg, the sky behind was so incredibly Icelandic. As we drew closer in our Zodiac we noticed this beautiful fissure in the Iceberg, with light shining through a very thin wall of ice on the far side. This particular berg will probably split apart within a few days of this, so I always consider us lucky when we get to see such beautiful natural features like this.

And if you thought the ice in the last photo was blue, take a look at this one (below)! I’ve taken some of these shots into Color Efex Pro, and although I’ve enhanced the detail, I haven’t added any colour at all to these photographs. This is very much the colour that we saw in the lagoon. It really is amazing.

Blue Ice

Blue Ice

One member of the group said that they’d saved the cost of a trip to Antarctica now having done this Zodiac tour, and although Antarctica really has to be experienced to full appreciate it, I totally agree that I also felt very much as though I was back down there a number of times.

As you can see here, the sky opened up a little too, and changed depending on the angle at which we shot, but the majority of the time the lagoon was in shade, meaning there was a lot of contrast between the ice and the sky in the background. This photo is processed only in Lightroom, not Color Efex Pro. I pumped the Clarity up to 100, and increased the Shadows slider to 48, and the Blacks slider to 25, to bring out more detail in the iceberg, and also bringing out a little more texture in the clouds.

Serrated Iceberg

Serrated Iceberg

Looking back the other way again for this next shot (below) you can see that I have that dramatic sky again, but this time, the light on the iceberg was a little brighter. Because the sky was so dark, the foreground water that I included here too was not really reflecting much, so is nice and dark as well, helping the iceberg to really stand out.

Jökulsárlón Iceberg

Jökulsárlón Iceberg

After an amazing Zodiac tour, we made our way back to the hotel for another wonderful dinner, and some great conversation. Although we’d hoped for some Aurora while at this location, it didn’t happen on this tour. We keep our eye on the forecast, and although there’d been a big solar storm giving great shows about a week before our tour started, we were out of luck this year.

The following morning, October 1, was our second to last day, and we had a big drive all the way back to Reykjavik, with a number of great stops planned along the way. One unplanned stop though, resulted in this photo of another wonderful Icelandic sky (below).

Icelandic Sky

Icelandic Sky

You wouldn’t really notice it looking at the original of this photo, but it was obvious as we drove along that there was something special going on up there, so I had our driver stop the bus for a few minutes while we all captured this. Processed in Silver Efex Pro, the detail in a sky like this really pops out. Someone mentioned that this almost looks like a view of a wave crashing on the surface of the water from underneath.

The highlight of this drive back to Reykjavik though, is a stop at the wonderful Skógafoss waterfall that we see here (below). Whenever we approach a location like this, we try to advance as a group, so as not to get in each others’ way, but of course we cannot stop other tourists simply walking into the scene. I actually got another shot where a couple hugged in front of the falls for a while, which was nice. The white spot in the top left of this scene though is a sheep.

Skógafoss (Falls)

Skógafoss (Falls)

Again, I processed this nice and dark, as I like to work my Iceland waterfall shots. I have a few with rainbows in too, and still couldn’t resist creating a moody black and white out of them. The sky was great on this day, nice and dark, but with the falls illuminated nicely, so the contrast is perfect too. Another great visit to these beautiful falls.

With Reykjavik as our base for the last day of shooting on October 2, we drove north, to the spectacular Hraunfossar falls (below). We added this last day for this year based on Tim’s recommendation, so I’d not visited them yet, but was really pleased that we did add this.

Hraunfossar (Falls)

Hraunfossar (Falls)

The falls are not high, but expansive. You could literally shoot for an entire day here, and not run out of angles and ways to pick out details. Here I was using my 24-70mm lens at 55mm, but other times I went really wide, and I also used my 70-200mm for a more intimate view a number of times too. As I mentioned before as well, I had not expected to see this fall colour in Iceland this year, but it was really nice to get this, adding some splashes of colour to some of our scenes.

Barnafoss

Barnafoss

A few minutes walk up from the Hraunfossar falls are the dramatic Barnafoss falls (below). As you can see, the water is gushing through the ravine with great energy. There’s even a point just above the centre of this photo where the water is forced through a hole in the rock, which seems to cause even more turbulence.

I chose a shutter speed of 0.4 seconds for this shot, to record a bit of movement in the water, but also so that I’d maintain some of the texture as well. I think this helps to accentuate the movement and force of the water pretty well.

I processed this in Color Efex Pro, to bring out the texture in both the rock and water, and I actually quite like the little splash of colour from the flowers on the rock in the right foreground there too.

We went back to Reykjavik for one last wonderful meal as a group that evening, and that concludes this travelogue series, but no MBP Tour is really finished, until we hear a comment from each of the participants. I recorded this on the bus as we headed back to Reykjavik.

[List to the Podcast to hear the participant comments.]

Iceland 2015

OK, so that’s it! Before we close, just a quick reminder that we are now taking bookings for the 2015 Iceland Tour & Workshop, so if you’re interested, do check that out at https://mbp.ac/iceland2015. It’s an amazing tour if you can make it, so I hope to see you there!

Iceland Tour & Workshop 2015

 


Show Notes

Iceland Tour & Workshop 2015: https://mbp.ac/iceland2015

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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