Canon Professional Network – Editor’s Choice 2017 – Public Vote Nomination

To my surprise, I have found out that my picture is nominated, in the category nature and is now online for public voting.

There are 4 different categories for this year’s Editor’s Choice: Nature, Portrait, Sports and Photojournalism.

There are many very good submissions and you should check it out and leave a vote for your favorite:

Canon Professional Network – Editor’s Choice 2017 – Public Vote

Again to my surprise, there are quite a lot of Iceland pictures in Nature category. I can easily spot 3 pictures from Iceland, 2 pictures from Markus van Hauten, ice on the beach probably taken at Jökulsárlón, another picture is the beautiful Vestrahorn.

Another picture from Iceland is taken by Andre Erlich, a beautiful combination of Icelandic lava rocks, hot springs and northern lights. I am not quite sure, but I think this picture was taken at the Blue Lagoon (also on my “to do” list).

I wanted to take some time and write some lines about my submission for this contest. The picture that I have submitted is called “Looking for Þrasi’s chest of gold”.

The idea came in the beginning of January 2016, on my first tour of the year, the South Coast up to Jökulsárlón. We stopped for the night at the famous Skógafoss.

After a nap, to charge the energy for the hunt of Northern Lights at this same location. Unfortunately, Icelandic weather does have its own behavior and was not looking promising, with snow, clouds, hail and strong wind.

Hoping that there will be an opening in the clouds, we still stayed outside and came up with light painting to not waste the time just standing in the cold surrounded by darkness and the strange deep noise of water masses rushing down the hill.

I knew there was a legend about that waterfall and this is how the idea was born: According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend continues that locals found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a museum.

We had a quite strong light source with us but many different aspects just did not fit to capture good results. But the try gave me an idea of what settings to use and what weather conditions need to be met to capture the picture I wanted.

A month later, another South Coast tour up to Jökulsárlón. We stayed at the same hotel and went to bed to get out again later in the night and try to capture some Northern Lights.

But yet again, the weather was not on our side, sky covered by snow clouds and opening again in 10-15 minutes interval. But this time the moon was out and did share some light on the surroundings of Skógafoss.

Equipped, this time with a much stronger light source, we started to recreate my idea of the past visit. It actually did not take us that long to capture a picture that I had in mind. Main difficult part of this picture was, to try and hit that cloud opening to get the light of the moon and have some snow so it reflects the beam of the light source, a little bit of clear sky above the waterfall AND standing still for a 30 seconds exposure. Try that some time when you are in Iceland with strong winds, standing still for 30 seconds is not that easy.

But enough writing, here is the picture: “Looking for Þrasi’s chest of gold”.

Also, don’t forget to cast your votes for the public vote of CPN Editor’s Choice, there are some really good ones.

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