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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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