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

Daytrip to Germany

So after not doing too much over the holiday times, with christmas and all that I recently thought it was time to go out on a decent daytrip again. Because it has been a while. Time to kick off the new year with a decent daytrip!!

Vertical panorama out of 11 separate shots.

Vertical panorama out of 11 separate shots.

My buddy Tom and me took off early in the morning again. To Germany. We spend the day at several locations. We started out down at the water over at the Rursee in the Eifel area. We went to the pretty town of Monschau, and to end the day we went to "Bieley" (that rock on the German/Belgian border where I've been before) We had some decent conditions for photographs. Not the sunset we were hoping for, but hey... at least it did not rain or anything. Take a look at the photographs below, and leave me some feedback/comments. Thank you!

Faroe Islands

Hi all, I am super stoked to announce that I will finally be going to the Faroe Islands!! Its officialy going to happen later on in 2018. I will go out on a 9 day trip, exploring this amazing country that has been on my wishlist for quite a while now. I am beyond excited! 

And this is only the first of a few other amazing announcements I have coming up for 2018. Next year is going to be so awesome!

Faroe Islands

Close up: Eyþór Jóvinsson

 
Eyþór Jóvinsson

Eyþór Jóvinsson

 

This blog post is about my friend Eyþór Jóvinsson from Iceland. He's a Filmmaker, owner of a very unique and historical book(store) in the Westfjords region. Former fishermen and a fellow photographer. In this post I will mainly focus on showing you some of his recent photographs, because I think he is quite underrated as a photographer. But I will also talk a little bit about how we met and such. Here we go.

I have met Eyþór back in the summer last year when I was in Iceland for the first time, together with my wife. After waking up in a hotel in Ísafjörður we decided to drive south from town, and pay a quick visit to the town of Flateyri. I did read something about a bookstore in town on the internet a few weeks before going to Iceland, so we figured it would be a nice stop on the days roadtrip. When we arrived in Flateyri we both were stunned by how beautiful this town is. Personally this town is my favorite in the whole country, for several reasons you will understand when you continue to read on.

Flateyri, photo by Eyþór Jóvinsson

After wandering around town for a little bit we made it to "Bókabúðin Flateyri" which is Eyþór's store and place where he lives. The store is run by Eyþór's family for generations and generations. It now is a very charming bookstore and a museum. The house has virtually never changed, ever since the older generations operated the store. A treat to the eye, and very touching to see a place that is still as pure and untouched like it was in the old days. Eyþór has been running the store for the past five years. Before him his mother was running it. You can imagine that Eyþór is very proud about this awesome store, so when we met him we had a nice little chat about the place. It was such a great day, the sun was shining and Eyþór was just such fun to talk with. He's such a friendly and humble man. 

We sat down and had some coffee and cake, bought some books (that you pay an amount for based on the weight of the books, very oldschool, very nice) Before we left Eyþór told me he was a filmmaker and a photographer so you understand that I made sure to exchange some contact details. And off we went to continue or trip through Iceland. Leaving Flateyri as one of the highlights off the trips. The beautiful town and meeting Eyþór the reason for that.

From left to right: The museum that basically is the house Eyþór's family lived in and has stayed the same for over centuries. The building as seen from the inside (click it and spot my wife standing in the door opening) And inside the bookstore, click to see the way the books are sold. The price is determined by the weight of the books!

Anyways, lets get down to showing you some of Eyþór's photographs right now. All of these shots are taken in or around the town of Flateyri where he lives.

When my wife and me came back from our trip in Iceland I pretty much stayed in touch with Eyþór through social media and we both continued chatting about our passions. Film making and photography related stuff. It was in October last year that we came to talk about Eyþór's new film project Arnbjörn. He was going to shoot a new short film in Flateyri and surroundings and I really liked the sound of that. To keep a long story short we ended up agreeing that it would be nice for us to work together for this project. I was going to be the BTS (behind the scenes) photographer for this movie. A few weeks of preparation and communicating back and forth it was time for me to pack my bags, and leave for Iceland in November to meet Eyþór. Again. I was (and still am) so thrilled for the fact that he wanted to work with me and have me in his crew for this project.

