Iceland: The Land of Fire and Ice


Iceland: The Land of Fire and Ice

Jokulsarlon Lagoon

I first went to Iceland in 2011 and was so blown away by the spectacular scenery; I just had to go back. I now take other photographers to these locations and their joy and amazement is plain to see.

It’s a 4 ½ hour drive from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, to the furthest point on our trip, Jokulsarlon. Once you leave the hustle and bustle of the Capital, you really feel as though you are out in the wild landscape of Iceland.

Iceland has many waterfalls and by taking a short detour from the main road, you can walk right up to Skógafoss, one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. If it’s a sunny day, you should be able to see a beautiful single or double rainbow produced by the large amount of spray.

Skogafoss Waterfall

It’s well worth stopping at the little town of Vik, which has a lovely traditional Icelandic church.

Vik Church

The Vik coastline is home to the beautiful volcanic black pebble beach of Reynisfjara and sitting just off the coast is a group of basalt rock stacks known as ‘Reynisdrangar’.

Basalt sea stacks, Reynisdrangar, Vik Coast

A further 2 hour drive and you reach the jewel in the crown; Jokulsarlon.  Jokulsarlon Glacial lagoon has been used in many films including James Bond “Die another Day” and when you see it with your own eyes, you can immediately see why; it takes your breath away.   Ice breaks away from the main glacier filling the lagoon with icebergs of different sizes, shapes, textures and colours. Some icebergs can be around 50ft high.

Jokulsarlon Lagoon

This is a living location and therefore never looks the same twice. The lagoon is tidal so the ice is constantly moving which means from a photographic point of view, there are always new compositions to find. It’s an amazing spot for photography.

Jokulsarlon Lagoon

The tidal aspect of this location means that as the larger icebergs begin to melt, they break into smaller icebergs, leave the lagoon and head out to sea. They are tossed around in the waves and sculpted into beautiful shapes that are then washed up on the nearby black beach.  This is a spectacular location. Every time I’ve visited this beach, the quantity of ice and the size of the icebergs have been different. It’s a very daunting location to photograph with the main thought being “where do I start”. I recommend just taking some time to look and take in this spectacular sight, walk up and down the beach amid the ice until inspiration strikes.

Beached Iceberg

I love taking photographs here because every photograph is unique. The shape, size, texture and colour of the ice, composition, light, and weather conditions won’t be the same again in fact, these change hour by hour, which is why we like to return several times during our trips. This is a location that has to be seen to be believed.

Ice on the beach

A trip to see the amazing and surreal landscape of Iceland is unforgettable. If you are lucky you may even see the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis.

Aurora Borealis

About the author:
Cath Evans is a professional landscape and coastal photographer from the UK. She travels nationally and internationally capturing images for her own pleasure and others to enjoy which she shares on her website www.cathevans.com 
Cath runs holidays for photographers for www.tripodsatdawn.com where she enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge of photography.

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