Iceland by DEE POTTER
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Ice Age
Thousands of years carving through the volcanic landscape of Iceland, this mammoth glacial wall postures for its final descent into the ocean never to be seen in this form again.
Londrangar - the Rocky Castle of Iceland
Nicknamed “the Rocky Castle”, the unique basalt cliffs of Lóndrangar are all that remain of a volcanic crater after eons of punishing North Atlantic erosion. The towering pillars are 75 metres (246 ft) and 61 metres (200 ft) high. Folklore has it that the barren lands surrounding the Lóndrangar basalt cliffs have remained eternally uncultivated by local farmers to protect the elves who reportedly live there. If you look closely, you may find a few here.
Middle Earth
Take a short walk across the clifftop from Lóndrangar and watch your step. This basalt rock blowhole from the North Atlantic hundreds of feet below doesn't always make its presence known like this. A blowhole, also called a marine geyser, but less fun to say, is formed when sea caves grow inwards and upwards into vertical shafts and expose themselves on the clifftop, which results in hydraulic compression of sea water that is released through the port from the top as seen here during a gale-force windstorm. Quite a spectacle to see in person.
Misty Mountain Moment
From the base of Krossanesfjall at the southern end of Eystrahorn, the unyielding clouds were briefly penetrated by the sun for just seconds on the North Atlantic shoreline; just long enough to shift focus to capture this epic Icelandic scene.
Birds of Krossanesfjall
Birds of Krossanesfjall: While waiting in vain for the clouds to lift from the 716 metre-high peaks of Krossanesfjall at the southern end of Eystrahorn in south-east Iceland, the fulmar seabirds were in a whirling frenzy through the mist enveloping the mountain, while a focused flock of Gannets fly high above towards the sea ignoring the mayhem below. By the way, gannets are the largest of all North Atlantic seabirds with wingspans up to 2 m.
Rising Dawn
First light on the horizon at Reynisdrangar sea stacks and the Black Sand Beach of southeast Iceland.
Beyond Kirkjufoss
View from the edge of Kirkjufoss (Church Falls), one of Iceland's most iconic scenes on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and named after Kirkjufell (Church Mountain) in the background, so-called for its steeple-like form and no doubt its commandiing presence on the landscape.
Misty Mountain Morning Blue
A quick stop off the Ring Road on Hvalnesviti near the Hvalnes Nature Reserve Beach and the Hvalnes Lighthouse in Eastern Iceland. It was too overcast to carry on to those more popular spots, but while all eyes were waiting for fog to clear a little on another Mordor-esque mountain to my camera-left, I spotted this fleeting beam of light hitting the mountainside in the distance and quickly spun my Z7 and refocused to capture it before it was gone. Thankfully, this lone SUV drove into frame at just the right time to illustrate the massive scale of this scene.
Sunbeams on Kirkjufell
Kirkjufellsfoss was falling fast and heavy after a full-morning Icelandic rain. The mist over the falls gave way to the emerging sun, and light rays filtered briefly through gaps in the lower atmosphere to highlight the peak of Kirkjufell for just seconds before the clouds converged and the light was gone.
Rough in the Diamond
Huge chunks of glacial ice famously float downstream from the inland icebergs of Jökulsárlón Lagoon, and wash up here on the silky black sand of Diamond Beach. But on this evening, the North Atlantic tide delivered this full sized, 20 lb whale vertebrae right to my feet. I felt honored to capture it with the ice for over 5 minutes before this final wave flooded the shore and washed it back out to sea. This was the last photo before it disappeared.
Diamond in the Sand
Fresh ice ashore at Diamond Beach, Iceland. The name, Diamond Beach, is a made-up name for tourists, but quite fitting considering the sparkling jewels it harbors like this one. For those true to geography,thought, the real name of this magical place is either Vestri-Fellsfjara or Eystri-Fellsfjara depending on which side of the Jökulsá River you are. I was on the Eystri-Fellsfjara side to capture this image.
Hofskirkja Turf Church - Iceland
Hofskirkja is the last of the old churches to be built in this traditional turf style, and one of only six remaining in Iceland. Historical records tell of a church at Hof in Öræfi for over 700 years with the earliest mention of a church on this site from 1343. The foundation of this particular church was built in 1883-1885. And on this rainy day, the misty mountain backdrop and the lone mushroom in the foreground created an enchanting scene not unlike what parishioners must have marvelled at in centuries past.
