(Note: Click on each image to view in hi-res lightbox mode)
Hi everyone. I am back from a much anticipated trip to Iceland and, as is always the case with such photographic endeavors, I am in the process of cataloging and processing all of the images. On this trip of nine days with my friends Colby Brown and Peyton Hale, we came close to circumnavigating the island via the Iceland Ring Road. In that time I managed to shoot over 2700 exposures, which included location specific images as well as various exposure or focus brackets. Of all of the more iconic locations we visited, including Kirkjúfell, Jökulsárlón, Vik, and Bú∂ir, and of course a myriad of waterfalls, none captured my heart as much as Vestrahorn.
Located just west of the city of Höfn, the Vestrahorn Mountain is typically viewed and photographed out on the Stokksnes Peninsula, a landscape of black sand beaches, grass covered dunes, and tidal flats. We photographed here at sunrise, sometime around 2:00am, Iceland time, and during late June the sun rises from just behind the mountain and imparts an intense glow that spreads across the landscape. We were fortunate to have a spreading cloud cover that masked, and revealed the mountain, as the morning progressed. We were also fortunate to have a windless visit. I have read about how the wind can howl through here but on this day it was nearly dead calm.
Our time here was all to fleeting and as is almost always the case I did not feel like I had enough time to truly explore the area. It takes some time in a location to understand its rhythms, shapes, lines, and sense of light. To combat the urge to run around like a chicken with my head cut off I decided to concentrate most of my limited time within the dunes. To that end I was looking for strong compositions that featured strong foreground elements that I could use to frame with the mass of the mountain. The light was changing pretty quickly but I took the time to find compositions that I felt worked to illustrate the drama and vastness of this landscape. The intensity of the light, the glow, and the clouds all combined to impart an incredible sense of drama as the sun rose.
I used two lenses during this shoot; the Voigtländer 15mm f4.5 Heliar III FE, and the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f2.0 FE MF. Both of these lenses are FE mount for the Sony System. These are both excellent primes for the Sony and I think each possess similar characteristics in sharpness and rendering of micro-contrast. You can read my review of the Tokina FiRIN here.
I look forward to my next trip to Iceland and the opportunity to spend more time in this incredible location. Thanks so much for stopping by to take a look. RHC