Posts Tagged ‘Icelandic nature’

Visiting Iceland’s Famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Beach

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Ice glistens like crystal on the black sand beach at Jökulsárlón

The coldest morning I spent this year was when I awoke before dawn so I could photograph the sunrise on the beach at Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon in southern Iceland located in Vatnajokull National Park. The images in this post are some of my favorites from that frigid morning, and the afternoon before.

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Afternoon view of an iceberg in Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón has both a large glacial lake and a nearby beach, where you can see the icebergs head off into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Some chunks of ice wind up on the beach. In the shifting morning light, they can glisten like giant crystals and are incredibly beautiful.

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Calm before the storm on Iceland’s Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

 Jökulsárlón is such a uniquely beautiful spot it’s a favorite spot for Hollywood filmmakers.

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Cold light on an iceberg in Jökulsárlón

Scenes from the James Bond films Die Another Day and A View to a Kill as well as Batman Begins and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider have been shot here.
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Left: pastel morning skies on the beach at Jökulsárlón  Right: waves crashing on icebergs on the Jökulsárlón beach

Here’s some video I shot on my iPhone 6s of that chilly morning on the beach at Jökulsárlón:

Video of sunrise at Jökulsárlón Beach. The wind you hear was cold.

With gorgeous soft light that makes the ice seem to glow from within, it’s not a surprise that Jökulsárlón is such a dream location for photographers.

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At sunrise, the light is as cold as the icebergs on the beach

The glowing icebergs and dramatic landscape make Jökulsárlón one of my favorite spots in Iceland. Tourists love it and many photographers were deeply committed, dressed in waders to keep the chilly waters of the Atlantic from getting them wet.

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Ice ice baby

 The light was so gorgeous many of the images I shot required no editing or retouching.

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Chilly morning on the beach of the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

 Visiting Jökulsárlón was part of my two day Glacial Lagoon tour with my fabulous guide, Jorunn Sjofn Gudlaugsdottir.

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Beached iceberg

The blocks of icebergs on the black sand beach make for dramatic images. Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

Photographers love Iceland’s Glacial Lagoon

This is a popular spot for photographers to attempt to capture shots of the Northern Lights, although they did not make an appearance the night we tried.

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Dirty ice and lots of tripods = Iceland realness

I am so grateful we called off our aurora hunt just past midnight so we had the energy to get to Jökulsárlón’s black sand beach before sunrise. It was so worth it.

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Blue ice in the morning sun

I had so much fun shooting I did not realize how cold my hands were until I got back into the car and took off my gloves. I usually wear fingerless cashmere gloves for shooting, but I’d advise something warmer and more weatherproof if you’re shooting here at dawn.

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Lonely blue iceberg

I usually wear fingerless cashmere gloves for shooting, but I’d advise something warmer and more weatherproof if you’re planning a trip to Jökulsárlón shooting here at dawn (or at night).

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Left: glowing blue ice and puffy clouds Right: this piece of ice looked like a fish up close

If any photographers have suggestions for gloves that work for photographers in cold and damp climates, please leave your suggestions in the comments thread.

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Ripples and bokah on the Jökulsárlón Glacial lake

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Exploring the Eldhraun Lava Field in Iceland

Nordic Little Red Riding Hood

Exploring Iceland’s second-largest lava field, Eldhraun, was like being transported into some moody Nordic fairytale. Discovering and photographing Eldhraun was an unexpected joy in southern Iceland. I wouldn’t have found this highly photogenic area without the help of my photo guide, Jorunn of Iceland Photo Tours who took Anastasia and I here on the first day of our Two Day Photo Tour of The Glacial Lagoon.

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Scenes from Eldraun: Woolly fringe moss grows thick as a futon over lava rock

Moss has grown thick as a mattress on the rocky craters of lava, which date back to an eruption from 1783-84, when Iceland was still part of the Danish Kingdom. The Eldhraun lava field covers about 218 square miles (565 square kilometers) of ground in southern Iceland.

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Left: Anastasia exploring Eldhraun Right: a crevice in the Eldhraun lava field

Now there is plant life peeking through the woolly fringe moss (scientific name Racomitrium lanuginosum) adding unexpected pops of color to this already moody and magical landscape.

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Yellow leaves in the wooly moss

With the skies shifting colors, I keep expecting to see Jon Snow, or at least a wildling or five.

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Left: Ana wandering through Eldraun Right: Red rain coat in Iceland’s second largest lava field

Having Anastasia wear a red raincoat added some extra contrast and interest to the landscape and transformed her into a Nordic Little Red Riding Hood.

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Plant life amidst the wooly moss of Eldhraun

The crew of the Apollo 11 (US astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) practiced before their moonlanding on this otherworldly landscape.

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Searching for trolls in  the Eldhraun 

In 2014 a new eruption created the Holuhraun lava field, which is now the biggest in Iceland. It’s also located in the Icelandic Highlands.

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The starkly beautiful moody landscape of Eldraun

 Eldhraun means “fire lava.”

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Red Rain Coat in the Eldraun Lava Field in Iceland

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A Visit to the Haukadalur Geothermal Area and Geysir, Iceland

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Obligatory geysir eruption money shot

One of the reasons Iceland’s geographic is so dramatic is because of all the geothermal activity on the island nation. The Haukadalur geothermal region, and Strokkur geysir, are one of the most famous tourist attractions in Iceland and a stop on any good tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle.

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Steam and clouds make Geysir’s geothermic landscape dramatic and beautiful

Strokkur geysir, which erupts every five to 15 minutes, is Iceland’s answer to Old Faithful. The plumes of steam and wispy clouds make for some very unique scenery.

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Tourists visiting Geysir geothermic area in Iceland

Anastasia caught the geysir’s eruption below with her iPhone. Check it out:

 Video of Iceland’s Geysir erupting

The geysir’s plume of steamy water ranges can reach up to 30 meters when it erupts, sometimes with little warning. During our visit it erupted a few times with the water topping out at around 15 meters in height.

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Photographers waiting for the geysir are a common sight in the area

The Haukadalur geothermic region and Geysir are well equipped for tourists, with ample parking and a gift shop and cafeteria. Visiting geysir is free.

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Jorunn, our photo guide, ready to capture geysir’s eruption

 I thought the muddy streams of hot geothermal water made for interesting contrast with the steam and clouds.

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Muddy, moody landscape near Geysir

Our visit to geysir was part of our Golden Circle Day Tour with Jorunn as our guide.

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Geysir is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions in 

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Before the Geysir erupts GIF

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Autumn colors add additional interest to the geothermal landscape in Iceland

Geysir Center

Haukadalur, Iceland

Tel: +354 480 6800

E-mail: geysir@geysircenter.is

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