I remember travelling to Iceland, and driving up from Reykjavik all the way up to Flateyri. Through these tricky conditions. Snow, ice, rain, heavy winds. I was in Iceland for sure, and heck it was a lot more "Icelandic" compared to the summer. I loved it to. Arriving in Flateyri and seeing Eyþór come up the window from his house and greet me while I was stepping out of the car felt like coming home. This was the beginning of a great week, and a beautiful experience. Below are a few photos that I took during the process of shooting. 

Communicating with actors on the set from Arnbjörn.

Eyþór and crew working on shooting the short film.

The bookstore transformed into a filmset

Eyþór and crew working on shooting the short film.

Eyþór in his natural habitat, on set. Working on Arnbjörn

During this week I got to experience Eyþór at work as a film maker, putting together the project and directing it all. Working long and intense days to get the desired results. Here it was very visible that he wanted to push for the best result possible, getting the most out of the crew. Always on top of his game. But always with a smile and while staying humble. It was a pleasure to work with him. Everything was taken care off. His mother took care of our hungry stomachs with some delicious meals after the hard work during the day. He also arranged the car for me to get up to Flateyri by the way. Just perfect, like the whole experience. I will never forget relaxing in the swimmingpool, or in the "Sundlaug" as its called in Iceland in the evening. And celebrating at the end of the week, with the entire crew. Enjoying some good food again and some beers. 
I could talk about this week forever, I won't right now, haha...Find out more about the short film right here.

You are here to look at Eyþór's other talent, (one of many) photography. He is using his creative mind in a lot of ways and photography is one of them.
Alright, so down below are a few more photographs in and around Flateyri that Eyþór took.

After being in Flateyri working for Eyþór's short film I went home with the best feeling ever. Nobody can take away this amazing experience from me. All the memories. I still think about this trip a lot. It also opened up so much doors and possibilities for me. Chances that I would not have had if I hadn't been working with Eyþór. It took my career as a photographer into a rapid quite a bit, and really gave me a boost to step up my game. I launched this website a few weeks after my visit and got some great feedback from all of you. Again, I believe this is because of the exposure I gained from shooting for Eyþór. I am forever thankful for this. Both Eyþór and me are probably going to work together more in the future. He is running so much other projects, and all of them simultaneously as well. Mad respect for that. I am sure that at some point we will be working together again for one of his projects. Be it for another film, or something totally different. To me its not a matter of if, but a matter of when! And all of you will hear about that from me for sure. Because I am obviously very excited and proud to be able to call Eyþór a friend, and look forward to all the next times we will meet.

To end this blog post I want to share a last little, but very special story. Eyþór and I have met each other earlier this year again. Very very random and very special.
In Iceland you would think, but no... in Sweden! My wife and me were on a little trip through Denmark and Sweden. (our holiday trips usually go to Scandinavia of course)
And very randomly I saw this photo from Eyþór on social media, saying that he was in Malmö, Sweden for a filmfestival. I was like WHAT?!! My wife and me were going to go to Malmö anyways for our trip so this was a very unique situation and chance to meet up. I couldn't believe that this was true. So so random. We ended up meeting in Malmö for a few beers and some food. It was just amazing to see Eyþór again, in a place and time where we both did not expect it at all. And again, seeing Eyþór was another highlight on yet another trip. Looking forward to the next highlights.   

Eyþór and myself enjoying a beer in Malmö, Sweden. Super random, but super super nice.

Eyþór and myself enjoying a beer in Malmö, Sweden. Super random, but super super nice.

SKER

click the image to watch this short film by Eyþór

"Brand new" photographs from Iceland

Oh my! Today I was working on editing photographs for a beautiful wedding I shot earlier this year. And editing these wedding photos got me really in the mood to edit some more of my travel/landscape photographs. Although I have a lot of new content waiting to be processed and presented to you, for example: my recent trip to Denmark, Sweden and Germany last week. But even still, I always keep on scrolling through my Iceland maps on my PC. I think that I have edited most photos in these folders like multiple times. But I have only shared the "best" shots before. There's just something about these shots that makes me coming back to them and play around with new ideas how to create a nice look and feel.

Obviously this results in a lot of photographs that are just sitting on my computer and never being posted anywhere for you to see them. Well, today is the day that I decided to present you a selection of photographs from my Iceland trip back in June last year.

The very well known Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall just outside the town of Grundarfjörður.

The very well known Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall just outside the town of Grundarfjörður.

All, or at least most shots have never left my computer before. The most of the photographs you will see in this post were taken on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west of the country and in the more north western located Westfjords region. 

