I realised recently that September will mark 10 years since my first visit to Iceland, and a trip that injected a real wanderlust and focus to our travels and my landscape photography journey. That first trip in 2013 was one of the most influential experiences in my life, and prompted us to explore more Nordic countries & northern landscapes ever since, including trips to Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Greenland, as well as a further 6 return-visits to Iceland itself. The natural landscapes in Iceland are obviously incredible and make for great fun to photograph, but more than that it's the culture and character of the people and their values which provides the deepest connection, and keeps me so besotted with this tiny island.
To celebrate this anniversary I was putting together a blog post of my favourite Icelandic landscape photos, but to be honest, they're already all over several previous blog posts. So I thought rather than repeat the same content again, I'd create a kind of 'Iceland directory' blog post, to provide a jumping-off point to the different Icelandic photo blog posts on my website.
The South Coast
Iceland's south coast is very popular, and certainly it's busiest area, but it's still where I'd suggest first-timer's focus their visit. This post covers the most popular viewpoints, and contains a photo of Skógafoss waterfall that I took in 2013, which now hangs on canvas, on our living room wall.
I spent more time on the South coast in the rainy summer of 2020. These photos are better on a technical level than the ones I took 7 years prior, so that's rewarding, but they're probably less mainstream too. They show another side to the features of that coastline, which always look different depending on the light and the weather.
A set of photos from a stormy Reynisfjara beach.
This is a notorious black-spot for dangerous tides and currents, and in 2015 we were treated to classic stormy conditions. I decided to take the opportunity to capture some slow-exposures, in the style of classic 18th-century seascape paintings.
Landmannalaugar and the Fjallabak Nature Reserve are the most accessible areas of the Southern Highlands, but they're still not especially easy to get to, and they offer no accommodation beyond camping or the bleakest of mountain huts. But they're as spectacular as it gets. Twice now I've found myself tired of the practical issues with this area after previous visits, but just as before I'm pining to go back again, such is the draw of this unique landscape.
The Laugavegur trail is a 55km multi-day trekking trail in the south-west highlands of Iceland. The route runs between Landmannalaugar and Thórsmörk (Þórsmörk). I hiked it with fellow landscape photographer Elliot Hook, who also shared some great photos from the hike. We just passed 5 years since this trip, which is insane as it still feels like yesterday. This is one of my favourite landscape photos ever, and we also have this framed at home too.
This trip really gave me the confidence to up my ambitions, both for what my landscape photography could be, and more-so what kind of adventures I am able to undertake.
I shared two blog posts from this epic trip:
This a collection of my favourite photos from the Laugavegur Trail hike.
An in-depth blog post about the logistics of the hike with advice for anyone considering trying it themselves.
After my second visit in 2015 I shared a collection of ice-themed photos, called Putting the 'Ice' in Iceland. Then earlier this year I shared another ice-based blog post, which featured photos from many of my favourite Icelandic locations taken since then.
Last summer I shared this post, celebrating the lesser-known places I've encountered in Iceland over the last decade. They're generally quieter scenes than feature in the other posts, some with no proper subject at all, beyond attempting to convey the feel of the place. These often unexpected and unplanned scenes are part of the great joy of Iceland, and why it's so hard to tire of.
More To Come
At the moment I'm focussing on some nature photography portrait projects closer to home (hope to share those later this year), but I feel sure there will be more photos from Iceland in my future, and also from those adventures in countries it has inspired me to visit.
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