If you travel to Iceland for the first time and you do some research beforehand, you expect to see greatness and amazing landscapes, but in all honesty, there are no words to describe its magic allure once you arrive.
As we left Keflavik, a small town about fifty kilometers from Reykjavik that hosts the international airport, I was immediately in awe. This is not an ordinary place, and it was palpable as soon as we started traversing our way to Route 1. Vastness and natural beauty surrounded us.
Route 1 is better known as the Ring, the 1332-kilometer-long thoroughfare that connects the most popular sights and inhabited parts of the island, and it was our intention to cover it all, making frequent stops to photograph the Icelandic landscape. Unfortunately, the climate didn’t cooperate with us for all the days.
At this time of the year, the ever-changing weather is hostile, its patterns difficult to follow. Gale winds, snow, rain, sunshine – everything can happen, quick. The Icelandic weather predictions center was our best friend, but despite checking it often, we got trapped in some difficult storms a couple of times. But we came here for photography, and on the other hand we also trusted our guts and went. Even if the sky didn’t look promising or the wind blew strong, we just went and found a totally different scenario on the shooting location. Like the changing climate, we went from scary drives on passages with zero visibility and the only thing we could see was white all around us, to being wretchedly apologetic under an stormy sky and finding a few minutes later clouds opening up in front of us for a quasi-surreal sunset.
Imagine a place with a rugged coastline, active volcanoes, geothermal areas, innumerable hot springs, epic waterfalls and charming towns that seems to be coming out of a storybook. This is truly a playground for the landscape photographer. In most cases we didn’t need to travel long; most of the places we found were close to the Ring. Oftentimes we just stopped and walked a couple of footsteps and took photos right from the side of the road.
Iceland is full of places and secrets waiting to be discovered. No wonder this is one the most exciting photographic destinations in the world, and I am planning to come back soon. There are so many more places to see, and ohhh… those northern lights. They avoided us all the time, except in the first couple of nights. It was very faint but great to see, and I hope to experience them in full display next time.
That’s all for now – more coming soon. For prints and licensing information, just click on the photos.