I ventured out onto the expanse of beach past the dunes, where you can walk to the lagoon's edge; the reflections were incredible as the water was so still.
There were a couple of people here and there, including an Asian couple with a drone, the man filming the woman walking along, so naturally... I took a few pictures before wandering on. The surface of the sand was streaked with yellow.
ke a full 180° panoramic view of the scene, with the setting moon on one side, the mountains (fully-reflected) in the middle, and the sun rising on the other side. He asked if I could take that kind of scene on my 'proper' camera, so I took a whole load of vertical shots on my 24-70mm lens, hoping to be able to stitch them together when I got home. I gave him my website address and off they went.
Here is the finished shot. I wasn't quite happy with it, as the light changed so much across the sky, the stitching software was not happy with the frames with the sun in it, and the sun caused awful flares. It took a lot of work, correcting the white balance and exposure of each raw shot before trying to do the stitch.
(Trent sent me an email a couple of weeks later and bought a copy so this should be printed out HUGE and hung on a wall in Arizona!)
I took a few more reflection shots before calling it a day at 8.45am; I needed my tea!
|In case you didn't notice, this is a reflection turned upside-down|
I came home and had breakfast (the usual - blueberry skyr and Icelandic granola with lovely roasted hazelnuts in it) and a couple of cups of tea, while downloading the photos and recharging the batteries. The first thing I noticed was that the fail from the previous night had been repeated. ALL of my wide angle shots taken with an angle of wider than about 30mm had the huge hair across the lens. I was devastated and really angry with myself. I had thought the hair was at the rear of the lens, but all the time it was stuck to the glass on the front of the lens. It was from the lopapeysa :( Usually I clean my lenses each morning before setting off, but this time I got up so early I hadn't bothered. Lesson learned!!
I took the rest of the day fairly easy, somewhat lacking the energy to go out and do too much more. I eventually ventured out again at midday (lenses properly cleaned!), my destination being Skutafoss, a little waterfall just off the road back towards the tunnel. First, however, I went across the main road and down the little lane to the river bends. I stopped to take a few shots of the beautiful horses. Some of them I'd presumably photographed on my previous trip in the winter.
I had been concentrating on capturing a couple of horses on the hill to the east of the road and looked round to see a few of the horses surrounding my car. I wandered a bit closer and noticed that they were licking it, which was a bit odd.
I shooed them away when I noticed one of them beginning to nibble on the trim of the driver's door! Licking the wheels and bonnet was one thing, but nibbling, no. I got back into the car and headed further down the road. This was where I had walked after a snowstorm in February and the shades of grey and bends of the river had given me one of my favourite shots from the trip. How different the conditions were today, with blue skies overhead and an almost balmy temperature; the views were just lovely. I longed to have a drone to see the river braids from above, but hate them with a passion, so will just have to enjoy the view from ground level until I've reconciled myself to the fact that they make an incredibly annoying buzz (and maybe eventually they'll find a way to make them quieter!). The views back to the cottage and entrance to the canyon were wonderful too.
On the way back up the road I noticed some sheep running at the side of the road, so stopped to get a couple of shots.
Next stop was Skutafoss, which I'd only visited once before. It is a nice little waterfall, at the entrance to a wide, shallow cave. I drove up a gravel road a little way, parking before it got too bumpy, and continued on foot. It was 1.20pm by the time I arrived at the falls and the sunlight was bright on the water. I took a few shots from the river bank with filters on before heading into the cave.
It's a rather challenging waterfall to capture, and I'd come at the wrong time of the day, as the sun was just about to set behind a hill to the west, even though it was hours before the actual sunset. I obviously hadn't checked The Photographer's Ephemeris properly, which showed the best light on it from about 9am until 1pm. I just caught the sun setting behind the mountain as I tried to get the tripod as close to the back of the cave as possible. Big black clouds behind would probably help.
I'll try to visit on my next winter trip, but this all depends on the accessibility of the road and how deep the snow is on the track. I headed back home for some tea, greeted by a sheep basking in the afternoon sun.
As I sat in the kitchen downloading the photos I noticed something intensely red catch my eye out of the window. I looked out and noticed a cockerel, with its wattle backlit by the low sun.
I didn't really know where I wanted to go for sunset, but as I hadn't been to Hvalnes that day I decided to head there, to do some beach-combing, and have a little photo session for my new jewellery! I realised that I talk a lot about my incredible Icelandic jeweller, Orr, so decided it was about time I photographed some of the amazing pieces I've acquired. Before I set off I went up to the farmhouse to pay up, as I was planning on an early start the following morning. Sigurdur's wife was there and we chatted briefly as I paid, before setting off on the lovely short drive to the point. The light wasn't particularly interesting; still a little harsh even though sunset was approaching. I arrived at Hvalnes and another couple was there on the hill near the lighthouse photographing the view west. I headed down to the beach, stopping to take a couple of shots of the magnificent first peak of Eystrahorn.
The first thing I saw when I reached the beach was a carcass of something. At first I thought it might be a seal, but closer inspection showed a massive bulbous skull and long toothed beak. I checked the anatomy of a dolphin when I got home; this is what it was. It made me feel rather sad. Bits of bone were strewn along the beach too, among seaweed and stones.
The view from the beach is always amazing though. I think Eystrahorn wins the prize of second-favourite Icelandic mountain, after Lómagnúpur.
Photographing jewellery is not easy, and I struggled with too shallow depth of field and reflections of me and the tripod in the shiny silver.
|I know, horrible flares, but it was just glorious!|
I walked along the beach a little and was amazed at how quickly the tide was coming in. Within minutes of taking that shot the water had completely covered the sandbanks. The water was lapping quickly at the shore, so long exposures didn't really work. The rocks along the shore had some interesting patterns on them; something to explore on a future trip :)
There was quite a nice selection of colours; not just green, but some purple, pink, yellow and red.
|My route on Day 7 - back and forth around Stafafell!|
Click here for my blog from Day 6: Exploring around Stafafell