In 2016 I made my dream of visiting Iceland come true and for 7 days I was hitchhiking, camping in marvellous locations and photographing amazing landscapes. Since then I wanted to come back. This year together with Jola and Wojtek we planned a road trip to Iceland.
Initial plan was quite similar to what I did in 2016, but this time we decided to rent a car. This allowed us to go to Snæfellsnes peninsula which I skipped last time. We had absolutely no exceptations regarding the weather - after all the end of September is not exactly a high season on Iceland. But deep inside we really hoped to see Northern Lights.
The plan was as follows: one or two days of exploring Snæfellsnes (which is truly a paradise for a landscape photographer), Golden Circle (to see Geysir) and then driving all the way to Jökulsárlón. The first point was a night in Hvalfjörður, around 100 kilometers from Reykjavík.
We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights during the first night already! We spotted while being in a car rental company and then we needed to get out of Reykjavík, but we managed to take some shots!
We spent the first night in Hvalfjörður. The morning started with a beautiful sunny weather.
After surprisingly cold night we moved towards Snæfellsnes experiencing all possible weather phenomena: rain and rainbows, hail and even snow.
Brief snowfall around Borgarbyggð
Rainbow by the road 54
Rain / snow / hail (choose any)
The greatest advantage of Iceland is fact that there is something beautiful nearly everywhere. If you are lazy you don't even need to leave the car, just drive around and admire.
Snæfellsnes is where one of the most popular icelandic landmarks are located: Lóndrangar cliffs, Búðakirkja church and Kirkjufell mountain (known from "Game of Thrones"). Most of these places are so popular that there are fences and it was hard for me to find a new fresh frame.
Classic frame with Kirkjufell mountain in the background
A little bit different try on Kirkjufell...
... and one more
Lóndrangar cliffs. This photo was taken from an artificial viewpoint. The moment I got there there were several photographers taking photos already, but the rain emptied the place. The problem that remained was wind that was making it really hard to take long exposure photos.
Slightly less popular, but beautiful (and easily accessible from the road) Bjarnarfoss waterfall. This day the conditions were changing very fast, so I found a frame and waited for the sun to illuminate the peak. I only got more rain instead.
It is worth spending some time exploring Snæfellsnes. You can find many less popular, but lovely beaches and bays that create opportunities for more unique shots.
Golden Circle and Southern Iceland
Most of the trip we spent in places I already knew. We explored the southern part of the island, starting in Vík í Mýrdal until Jökulsárlón, and Golden Circle. For me it was a perfect situation. I didn't feel any pressure to take standard photos since I had already taken them before two years earlier. I could focus on more creative frames and experiment a little bit.
Öxarárfoss waterfall. Panorama taken with 6 vertical photos, each of them with a long exposure. Seconds later there was an opportunity to redo this photo with a sun shining and a blue sky, but I like this waterfall more in these grey moody conditions.
Skógarfoss. During the day even long exposure doesn't guarantee lack of people on the photo.
Diamond Beach close to Jökulsárlón.
One of the most popular Iceland's landmarks is Jökulsárlón lake full of floating icebergs. As much as I like this place, I find close by lake Fjallsárlón more appealing as it's easier to find a good composition there and it's less crowded.
Jökulsárlón after sunset
Fjallsárlón lake during sunrise. One of my favourite places on Iceland.
After barely six days, with a card full of photos, we made our way back to the airport. We visited Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Garður lighthouse before finally arriving to the airport in Keflavik.
Somewhere on the road number 1 from Vik to Selfoss. As I mentioned Iceland is a landscape photographer's paradise.
On the way to Dakota plane wreck. Because of the crowds I think it's worth the hassle only if you have too much time.
Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge. This place doesn't seem to be very popular, but it's absolutely fabulous. And it's only minutes far from road number 1.
Road number 1 towards Skaftafell National Park
Last but not least it's worth a mention how great my company was. Regardless the rain, snow, cold and wind they kept accepting me saying "let's stop only for five minutes" and "let's wait for a better light".
Jola standing in front of Jökulsárlón
Wojtek standing in front of the hidden waterfall Gljúfrabúi.