Colorful Iceland

Cold, windy, wet and raw. That’s what comes to mind when you think of Iceland. And you are right. Iceland can be a very dark, moody and “hard” place. Personally I like that a lot.
This cold and dark vibe gives a nice and moody touch to your photography. Something I like to capture, and with me tons of other photographers too. Take a look at other work on my website and Instagram for that type of work…. But okay, the title of this blog is “Colourful Iceland” so there’s a bunch of vibrant and colourful photographs in this post. Iceland can be very very colourful and bright as well. In summer when there’s a lot of daylight, and no setting sun. But also in winter, with short days and the sun rising and setting throughout the entire day. You will get some crazy good conditions and amazing light if you are lucky. Last month I was on a photography workshop with Páll Jökull, and oh boy.. we got lucky!

Take a look at these images below, popping colors, nice light. All shots were taken on my previous workshop in Iceland.
Also, Páll and myself are offering a Summer photography workshop in Northern Iceland this summer.
Check it out right here: NORTHERN ICELAND - SUMMER WORKSHOP

Loftsalahellir Cave

Reynisdrangar Seastack

Diamond Beach

Sas stack as seen from Dyrholaey

The Reynisdrangar sea stacks seen from Vik

Glacier Lagoon during sunset

“Secret waterfall”

Páll on a hike, crazy light!

See Páll Jökull’s work by clicking the logo below

Waterfall in Eiði - The Faroe Islands

In the Faroe Islands there are a lot of waterfalls, big, small, popular and a little bit more unknown.
This particular one is located just north from the town of Eiði, on Eysturoy island. It is fairly unknown, but rising in popularity among photographers. I don't know if it has an official name, not too sure.

I’ve heard that this waterfall isn’t always there. For example in the summer, when there’s less water in the streams on the hill the waterfall will be reduced to a mere single stream running down the cliff. But in Autumn when I visited this location there was a decent amount of water plunging down into the Atlantic ocean. Take a look at some of my shots from this location.

Panorama of the entire coastline just outside of Eiði.

Long exposure shot of the waterfall.

Looking back into the other direction you can see the 71 meter high sea stack “Risin” in front of the rugged clifss. Absolutely amazing scenery.

Massive waves crashing into the cliffs, and the wind is blowing the waterfall back up onto the cliff.

Another long exposure, with me trying to stand still. Which was pretty hard with heavy winds throwing you around.

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Ice cave tour in Iceland

 
 

On day three of the Photography workshop Páll Jökull and myself were giving we went on a trip to the Ice caves in Breiðamerkurjökull. This Ice cave tour was led by Siggi from “South East Iceland” The day started out being very windy, and almost a complete white out. Lots of snowy wind gusts limiting vision.

Arriving at the Jökulsárlón Glacier in the early morning with Páll and our own workshops participants we met up with Siggi and his big big big truck. On the tour we were accompanied by another small group of friendly photographers that were on a tour with Icelandic photographer Olgeir Andresson. A couple of hello’s, some hand shakes and then it was time to get into the truck, and head out. Into the vast, wide open. Towards the ice and the ice caves.

Siggi did an amazing job of driving the big truck with inflatable tires over the rugged terrain. It was a bumpy ride, but not as bad as I expected it to be. Siggi also shared a bunch of interesting information about the glacier and the national park whilst we were making our way towards the Ice caves. This was very informative and entertaining. His sense of humor more then once got the entire truck burst out into laughter. Best bumpy ride of my life.

Below you can see a selection of images of the tour, with some guiding information here and there.

The “Anaconda” Ice Cave

Páll Jökull shooting inside the cave together with the workshop participants.

Hi there, Páll captured me looking in, from the other side :)

The group of people we explored and photographed the cave with (Photo by Páll)

The shape of the Ice. Breathtakingly beautiful

Once at the Ice cave Siggi gave some clear instructions, shared some more information and knowledge about the area. And showed us how to go about entering and photographing the cave. Siggi took us to 3 seperate caves/locations where we had a good amount of time to enjoy the locations, and to be able to take our photographs. The fact that we had Siggi, Páll and Olgeir taking part in this tour, all being experienced in what they do and extremely pleasant guys to be around with it was obviously a very good experience. For me, but also for the whole group, How do I know? Because everyone was smiling from ear to ear, all the time. The atmosphere between the people in the group was amazing.

