Gatklettur Rock Arch, Snaefellsnes peninsula is a magnificent phenomena in West Iceland. It is a marvel to photograph no matter what the weather is. We like visiting the arch at high tides in howling winds when huge breakers roll in embracing the arch. The rock is a circular arch. It shows how distinctive wave action has eroded the rocks into arches and beautiful swirled patterns.
Thankfully, Gatklettur is less frequently visited by guests to Iceland, so there is a good chance we’ll have this scenic stop all to ourself. The best way to access the rock arch is to hike from Arnarstapi to Hellnar, taking in the beautiful coastlines and gorgeous mountain backdrop as you walk. This route is approximately 5 km and should take around two hours. Gatklettur is far closer to Arnarstapi than Hellnar.
There is great birdlife around the cliffs. Some of the birds that can be photographed at a close range. They are species like kitty wakes, fulmars, glaucious gulls, eider ducks, schags, cormorants etc.0 Read More
Gudnahellir Cave is one of the locations we have lately been photographing on a photo project for the 90 year anniversary book project for the Iceland Touring Association. The book covers the Mosfellsheidi moor. When you think of it the Mosfellsheidi moor is just a few minutes drive from our home. There are so many things and places there to see we never knew of. Take this cave for instance. Gudnahellir cave. We did not know about its existance.
Mosfellsheiði is a plateau in the southwest of Iceland between Mosfellsbær and Þingvellir. It is part of the Highland of Iceland.0 Read More
The Indian Head is a rock on the Kleifarvatn lake just 20 km from Reykjavik. As winter has arrived we have shorter days and longer nights with darkness. But we have also candlelights and coziness so it is a bit of an effort to go out and photograph the Northern lights.
The other night was very good for Northern lights with a Kp value of almost 9. Golden opportunity to go out and catch some Northern Lights. So I headed out to the Indian Head on the Kleifarvatn lake. I had my Nikon D810 on a tripod with 24-70mm lens, ISO 800, 24mm f/2,8 and 13 sec. I was quite satisfied when I came back home 2 hours later.0 Read More
The Phantom 4 drone opens up a lot of new possibilities in photography and video i.e. Droneography. I shot this with the drone at sunset in Melrakkasletta, Northeast Iceland as the midnight sun shone on our tent.
On our two week trip to the Northeast Iceland last week I only photographed and made videos with the drone. It was a revelation to see the land from this new perspective. It always is. All of a sudden big vistas open up that we could never record before. We are still learning to see. Now we need to see from the air before we launch the drone. This is a completely new way of pre visualising.
Come drone with us.
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The Icelandic horse is known for its soft and sweet nature. Consequently it is popular with children. On a photo tour in North Iceland we visited the Gardshorn horse breeding farm. There we photographed beautiful horses and this lovely little lady of the house Ylva Sól.
The Icelandic horse is a unique breed of smallish horses that came to Iceland with the first settlers from Norway 1100 years ago. Archeological digs in Europe have revealed that it is descendent from an ancient breed of horses. This breed is extinct outside of Iceland, where it has been preserved in isolation. The Icelandic, as it is commonly referred to, is known for being sure-footed and able to cross rough terrain. Especially relevant it displays two gaits in addition to the typical walk, trot, and canter/gallop commonly displayed by other breeds. The first additional gait is a four-beat lateral ambling gait called tölt.
The breed also performs a pace called skeið, or “flying pace”. Skeið is used in pacing races. It is fast and smooth, with some horses able to reach up to 50 km/h (30 mph). It is not a gait for long-distance travel.
The Icelandic horse comes in many different colours. The Icelandic language includes more than 100 names for the various colours and color patterns. It is small, weighing between 330 and 380 kilograms (730 and 840 lb) and standing an average of 132 to 142 cm (52 to 56 inches) high. It has a spirited temperament and a large personality.
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Midsummer nights in Iceland such as this one make you not want to go to sleep at all. During summer we have very long days and hardly any nights. Sunset takes place during the night and the sun rises during the night. In some places the sun does not set at all.
This photo we took with on iPhone in the highlands in Northeast Iceland at the Grimsstadir farm. It is the most isolated farm in Iceland. Here also in most winters the lowest temperatures are reached. It get very very cold reaching lower than -20°C.
Close by is the Dettifoss waterfall the most powerful waterfall in Europe. We love travelling into this area for photography during winter.0 Read More
Got my new drone yesterday and made this video of Hafnarfjordur Church. For more than a century photography has been around. In the last five to ten years it has seen greater technological change than in the previous 100 years. One new technique is Drone videography and photography. Click for my first point-of-interest video taken with a Phantom 4 drone. The church is in my home town of Hafnarfjordur, Iceland. For a video like this that circles a building you need calm weather.
