Iceland Journal – “Austari – Skógarmannafjöll” – North Iceland

“Austari - Skógarmannafjöll” - North Iceland

“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!” 
― John Muir

The name Austari – Skógarmannafjöll literally means East Skogar Mountains. I’m still trying to understand the multiple iterations of Icelandic names. These ‘mountains’ are a part of the area referred to by geographers as part of the Table Mountains of Northern Iceland. The whole region is characterized by vast, flat lava fields and these mountains stand alone in this flatness. For perspective, I used the full zoom on my 200m lense, as the mountains are about 10 km from the road.

What originally got my attention, as we drove through this bleak, snowy landscape, was the sun shining through the snow clouds, making at appear as if these dormant volcanoes were steaming. That, and the brilliant sunlight breaking through and catching them on their south flank, while the north fight off the dark of yet another heavy snow squall.

From my roadside vantage point, this contrast of elements: bright and dark, flat and tall, made for a nice composition which captured the character of this region, known, generally, as Mývatnsöræfi, or the ‘wilderness’ of Mývatn, which is such an appropriate name for this harsh landscape.

I have to admit that I had to edit out a powerline which bisected my view of the mountains for kilometers. I tried to get closer and get a shot under the wires, but the terrain was quit rugged and the wind was incredible and relentless. I finally resigned myself that a ‘clean’ shot was not possible and that I would have to edit the out. This was not a common occurrence as Iceland is being very deliberate in not spoiling their natural beauty with things like power lines. Work is underway to bury power lines for just this purpose

I’m glad for my decision to make the photo regardless of the obstruction, because the opportunity to make this image soon disappeared behind yet another squall, a constant theme for us as we ventured through this region in late October, 2018.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 800

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

6 Comments on “Iceland Journal – “Austari – Skógarmannafjöll” – North Iceland

  1. Beautiful image, Ed, the light is so ethereal….I know the frustration of the power lines, when I walk the forest at the nearby wetlands I have to angle my camera to avoid or reduce the power lines that are just a few feet from the walking trail.

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