Iceland – Day 1

“Rangárþing Eystra” - South Icelend

It is said, “There is no bad weather in Iceland, only bad clothing”
– unknown

“Rangárþing Eystra” – South Iceland

The saying above rang true on day one of my trip to Iceland with my son. I agonized about taking the right cloths for this land of ever-changing conditions, trying not to pack too much, but being aware that too little could also pose a problem.

We landed at 6:05am to surprisingly mild temperatures and no rain, though the forecast had called for it. By 7:30 am we had picked up our rental 4×4 an were on the road towards Vik, our first stop on our ten day Ring Road excursion.

By 9:30 the sky was just brightening as we drove through a tortured and raw landscape of jagged volcanic debris, a slight tang of sulphur in the air, noting the columns of steam rising from the earth’s depths, reminders that volcanism is still a very real part of what makes Iceland what it is, a land of fire and ice.

For me, “raw” best describes what I am seeing. It’s layers upon layers of glaciers, lava fields, geysers, and pale yellow mosses that tenaciously cling to the exposed rock.

As we continued our journey towards Vik, the landscape calmed a bit, changing from lava fields to high, snow-covered mountains, water falls, and twisting, sinuous rivers, winding their way through black sands to the sea. Between these mountains, farms fill valleys, defying nature yet dwarfed by the enormity of the landscape the are part of. One such valley is pictured above, as icy waters escape their mountain homes, on black paths to mingle with sea water in the north Atlantic Ocean.

The other factor at play is, of course, the weather. This image was made around 12:30 and a system pushed straight up the mid-Atlantic by the Gulf Stream continues to darken the skies, eventually ending with sheets of rain and temperatures just above freezing. By the time we got to Vik around 3:00pm it was cold and miserable and we called it quits for the day. More tomorrow.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/556 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

15 Comments on “Iceland – Day 1

  1. I’ll join in with the others on really liking the quote. Looking forward to more photos like the above. Coincidently the photographers of two blogs I follow are in Iceland this month. You and a commercial photographer out of Austin, Tx named Kirk Tuck who is taking a workshop group there in a few days.

  2. That quote could apply to a lot of places 🙂
    I can’t explain why because I’m not quite sure myself, but Iceland has always been a dream destination for me. I look forward to seeing more of your images and reading your impressions.
    Safe travels 🙂

    • Thanks. It’s not overly expensive, if you plan. I’m travelling with my adult son, staying in guesthouses. The place is stunning and RAW. That’s why photographers are flooding to it.

      • Yes, my Instagram feed is full of pictures of the place. It certainly seems to have captured the popular imagination.

  3. You photography is as good as it gets; my problem is always finding a composition and a challenging light and pleased be reassured I am no Photographer.
    Pleased you liked my painting.


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