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

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.

"BIG" Iceland Panorama

Here is the BIG Panorama I was talking about on Facebook. 50 images stitched to become one.
This gave my computer quite a hard time, rendering and processing. It is the biggest panorama I’ve ever shot.

It is actually so big, that you can’t really see all the details in it.
So, I’ve uploaded the image to my Dropbox, for you to see it in a higher resolution.
Click the link to see the image in a bigger size: https://www.dropbox.com/s/st826errskjw221/ICELAND%20PANORAMA.jpg?dl=0

In the image: Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Southern Iceland

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.

Drangey Guesthouse

For my recent trip to Iceland, which was a business trip really (shooting a film festival in the Westfjords) I was looking to add some extra time to go and discover some ares in the country that I hadn’t visited before. This would be a large part of Northern Iceland. So in my efforts to plan a few extra days I stumbled upon this guesthouse in Sauðárkrókur. So I got in touch with Ólina, worked out a few dates with here where I was going to be staying over, (agreed on me taking some photographs, a video and doing a little interview) and off I went. Packed and ready to go to Iceland. To visit the Westfjords. But adding a few days staying over in Drangey Guesthouse. And it was the best thing ever, let me tell you about it.

After a long day of driving and arriving late in the evening I checked in to the guesthouse. Let me tell you, a warm shower, cup of coffee and a decent relaxing and comfortable bed is so so good after driving 8+ hours on windy, rainy Icelandic roads. I felt like coming home. The next day I personally met Ólina, Þorgerður Eva and Jóhanna. It was easy to see that these ladies really put their heart and soul into running this place. It totally breathes kindness, hospitality and most of all it has this “at home” feeling. It has been so nice staying in Drangey Guesthouse, really a nice place to come to senses, relax and a good nights rest, after all the impressions that Iceland has to offer. Ólina, Þorgerður Eva and Jóhanna were super easy going, very friendly and much fun to talk too. The area surrounding the guesthouse is amazing, and has so much to offer. But Ólina will give you more information on that in the interview below.

I would highly recommend staying in this beautiful guesthouse, run by lovely hosts. Honestly there is not much else to add, go and experience it for yourself. Go to Sauðárkrókur, meet these ladies, stay in the cozy and comfortable guesthouse, and experience amazing Iceland the way it should be. Stress free and with a good experience in a nice place to stay. Again, adding these few dates to stay here was a very very wise decision. I will be back for sure.

These are images taken on the street where Drangey Guesthouse is located, and in Sauðárkrókur and the area surrounding the town. The island in the ocean is “Drangey Island”

Interview with Ólina, owner of Drangey Guesthouse

1. First of all thanks for having me, can you tell us a little bit more about you, and the people behind Drangey guesthouse?

Thank you. My name is Ólína Björk Hjartardóttir. I‘m an Esthetician and opened my own beauty salon and gift shop Eftirlæti (Your favorite) in 2012 on the ground floor at the same house as the Guesthouse. I have a husband and two girls born 2012 and 2014. I started Drangey guesthouse with Jóhanna, we are both born and raised here and know the town and the people here well. Jóhanna is a Fashion Designer and at a time she had her workspace at my salon. Jóhanna and I bought the apartment above the beauty salon and turned it into a guesthouse in 2017. After the summer of 2018 Jóhanna quit and I bought her shares in the company. I have one employee, Þorgerður Eva, here at the guesthouse who is also an Esthetician at my saloon. I can‘t have better employee than her she is the best.

2. Tell us some more about the Guesthouse, the building, the way you started it, its name and its history.

Drangey guesthouse came to life in 2017 after me and Jóhanna have talked about it since early 2016. I´ve always wanted to own the whole house that my salon was in and do something fun with the idea of having many small businesses in the same building working together. The house is built in 1946 as an apartment upstairs and an shop on the ground floor called Verslunin Drangey (The shop Drangey), named after the island Drangey. That is the reason for the name of Drangey guesthouse, we wanted to bring the old name of this house back alive. Some older people who remembers the shop Drangey tell us that they are so happy to see the name again at this house, Then I know the idea was success. At the guesthouse I have old pictures of the town and of the house when other businesses were here. I‘m really fond of history and like having some of the old in with the new. There is 4 bedrooms at the guesthouse all with special names from places on Drangey island. First one is called Lambhöfði, a place were sheep stayed on the island from farmers in Skagafjörður. The second one is called Heiðnaberg, where the one place on the island that is not blessed, so they say. The third one is called Hæringshlaup where a man called Hæringur was running from a man and fell off the cliff. The last one is called Grettisbæli and that is the place where Grettir the outlaw lived. There is really good shared kitchen and a dining table for our guests to use and a small bathroom with a shower.

