Goðafoss waterfall is located on the river Skjálfandafljót in north Iceland, the fourth largest river in Iceland. Although the main waterfall is the most visited and photogenic I actually found the lower falls more interesting. Just downriver from the main falls, the river narrows and is forced into a slot between volcanic rock formations. The small drop is slightly stair-stepped and creates several channels as the glacial blue water shoots through the slot. The sound is deafening and the sheer power of water hydraulics is on display.
Iceland is a country of immense beauty. In my mind it is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world despite being and island country. It is volcanic and glaciated and it is these singular natural forces that have largely shaped the landscape. From windswept volcanic planes, to the mountainous highlands, fjords, coastlines, glaciers, and myriad rivers and waterfalls, it is a place that presents one with so many photographic opportunities. The islands location in the Northern hemisphere also brings almost continuous light, with an extended twilight in the summer, and much shorter days in the winter, which affords one the opportunity to see the dancing Northern Lights. It is also a place of extremes, especially regarding the weather, which can change hour by hour. And in fact that is the old adage in Iceland that if you don’t like the weather, just give it an hour. The countries population of around 360,000 is out numbered by the sheep, and the number of visitors and tourists who flock there. The sheep of course are permanent residents. It is one of my favorite places on this planet.
Let me start by saying that I do not intend for this post to be a giant primer on long exposure image making. Nor is it a justification for the techniques over a more traditional approach to capturing a scene. A great deal of my current landscape or architectural work is not specifically long exposure. But in the right conditions - environmental and type of light - I appreciate how it can bring a kind of hyper clarity to the subject that is uniquely contrasted against the soft rendering of sky and water.
I am off today. A blessed reprieve from the office and the learning curve that has come with a new position. Sometimes the brain just goes on overload and requires a day of nothing. The weather seems to support my mood as well. It has been a tough several weeks that saw the failure of all of my back-up drives and the loss of thousands of RAW files dating back over 15 years. I did not lose them all which is fortunate, and I did not lose my Photoshop master files which is another blessing. I do not have a diagnostic answer for the failures but I was running an older laptop-based system, not enough RAM, too much reading and writing to drives, and not running Disk Warrior repair as often as I should have. Well, it is what it is. A wake up call to retool a bit and perhaps I needed to let some things go and open up more space in my life.
I took quite a few photo walks, which my fellow shooter, Kevin Brookes, and I often referred too as "photo-parkours", while working on a multi year project in St Louis. This is the last shot I made, on my last trip, and my last last parkour through the city. I think its uplifting, (sorry about the bad pun). There was quite the festival happening in this plaza in the city center with music, the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile, and these balloons.
This image is from a series of photographs I am working on that embraces the subtle landscape of my hometown area. At anytime when I suspect that fog is in the forecast I will be out looking to make images that the quiet moments of a rural landscape. Fog brings lower contrast to the light as well as subtle layers that add dimension and form. This is one of my favorite locations to explore this kind of atmospheric condition. Here at the Poffenberger Farm, at Antietam National Battlefield, the grasses have grown tall around the old barn and along the gravel lane to the main house.