Right now the wind is calm in Winter Wonderland. The stars are bright and our spirits are high in the highlands of Iceland. We sometimes do not call our country Iceland but Niceland.
Camping or backpacking in the snow appeals to anyone who enjoys the beauty and peacefulness of a pristine winter wonderland. There are no bugs or crowds, and who doesn’t enjoy playing in the snow? So you might be surprised at how comfortable it can be.
Here’s a look at how to get started.
First of all winter outings offer different challenges than summer camping. You must be prepared for more severe weather and shorter daylight hours by having extra gear and additional skills. Especially relevant make a plan before you leave home.
Most snow trekking is greatly enhanced by winter or mountaineering boots that are waterproof and insulating.
Tip: Warm up socks and boot insoles by them in the sleeping bag next to you.
The simple rule of winter camping is to stay dry and warm. Choose clothing layers that wick moisture, dry quickly, insulate and are waterproof and breathable. By adjusting these layers, you can regulate the amount of warmth you need. The 3 basic layers:
Come winter tour with us. We are Photo Tours in Iceland. The Photography Tour Operator.0 Read More
Waiting for the Northern Lights to appear. Just finished pitching our tent. Our home for tonight.
Make sure you reach your destination with plenty of daylight to spare. Relax, have a snack, cool down and put on extra clothing layers. Take time to find the right camp spot and set up your gear. Considerations:
In patchy snow conditions, set up camp on the snow or an established campsite of bare ground (no plant life). Always follow Leave No Trace camping ethics.
Make sure you use a bag that’s rated at least 10°C lower than the coldest temperature you expect to encounter. You can always vent the bag if you get too warm.
Cold- and winter-rated bags are supplied with generous amounts of goose down or synthetic insulation. Down is the most popular choice due to its superior warmth-to-weight ratio. Just make sure to keep it dry (when wet, down loses much of its insulating ability) or use the new water-resistant down bags now on the market.
Winter bags are also distinguished by their draft tubes behind the zippers, draft collars above the shoulders and hoods to help keep the heat in the bag.
For details, see the REI Expert Advice article, Sleeping Bags for Backpacking: How to Choose.
Come winter camp and photograph with us. We are Photo Tours in Iceland. The Photography Tour Operator.
I met this cat on a Sunday morning as I went to the local bakery to get some warm croissants for breakfast. As I was walking back home my next door neighbour’s cat was sitting at my door step waiting for an invitation. The Cat’s eyes and whiskers are so beautiful. I grabbed my iPhone and clicked.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids. They have a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey. Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche. So cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small animals. They can see in near darkness. Like most other mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans. Cats, despite being solitary hunters, are a social species. Cat communication includes the use of a variety of vocalisations (mewing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling, and grunting), as well as cat pheromones and types of cat-specific body language.
Cats have a high breeding rate. As a result under controlled breeding, they can be bred and shown as registered pedigree pets. It is a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by neutering, as well as the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide. This has required population control. So in certain areas outside cats’ native range, this has contributed to the extinction of many bird species. Habitat destruction is another factor. Cats have been known to extirpate a bird species within specific regions. They may have contributed to the extinction of isolated island populations. Cats are thought to be primarily responsible for the extinction of 33 species of birds. The presence of feral and free-ranging cats makes some otherwise suitable locations unsuitable for attempted species reintroduction.
Come and photograph in Iceland. We are Photo Tours in Iceland. The Tour Operator.0 Read More
We never tire taking our car and going out of the city. Our cameras and now the drone go with us. The beautiful Stafnesviti Lighthouse is on the Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland. It is one of 104 lighthouses on the island. Nestled between the towns Sandgerði and Hafnir it’s not the largest one to be found in Iceland. So trust me, if your’e looking for a lighthouse scene, it’s a visit you won’t regret. Built in 1925 of concrete Stafnesviti stands 11.5 m. tall and beautifully orange.
