Gone to See Iceland 2014 – Winter Photography Workshop. Day 5: South East Coast.
More power lines viewed from a bus on a winter day in Iceland. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/7, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro and Focus Magic (to remove some of the motion blur).
It took all night before the power line burned through the tree. I was fortunate that my power was restored after about 2 hours. Those further down the street had to wait. Later on, as the sun was setting the western sky lit up. It looks like light from the sun came in under some remnant clouds from the Nor’easter just before setting. I don’t really have a good western view from my backyard. I ended up going all the way back to the section I have cleared for a wildflower meadow. After all the rain and snow for the storm the section is now a muddy field. The sunset panorama is a composite of six images taken with a Leica CL camera and stitched together using AutoPano Giga Pro. Best viewed in full screen mode.
Gone to See Iceland 2014 – Winter Photography Workshop. Day 4: South East Coast.
Twin-Tripods. Power lines viewed from a bus while traveling on a bleak winter day in Iceland. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/4.5, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro and Google Silver Efex Pro.
Gone to See Iceland 2014 – Winter Photography Workshop. Day 6: Southeast Coast and Golden Circle.
While traveling in Iceland you see many high-voltage power transmission lines. The country generates all of the electricity it needs via hydroelectric and geothermal power plants. Aluminum ore is shipped to Iceland to be smelted because the cost of electricity is so low.
Later on we traveled to Strokkur, a geyser in the Haukadalur geothermal area beside the Hvítá River in southwest Iceland. I caught an image of the bubble about to burst. You can get a lot closer to this geyser than the ones in Yellowstone National Park.
I am not providing the name or recommendation for the workshop leaders for this trip. One of the reasons I signed up was the opportunity to photograph Northern Lights from Iceland. In 2013 I got some great images of the Aurora Borealis in Tromsö, Norway and hoped to do the same in Iceland. I arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland two days before the workshop and arranged a private tour with TripsByLocals.com to go Aurora Hunting. It didn’t look promising when we left the hotel (snowing an hour earlier). For the first 2 hours the sky remained mostly overcast. We then found a spot where the sky started to clear, and started to see the Aurora. It was cold and windy, but I found a place behind the van where I could set up a camera on a tripod. I was able to get 80 images which I used to create a time-lapsed video. The moon was almost full, and lit up the snow covered lava field in the foreground. It turned out that this was my only opportunity to get some good images of the Aurora on this trip. My father commented that it was not as good as the images I got in Tromsö last year. The weather for the Iceland workshop did not cooperate – lots of rain and snow with significant cloud cover. On the first day of the workshop we were supposed to fly from Reykjavik to Höfn but the weather in Höfn didn’t cooperate (even though it was sunny in Reykjavik). After spending some extra time waiting in the Reykjavik airport, it was decided that we would fly to Egilsstadir and take a several hour bus ride to Höfn. On the positive side, I got to see some of the Fjords on the east coast of Iceland, and on the negative side I lost a camera battery on the bus ride between Egilsstadir and Höfn when we had to change from a big 55 passenger bus to a smaller van. Once we got to the airport in Höfn we transferred to the van that would be our transportation for the rest of the workshop. Our first stop was the black sand beach on the coast next to the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. Every day when the tide goes out, ice that calved from the glacier in the lagoon goes out to sea, then when the tide comes in, the ice lands on the black sand beach. The makes for some great photo opportunities. However, as we arrived the rain started. We could only stay out for about 15 minutes before getting soaked in the cold and windy rain. We then went to Hotel Smyrlabjörg. I stayed at the same hotel last summer. The Icelandic food served at dinner was outstanding. When I went to sleep it was still raining. During the night the wind increased to the point it sounded like a train was passing outside my window. At about 01:30 AM I woke up and could see some stars in the sky outside my window. I went outside to get a look. It was still very windy. Windy to the point that I could barely stand up. I took a couple of pictures, and could see that the Northern Lights were starting – but there was no way I would be able to stay out in the gale force winds. So I went back to bed. The next morning at breakfast our workshop leader was gushing about how great the Aurora was between 03:30 AM and 05:30 AM. Unfortunately, he didn’t bother to wake the majority of the workshop participants even though he stayed out taking images for his portfolio. There were lots of apologies and excuses that he didn’t know what rooms we were in, but we were all staying in adjacent rooms. This turned out to be the one and only night that the Aurora were visible during the workshop. I was lucky to get the one night before the workshop to see and photograph the Aurora. Most of the others that spent thousands of dollars to see and photograph the Northern Lights as part of the workshop were very disappointed.