Tag Archives: Iceland

Chapter 4

France, Iceland, (Jul, 2014)

Well a bit of an uneventful day today, but started of with up and out there at 5:30am to get the train into the city to shoot the Louvre & Pyramids for one more time before I leave for Iceland, so grabbed all of the gear and headed out.

Got to the train station went to buy a ticket, but all of the machines were out of order, so looked around for an assistant, once found I asked her what was going on, and how could I get a ticket, her answer was simply go to another station, no we can do it manually etc, just go to another station, oh well not to worry, sounds worse that it was, there was another one down the street about 300meters.

So on my way to the other station, and decided to capture some street stuff in stead, so that is what I did for the next few hours.  Then back to the hotel had some breakfast, packed my backs and headed to the Airport for an 11:00am flight.

Arrived at Terminal 1, people everywhere, stood in the wrong que again, only for about 10mins, then asked an official and he directed me to the right line, so off I went to line up again.  Stood in the que for 3/4 of an hour, and ended up about 3 meters from the front, and noticed that others had already got bag tags on their bags, so I asked the people in front of me about this, and they said you have to self check-in over there and the kiosk will printout your tags, oh no not again! 

Anyway the people looked after my gear while I did just that, but I had extra bags so after waiting in the que there, when I entered the flight booking number in etc, it said that it can’t help me see the check-in staff, waste to time #@$@.  So back to the line, thanked the people for looking after my gear, and got to the counter, and checked-in, however I had to pay 60euros for the extra bags,which I was already aware, so no big shock there, however he could not take cash, so I had to go up a couple of floors to pay the bounty and return back to get my boarding pass, more que’s i was thinking, but luck was on my side, no que in and out in a flash, hooray. After all of that on the plane and away, five hours later I arrive in Iceland. Got on the bus and headed into Reykjavik, the main city here and checked into my hotel.

The weather outside was cold and very overcast, no special light to talk about, so I though that i would go down to the bar to have a beer at the bar instead,  Met some interesting people from all over the place, ended up dining with a group, had a few too many beers, but it is still daylight, what ??, yes it was not that I had drunk myself though to another day, it was because the sun sets here at the moment at 11:00pm and even then it remains twilight till it rises again at 4:00am so longs days ahead.  We are currently at about 64degrees north, and will be heading further north over the next week to about 66degrees, so I have now travelled about 92 degrees of latitude and about 170 degrees of longitude, almost directly opposite Australia.

Anyway I am carying on with crap, so thanks for reading, cheers

Chapter 5

Iceland, (Aug, 2014)

Started the day a bit slow due to Jetlag I am thinking, had absolutely nothing to do with the excess of beers, anyway I am now working on a medical degree as I found a few panidol fixes the problem, so had some breakfast and move on with camera in hand, this time I packed light with the small Fujifilm X-T1. 

Headed down to the city centre, about a half hour walk from where I am staying, but with my meandering took me about three hours, some beautiful streets & buildings, mostly small three story houses, shops & cafe’s of all types of cuisine, all joined together on each side, the main part of the city is like a mall where people walk everywhere and cars give way to the people.

On top of the rise in the centre of the city stands a large church, which was completed in 1986, apparently took 7 years to design & plan, then another 38 years to build, the design inspiration was based on the lava flows of Iceland. It has a lift that goes almost all of the way to the top with just four-five flights of stairs to climb but the view is worth it, cost about 700krona ($7 AU).

Anyway I just wandered about the city photographing the buildings & street etc, I big protest march was on in which held up traffic for the best part of an hour, I could not understand what the issue was but I think it was based around someone being raped and those responsible not being brought to justice, thousands of people in the march, placards and statements on clothing, by now it was 4:00pm, so I headed back to the hotel, walking everywhere, tried to hire a car for the rest of the day, but the company wanted 15,000 krona ($150 AU) just for the afternoon, no discount, remembering that this was 4:00pm, seems a bit stupid but the sun does not set here until 11:20pm and it remains half light past midnight, it just does not get dark here at the moment!.

I nearly got ran over today, I am wandering along reviewing my images and just walked out in front of the traffic, head down looking at the images on my camera, all of a sudden I heard this loud horn and a screeching car came to a stop, thank my lucky stars i can tell you !!!

So I got back to the hotel, had a rest for a few hours and grabbed my gear to go and photograph the house & church on Videy Island from the sea wall at sunset, spent a few hours capturing the last of the day there, 10:00pm and the sun was now behind the clouds, so shoot finished, but got some good images of it I think, we will see, so finished the day by grabbing some dinner just before the cafe up the road closed, uploaded my images and backed up, time now is midnight, and I can still see everything, still light, can’t wait to get a bit of clear weather on the road over the next two weeks.

OK that was my day, so see you later

Chapter 6

Iceland, (Aug, 2014)

Well have now been in Iceland for about 6 days, and been on a photography tour with a dozen other photographers headed up by Joshua Holko and Daniel Bergman, we left Reykjavik and headed up into central Iceland to where the volcanic desert dunes are, this area is a large National Park, and are for the sake of another word New Earth generated from the one of last eruptions some 100+ years ago, but it is interesting to see first hand how mother nature slowly rebuilds the ecology.

