Glacial Melt on Lava Fields

The Hraunfossar Falls in Iceland stretch for a kilometer — where glacier melt penetrates through layers of lava and flows into the Hvita River. I was captivated by the clarity of the flowing water against the black lava and the vibrant blue color of the glacial water when it pooled in the river.

Hraunfossar
Icelandic nature: glacial ice melting on the edge of a lava field, Hraunfossar.
Hraunfossar
Hraunfossar falls in Iceland, contrasting waterfalls.
Hraunfossar
Hvita River rushes beneath Hraunfossar falls. A study in black, white and blue.

When the Winter Sun Set by 4…

I knew I was in Iceland. The sun was up for just four to five hours during our stay, and the sun followed a low path along the horizon. So the light was golden all day, you might say. (In early January, the day was four hours long. The day got noticeably longer during the 10 days we were there.)

Enjoy this golden light in the foreground of these snow-covered mountains in West Iceland.

Afternoon in Snaefelssnes, West Iceland in January.

Most Photographed Mountain in Iceland

Stock photos of Kirkjufell at sunset with three waterfalls in the foreground had captured my imagination before our Iceland trip. How I wanted to see that scene in person, and even take my own photo on location! ┬áBut alas, I realized that the sun doesn’t set in summer until close to midnight, and the logistics just would not work.

Would my only photo of Kirkjufell be this one through the bus window?

#kirkjufell, #snaefellsnes, #bus, #mostphotographedsight, #mountain, #blueandgreen
Polarizer in the bus window gave the sky an eerie effect, as I captured Kirkjufell while driving past. One can see the way the top of the mountain resembles a church (“kirk”) shape.

As our ship left the harbor that evening, I got one more chance to photograph Kirkjufell and the surrounding mountains. Note to Self: while capturing the iconic photo you admire can become a treasure hunt that grows into an obsession, there is much to be said for creating your own unique set of images, rather than duplicating the classic shot. In fact, I will remind myself that creating my own unique images is the best path to take.

#iceland, #kirkjufell, #grundarfjordur, #landscape, #sony, #landscape, #mostphotographed #mountain
Departing Grundarfjordur, Kirkjufell was sidelit in the evening light.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

After our glacier hike, we stopped at a little restaurant for some lamb soup, and were surprised to discover this beautiful coast line just a short walk from the restaurant.

This Western region of Iceland, just north of Reykjavik is one of my favorite regions in Iceland. When I return to Iceland someday for a few days of exploration by car, I will probably head up this way. In addition to the dormant volcano Snaefellsjokull and its glacier, one can also enjoy these sea cliffs, miles of sheep farms, lava fields and scenic mountains (more photos of the mountains to come).

#cliff, #basalt, #basaltcolumns, #coast, #iceland, #snaellsfessnes, #blueandgreen, #landscape, #nature, #sony
Coast of Snaefellsnes Peninsula with basalt columns — an interesting rock formation created as lava cools.

Our ship was docked in Grundarfjordur, and next we would return to the ship, passing the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell. One of my goals of the Iceland trip was to capture my own photo of Kirkjufell, but the only opportunity I had was through the bus window. That would be one of many reasons to go back someday.