A very typical view down the number 61 road just outside of Hólmavík towards Ísafjörður in the Westfjords. 

A very typical view down the number 61 road just outside of Hólmavík towards Ísafjörður in the Westfjords. 

As soon as you leave the town of Hólmavík going up north deeper into the Westfjords you will make this climb up onto this plateau that is snow covered for at least a decent amount, all year round. Temperatures were also quite low, even in June. Back in Hólmavík it was 16 degrees Celsius and sunny for example. Only to meet temperatures just above freezing point as soon as I got up on the highest point of the climb. I loved it, these temperatures and the not so sunny but moody weather hit the feels, and made me really enjoy Iceland in all its pureness.

Little and beautiful church in Breiðabólstaðar on Snæfellsnes

Little and beautiful church in Breiðabólstaðar on Snæfellsnes

Churches, those small beautiful and very typical Icelandic countryside churces. They are everywhere. From the famous church in Vik down in the south to the ones that almost nobody even knows about them being there. this particular one in Breiðabólstaðar on Snæfellsnes being one of them. Its is literally located in the middle of nowhere. It is located on the road between Búðardalur and Stykkishólmur. Its serving a bunch of farms that are spread out in the area surrounding the church. Walking up to it, hearing nothing but the wind. No people, no cars, just me and this holy place in beautiful Iceland really moved me. I am not super religious or something, but there is no denying the beauty of these small houses of God. Especially those in Iceland that look like this, right?  

You will see a lot of (old and new) bridges crossing these streams or river, throughout the country.

You will see a lot of (old and new) bridges crossing these streams or river, throughout the country.

Iceland is rough, and it can be rough to travel and get around. Not as much as it used to be back in the days ofcourse. But I can only imagine how times were before people had the ring road, or even cars to go from place to place. A fundamental piece to the puzzle for Icelanders (and tourists these days) to travel the country are bridges. And just like the churches, a lot of them. Basically every stream or flow of water you see close to a road will have a or even multiple bridges. There are these very photogenic bridges that are not in use anymore that really make a little stop for a few shots a must for whenever you are exploring the country. This particular bridge is located just north from Búðardalur next to the road towards and coming from the Westfjords.

Snowcapped mountain peaks on Snæfellsnes

Snowcapped mountain peaks on Snæfellsnes

The Snæfellsnes area is often called "mini-Iceland" because it has every kind of landscape that you can find on other places in the country. Glaciers, fjord like bays, lava fields, sharp peaks, black beaches, waterfalls and quite some lakes just to name a few. Below are a few more shots taken in Snæfellsnes.

Driving on Snæfellsnes is great fun, there's plenty of decent and paved roads that will take you to the most know places, like Kirkjufellsfoss and Arnarstapi. But there are also quite a lot of these rough gravel roads. These are the roads that I enjoyed driving the most. Less people (at least tourists) use them so its usually quite nice to be able to slowly make your way on these twisting and turning and sometimes challenging roads. Behind every corner hides a marvelous view towards the sea, or the mountains or anything else amazing Iceland will throw at you. Take your time and enjoy these sights instead of just always following the "easy roads"

Driving on Snæfellsnes is a great experience, it can be tricky sometimes. But you get treated with breathtaking views!

Driving on Snæfellsnes is a great experience, it can be tricky sometimes. But you get treated with breathtaking views!

the town of Grundarfjörður on the right, as seen from the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. 

the town of Grundarfjörður on the right, as seen from the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. 

To end this blog in style I thought it'd be cool to show you a shot from the same location as the first photo in this blog post. Although the same location this photograph looks quite a bit different. All I did is just move away from shooting the very beautiful but intensely photographed waterfall and mountain. I just aimed my camera a bit more to the right to reveal the little town of Grundarfjörður in the distance. Grundarfjörður is a very nice and small fishing village that is growing in population as we speak. It is still a small town though, there are about 875 people living in Grundarfjörður if I am correct. It is very popular due to the mountain and waterfall laying just right outside the town. Anyways, the real story behind this photo is; Don't always go for the classic shot, look around, try to use some different angles and come up with some other shots. There is probably so much more to capture then just that one frame you had in mind, Get creative!

Thank you for checking out my site and reading this blog. Leave a comment and a like, and feel free to share. That means a lot to me.

þakka þér kærlega fyrir! / Thank you very much