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses. To serve as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways. So lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, and safe entries to harbours. Hence assist in navigation. The number of operational lighthouses has declined because of the expense of maintenance and use of electronic navigational systems
The lighthouses on the coast of Iceland have played an important role in the safety of Icelandic fishermen. They are the fisherman’s guardian angels. The Reykjanes lighthouse is a 31 metres (102 ft) tall construction, situated on the southwestern edge of the Reykjanes peninsula. The original structure was built in 1878. It is a concrete construction yet with traditional looks. Its focal plane measures 73 metres above sea level.
Lighthouses are very interesting to photograph. They are beautiful structures and their surroundings including the sea make for a fantastic setting. With the changing light, different forms of waves, shorelines, and different and changing weather conditions they are a landscape photographer’s dream. One more thing that can complement a lighthouse are the Northern Lights when they dance around the lighthouses like here.0 Read More
The Snafellsnes Peninsula Photography Tour is a splendid day trip. The Snaefellsnes peninsula is often called “Iceland in a nutshell”. On this tour you see and photograph most of Iceland’s nature phenomena such as waterfalls, black churches, rock arches, mountains, glaciers, icecaps. A number of picturesque fishing villages are on the peninsula. Our first stop after a two hour’s drive from Reykjavik is the beautiful black church of Budir. There we also explore the surrounding lava field and yellow beaches.
Because of its rock formations and flora the Budir lava field is by many considered the most beautiful in Iceland . We then drive to Arnarstapi fishing village. There we photograph the small harbour with its fishing boats as well as the cliffs filled with birds. We have species like kittywakes, fulmars, gulls, eidur ducks etc. Magnificent rock arches crown the shore. A heaven for photographers.
Then there is the half troll-half man Bárður Snaefellsas – the Protector of the Saefellsnes peninsula. Bardur was the settler of this area, half a troll and half a man. His father was half a titan, but his mother was human. Bardur came to Iceland in the 9th century. He gave the peninsula its name, Snjofellsnes peninsula, but both words “snaer” and “snjor” mean snow in Icelandic. We will see this huge stone structure of Bardur Snæfellsas at Arnarstapi. It was made by one of our sculptors, Ragnar Kjartansson, whose great work you will find in many places in Iceland.
We then drive to the Kirkjufell mountain with its complementing waterfall. It does not matter if it is day or night, winter or summer. Bring warm clothes.
When on our Snaefellsnes Peninsula Photo Tour, West Iceland you find those volcanic forms like Ytri-Raudamelskula which you see in the photo. You will see beautiful forms and colours. Sometimes the best weather for photographing these is rain and fog.0 Read More
While doing my morning run with my running mates in Hafnarfjordur I met Sigurjón playing with his Phantom 4 Pro+ .
One of the most exciting developments in photography in the last year or two is the drone. These are high flying cameras that enable you to capture unique viewpoints of common subjects. The cost of getting a camera into the air has dropped dramatically. So apart from the amazing images you will capture, they are also tremendous fun!
Similar to camera equipment in general, how much you’re prepared to spend will determine the quality of camera on-board, and the flying characteristics of the drone itself. There are low-cost models that will take very basic images, up to the big boys toys that will happily lift your prized DSLR up into the heavens. You can even add your GoPro on to some units that will take advantage of camera gear you may already have. One company has a range of models that has a large percentage of the market – DJI.
We have been photographing with drones in Iceland for three years now and know most of the spots. It is not only to know where the best spots for video and photography are but safety is another very important issue.
0 Read More
The brook in our hometown Hafnarfjordur is very close to our home. Flying over water is always special with a drone. What happens if it drops in the water??????????
Hafnarfjordur is one of the oldest communities in Iceland. Merchants have been peddling their wares and fishermen landing their catches here continuously since the 14th century. It is the natural harbour after which the town is named (Hafnarfjordur means Harbour Fjord). The harbour is the main reason for the community’s prosperity. Therefore sea provides its commercial and cultural lifeline.
