Posts Tagged ‘photography destination’

Exploring Norway’s Lofoten Islands: Utakleiv Beach

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Gorgeous scenery at Utakleiv Beach

Of all of beaches I saw in Norway’s Lofoten Islands, Utakleiv had the most diversity. It’s a photographer’s dream with it’s creamy white sand, green grass, jewel toned tidal pools and rocky coastline.

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Tidal pools and emerald seas in Norway

Utakleiv Beach is also easy to reach by car and doesn’t require a hike, making it one of the most photographed spots in the Lofoten Islands.

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Portrait of Ana at Utakleiv Beach 

While Ana and I explored Utakleiv Beach during the day, it’s also a popular spot to watch (and photograph) the northern lights.

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We had Utakleiv Beach all to ourselves

While we heard that the beach was popular during the summer months, one of the benefits of traveling during shoulder season is that we had the place entirely to ourselves.

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Ana on a grassy knoll at Utakleiv beach 

The clouds were moody, adding to the dramatic and craggy scenery.

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Clouds, water, rocks, and sand 

The light was soft and flattering during our visit so I used the opportunity to shoot a few portraits of Ana using the depth mode (aka portrait mode) feature on my iPhone 7 plus. I love the results.

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Ana at Utakleiv beach (portrait mode)

The beach is also a favorite spot for photographers in winter when the rocks along the coastline are covered in snow.

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Portrait of Ana among the rocks (iPhone 7 plus)

There were a few picnic tables on Utakleiv, and it’s a popular spot for camping when the weather is suitable.

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Jewel toned tidal pool at Utakleiv Beach 

Directions:

From Leknes, it is about 20 minutes out. Follow the E10 out of Leknes and turn right onto Vikveien. Then take the Fv826 to Uttakleivveien. At the intersection, take a left to stay on Uttakleivveien until you see a parking area on the right and the beach right next to it.

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Icelandic Rainbows: a Photo Essay

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A vivid rainbow in Southern Iceland

One of the things that stood out most about Iceland was the moody weather. During my trip in early October, it easily felt like there were three seasons in a single day. Rain and hail were intermittent. The weather changed as quickly and dramatically as Kanye West’s moods. There was an upside to ever changing weather… a constant supply of rainbows.

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Rainbow and plane wreckage on Sólheimasandur beach in Iceland

Iceland is a giant rainbow factory. I’ve never seen as many rainbows, or ones as dramatically impressive anywhere else on the planet.

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A rainbow appears above Skogafoss waterfall

There were so many rainbows, I was convinced we were going to stumble upon a unicorn factory.

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A vivid double rainbow along the ring road in Southern Iceland

I shot the panorama of the double rainbow above with my iPhone 6s.

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Rainbow + waterfall = win

There were times where I’d think “that looks like photoshop” because the rainbows were so vivid and real. It was a nice reminder that there is an upside to rainy weather, and added to the already stunning Icelandic scenery.

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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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