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!  But 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.

Whales in Iceland

It was a day multiple blessings and just one First World Problem. First, here are the blessings:

  1. We were on vacation in Iceland.
  2. The weather was sunny and warm (not typical).
  3. In Akureyri, we were going on a RIB (rubber inflatable boat) to observe whales in the fjord.
  4. Humpback whales feed in the Icelandic fjords in July.
  5. We had an experienced pilot and guide who have identified 150 humpback whales by name and understand a great deal about them.
  6. I kept my Sony a7IIr camera dry, and did not lose my sunglasses as we sped around the fjord.

So, what was the First World Problem?  We got so close to Jackson the humpback whale that I couldn’t get the whole whale in my frame! I caught myself exclaiming, “Oh my, we’re too close!” and heard a voice reply, “too close?”

Well, you see, I wasn’t really complaining. I was amazed. Thrilled. Grateful.

My husband was not behind a camera, and just watched the whale, seeing his eye.

#whale, #humpback, #iceland, #akureyri, #rib, #nature, #wildlife, #upclose
Jackson, the humpback whale, next to our boat. See his blow hole and part of his white dorsal fin under water.
#whale, #humpback, #fjord, #akureyri, #rib, #whalewatch, #wildlife, #nature, #windstar
I quickly zoomed my lens from 70 to 24mm to capture more of the whale and the fjord. The white dorsal fin represents one third the length of the body, to give you an idea of the whale’s length.
#whale, #humpback, #jackson, #fjord, #iceland, #rib, #akureyri, #wildlife, #windstar
When Jackson the humpback whale made a deep dive, our pilot headed back to shore.

More Chihuly at NYBG

It’s true: Art helps you to see the world in a fresh new way. First we are attracted to Art for its shape, its color, its sound, its fascination value or its beauty.

#chihuly, #NYBG, #newyork, #botanical, #glass, #art, #sculpture, #nature, #blue
Chihuly’s blue globe radiates white beams, at the New York Botanical Garden.

Next, we relate it to what we know. Third, we begin to see new relationships.

#palm, #tropical, #rockgarden, #inspiration, #NYBG, #newyork, #botanical, #botanicalgarden, #sony
Was Chihuly inspired by the sun, or perhaps by palm trees like these?

 

Uncommon colors for May

Photographing flowers at the New York Botanical Garden with my daughter Erin, I was treated to eye dazzling displays of pink and green, especially in the peony garden. But the rock garden offered some different visual treats. One of them was this delicious juxtaposition of velvety crimson and a frosty green. I loved the way the frosty green ferns framed the spherical peony blossom.

#newyork, #botanical, #peony, #red, #redandgreen, #may, #uncommon, #colors, #shapes, #bronx, #nybotanical, #garden, #sony
A refreshing combination of frosty green ferns frame a deep red peony at the New York Botanical Garden.

 

What Lies Ahead

On a morning walk in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, you never know what lies ahead. One time, a Florida Panther jumped onto this stretch of boardwalk. Other days a Burmese python was sighted just below in the swamp. Most likely, you will see a dozen or more species of birds and some alligators. I was not disappointed as I entered the cypress forest.

#corkscrew, #swamp, #santuary, #naples, #florida, #nature, #birdwatching, #vertical, #sony
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is an active nature preserve near Naples, FL.

Rose of Sharon by Sony

This morning’s heavy rain gave way to sunshine, and my Rose of Sharon bushes — both purple and pink — were dotted with raindrops. It was a good time to test out my friend’s Sony A7r. I purchased the Metabones Nikon adapter, so I could attach my Nikon lenses. For macro images of flowers, I love to use my 105mm Sigma lens. Because I was shooting hand-held and focusing manually, I raised the ISO to 1,000.

#roseofsharon, #bee, #bumblebee, #pollinate, #purple
This bumble bee coated with pollen was having a big day.
#rain, #petals, #roseofsharon, #July #pink, #buds
The petals reminded me of tissue paper. More buds wait off stage for their day.