This was my second trip to Iceland in as many years, and this small volcanic island in the North Atlantic managed to impress me again. Not least because I arrived into warmer weather than the winter freeze behind me in the UK.
The 320, 000 Icelandic people, warm and friendly, have taken this geologically young land, just 60 million years old, and made it their own. Iceland nestles on the join between the North American and European tectonic plates, suffering 1200 earthquakes per year (ok, so most of them are barely felt, but come on - 1200 of them!) and one third of all the lava flow on Earth. The weather can bring all seasons to just one day, and yet despite being in close proximity to Greenland and the Arctic, the warm gulfstream currents manage to keep the island relatively temperate. The landscape is a cross between a glacier and the Moon (in fact Neil Armstrong and Co came to Iceland in the 1960s to practice walking on a lunar surface). Despite all the hardships their land throws at them, the Icelandic people do not complain or moan, but make the best of their habitat. They exemplify how humans can successfully harness the resources available to them while still embracing and preserving the delicacy and beauty of their natural wilderness.
On this trip I visited many of their waterfalls, a volcanic crater and walked on and around a glacier. I spent a little time at the Blue Lagoon, and on the south coastal town of Vik. I also spent a day and evening re-visiting Reykjavik’s sights, and I will present those photos on a separate post. I even tried some Minke Whale meat for dinner one night. I am fervently against all forms of whaling, but I figured that this particular whale was already dead, and if I didn't eat it, they'd only serve it to someone else. A small proportion of Icelanders eat horse meat too, an abundant meat source given that there is one horse for every 4 Icelanders. One has to remember that historically, a small population confined to this island needed to use whatever resources were available for sustenance, so one cannot judge them from our own standpoint.
I took my usual travel complement of lenses, including the Nikkors 35mm AF-D F/2 and 50mm AF-S F/1.8G, and the Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8. All images were shot RAW and converted with Capture NX2, then batch edited in Aperture. I used a 10 stop ND Grad filter to achieve the blur effect for many of the waterfall shots.
I have included a few images from my last trip 2 years ago, just to give a more complete picture.
Anyway, enjoy the photos.