The shape and color of the Ice is just incredible

Páll taking in the beauty of the Ice cave.

Inside the Cave

The group at work

I just couldn’t get enough of Siggi’s big truck, look at those wheels!

Olgeir and Páll having a good time!

Siggi inside the Anaconda Ice cave.

Me, standing on top of a “frozen wave”

Cramp ons, necessary piece of equipment in this environment.

Photographers at work in paradise

Siggi, and the frozen walls of Ice

Ice, and untouched snow. It doesn’t get much better then this!

Blue, is just all I am going to say about this shot.

Páll and the group, having a great time on the ice.

Siggi and his truck.

I hope you enjoyed these images. And to end this blogpost I want to shout out to everyone who has made this Ice cave tour the succes it was.


 
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Here’s a video I shot together with Páll of the Ice cave tour.

Crossing borders

This weekend I had some friends over from Iceland. A friend I’ve met through a photography job in Iceland a couple of years ago. He worked as part of the crew of a film that I was shooting the behind the scenes images for. We have a very good connection, straight away. and a growing friendship. I have stayed at his house in Iceland since that time we worked together. And I will do so again in the future. It is amazing how these things work. You meet so many nice people through work, and by just being yourself, polite and kind you make the best connections and friendships ever. I am so thankful for meeting this dude and call him a good friend by now.

So my friend and his lovely partner were over in The Netherlands for a few days, they decided to come our way. And we got to spend a good day and a half in our area. My wife and I took them out to a place called “Drielandenpunt” The place where 3 country borders meet. The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

For people from Iceland this is something unique and special, the only border they have obviously is the ocean. So they were pumped to see this place, and literally hop borders. So that’s what we did. Jumped in the car, drove for one hour roughly, and hopped the borders a few times. At first we were a little disappointed by the weather, grey, foggy and just a little mehh… But in the end the conditions were actually really nice! Very mystical and moody. With no other camera on me then just my phone I snapped the following shots, what do you think?

Winter in the forest

This image just screams: cold

My friend taking in the moody scenery.

Very dramatic and moody feel!

International handshake? Check!

Bottom line: Friendships are on of the most valuable things you can have. They can be worldwide, and cross all borders. Always.

Wedding Photography in Iceland

If you follow me on social media and check this site every now and then you've probably seen that I have been to Iceland yet again recently. This time I was shooting wedding photographs for this lovely American couple. It was one of the best trips and experiences I've ever had. Hanging out with this amazing couple in these breathtaking locations just was something else. I loved every second of it. To add to that, shooting their wedding photographs really made this something very special and unforgettable. Have a look at some of the photographs from this trip. 

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Here's what the couple wrote about the experience with me after the trip:

One of the important things for my then fiancé and I was having some amazing photos at our favorite travel destination, Iceland. We had booked our honeymoon there and thought that this was the perfect opportunity. We had no idea where to start looking for a photographer but I made a facebook post on Iceland the Photographer’s Paradise facebook group. We received an overwhelming amount of responses and sifted through many portfolios but from the very beginning Arjan’s work really stood out. We loved his landscape photography and more importantly how incredibly nice he was to work with. Even before we made a commitment to work with him, he sent us a map with over 40 locations throughout Iceland he thought would be perfect for us to shoot in and committed a lot of time on communicating with us despite a significant time zone difference. We were hesitant at first because as skeptical people we were scared to meet a complete stranger in a different country and this was further complicated by how uncomfortable we are being photographed, evidenced by maybe 1 good photos of us together in the 6 years we have been together. Arjan could not have been more understanding, accommodating, and a pleasure to work with, oh and he brought us Dutch cookies to congratulate us on our recent wedding. Meeting him in person in Iceland and spending two full days with him driving around the country was a lot of fun. He made us feel very comfortable, ran around everywhere trying to capture the perfect shot, was willing to stop at any location we wanted to randomly, and he shooed away all the other tourists getting in our shot at the black beach while carrying my jacket on his head. The best part – the incredible photos he was able to take that we will cherish for a long time to come. We could not be happier with our experience and could not recommend Arjan enough.