3. What is the nicest part of running a guesthouse to you? Any particular experiences to share?

The nicest part is giving people a nice stay here in Sauðárkrókur so they can explore the town and have a nice time. It‘s fun to see the different cultures that come to this small town in north Iceland. When a traveler comes tired after bicycling around the country and we have available room for him, then I feel how important it is to have a good guesthouse.

4. What are the most famous, and forgotten activities to do in and around Sauðárkrókur?

I think the mountain sight here in Skagafjörður, all around Sauðárkrókur, the most beautiful sight to see when you are walking around the town. There are many walking roads on the mountains that are forgotten. Litli-Skógur is a beautiful small forest, if you can call it a forest haha, that you can walk through and have a picnic. There is a great museum about puffins that is called Puffin and friends, it is a must see. You can travel to Drangey the island with Drangeyjar ferðir (Drangey tours) it is an amazing experience. We have the only tannery in Iceland here in Sauðárkrókur and you can visit it and see what they do there in Tannery visitor center. We have the best bakery in Iceland just across the street from the guesthouse, it´s a handcraft family bakery that you must try.

5. Where can we find and book with you, are you on social media, a website?

You can book a room or the whole apartment through us at our facebook page or call us. We are also on booking.com but there is only the rooms you can book there because it´s limited what we can offer at booking.com. We don´t have a website now but we hope we do in the future.

6. Thank you very much, anything to add? Something you want to share?

Thank you so much to, it´s really nice sharing all of this with you. I think Skagafjörður is really beautiful place, there are so many different things you can see. I would recommend staying in north west of Iceland in a few days and take time to see all the small towns, the countryside and the nature. I´ve lived here almost my 30 years and am always finding something new and old that I haven´t seen. This is a historical place for Iceland. Iceland has a big swimming pool culture and you can find geothermal swimming pools in almost every town in Iceland with hot tubs and ice tubs. I recommend to try out this swimming pools and natural hot springs. There are at least 6 swimming pools or hot springs only in Skagafjörður alone that you can visit.

Here’s a few more shots showing you the accommodation, very clean, and so cozy!

Check out this video that I made at Drangey Guesthouse

Iceland: Gaukshöfði, Vik, Laxa i Kjos, Strandarkirkja

In this blog post I will share 4 images, of 4 amazing locations in Iceland. Some well known and "touristy" others a little more undiscovered.

Gaukshöfði

A small detour from the Rte 32, a steep climb up the rocky cliffs — and you’re rewarded with fabulous views over the wide aquamarine Þjorsá river. In the distance is the low mound of Hekla volcano.The overlook point, with narrow trails on two rocky hills, perhaps 300 feet tall, is named for Gaukur, a 10th century resident of nearby Stong, a viking longhouse. The stories say he was murdered by his foster brother. Bones and weapons were found at the base of the cliffs, which everyone assumed must belong to the combatants.

Gaukshöfði

Vik

Iceland has several volcanic beaches along its coastlines, but Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is by far the coolest and most famous on the island. It is easily accessible from the main road running through Vík í Mýrdal and taking a walk on the black sand beach is a must. Together With basalt columns, unique lava formations, towering cliffs, and caves the area is a nature lovers delight. 

Vik

Laxa i Kjos

The Laxa i Kjos is the centrepiece of one of the most stunning glacially forged valleys in Southern Iceland.  A narrow upper canyon splays into a gentle, peaceful, arable valley before cascading down the final falls and pools into the sea.  This exceptional river and its beautiful tributary can be reached within an hour’s drive from Reykjavik.

Laxa i Kjos

Strandarkirkja

Strandarkirkja is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church in Selvogur, on the southern coast of Iceland. The church, rising from the coast and pointing its tower towards the heavens, has been a beacon for those travelling at sea. It has more supporters all over the world than any other church in Iceland and is often referred to as the 'miracle church' with the locals' longstanding belief that it has profound, divine powers. Many miracles have been attributed to Strandarkirkja and there was a time when it was one of the richest churches in Iceland from the donations of Icelanders coming from all over the country in hopes of having their prayers and wishes realized.

Strandarkirkja

Kerið

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area in south Iceland, along the Golden Circle. It is one of several crater lakes in the area, known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes peninsula and the Langjökull Glacier, created as the land moved over a localized hotspot, but it is the one that has the most visually recognizable caldera still intact. The caldera, like the other volcanic rock in the area, is composed of a red (rather than black) volcanic rock. The caldera itself is approximately 55 m (180 ft) deep, 170 m (560 ft) wide, and 270 m (890 ft) across. Kerið’s caldera is one of the three most recognizable volcanic craters because at approximately 3,000 years old, it is only half the age of most of the surrounding volcanic features. The other two are Seyðishólar and Kerhóll.

Kerið

Kerið

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.