Just miles below the Arctic Circle, Iceland is a photographer’s playground. My husband, Anthony, and I got to experience the natural wonders of this Nordic island nation recently. We started our trek renting a SUV and driving to the Westfjords, a large peninsula in northwestern Iceland known for it’s dramatic landscapes. The ocean abuts tall mountain ranges that block the low winter sun, casting drastic shadows across the landscape.
The light in the Westfjords was nothing like I have ever seen. Every single sunrise and sunset was filled with a beautiful array of colors that cast a hazy glow over the snow-covered mountains. Most of our photos from this region are tinted with deep blues, oranges and pinks that are just as apparent to the eye as they are in the camera.
After a few days in the northwest, we returned to Reykjavík, the capital city. The quaint city features a structurally unusual church in the city center called Hallgrímskirkja. The architect is said to have designed it to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape. At the top of the bell tower, can you overlook the entire city that is sprinkled with colorful roofs of local businesses and houses.
Outside of Reykjavík, on the popular “Golden Circle” route, lies an active geothermal field home to Icelandic geysers. During our visit to the field, we watched Strokkur, the most popular geyser, erupt and douse a few other tourists. Photographing the geyser was difficult, despite it’s systematic eruption every 5 to 10 minutes. It was a cloudy, snowy day so it was hard to balance the white sky and the white water shooting from the ground.