The town was established by foreign merchants. They found the secluded harbour conveniently located near the royal estate at Bessastadir (now the residence of the president of Iceland).
Englishmen began trading here in the 15th century. Furthermore Dutch and German merchants also traded with Icelanders. Over the centuries, various European nations competed for trade supremacy in the community. As a result byy the 18th century, the town had become Iceland’s major trading centre. It was incorporated as a town in 1908.
Fishing, commerce and services have long been the prominent business sectors.
0 Read More
Droneography – The art of capturing video and photo from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone.
The introduction of Drones by the US Armed Forces to fight in the Gulf and Middle East have had the biggest impact on what people believe in drones. They are there to “spy”on us.
This really isn’t the case….all of the time. For some its an extension of the creative side in which we now get the birds eye view. How excited do you get flying into a new city, like Reykjavik, Iceland for example. Looking at the city and the harbour.
Now for a fraction of the cost of a specialised and dedicated flight in a plane or helicopter you or I can capture amazing imagery by walking outside any time of the “day”.
We are Photo Tours in Iceland. Your Droneography Tour Operator.0 Read More
Iceland is a prime location for catching the Northern Lights. When the Magnetic Solar storms hit the earth these natural wonders start dancing in the skies.
When photographing the Northern light equipment and its application is important. Some of the equipment that is needed is a tripod, a camera with a wide angle lens, a headlight that can emit red light instead of white, patience and cold weather clothing. Then after the shoot a good post processing software like Lightroom is needed.
Configuring your camera is correctly is also important. If possible the ISO should not go above 800. Aperture should be 2.8. Some sort of release mechanism in order not to move or shake the camera. This can be a cable release or a remote.
Come and join us on one of our Northern Lights Tours. We are the Tour Operator.0 Read More
Chamonix is situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and most notably the Aiguille du Midi. It isis one of the oldest ski resorts in France. The north side of the summit of Mont Blanc, and therefore the summit itself are part of the village of Chamonix. To the south side, the situation is different depending on the country. Italy considers that the border passes through the top. France considers that the boundary runs along the rocky Tournette under the summit cap, placing it entirely in French territory. The south side was in France, assigned to the commune of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains sharing the summit with its neighbour Chamonix.
The Chamonix commune is popular with skiers and mountain enthusiasts. It is possible via the cable car lift to the Aiguille du Midi to access the off-piste (backcountry) ski run of the Vallée Blanche. Chamonix is the fourth largest commune in area in mainland France.0 Read More
Reykjanes Power is working on the Iceland Deep Drilling Project at the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. On the 25th of January 2017 at 4,659 meters depth it reached a milestone. Temperature at the bottom of the well has already measured at 427°C, with fluid pressure of 340 bars.
The National Energy Authority of Iceland (Orkustofnun)(OS) and four of Iceland’s leading energy companies: Hitaveita Sudurnesja (HS), Landsvirkjun, Orkuveita Reykjavíkur and Mannvit Engineering established this project called “Deep Vision” (IDDP).
The aim is to improve the economics of geothermal energy production. The strategy is to look at the usefulness of supercritical hydrothermal fluids as an economic energy source. In conclusion this will make it possible to tap the temperatures of more than 400 °C (750 °F) by drilling to depths greater than 4.000 meters. The drilling is at a rifted plate margin on the mid-oceanic ridge. Producing steam from a well in a reservoir hotter than 450 °C (840 °F) — at a proposed rate of around 0.67 cubic metres per second (24 cu ft/s) should be sufficient to generate around 45 MW. As a result of that the project could be a major step towards developing high-temperature geothermal resources.
“Deep Vision” recognised at its inception that much research would be needed.
Funding has come from the members of the consortium. The International Continental Scientific Drilling Program and the US National Science Foundation have contributed funding as well.
Researchers from UC Davis, UC Riverside, Stanford University, and the University of Oregon have taken the opportunity to collaborate with IDDP. They have aimed their investigation to gain information about extracting energy from hot rocks on land.0 Read More