7 Reason why Iceland is the Photographer's Paradise
You may have seen a lot of remarkable photos come out of Iceland. Of course, with the right amount of planning, it is possible to take incredible photos almost anywhere. And yet, there remains something special about Iceland; what is it exactly that makes Iceland such a special place to photograph?
We had a really good think about it, and we came up with 7 reasons why Iceland is the photographer’s paradise. We do think (and hope) that you will agree. If you can think of any more reasons, we would love to know what they are: please drop a comment at the end of the post and let us know!
1. Iceland: the Playground of Light
The key ingredient in photography in light, and Iceland probably has the most remarkable and dramatic lighting situation than anywhere else you have ever been. We often say that light likes to play in Iceland. Much more than appearing at the beginning and disappearing at the end of the day, the light in iceland dances and changes constantly in accordance with the tilt of the sun and it’s dramatic variance throughout the year. With deep shadows and brilliant highlights, sometimes, it’s difficult to know where to turn in Iceland.
2. Gnarly Weather Conditions
Why is the light constantly changing in Iceland? Apart form the near-Arctic latitudes, The light in Iceland is constantly changing due to dramatic and often highly unpredictable weather patterns.
You could visit the same place 3, 5 or 10 times, and it will never look the same. Clouds race across the sky, forming and disappearing in plain sight. Rain comes in for a what feels like a second, the sun bursts through behind it, shards of light scatter across the sky. A storm comes in, calmness ensues after it passes. A temporary serenity, the next upheaval is never far away.
3. Water, water everywhere!
With amazing light and unpredictable weather conditions comes the way in which they interact with water. In Iceland, water is everywhere.
It’s no exaggeration to say that there is absolutely no shortage of water in Iceland. Everywhere, there is water in all of it’s different forms. Boiling. Liquid. Frozen. Transient. Falling. Immortal. Green. Blue. Crystal clear.
Make sure you bring a Neutral Density Filter and a Graduated Neutral Density Filter with you for the long exposures. Or just try a natural long exposure with a very deep depth of field. Every photograph can be taken a thousand different ways.
4. Dramatic Scenery
Iceland is, geologically speaking, a very young land, with the oldest parts only 16 million years old. It’s the earth’s newborn. The landscape is wrought, twisted and sculpted by the elements, both from within, by the heat of the earth and from the outside by the relentless pounding of the elements. Jagged rocks, trolls in the peaks, mountain, glaciers, canyons. All right next to each other
5. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
This is when Iceland becomes Dreamland. A kaleidoscope of warm tones and colours unfolds as the harsh light of the high sun gradually fades to a soft yellow. Yellow becomes orange; orange morphs to a soft red. Opposite the sunset, the sky fades from the horizon up to a soft purple and majenta. If you’re lucky, as we have been in recent days, you may even see the moon rise.
Iceland is not replete with wildlife, we admit. However, what we do have here is remarkable. There are arctic foxes, reindeer, sheep and of course the majestic Icelandic Horse. On the cliffs, you will find puffins in their thousands and countless other migratory birds that have laid eggs and will spend the summer on the near-Arctic shores of Iceland, perched on impossible cliffs. See if you can capture them in flight as they whirl past.
7. Be alone: you, your camera and Iceland.
Although iceland has received record numbers of tourists in recent years, and many of the popular “spots” have many people during the daylight hours. There are two strategies to be alone in iceland. Here, we are sharing them both.
First, you should visit the popular spots during the hours in which the least number of people will be there. That is to say, during the middle of night. That is when the light is best.
Second, go where there are no other people. Summer presents remarkable opportunities for exploration and discovery in Iceland, especially within the Highland region. Combine both strategies: take off into the Highlands with nothing but you, a great 4x4 and your gear, and it’s all yours for the taking.
Take amazing pictures, and sign the Icelandic Pledge!
For all of these reasons, come rain or shine, come summer or winter, Iceland is the photographer’s paradise.
Of course when exploring any country and it’s respective natural environments, it’s important to at all times be respectful of the environment. If you have to destroy anything to take a picture, that picture quite simply isn’t worth taking.
This summer, we’re partnering with Inspired by Iceland for a giveaway where you could WIN A TRIP TO ICELAND with all transport, accommodations and amazing activities, including a tour with us!
Make sure you sign the Icelandic Pledge, get a digital badge and prepare for an amazing (and responsible) adventure on your next trip to Iceland!