Canyon Dweller
Just when I thought I couldn't get any more soaked than photographing the great Seljalandsfoss, a quick kilometre venture along the base of the same high cliffs brought us to a narrow river running from out of the cliffside through a very narrow slit in the rock-face, and once squeezed inside, the roar and mist of Gljufrabui waterfall, or Gljúfrabúifoss, filled this enormous canyon behind the cliff wall. At 40 meters high, Gljufrabui isn't the tallest of Icelands 10,000 waterfalls, but it is certainly one of the most impressive, if only for itself unique location pouring inside of a mountain. In fact, the name, Gljufrabui, (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈkljuvraˌfɔsː]),translated into English means "canyon dweller" or "dweller of the gorge". The biggest challenge of photographing this gorge, was keeping the camera lens clean and dry for just long enough to capture the shots. 3 seconds is a long time in a shower!
Lóndrangar Iceland
Nicknamed “the Rocky Castle”, the unique basalt cliffs of Lóndrangar are all that remain of a volcanic crater after eons of punishing North Atlantic erosion. The towering pillars are 75 metres (246 ft) and 61 metres (200 ft) high. Folklore has it that the barren lands surrounding the Lóndrangar basalt cliffs have remained eternally uncultavated by local farmers to protect the elves who reportedly live there. If you look closely, you may find a few here.
Diamond Beach Treasure
Huge chunks of glacial ice famously float downstream from the inland icebergs of Jökulsárlón Lagoon, and wash up here on the silky black sand of Diamond Beach. But on this evening, the North Atlantic tide delivered something special directly to my feet: a full sized, 20 lb whale vertebrae. I felt blessed to capture it with the ice for over 5 minutes before another huge wave flooded the shore, along with my boots, to retrieve this magnificent artifact of a life that once ruled these waters.
Skógafoss Iceland
At 200 feet high, Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls; more than 20 feet taller than Niagara Falls, on average. The enormity and beauty draws people two hours from Reykjavík just for selfies at this remarkable place. In fact, there are thousands of photos online of Skogafoss in full view and in all its glory, but for me, to capture the true power and awe of this iconic cataract, my friend, here, gracious agreed to step up to the falls and embrace the deafening roar long enough for me to freeze the torrential impact.
Sun Voyager - Iceland
Having a little free time on my last full day in Iceland, the sun was out after an afternoon rain, and the colourful clouds called to a few of us who'd just had the most incredible photography journey across the country together to venture down to the waterfront to shoot this attraction in the amazing light. Reykjavik’s famous seaside sculpture is called "Solfar" or "Sun Voyager". Created by Icelandic sculptor, Jon Gunnar Arnason, Solfar was the winning entry in a 1986 competition to commemorate Reykjavik's 200th anniversary, and unveiled at full size in on August 18, 1990. Although it's often referred to as a Viking ship heading toward Mt. Esja across the bay, it's rather the artist's ode to the sun, symbolizing light and hope. The stainless steel structure stands 9 m high × 7 m wide × 18 m long (29.5 ft × 22.9 ft × 59 ft), so, no matter what your interpretation of this now-iconic Reykjavik tourist must-see, it's absolutely magnificent to experience up close, in person. GPS: 64.14761 N, -21.922288 W
Womb of Mother Earth
Erupting Geldingadalir Volcano in Grindavik, Iceland, from 498m above. No volcanic eruption had occurred for 800 years on the Reykjanes Peninsula until 19 March 2021 when a fissure vent appeared here, and gave us a spectacular show until the September 18th, 2021 when this shot was taken.
Creature of Lava
It's incredible to witness a volcano erupting in front of you as we did for the very first time here at Geldingadalir Volcano, Grindavik, Iceland, but to watch as it paints the landscape in masterful mosaic art is breathtaking! Incidentally, no volcanic eruption had occurred for 800 years on the Reykjanes Peninsula until 19 March 2021 when a fissure vent appeared here in Geldingadalir to the south of Fagradalsfjall mountain. The 2021 eruption was effusive and last emitted fresh lava on 18 September 2021. This photo was taken at 1:47 AM on 18 September 2021.
Creature from the Lava Lagoon
It's incredible to witness a volcano erupting in front of you as we did for the very first time here at Geldingadalir Volcano, Grindavik, Iceland, but to watch as it paints the landscape in masterful mosaic art is breathtaking! Incidentally, no volcanic eruption had occurred for 800 years on the Reykjanes Peninsula until 19 March 2021 when a fissure vent appeared here in Geldingadalir to the south of Fagradalsfjall mountain. The 2021 eruption was effusive and last emitted fresh lava on 18 September 2021. This photo was taken at 1:33 AM on 18 September 2021.
