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Featured Iceland Summer 2018

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Hypilein, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    So it's taken me some time to actually get my image post for this years summer vacation done, but here it goes. This was my fourth time in Iceland so the country with one of those times being 5 months and the other 6 weeks long. But it is only the 2nd time not being a student and actually being able to afford the country.

    So this time, me and my girlfriend got a 4x4 Rental that was geared up for camping to properly explore the highlands including Askja Crater, a place I had not managed to go to before.

    First stop was at Kerlingarfjöll in the Icelandic Highlands. It's a geothermal area that is relatively accessible. Unfortunately due to troubles with our rental car, we arrived there very late and could not really explore the area as much as I'd liked. Definitely a place to come back to.

    Island 2018 Final-13.jpg
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    This was also my first holiday with my new Mavic Air. I had seen pictures of the meandering glacial flows from Iceland before, and was very happy to finally create some of my own.

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    I have to say that the quality from the Mavic air is better than expected. Especially the prints (up to 28x28cm or 56x28cm for Panoramas)turned out much nicer than the pixel peeping I did on my Macbook promised.

    Next, we went past Hveravellir in the Highlands and Akureyri in the north to lake Mývatn which definitely sticks to it's name in term of midges. Close to the lake is a geological ridge that has lead to the forming of a number of caves that are fill with hotspring waters. The caves are extremely beautiful, although these days it's hard to take a good picture without other tourists either blocking the light coming in or being directly in the frame. As I've successfully shot the wideangle pictures possible in there before, I decided to restrict myself to only use the 35-100 this time around. Turns out, that it made composing around the tourists much easier. Unfortunately I messed up focus and/or DOF so you get to see my girlfriend's shot with the 7-14.

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    After Mývatn we went on the long and bumpy road to Askja. The road information service warned that the shorter route via Lindaá was dangerous we decided to take the long way round. I had never done a river crossing in a car, so I felt that going through a 50cm river on first try was a bad idea. I think in hindsight we would have managed, but it's better to be safe than sorry. One of my main goals for the trip was to get a picture of a river crossing from the drone. Here is our first effort:

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    In the evening we arrived at the huts near Askja. We did a little walk into Drekkagil and then on the next morning drove up to the crater. There was only one other group there, but the weather could have been better. The scale of the place is stunning though. Walking through the crater knowing that the steep mountains on the horizon are just the walls of the crater is incredible. Here are some shots.

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    After that we drove back past Myvatn and towards Landmannalaugar, making stops at Góðafoss and Aldeyarfoss. This was my third time at Landmannalaugar but it still takes my breath away. It's truly a magical place and even if one is not renting a 4x4 taking a bus there should be part of any trip to Iceland.

    Both of the next images are taken from the top of Bláhnúkur, the blue mountain which is a relatively short hike from the main camp. One is a Panorama from the drone, and the other one shows the beautiful colours and contrast that can be seen there.

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    After two nights at Landmannalaugar we spontaneously decided to drive to Lakagígar, the Craters of Laki. This is also a place I hadn't been before, but when we got there it was drizzling constantly, making visibility very poor.
     
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  2. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    This is how it looks.

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    On the way back we crossed another river, which goes right through the line of craters. Looks very cool.

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    One advantage of the more or less constant wetness was that the moss looked very green. It was green everywhere.

    Driving back to Reykjavík to exchange our 4x4 into a much cheaper and smaller car we stopped at Seljalandsfoss. There is another smaller but equally impressive Waterfall right along the same cliff wall called Gljúfrabúi (Inhabitant of the Canyon), which I had missed on previous occasions (as many other tourists do). This time we made it there. This picture shows me (for scale and memories) while my girlfriend took the shot. I was very pleased to have a weather sealed camera in there.

    Island 2018 Final-109.jpg
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    From Reykjavík we drove up to Snæfellsnes Peninsula. As it looked like there might be a good sunset we decided to go to Kirkjufell and get the classic Kirkjufell shot. I've been there before, but this time the light was very close to perfect. It's quite cliché and there were at least 10-15 other photographers all with their tripods, but we got there early enough to get a good spot, although we did have to wait for a long time before sunset finally hit at 11pm.
    This pictures is probably going to get added to my collection of wall prints soon.
    Island 2018 Final-116.jpg
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    The next day we explored Snæfellsnes. With Snæfellsnesjökull always looming over the scenery it is quite a majestic place.

    Island 2018 Final-120.jpg
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    The above picture was also taken by my Girlfriend while I was flying around with the drone getting nothing. Sometimes the best perspectives are still to be had from the ground!

    Other times you really get to see a different image. This was taken at Skarðsvík Beach, a beautiful yellow sand beach with massive black cliffs.

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    Our last leg of the journey was to the remote Westfjords, where we did some horse riding and visited the puffins at Látrabjarg. Unfortunately there was a heavy wind warning on that day and the puffins decided that it was not safe to fly. Instead they were cowering close to the cliff walls and most often out of sight. The cliffs are extremely beautiful in their own right though.

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    Dynjandi Waterfall might be my favourite Waterfall in Iceland. It cascades down a height of about 100m and doubles in width from about 30m to 60m at the bottom. I already have a great Panorama of this waterfall in my living room, so I challenged myself to find a shot that would better show the scale of the waterfall, then what I shot before. In the end, I put myself in the frame for scale.

    Island 2018 Final-144.jpg
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    The last day before our travel back to the Airport we decided to hike up Kaldbakur, the highest mountain in the Westfjords. Unfortunately we underestimated what it would take and decided to go back after reaching about 700m of elevation of a maximum of 996. It's definitely doable in one day, but you need to start way earlier than we did. Most people drive up to about 500m by car and only walk the rest of it, which is what I will do next time I'm in the area.

    I decided to take the drone up and shoot a Panorama. If you look closely you can see two small dots roughly in the middle of the frame.
    Island 2018 Final-151.jpg
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    Overall, it was once again an amazing trip to an amazing country and I've noticed that the Icelanders are starting to speak Icelandic to tourists more now (if you start in Icelandic). This will definitely not have been my last trip, although I am more interested in going at other times of the year now. I know there are some very interesting diving spots in the north, but doing an expensive hobby in an even more expensive country requires deep pockets...
     
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  3. Nice work. Iceland is on my bucket list.
     
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  4. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    486
    Jun 29, 2011
    Fantastic series, great work.
     
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  5. The first series almost like an alien landscape!
     
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  6. Jeff Storck

    Jeff Storck Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    99
    Nov 21, 2017
    Virginia
    Nice. Really want to go to Iceland. You’ve got some stunning shots here.
     
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  7. Kalifornier

    Kalifornier Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    California
    Very cool pics! Especially, the Kirkjufell pano shot.
     
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  8. Really nice pictures that show some different views of Iceland. We have talked about going and maybe one day we will do it :) .
    Thanks for sharing it has made me want to go again.
     
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  9. Santa

    Santa Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    323
    Oct 13, 2016
    Tennessee
    Tom Staggs
    thank you for posting. beautiful pictures, Makes you want to go there for the Photographs.
     
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