I have spent the last several hours processing images from my recent winter wonderland, Ring Road tour of Iceland I’ll be honest, I did not think I was going to get good images considering that on day two, my main camera decided to stop working (later resolved and story to come). But I got some images I really love.
These images aren’t exactly the traditional Iceland grand landscapes that many have seen. They may not be the best nor have the right composition, framing or light. These are the images that have specific meaning to me and transport me. They sooth my soul. They make me laugh. They calm me. They put me back in the exact spot where I took them. I feel them in my heart, mind and body. I hear my friends poking fun at me and my excitement. I smell the clean, fresh air. They cause a response in each of my 5 senses.
So with that, here are 10 random images to start my sharing of my Iceland tour. These images are actually not my favorites. They are not in any particular order. My favorites are actually the images that have my friends and travel partners in them, but I am not ready to share and write that story yet. I’ll be sharing more images, sets and stories throughout the coming days and weeks. Hope you enjoy and hope you come on back. Leave a comment if you have a question about the trip, gear or places shown here.
Hallgrimskirkja – The famous church at the heart of Rekjavik is so photographic. It has literally been shot and shared millions and millions of times. I wanted to capture it differently. It was early morning with fresh air. this was our final morning in Iceland as we flew out later this day. I love the idea that the church is a shield and that the light is in the horizon. The trees are all similar, but unique, protected from harms way by the strong arm of the church. I just loved the contrast and color and the moments with my friends before leaving Iceland.
The Aurora Borealis over Rekjavik – So often you see the northern lights out in a vast landscape where there is little light pollution. We were given the gift of seeing them right in Rekjavik, about two blocks from our hotel. The joy for me was that just like last time, it was the final night in Iceland before we got to see the Northern Lights. It was also the 4 individuals from China standing near us. They were in Iceland and were lucky enough to see them on their first night! As I was framing, I would hear them squeal in excitement and I would look up away from my camera and just look in wonder and awe. It was incredible. Actually Brady and I both stopped shooting at one point and just took it in. NO camera could have captured what we witnessed. It was truly incredible. But I share this pick because I don’t often see the contrast in light and the Aurora’s this strong from a city perspective.
Akuyeri in North Iceland turned out to be such a joy and treat. We ended up spending quite a bit of time there simply due to the snow. But it was incredible. We had so much fun exploring the city, eating amazing food, drinking Coffee and an occasional Whisky. We stayed at the Hotel Kea right under the sister church to Hallgrimskirkja in Rekjavik. What a winter wonderland. I just loved the feel of this image and the documentation of the iconic city center.
Godafoss – While my image shared cannot show you the true scale of this incredible wonder, the color and perfect winter setting set this waterfall apart for me. In addition, there were moments where we were the only tourists and photographers at this incredible site. For anyone that has traveled to Iceland, you likely have had to share these miraculous places with hundreds of others. Not us and not on this specific day. We had Gullfoss much to ourselves.
Hyverfall – We, OK maybe just me, set out on this day just a little disappointed as it had dumped snow overnight and made the roads to our first two photo stops unpassable. So we set out across north Iceland to Akureyri. The winter wonderland made the Lake Myvatn even more out of this world feeling. This crater was perfectly lit up. I see so much in this image. It just gives me joy. It reminds me to not dwell on the shot you didn’t get, but on the shot you did get. I shot this with a long lens across a frozen lake. The untouched, delicate and perfect snow really make this image work. It is my personal favorite of all landscape images from this trip. It was also a surprise when my travel partner Glenn flew his drone here and showed us we were surrounded by craters and it felt like we were on the surface of the moon. Truly an incredible moment and day. It was our fourth day into Iceland and that evening I texted my wife and told her for the first time on this trip, I truly relaxed and felt pure joy.
Day 3 going through the east fjords. I was down and out a bit with my camera failing the previous day. It was really difficult driving in the ice, wind and snow. But I was in awe much of the way. Just look at that coastline.
Iceland Overland vehicle(s) – I will share an actual picture of this incredible Ford F conversion van. These rigs are truly incredible! I had the pleasure of being in the passenger seat on the drive out to glacier and ice cave tour. I just cannot describe how great it was to just cruise over the snow, rock and glacial moraine pushed up years and years ago by the glacier. But I love this shot early in the morning. I love what these vehicles can do. I love that the horizon is level and we are far from level. I also just like the framing and the feel with the dash and angle of the antenna. But mostly, I am just a kid, and redneck, at heart and I like big trucks!
Blue Ice Cave tour – I know I said I wasn’t going to share pics of my friends in this set. But I had to include Brady in this image to show scale. We are inside the 2nd largest glacier in Europe and on the horizon is the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. We are miles from it and inside the glacier that feeds the lagoon. Absolutely crazy. I will have lots more to say about ice cave tour later, but this image shows the texture, the range of colors, the scale and the magnitude of our experience. Truly incredible and this tour alone is worth a trip, or in our case two trips, to Iceland.
The roads – Two years ago we had rain and there was no snow. This trip we had 100% snow on the entire ring road. At times it was treacherous but thanks to studded tires I was navigating these roads like a pro rally driver! Dang studded tires are fun. But this images sums it all up. Snow. Wind. Road markers. Crazy landscapes. It was an incredible and challenging journey.
The surprise church – We were looking for a specific grass roof church. We never found it, but we did find this incredible church in an incredible landscape. Didn’t know there were churches on the moon. This image signifies its worth getting off the beaten path. It’s worth taking that road to see what is down it. You might find what you are looking for. You might not. But you will be in awe anyway.
So with that, I will sign off today. My next post will be images with people and friends. It will show friendship, moments, scale, and a bit more behind the scenes. So stay tuned!
And again, leave a comment if you have a question.
9 responses to “Iceland – First 10 Images”
I enjoyed the photos and comments Jason! What an amazing experience!!
Nicely done, Jason. I’m going there in June. Can’t wait. Mark
Thanks Mark! Have a great trip! It is an incredible land. I want to go back again and again.
Wow, incredible! Great photos and stories make me want to go places … this post makes me want to go there.
Thanks Tim. Appreciate that! And yes you should go.
They are so beautiful Jason. Can’t wait to see the next picture s.
These are amazing, jason! Thank you so much for sharing; what an incredible trip. Makes me realize I need to start my own bucket list. My favorite: The B&W of the road (must be the gravel dust still in my head); even though I know it’s snow, I just want to ride and ride and smile ;op