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. The harbour is the main reason for the community’s prosperity. The sea provides its commercial and cultural lifeline. Foreign merchant established the town. They found the secluded harbour conveniently located near the royal estate at Bessastaðir (now the residence of the president of Iceland).
Englishmen began trading in Hafnarfjörður in the 15th century, although Dutch and German merchants also traded with Icelanders. Over the centuries, various European nations competed for trade supremacy in the community, and by the 18th century, Hafnarfjordur had become Iceland’s major trading centre. Fishing, commerce and services have long been the prominent business sectors in Hafnarfjordur.
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Every year we have Summer Solstice i.e. the longest day of the year. Grimsey island lies by the Arctic Circle off Iceland. There the sun does not set but hovers above the horizon and then starts rising again. With me was my wife Thora Hronn the sunshine of my life for 44 years. So I had a double Summer Solstice. What greater happiness can you ask for?
The summer solstice occurs during the hemisphere’s summer. This in June in the Northern Hemisphere and December in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, it occurs some time between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 each year in the Southern Hemisphere. The same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the winter solstice.
The Grimsey island is a bird photographer’s dream. The birdlife in Grimsey is unique with numerous different species and unusually dense populations. The birdlife is flourishing due to several reasons. Rich fishing grounds are close by. No rats or mice are on the island. Hunting of the birds and collection of their eggs has been reduced to a minimum since earlier times.
During summer is Grímsey a home to nearly all of the main wader, moorland and seabirds that visit Iceland.
Grímsey is one of the best places in Iceland for watching cliff nesting birds like; Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), Razorbill (Alca torda), Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle) and Murre, both Common Murre or Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) & Thick-billed Murre or Brünnich’s Guillemot (Uria lomvia). Grímsey has one of Iceland’s largest Tern nesting sites and one of the largest Puffin colonies in Iceland. Commonly seen in Grímsey are also birds like e.g. the White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), the Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) and the Northern Wheatear or Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe).
The best season for watching birds is from April till August. Migrating birds start to leave the island for warmer places at the end of August. Sea birds head out for the sea. Most of the sea birds stay out on the open sea during the winter. They start returning in the end of February to secure a nesting spot in the densely populated cliffs. Best time to view the Puffins is from the end of April till the beginning of August.
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Timing of the day is critical in landscape photography. The sandstone formations in Illagil gorge in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve are a good example. If you come too early in the day the sun is shining right into the cracks lighting them up, no shadows. If you come too late the sun has disappeared behind the tall mountains to the south. The sandstone is very black as it is composed of relatively fresh volcanic ash. In the foreground we have the green moss that covers a large part of this area. Deep blacks and super greens are the predominant colours. This area opens up only late June due to snow. It closes in September/October.0 Read More
The day I took this photograph of the Indian Head, Kleifarvatn lake, Iceland I decided not to travel far. Instead to focus on the moment and composition rather than travel, technology and tripods. So I drove 10 minutes from my house to a favourite spot on the Kleifarvatn lake called Indian Head. Staying within our city limits with my 8 MP iPhone as my camera. After some post-processing with the Snapseed app in the iPhone I was happy.
In our landscape photography we are too often occupied with travelling far and wide. Also we want to have the latest equipment with a maximum number of megapixels etc. etc. Those thoughts tend to overshadow two very important things in photography. THE MOMENT and THE COMPOSITION. I must admit I fall into those pits as often as any of you.
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We found this Galloping Lady Reykjanes Peninsula the other day. We were going to photograph the big breakers coming in from the Atlantic. It was extremely windy. All of a sudden this lady comes galloping down the mountainside the wind sweeping her up into the air every now and then. She did escape unharmed. Made for a nice silhouette though.
The Reykjanes peninsula is located on a drift zone, between two continents, the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. It is a unique site where you can find different elements that exist because of the drift zone; geothermal energy, lava fields and other natural phenomenon.0 Read More
We exhibited photographs in the Faroe Islands during the Faroe Islands Literature Days and found this Faroe Islands Horse. The day after the opening we started out in total darkness and drove north to Saksund fjord to photograph the beautiful Duvugardur Musem. When we arrived there at sunrise this horse welcomed us and my wife took this photograph. A most memorable morning.
The Faroe or Faeroe Islands (in Faroese Føroyar) are 18 islands in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. The Islands are a self-governing island territory of Denmark, although they politically aim for higher independence. The Islands have a population of nearly 50,000, and a language and culture of their own. When visiting the Faroes you are never more than 5km (3 miles) away from the ocean. The countryside is dominated by steep mountains and there are about 70,000 sheep and some 2 million pairs of seabirds, including the largest colony of storm petrels in the world. The Faroe Islands are undeniably beautiful: green, rugged and wind-swept. Most visitors to the islands come between early July and late August.
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