Here's a few more shots from the amazing time I got to spend with these amazing people in Iceland

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

So, I just came back earlier this week from another trip to Iceland. I was booked to shoot some wedding portraits on Iceland's south coast. There will be a separate blog post containing some images from shooting with this amazing couple sometime soon. 

I will start sharing some images that I took during my time in Iceland. It has, as always been amazing again!

Another and probably one of the most visited/photographed locations in Iceland. The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

But you can clearly see why. It is so beautiful! It feels like being on another planet when you stand at the lagoon, watching over these floating pieces of icy art.

Foggy forest

This morning we finally had some rain, after a few very dry and warm days. I was so happy it rained and cooled down a bit. On my way to work I spotted this forest with some nice looking fog in it. You know I can't resist such things. Parked the car, walked into the forest and snapped some shots (with my phone) Here are the results!

Nice and moody morning in the forest

Nice and moody morning in the forest

Lightroom Preset: Blue forest

I have been playing around with creating my own presets for Lightroom. This preset actually comes from another preset that I recently made. Have you seen the blog post about the band shoot I had with the guys in Probation? Yes? Noticed the tones, and the look of those shots. Now take a look at these. Right! It basically is the same preset. I have only tweaked it a little bit to just fit a little bit better for landscape/outdoor shots. 

As I was fooling around with the preset I applied it on some older shots. These shots were taken on a dayytip to Germany back in Januari. What do you think? Do you think it works?

What kind of look and tone would you give these shots? Let me know in the comment section below. Also, I am giving away this preset for free. All you have to do is send me message on facebook and share this post on social media! 

Sunrise at the Boschmolenplas

This past weekend I had one of those nights again, where I couldn't get any sleep at night. My mind just keeps racing. So what I needed was to go out, that always makes me calm and takes away a bit from all the things that are going on in my head haha. 6 am and I am at this lake. Catching the sunrise, there's not much more to the story! I loved going out, and after coming back I had a little nap and slept like a baby. So there you go, this shows once more that clearing your head in nature is a very nice thing to be able to do.

Have a look at the shots right here, and I also shot a video for this trip. Check it out!
(Yes I notice how I often I mention how tired I am in this video, forgive me, I was so knackered)

Check out the video for this photo session right here, and remember to subscribe on youtube to keep up with my recent adventures and more.

Astrophotography

Recently I have been gaining quite some interest for Astrophotography. I have always loved these great images of night skies and star trails and such, but never saw myself take any photographs like that. Because I always thought that the techniques and materials you would need for this were out of reach for me.

I have been talking to my friend Asgeir from Iceland about shooting the stars for quite a bit for the past few weeks, and have to admit that his work and our conversations inspired me to give it a decent go. He basically nails this type of photography. His work are master pieces. He has provided me with plenty of very useful tips and the motivation to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, thanks buddy! (Check out Asgeir's great photographs right here

So below you can see what I managed to push out of my camera. I don't have a full frame camera, and my widest lenses are both at F3.5 only. For this type of photography you would really want a "fast" lens (with apertures ranging from F1.4 to F2.8) so F3.5 isn't that bad at all, but it comes with a little challenge. There is slightly less "light" hitting the sensor compared to a F1.8 for example. I had the ISO up to 3200 for both shots, which is still pretty good on my "old" D7000 but also showing that from there grain and noise become much more visible and a disturbing factor. I did edit both pictures in Lightroom and Photoshop to try and get the best quality out of these images. And I am pretty happy with how they came out, what do you think?

Anyways, I am back off to saving some more money to reach the point of possibly upgrading my body and lenses to something more powerful and capable, for experimenting a bit more with this type of photography.