Jurassic Lava
It's incredible to witness a volcano erupting in front of you as we did for the very first time here at Geldingadalir Volcano, Grindavik, Iceland, but to watch as it paints the landscape in masterful mosaic art is breathtaking! Incidentally, no volcanic eruption had occurred for 800 years on the Reykjanes Peninsula until 19 March 2021 when a fissure vent appeared here in Geldingadalir to the south of Fagradalsfjall mountain. The 2021 eruption was effusive and last emitted fresh lava on 18 September 2021. This photo was taken at 1:46 AM on 18 September 2021.
Lava Art
It's incredible to witness a volcano erupting in front of you as we did for the very first time here at Geldingadalir Volcano, Grindavik, Iceland, but to watch as it paints the landscape in masterful mosaic art is breathtaking! Incidentally, no volcanic eruption had occurred for 800 years on the Reykjanes Peninsula until 19 March 2021 when a fissure vent appeared here in Geldingadalir to the south of Fagradalsfjall mountain. The 2021 eruption was effusive and last emitted fresh lava on 18 September 2021. This photo was taken at 1:45 AM on 18 September 2021.
Lava Bouquet
It's incredible to witness a volcano erupting in front of you as we did for the very first time here at Geldingadalir Volcano, Grindavik, Iceland, but to watch as it paints the landscape in masterful mosaic art is breathtaking! Incidentally, no volcanic eruption had occurred for 800 years on the Reykjanes Peninsula until 19 March 2021 when a fissure vent appeared here in Geldingadalir to the south of Fagradalsfjall mountain. The 2021 eruption was effusive and last emitted fresh lava on 18 September 2021. This photo was taken at 1:45 AM on 18 September 2021.
Skútafoss Iceland
A rainy day in Hornafjörður, Eastern Iceland, was the perfect time for a cave shoot. Skútafoss is beautiful little waterfall about a mile up river from the road and perfectly placed at the mouth of this cave for easy shelter and a nice vantage point to photograph the unique scenery even in unfavorable weather.
Kirkjufell Iceland
Kirkjufell: I was so excited to finally see this must-photograph location in person. I had seen hundreds of photos and was still awe-struck to be here. Arguably the most iconic location on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, and likely the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufellsfoss is situated 185 km from the capitol city of Reykjavík. The mountain's positioning with Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall and its unique shape draws tourists from around the world. Somewhat resembling a house of worship, the name Kirkjufell accordingly means Church Mountain. And on this particular day, we arrived just as the rain was clearing off to the east to reward our timing with some kisses of light on the mountain top, and a rainbow to finish off the incredible scene.
Seljalandsfoss Iceland
On our last, and what would become our longest single-day journey in Iceland starting before sunrise on Black Sand Beach and ending in the early following-morning hours on an erupting volcano, we stopped for photos and a good soaking here at Seljalandsfoss, a 60 meter (200 feet) waterfall situated on the south coast. Seljalandsfoss is on the river Seljalandsá (or Seljalands River), which begins under the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. These sheer cliffs were notably once the South Iceland coastline, although the shore has now settled in the distance across a long stretch of lowlands, miles away. Incidentally, the volcano beneath the glacier Eyjafjallajökull where these waters began, was responsible for the infamous eruption that razed havoc for cross-Atlantic air-travel in 2010.
Reynisdrangar Iceland
Towering off the black sand coast of Reynisfjara Beach near the village of Vík in south Iceland, stands Reynisdrangar, the magnificent black basalt columns featured in Season 7 of Game of Thrones as Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Taken at sunrise on a particularly windy morning, we were repeatedly warned of the imminent danger of treading too closely to the waves that have become infamous for washing people out to sea forever from right off the sand. I didn't have to be told twice and found safe shelter behind the rocks.

In September, 2021, I had the great pleasure of accompanying Global Elite Photographers: YouTube star educator, Mark Denney, 2-time landscape photographer of the year, Kah-Wai Lin, and Iceland's own premier photographer, Sigurður William Brynjarsson, along with a small troop of gifted photographers from around the world who were as new to Iceland as I was. The opportunity to capture one of the world's most unique landscapes with such talented and passionate photographers has been an experience of a lifetime, and has truly elevated my game as a landscape photographer. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did creating them.

Ice Age Londrangar - the Rocky Castle of Iceland Middle Earth Misty Mountain Moment Birds of Krossanesfjall Rising Dawn Beyond Kirkjufoss Misty Mountain Morning Blue Sunbeams on Kirkjufell Rough in the Diamond Diamond in the Sand Hofskirkja Turf Church - Iceland Canyon Dweller Lóndrangar Iceland Diamond Beach Treasure Skógafoss Iceland Sun Voyager - Iceland Womb of Mother Earth Creature of Lava Creature from the Lava Lagoon Jurassic Lava Lava Art Lava Bouquet Skútafoss Iceland Kirkjufell Iceland Seljalandsfoss Iceland Reynisdrangar Iceland
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