Iceland: Jokulsarlon Lagoon Part 1

Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland on the borders of Vatnajökull National Park and it evolved into a lagoon after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. While working in Iceland we spent five days in this region exploring the surrounding areas around Skaftafell National Park & Vatnajökull but my favourite place to visit was by far the Jökulsárlón lagoon. With its never-ending landscape of floating ice as far as the eye can see where your mind gets lost in all its splendour. Now as a photographer when a beautiful landscape like this is provided in front of you, you can tend to run around with your camera like a headless chicken trying to photograph everything in 5 minutes! This is the wrong way to go about it. Leave the camera in the bag and go for a walk, your head will be free of shutter speeds, apertures and lens selection. So that you can breathe in the landscape and think more about composition and the feel of the overall scene.

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20130521_Jokulsarlon_0254_1200px

With sunset being around 11pm and sunrise is around 3:30am sleep becomes a thing of the past as some of the best light is around an hour after sunset so if you're going to get any sleep it'll only be for a couple hours and then your straight back out again. The above image was taken 15 minutes before the sun disappeared behind the distant mountains and the low golden light lit up all the ice on the water.

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20130520_Jokulsarlon_0186_1200px

On one particular evening the light was good but a bunch of low lying clouds were restricting the sunlight but what I really wanted to show in the shot was the bright moon that appeared. Most wide angle lenses wouldn't have been able to include it into the scene but that is no problem for the Nikon 14-24mm!

Now the below image was a different story, this was taken on our first early morning trip to the lagoon and the light couldn't have been more perfect! We arrived around 20 minutes before the sun rose so that gave me a little time to plan some shots and go back to areas that I liked from the night before. Around the edge of the lagoon there were a few hills that looked over the surrounding area so just as the sun came over the horizon I ran up the closest hill to photograph the gorgeous sunrise.

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20130521_Jokulsarlon_0035-Edit_1200px

I love dramatic light, who doesn't! But you can't have great light without dramatic clouds, they are what turn a good photograph into an amazing shot. During our last evening at the lagoon the clouds were performing beautifully, each cloud was full of detail but what made them really stand out was the golden light that was covering them. This amazing light lasted for around 30 minutes as the sun set giving me plenty of time to get some shots and also a bit of timelapse footage when we returned at our accommodation. I've started to put together a short film on my first trip to Iceland which I'm hoping to release in the next few weeks.

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20130521_Jokulsarlon_0260_1200px

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