You can literally see each stage of the rebuild, firstly the big lava rocks slowly degrade or erode into smaller rocks, then into gravel, and further to a much finer matter that almost resembles a course soil, slowly then life appears firstly as moss & fungus, increasing in size to a very short sort of grass, then to small flowers and bushes, and the steps of the flora just to continue to increase in size and density, and all of a sudden you have life restored, after 100+ of years.

As the days are very long it is not only difficult to remember what day it is but also what the time is, as it is so daylight all of the time, and our guides are relentless at lets get going guys!!  Grab your gear and head of to shoot another amazing landscape, the landscape vista’s here in Iceland are like nothing else that you are likely to see anywhere else in the world, the hue’s colours are just glorious, all great stuff to make a stunning image.   This country may be very isolated from the rest of the world, but there are plenty of people about everywhere, but nowhere near the crowds of say France that I have sadly witnessed recently. Anyway we have been to some great places, the attached photos will show some of these highlights.

On our second day out with the guys on the workshop, we travelled across the lava desert to some amazing volcanic craters and mountains, one of which we were informed that we were to climb, and climb we did, up we all went on this little goat track about a meter wide with 40 degree cliffs on both sides of the track, any wrong move and you would be in trouble, let me tell you, step by step encouraged by the fitter members of the group, the wind was blowing so bloody hard it would almost knock you off track.  At last we reached the top, well what a view, certainly worth the effort, even though it was hard work, but the reward was the view that is for sure.

Spent some time photographing the glacial ice on the beach near Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Vatnajokull region, which is located midway along the east coast of Iceland, the sand there is pitch black so the contrasts between the two, that is the Ice & Sand is like comparing black & white.  Anyway whilst I was photographing the ice, I had my new Fujifilm camera right down low on a small heap of racked up sand, elevating the camera about 4” above the incoming waves, well as you would know it, the one in a hundred waves came crashing in and swamped me and the camera, but we managed to grab a dry cloth (my shirt) and a bottle of fresh water, so then washed the camera in clean Icelandic fresh water & dried it off, the expressed comments were “that’s another camera that has met it’s demise here”, “No way that is going to work!!”, well despite all, turned the power on and wollahh!!  everything lit up and away I went, all good, Fujifilm say that the camera is very water resistant, well now I can verify it.  It just seems that me and water always seem to get together during trips ??

My bloggs are are bit further apart, but hopefully this will improve, cheers

Chapter 7

Iceland, (Aug, 2014)

Having survived the start of our workshop with Daniel Bergmann & Joshua Holko, we gradually headed further north up the east coast of Iceland.  We stopped at a small town called Vik, it was one of those typical scenes you would see in the movies, neat & tidy streets with small 2-3 stories shops & houses and a lovely church on flats below the mountains that stood out due to the contrasts of colours White church with a Red roof against green mountains and a blue sky, postcard stuff.

We arrived at our destination where we would spend the next three day, firstly we visited the geothermal areas, where the superheated underground water comes to the surface, no geysers but boiling mud and a strong smell of sulphur, although there were plenty of vents just near the carpark on the flat ground, our trusted guides advised us that the best views of them were way up there, pointing to the top of the mountain, so we had to again climb another peak with all of our gear on our backs, starting to feel like a donkey I am, possibly starting to smell like one too, as whilst it is cool at the bottom, when you get to the top it can be significantly colder and blowing a gale, so you have to dress for the worst.  Once at the top, we had a full 360degree view of the whole area, we would stay here until the sun went down, that would be at about 11:00pm, well it was worth the climb, got some spectacular images of the setting sun over the geothermal area, and surrounding landscape. Well worth the climb! despite the knees telling me otherwise 

From here we travelled further north to the first of the waterfalls that we would visit, Godifoss (“Foss” meaning Waterfall) the waterfalls here in Iceland are extremely large to those that we see in Australia, massive amounts of water pouring over the edges of canyon walls, making each one of these waterfalls a spectacle not too be missed.  Lots of driving and not much sleep, we saw every sunset and every sunrise, most days only one to two hours sleep between shoots, but it was all worth it in the end, stunning vistas all over this country, certainly worth the visit. 

Now back in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, so now I need to get my laundry done, as all of my cloths have been used, smell of dirt and sulphur mud etc, getting your washing done by the hotel is extremely expensive, like @AU$3.50 for a pair of socks, AU$11.00 for Jeans, so I headed down to the local Laundry Cafe, only had three machines, one out of order, three dryers, one out of order, another broke down, so one of the young girls manhandled it out of the enclosure it was in, pulled the top of it did whatever, put it back and away it went.  Four & a half hours later, cloths washed and sort of dry.

Our last day in Iceland means that I say goodbye to some new found friends, what a great bunch of people from all over the world, Norway, America, Canada, Italy, Iceland, Australia, & Germany, I hope that we will continue to stay in touch, as I would like that.  So it is now goodbye Iceland and hello northern Europe.