Sunset at Hallormsstadhur, Iceland

Chasing Light - the Landscape of Iceland

These days, you probably won’t be the first person to visit this part of Iceland. You won’t be the first to photograph that landscape in this part of the world. You won’t be the first to drive down that road. But it is still the first time you see it with your own eyes. It is still the first time to encounter the landscape on your own. You, the landscape and the light. And your camera.

Iceland constantly changes. Light constantly changes. Time for a hunt.

There is no reason to stay at home.

 


Sunrise at Stokksnes, Iceland

The Golden Hour at Vestrahorn and Stokksnes, Iceland

Stokksnes is a headland north of Höfn í Hornafirði, mostly famous for its amazing beach in front of the mountains of Klifatindur.

The Golden Hour paints Stokksnes in pink and blue.

Getting up at around 2.30am during summer is a tough task. But those few moments during the Golden Hour blows away the tiredness. The clouds around the well-known Vestrahorn, the most popular mountain of Klifatindur, are painted in pink and blue. The grains of sand seem to adopt the color tone.
The large vistas, together with the stunning contrast of a black sandy beach, the green plants and the rough moutains, make it the most popular photographic spot in south-east Iceland.

 

Getting to and away from the landscape around  is a truly remarkable experience as well. The road along is worth the hike to the old and (hopefully) abandoned NATO radio station. Hiking towards Vestrahorn along the coastal line will lead you to an early (and reconstructed) Viking settlement.

 

You can (legally) stay the short night at the Viking Cafe, as its parking lot is a camping ground as well.

 


Sunset at Muottas Muragl, Engadin, Switzerland

Chasing light and catching fog at Engadin, Switzerland

The Engadin valley is a beautiful alpine region around the famous village of St. Moritz in the Canton Graubünden.

St. Moritz, the mountains and its glaciers. Somewhere behind God’s bank of fog.

The region offers tons of hiking possibilities. Glaciers around Piz Bernia and Piz Palü like the dying Morteratsch Glacier. Beautiful views and ridgeways around Muottas Muragl with an amazing view of the Upper Engadine and St. Moritz. You enjoy the railway to Muottas Muragl. You are waiting for the sun to set behind the mountains. For the light to paint the valley into a golden ocean.

 

Photography is usually, mostly and sometimes about planning. It’s about the right time of the day (or night) and light. Sometimes, it’s just about making the best of what’s visible. Or sensible.

 


Sunrise at Kirkjufell, Snæfellsnes, Iceland

The Light and Change of Kirkjufell, Iceland

Kirkjufell is located on the Northern coast of Snæfellsnes and is considered Iceland’s most popular and most photographed mountain.

Kirkjufell – the church mountain. Iceland’s Sugarloaf.

There is a simple reason for this popularity: First, glaciers shaped the 463m Kirkjufell, creating an almost iconic shape. Besides its astonishing visual look, the area around the tiny village of Grundarfjörður is also famous for the several cascades of the waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss. Plenty of tiny waterfalls create a landscape worth being shown in any fantasy movie. The river winds itself towards the fjord, guiding us towards the summit.

 

Be patient.

Light changes anything. The mountain recieves a totally different aura during the several times of the day. Sit down and breath during those few hours between twilight and dawn. Wait for the mountain to change during Golden Hour and during Blue Hour.

 

 

 


Gullfoss, Iceland

Exploring South-West of Iceland - The Golden Circle, Hvalfjörður and more waterfalls

The Golden Circle: Þingvellir, Haukaladur and Gullfoss

One of the most popular routes of Iceland is the so called Golden Circle: Starting in the capital of Reykjavík, on this 300km route the most popular stops are the Þingvellir National Park with its historical, cultural and geological sites, the geothermal area of Haukadalur and the famous Gullfoss.

 

However, there are plenty of other places to visit along the route. Above, there is an impression of Bruarfoss. This hidden gem of a waterfall can be found after some hiking, starting at the crossroad of roads 37/355.

Hvalfjörður and Glymur Waterfall

West of Akranes, the fjord of Hvalfjördur presents its stunning and diverse volcanic landscape. The hike to Glymur, the second-highest waterfall of Iceland, should be made on the river’s right hand side to get a better view of its cascades.

 

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss

If you keep on driving route 1 (and 50), you will eventually arrive at one of the most bizarre waterfalls of Iceland. Actually, Hraunfossar is an entire series of waterfalls over a distance of appr. 900 meters of the river Hvítá. A few meters above Hraunfossar, Barnafoss bursts out of the volcanic rocks.

 

The waterfall is named after an Icelandic folk tale: Two boys decided to follow their parents to church although they should have stayed at home. To cross the river, they walked over a natural stone-bridge. But as they’ve become very tired, they fell into the water and drowned. An earthquake destroyed the natural arc.

