Putting the 'Ice' in Iceland

Updated: Mar 7

It’s almost a year since I visited Iceland for the second time, so I figured it was about time I put some photos together for a blog post. On our first visit, we had amazing blue skies and unseasonably warm weather. That makes the travel, and holiday more enjoyable, but it can mean that photography is difficult outside of sunset and sunrise hours. This time around, we had a lot of rain, a real storm, fog, and thick cloud. But the good thing about overcast and cloudy days is that you get to see the real blue colours in the ice. So this time around we had much better views of the glaciers and icebergs, which looked amazing set against the grey surroundings. This blog post is a collection of photos of that ice, in all it’s forms from glacier to iceberg, and abstract close-ups.

GLACIERS

The glacier below is called Skaftafellsjökull (‘Skaftafell Glacier’), and it’s in Skaftafell National Park, in Southern Iceland. We were hiking the S3 route to Kristinartindar in Skaftafell to get this view. Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t get to the top of the Kristinartindar peak due to low cloud cover. But we did still get some stunning and unique views of this glacier in some pretty stunning periods of light and dynamic cloud.

Skaftafell Light
Skaftafell Light

Next up, were looking at Fjallsjökull (‘Mountain Glacier’).

Fjallsarlon Glacier Mist
Fjallsarlon Glacier Mist

Fjallsjökull is an off-shoot of the enormous Vatnajökull glacier, which dominates a vast area of Southern Iceland, affecting weather for much of the island.

Fjallsarlon Colour
Fjallsarlon Colour

Fjallsjökull is a particularly attractive glacier, and one which is fairly easy and safe to view, from across the beautiful Fjallsárlón lagoon.

Fjallsarlon Cloud
Fjallsarlon Cloud

I was particularly drawn to the detail in the peaks and crevasses along the front of the glacier. The ice is so blue in damp, overcast weather, and that combines very well with the white cloud, and black volcanic ash which the glacier is showered in every few years.

Fjallsarlon Glacier
Fjallsarlon Glacier
Fjallsarlon Glacier Blues
Fjallsarlon Glacier Blues

For a sense of scale, each of those ice peaks would probably be the size of a modest town house.

ABSTRACTS

This is a close-up of a piece of back-lit ice. I just like the texture here, and the variation of different blues.

Icelandic Ice Berg Close-Up - Jokulsarlon
Icelandic Ice Berg Close-Up - Jokulsarlon
Abstract close-up of the icebergs in Jokulsarlon Lagoon
Ice Abstract

Below is a photo I took on my first visit, but I’ve included it here too, as it fits the theme well. The black sandy beaches in Iceland are formed from broken down volcanic lava, so they can make a great background for an abstract image. Here, I just found a nice clean piece of ice and photographed it from above, against the black beach, which almost looks like the night sky.

Blue Ice on Black Sand
Blue Ice on Black Sand

JÖKULSÁRLÓN ICE LAGOON

Jökulsárlón lagoon is a perennial favorite for photographers. When we visited this time around, the lagoon was covered in fog. In fact, I loved it. The ice had so much more colour, and it was easy to get a nice clean background for a minimalist photo.

Jokulsarlon Lagoon Fog
Jokulsarlon Lagoon Fog

Over the road from the lagoon, the icebergs drift out to sea, and are then washed back up on the beach by the tide. I was able to get this photo when the clouds cleared late in the day.

Jokulsarlon Sea Ice
Jokulsarlon Sea Ice

I was pleased to get some better photos of the ice and glaciers second time around. You do need that overcast cloud to bring out the blue hues, and I’d never have believed the colour was natural if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Iceland is a fantastic landscape to see or photograph in any weather, so don’t be too disappointed if you arrive to there to grey skies. Blue ice awaits you.


-

George

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