Black as a color is not so popular. In Iceland you always encounter a black, which only seems homogeneous at first glance. In fact, every black, whether in basalt or sand, is slightly inhomogeneous and interesting to the eye and not a gap.
My first encounter with the color black on Iceland was on the rocky coast near our hotel in Arnarstapi, which was easily accessible on foot. The power of the sea seemed to be best expressed in moderate long-term shots. Anyone who exposes too long will only get the average altitude of the sea level . . . .
Occasionally black was also found in buildings. At farms or at the famous Black Church of Budir, which I shot from many perspectives.
The reflection on the Vestrahörn was best achieved in the early morning at low tide on the damp black beach. The repeated flooding of the beach by waves disturbed the tripod and sometimes necessitated rapid escape movements, but they were also a prerequisite for good mirror images.
Last but not least, black and red were the dominant colours in the hot lava of the Fagradalsfjall, which we were able to see more closely on the last day of our stay.
Only a few kilometers further by car the sun began to shine and the clouds receded. In the southwest of the Reykjanes peninsula we felt the white of the lighthouse all the more radiant after our volcanic visit.
Before leaving, one last look at the waves, which are radiated by sunlight and seem to contain more energy than usual.
It is the photographer’s art to emotionally convey the mood and light during a shot. This becomes all the more difficult the greater the differences between the location of the recording and the location of the processing. When we departed from Iceland, it was only 6 degrees Celsius with nice Icelandic sunshine. In Frankfurt on arrival and in Heidelberg on the following days it was 30 degrees and more.
So it is all the more gratifying when a photo, developed late in the evening, is selected to Flickr Explore after the first 2 days of work and dead tired in the evening at 11:30 p.m. This time it is the famous Black Church of Budir. For aesthetic reasons, I had removed an empty flag pole that belonged to the cemetery.
This year, for the first time, several of my pictures were selected. To keep an overview, I have arranged all the in explores into one album.
On the way to Boudir, we drove through the Hvalfjörður Tunnel, which went alarmingly deep under the ocean. After leaving the tunnel, the rain stopped again and again and the clearing of the thunderstorm clouds over the mountains appeared in the south.
This clearance of the clouds and the breaking of the light were good signs. We had left Keflavik paralyzed by quarantine and in continuous rain. A strange ghost ship at the exit of the village with a big hole in its belly was swaying back and forth, whiped by gusts of wind and rain.
On the very sunny day of our return to Keflavik 11 days later it was gone. As befits ghost ships.
The last highlight of our trip through Iceland was the newly erupted volcano Fagradalsfjall in March in the Krýsuvík volcano system of the Reykjanes peninsula. After arriving at the parking lot, which we unfortunately could not pay for lack of a local app without internet connection on site, was by a lava river on the footpath to the viewpoints a long walk fully loaded with photo equipment to tackle.A long horizontal path to a steep climb that should be worthwhile. The last part of the 150m ascent was provided with a rope on which you could pull yourself up. Then came a plateau, on which the visitors spread out over a large area.
Right hand side in the background on a hill has landed a helicopter. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I haven’t noticed so much aircraft noise. A burning smell was everywhere in the air, sometimes pungent. After a short time, I started to have a slight headache.
The impression of a primordial landscape induces the last image.
In the morning a short review of the Vestrahorn in the hotel at the computer. The warm light of the morning sun was reflected in the dune grass, which grew into the black sand in repeated small domes. And in the mountain range that gave the name to the place.
I liked the simplicity of the house forms in Iceland. I’d like to photograph them all. Remotely, they are reminiscent of the wooden shapes of the houses and hotels of a Monopoly game.
A road that didn’t seem to be difficult on the map should take us to the foothills of Eyafjallajökull. On the way there we met riders who used the same road with Icelandic horses. They were clearly faster and, as if by magic, always quite a bit of us. The road was interrupted by watercourses that our simple car could not pass through. We had to turn around.
After a visit to Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi we drove to the ferry port, which takes you to Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). Hefty wind and thin rain awaited us. The lens could hardly be held straight with the hand. Some grains of sand from the black beach penetrated into my left eye and keep me busy for some time.
With a slight disappointment we arrived at the Jökullsárlon for the third time. The weather forecast had promised sunshine and we were already there at 9 o’clock. We were alone at the location, a rare privilege. However, we encountered an almost closed cloud cover, which could not be pushed away by the strong downwind of the glacier. Only on the glacier itself was a remnant of blue sky to be found.
The name Diamond Beach comes from the small pieces of ice that come from broken icebergs that the glacier has calved into the glacier lake Jökulsàrlon. They glitter in the sun like fairy-tale diamonds – when the sun is shining.
Using frame averaging, I was able to get long-term recordings without using a neutral density filter. I left this one in the car. In 8 seconds, with around 45 pictures that are averaged, I achieved vivid results in landscape photography.
The furthest eastern destination of our trip was the Vestrahorn. With a private beach of black sand, this place is interesting at low tidal ranges because of its reflections. The nice lady at the entrance gave us a ticket for morning and evening. So we came there in the morning and in the evening hours.
The blue colour of the reflections deceives the fact that a warm morning sun illuminated the beach. My friend Detlef is almost lost in the vastness of the beach.
Sometimes I find it difficult to make panoramic shots because I can’t plan the picture in my head. Every panorama always contains a small surprise. On the Vestrahorn I made this panorama with reflections from 2 shots with identical parameters.
You don’t go to Iceland to watch a solar eclipse. The visibility of the event is unlikely. Taking a solar eclipse with you as a by-catch on a trip has a different quality.
So we managed to record the early and late phases with a tripod, we had to miss the maximum due to heavy rain and dark clouds. Only a few minutes later than the maximum at 10:16h local time we drove off road into the wilderness and took this photo through the clouds.
With a picture like this in the box, every other photo of the day is a gift. The icebergs of Jökulsarlon were a cool attraction with reflections, sunshine and rain showers alternating.
After a short visit to the hotel we drove back to Diamond Beach, which is located right on the southern coast of Jökulsarlon. The many small ice blocks formed by the icebergs broken by the surf gave the beach its name.
It is a not too short distance from Arnarstapi to the Güllfoss in the heart of Iceland. The constantly changing weather is a stroke of luck, as are the long days. As a driver of a car, my pleasure increases with leisurely speed and music appropriate to the landscape.
Detlef and I have been going on astronomical adventures in different combinations for 10 years now. This time we’re going on our own for the first time.
Modern cars allow you to bring your own music with you via your mobile phone. This way we discover our preferred composers and musicians have a broad commonality.
Today it is Arvo Pärt’s turn, which has written music that could be taken to a planet that is still uninhabited or sparsely populated. This fits perfectly with the early plant settlements on the volcanic rock and the April weather of the island. With Arvo Pärt’s music, the rugged features of Iceland disappear and turn into gentle forms.
On the way to the hotel at the Güllfoss waterfall we come across Strokkur, a reliable geyser with the same blue colour of the water when it starts to rise driven by steam.
The weather got better and better, but remained changeable, which gave us plenty of opportunities for beautiful shots. Detlef had already programmed all stops in the navigation system, so we could go there in peace as we wanted.
The weather varied considerably from region to region, sometimes necessitating quick decisions. Or a chance to take a nap.
On our way to Budir a second time we passed by the foothills of Snaefellsjökull.
The small hotel near the red beach of Budir has an excellent location and its own charm. Prepared for tourists are two old cottages, decorated with milk jugs.