 


Sunrise at Gatklettur near Arnarstapi, Iceland

The peninsula of Snæfellsnes, Iceland

Snæfellsnes – Iceland en Miniature

Snaefellsnes, the peninsula in the western part of Iceland: Some of the island’s most beautiful landmarks create a stunning landscape.
Because of the remote location of Snaefellsnes, travelling on road 54 and 574 is the best way to get around. The Snæfellsjökull, a volcano whose summit is covered by a huge glacier, dominates the entire peninsula. Due to its almost mystic aura, this place is well known: According to Jules Verne, descending into the jökull of Snaefell marks the beginning of the Journey of the Center of the Earth.

 

Búðir, Arnarstapi and Gatklettur

We do breath some fresh air at the tiny village of Búðir with its few houses and one of the oldest (wooden) churches of Iceland: Búðakirkja.
In Arnarstapi, Jules Vernes last stop before the caves of Snaefellsjökull, the ocean created stunning views at the cliff of Gatklettur and its stone archs. Again, the sunrise paints a wonderful pink into the sky. But you probably want to continue: A couple of miles ahead, the basalt rock pinnacles of Lóndranger arise.

 

Be aware though: During all the hiking around the area of Snaefell, one should keep an eye on attacking birds – in the Alfred Hitchcock way. You constantly seem to come way to close to their breeding grounds. Better don’t be surprised if you see people carrying posts above their head. Or even tripods. It really helps.

Kirkjufell – how mother nature shows off at Snæfellsnes

Our tour continues to the famous mountain Kirkjufell and its attendant waterfalls: Kirkjufellfoss. It somehow feels like it is nature’s way to show mankind how to pause for a moment and simply accept its sheer beauty. The mountain constantly changes its significant shape. The light of those ridiculous short nights during the summer of July offers hours of magical moments.

 

For a moment, we need to rest here.

 


Sunset at Reine, Lofoten

The Mountains of Lofoten, Norway

Exploring the mountains of Lofoten Islands has to be a vertical experience.

There is so much more about the landscape then scenic fjords with the lonely beaches. It is also about dramatic mountains, sometimes nearly impossible to climb. It’s about the contrast of light and shadow, water and rocks. It is about the constant change of light, a ballett of pink and blue.
The Islands offer countless possiblities, each of them creating an unforgettable experience. There is no need to be a Alpine specialist – it does help though; especially during Norway’s winter.

 

Especially the area around Reine (and of course Sakirsoya and Hamnoya) offers tons of views to incredibly steep mountains. Olstinde mountain, combined with the yellow houses of Sakrisoy, is definetly a must see for all – best seen from Olenilsoya. The landscape around Kerkfjorden / Reine is worth the sometimes pretty strenuous hiking.

While most of the views are easily accessible by short walks, the real deal is about exploring and conquering. To prepare yourself properly, you should check out this map of Lofoten Mountains.

 


Sunset at Skagsanden Beach, Lofoten

The Beaches of Lofoten, Norway (III)

The most scenic beaches of Lofoten are the ones you visit. How about those?

Countless fjords, endless beaches, impressive mountains – there simply isn’t one perfect beach on the Islands. There are dozens of them. Each of them insanely spectacular after and during those short but intense snow storms. The experience of arctic beaches is often beyond imagination. Especially at night, when you fairly often have the chance to encounter the famous aurora borealis.

Haukland Beach – the all time classic of Lofoten’s beaches. Vik Beach – Haukland’s smaller brother, facing the same fjord. Skagsanden Beach. The Beaches of Storsandness and Myrland, which are usually less crowded. The ones facing to the north are the ones who are usually the place to be for northern lights. The different times of the day. And of course – winter.
Ask Duncan for his Travel Guide to Beaches.

 

Lofoten, Norway. Limited edition prints coming soon.

Storm over Myrland Beach, Lofoten
Storm over Myrland Beach, Lofoten

Meanwhile, the picture above represents a special project I am currently working on. There will be a small selection of prints (limited edition of 10) made on Hahnemühle paper. Pictures will be published once the printing and framing had been done.

In case you’re interested in supporting the series, feel free to contact me. The final product will be for sale via this website.

 


The Village of Nusfjord, Lofoten

Travelling Lofoten, Norway - Roads & Villages

Travelling Lofoten, Norway, is more then just following E10. It’s about getting lost.

The best way to get an overview of Lofoten Islands is to drive along the European Route E10. Starting at Å (and actually ending at Luleå, Sweden), it’s one of the most scenic routes I have driven for a while. You’ll be amazed about those beautiful vistas – and you might be shocked on what to miss in case you stick to this single route.
Turn left on the island of Flakstadøya and visit the tiny village of Nusfjord, one of the oldest (and best preserfed) villages of Lofoten. You’ll find plenty of beautiful bays with its typical rorbu cabins.