Breiðamerkurjökull is an outlet glacier of the larger glacier, Vatnjökull, located in southeastern Iceland. Emerging as a tongue of the Vatnajökull, it ends in a small glacial lagoon, known as Jölkúsarlón. Breiðamerkurjökull is among the largest glacier tongues in Iceland and the flow of ice has a southerly direction away from the main icecap Vatnjökull. Over time, the glacier has gradually been breaking down and receding, increasing the size of the lagoon. Up to the turn of the 19th century, the glacier tongue advanced to within 200 metres from the sea but has retreated considerably, especially after 1930, creating the greater part of the Glacial Lagoon. At the ice calving site icebergs break away from the tongue of the glacier and begin a slow drift in the icy waters of the lagoon. Slowly the ice drifts to mouth of the lagoon and eventually reaches the ocean.
Kerlingarfjöll is located in the central highlands of Iceland, north of Geysir, and nestled between the Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers. It is a landscape of incomparable beauty, with mountains painted by the remnants of winter snow, that rise up from a barren volcanic plain.
This quote by the author J.B. Jackson is never too far away in my thoughts when I am in the landscape. The concept of place, and our connections to place are powerful expressions in how we view our world. The Black Church at Búdir is one place, that for me, expresses a powerful sense of place and identity. Sitting on a windswept point in a harsh landscape, the church emotes a sense of hope, civility, and simple community. It is a building that is perfect in its simplicity, unadorned, vernacular, and free of extraneous decorations, it resonates with life.
The subtlety of our rural landscape takes some time to understand and appreciate. I know for a fact that it took me quite a while to not only appreciate the light, textures, and forms but to actually find a joy in peeling away the layers. It is not the grand "scape" like many of the western images I shoot, but I like the challenges of finding compositions nuanced by subtle light striking the dense patterns of grasses and leaves.
In 1986, while working on my Master's thesis in architecture, I made a research trip to New Delhi. During the near 24 hours of continuous travel I made a brief stop in Frankfurt where I saw, and held, my first Leica camera. As a poor, and married graduate student, I could not afford it, but knew even then that I wanted one. It is hard to believe that it took me 32 years to get one. And even harder to believe is that it was prompted by my desire to return to the simple challenges of making images - reliance only on the exposure triangle and manual focus.
This is another in my continuing series of personal explorations in the subtle landscapes of my hometown. There are times when I tend to lose my way relative to my photographic work. It is somewhat inevitable as I tend to look at a lot of images, and in doing so, succumb to the flotsam and jetsam of viewing so many photographs. Just how many beautiful sunsets over misty mountains can one take. It is my fault of course because I only have myself to blame. No one is making me look at all these images and all I have to do is stop, put down the phone, and shut down my use of Instagram.