Westfjords - Puffins

I had a few items on my list that I wanted, no matter what, to photograph this summer (oh well you know the season where the roads are free of snow).

Puffins, or Lundi (Icelandic) were on the top of my list. But I did not want to go to Heimaey (westman islands). One reason is that I was already there and another reason is that with car rental, hotel and the ship it would cost more to go to Heimaey rather than to any other place.

Where else can you photograph Puffins? Westfjords, Látrabjarg bird cliffs. I was in the Westfjords already but in the northern part of them, Ísafjörður.

I really wanted to visit the southern part of the Westfjords and Látrabjarg is located exactly there.

Of course this was one of the last parts of Iceland that I had to visit before I can state that I have seen all of Iceland. Well yes, all of Iceland that is easy to access, Highlands and Askja is still whispering my name, but I will get to it.

The snow have melted and made all of the Westfjords accessible by normal car. So we planned it out to go on a long weekend, booked our guesthouse, booked the rental and off we went.

The one and only negative point about the Westfjords is the distance that they are located from Reykjavik. It takes you 6-8 hours of driving to get to them. But that’s it, that is one and only negative point. Westfjords are beautiful and you should visit them once you have the opportunity to do so.

You will find the pictures in the Westfjords gallery here on my page.

Here is my first attempt to do video blogging and I have blogged about our trip to Westfjords.

 

The trip was amazing. It was good to get out of Reykjavik and spend the long weekend in the Fjords. We nearly did not get any sleep at all during our trip, so much had to be seen.

But the lack of sleep was compensated by the Icelandic Spa. In this case Pollurinn which was just 4km away from our guesthouse in Tálknafjörður. Yep, I will be coming back to Westfjords.

South Coast in January

The weather in Iceland can be very difficult to predict. Sometimes the weather forecast shows one thing and you actually get a completely different thing. But with the time, the Icelandic Meteoservice has drastically improved. If you check the forecast, you can prepare yourself for that kind of predicted weather, it is sometimes slightly of the time frame, but you can get the idea of the weather for the next couple of hours.

I have checked the weather on Friday and saw that Saturday will be a very sunny and beautiful day. I packed my sunglasses (did not need them for a while now) and my gear and off I went on a January South Coast tour. And it was beautiful. Not exactly a good weather for taking landscape pictures as the sky was nearly completely clear. The best weather for Iceland and taking pictures is still the "Partially Cloudy". But the winter sun offers a special kind of light that you can see in the pictures.

 

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Behind the Scenes

Local Farm at Þorvaldseyri

Snæfellsnes in December

This year is a very strange winter here in Iceland. It is very common that Reykjavik does not get so much snow as other parts of Iceland, like for example Akureyri. Last year on the December the first, Reykjavik was experiencing lots of snow, other parts of Iceland even more. But this year, whole Iceland is completely snow free, with exception of highlands. But even the mountain tops are snow free. Esjan (the mountain that you can see from Reykjavik) has nothing white on top of it.

The weather is also not so bad. Not so many storms with strong winds. We still get strong wind with rain but it’s by far less than last year.

The weather situation brought me on the idea to go for a quick tour over to Snæfellsnes. Last time I was there, was 2 years ago. The weather forecast looked good, with partial clouds and a lot of sun.

The only thing that was an issue was the sun light. 4 hours and 13 minutes. That was the time between the sunrise and sunset.

But still it was a really interesting experience to travel in Iceland in mid-December with no snow.

I was happy to see the seals again at the Ytri Tunga beach. Lying lazy on the rocks, lifting their head to see me and probably think “another crazy photographer”.

I have decided to meet the sunset at Lóndrangar cliffs. Try something new with long exposure and just take a moment and enjoy the elements of sun, wind, landscape and huuuuge waves.

I was even happier that the cloud front slowly started to roll in.

This picture was taken with the new Canon EF 16-35mm F/4 IS. I was testing it out and I am very happy with the results. The camera was 5D Mark IV.

Settings: ISO 640, F/5.6, 15s at 24mm. In front of the lens was a B&W 10 Stop ND filter with B&W circular polarizer.

Lóndrangar cliffs with Sunset

Behind the scenes

Búðir - Black Church