If you’ve been in the photography game for any length of time as an amateur, enthusiast, or professional, you’ve undoubtedly seen breathtaking images of Iceland. The country’s glaciers, black sand beaches, and geothermal features are the stuff that photographic dreams are made of!
But there’s much, much more to this little country, including a few things you wouldn’t expect to find.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula’s Odd Energies
This 90-kilometer long peninsula is home to an incredibly diverse landscape. There are many amazing photo opportunities here, including the towering Snæfellsjökull Glacier, gorgeous mountain ranges, both black and light sand beaches, and stunning fjords. Picturesque fishing villages, mineral springs, and Kirkjufell Mountain, which is widely considered the most beautiful in Iceland, are in the area as well.
On the unexpected side, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula has a reputation for having an odd energy about it. In fact, some visitors to the region have trouble sleeping because of the magnetic energies emanating from the nearby glaciers. This energy is said to be one of the seven chakras of energy on earth. Others believe that this area is a meeting place for extraterrestrials, while author Jules Verne was so taken with the area’s unusual energy that he made it the setting for his classic work Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Hraunfossar Lava Falls - Water Pouring from a Lava Flow
Iceland has a reputation for landscapes that revolve around fire and ice. There are many active volcanoes and geothermal features, as well as the aforementioned glaciers. There is one place where those elements unexpectedly come together, is at Hraunfossar Lava Falls.
The falls emanate from a subterranean spring in the Hallmundarhraun lava flow, which was created by an eruption of a volcano under the nearby Langjökull glacier. The clear, ice cold water flows through passages created by the flowing lava and emerge as tiny waterfalls and rapids to flow about 900 meters along the surface of the earth until they meet the Hvítá River. Although it is difficult to capture the essence of the entirety of the waterfall, there are many opportunities to photograph where the falls meet with the river for some truly incredible imagery.
Reykjanes Peninsula - Home of the Real Blue Lagoon
The volcanoes and geysers in Iceland get a lot of fanfare, but there are many other interesting and beautiful geological features to be seen as well, especially in the Reykjanes Peninsula area.
A large portion of the peninsula is covered with lava flows, cones, and craters, and it is the only place on earth where you can see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge above water. Because of its location on the border between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, the area is rife with geothermal activity like mud pots and steam vents.
The Blue Lagoon is certainly one of the stars of this area. In a moss-covered depression in a lava flow, the Blue Lagoon is filled with 6 million liters of blue-green saltwater that is a consistent 37-39° Celsius. Common bacteria are not found in the lagoon, so visitors can dive in and relax in its warm waters without worry of getting sick. The lagoon also has steam baths and a waterfall to round out its incredible natural features.
See These Sights - And More - This Summer!
Tour opportunities in Iceland are abundant, but if you want to see the sights while learning how to take better photos, the 10-day Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice photo workshop is the one for you!
Photo Instructor, Raymond Gehman and Icelandic Guide, Tim Vollmer will guide you through Iceland’s spectacular scenery, from fields of wildflowers to rocky coastlines, glacial lagoons to lava flows. While on the tour you will get to photograph fjords, forests, wildlife, and local villages, interact with Icelandic natives, explore museums, and get up close and personal with the many faults, fissures, and other geological features so prominent in the country.
If you’re planning to visit Iceland, this is certainly the way you should do it! The best time to explore these wondrous and unexpected sites is in the summer when there are long days to explore and stunning light to capture the beauty of Iceland. As such, this tour is scheduled for June 28-July 6, 2016. Find out more about the workshop by contacting Raymond directly at (717) 377-6721 or [email protected].