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Author Topic: Iceland - Q&A  (Read 16319 times)
IcelandAurora
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« on: February 12, 2012, 12:42:47 AM »
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Hi I have been living and working in Iceland for over 7 years. I am a photographer and photo tour guide.
I f anyone has any questions about Iceland in terms of locations, light, access or anything photographic, please feel free and I will do my best to answer.

Tony
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 11:02:34 AM »
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Hi Tony ...

  Very cool of you to offer.  I will have lots of questions in a few months, but for now ...   Simply thanks!

Jeffrey
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Dewi Sant
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 12:18:27 PM »
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I missed this post first time around - nice of you to offer, Tony. I spent 4 days with my wife in Iceland in Feb 2011 which simply wasn't long enough. Despite doing the, " Tourist thing"  - purely because it seemed the best way of getting a feel for the place in such a short space of time - I  did get some half decent photographs. However, I do want to go back and take off on my own at some point but I'd probably do it a little later in the year when everything's not quite so frozen up. We did fall lucky with our tour guide though, he was an absolute mine of information and took us to see some wonderful places in his little mini bus.  It is place that gets under you skin, and I'll probalby return many times, I loved it there - so will more than likely be picking your brains sometime in the future.

Dewi
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IcelandAurora
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 02:47:49 PM »
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You're very welcome!  I look forward to your questions.
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Petrus
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 11:12:06 AM »
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I have been to Iceland 4 times: once on a shoestring type tent trip in -80 with my wife (witnessed Hekla eruption, roasted hot dogs in the lava streams like we had promised before the trip), Then a few work trips as a news photographer, in 2001 3 weeks with wife and 6 kids aged 9 to 14 in a Land Rover Defender 110. We took the car ferry from Bergen and spent the nice 3 day layover in Faroe Islands on the way back while the ship goes to Denmark and back.

Some points: Iceland is a terrific place for landscape photography. Many places are quite unbelievable, like the black lava sands at Lakagígar with bright oversaturated moss growing in patches. Also the Jökulsarlon iceberg lake and the ice on the beach (with curious seals popping up to see the tourists), glaciers and waterfalls, and the unreal clarity of the air with visibility of well over 100 km. I recommend getting a good, real 4x4 vehicle (not cheap to rent, but for a group of 4 not bad) and some camping gear, and enough time to explore the inland areas. The timeframe to go there is quite short, as some of the inland roads do not open until late July.
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IcelandAurora
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 02:08:40 PM »
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There are some very valid points raised above.

The central highland offer some stunning landscapes, but the time is limited.  Usually the road to Landmannalaugar open beginning of June and this opens lots of opportunities with it.... mostly for hikers.  I love early June in Landmannalaugar, because there is still a fair amount of snow on the mountains and this just give an extra dimension to the already extraordinary terrain.

Most of the other highland roads open during June, although some of the more challenging routes such as Sprengisandur stay closed until July (or August this year due to the late snows).

The reason these roads are not accessible is because they are going through a thawing stage.  The road is extremely vulnerable and so driving is strictly forbidden.

You can get information about access on this website:
http://www.vegagerdin.is/english/road-conditions-and-weather/the-entire-country/island1e.html

Just to mention that there is such a lot more to Iceland than the central highlands; my business is very busy during the winter season when there is no highland access, there is so much to see just on the ring road.
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Daniel Bergmann
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 04:54:08 PM »
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I would like to second Tony's opinion that there is so much more to Iceland than the interior, as spectacular as it is. And there is also so much more to this country than the black beaches of the southern coast and the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. I've been exploring and photographing Iceland for 25 years and I feel I'm just scratching the surface. And even though the glacial lagoon and the iceberg beach have been done to death, I still become inspired to photograph when I'm there. For me it's not about the location but about the process of discovering and creating images. But it certainly helps being in beautiful and inspiring surroundings. And as such Iceland is not only good in summer. Autumn and winter are equally exciting.
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markadams99
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 03:39:37 PM »
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I plan to tour the NW fjords and Snaefellnes Peninsula for 10 days towards the end of September. I may be joined by 1 or 2 others for a shorter period - they'll take a bus or plane back to Reykjavik. We'll rent a 4x4 but stick mostly to paved roads.

Contact me if interested in sharing car hire on such a trip to NW Iceland only.

I visited in spring a couple of years ago and delighted in the relatively inexpensive car hire and hotels.

Seconded for the Snaefellnes peninsula. I went end April/early May. Loads of light.  Totally empty. Cheaper car hire and hotels. Interior not practicable then, but there's so much else for a first trip. Next I want to try the NW fjords.

Some of this gallery is the Snaefellnes area - the snow-capped volcano which is the entrance for Jules Verne's Journey To The Centre Of The Earth.  

Photography in early May:

Main Icelandic ring road in the south:



Snaefellnes peninsula:



Eastern high pass:



Eastern high pass the other way:


« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 07:07:50 AM by markadams99 » Logged

IcelandAurora
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2012, 04:19:11 AM »
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You will have a fantastic trip Mark!
My favourite locations in the West include:

  •     Snćfellsness
  •     Dynjandi
  •     Latrabjarg
  •     Rauđisandur
  •     Sandifell
  •     Önundarfjörđur
  •     Ísafjörđur

Be sure to check these out!
Anyone visiting in the summer should check out the nature reserve at Hornstrandir.  One of the most remote places in Europe.  You can only get there by boat, plane or Hiking, but you proximity to the arctic foxes make it worth it.


September offers some wonderful rich colours in the Moss and there is also a good chance of Auroras.
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bobtowery
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2012, 11:29:46 AM »
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IcelandAurora, that is just one GORGEOUS image. Having the people in the landscape makes it even better. Well done.
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Gel
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 11:43:39 AM »
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It's beautiful, I was there at the end of November. Couldn't really get very far easily but where I could get to.....

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Chris Giles Photography
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2012, 03:58:03 AM »
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Hi Tony,

Firstly, many thanks for the kind offer of location help. I am visiting from the 23rd May for a week and will definitely come back to you when I've started to form my plan for the week on the best locations but, slightly off track, do you have a recommendation for a company that i can rent one of the small "motorhomes" that balance precariously on the back of a pickup!? I'm there alone so it doesn't have to be that luxurious or spacious - just somewhere to kip.

Many thanks again
Alun
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Daniel Bergmann
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 04:32:49 AM »
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Hi Alun,

If you'll be here at the end of May into early June, you won't need a 4x4, as the interior roads have not opened. So Happy Campers are probably the solution for you: http://www.happycampers.is/

Until June most of the hotels/guesthouses are still at off season prices, so they are more affordable than during the peak season. Happy Campers also have "regular" cars and there are other "low-budget" alternatives, such as http://www.cheapjeep.is/

Apart from affordable guesthouses, such as http://www.farmholidays.is/ there are also Hostels around: http://www.hostel.is/

Iceland has always been an expensive place but slightly less so at the moment, because we're still in a state of currency crisis and our currency has much less value than it did prior to 2009.

Hope this helps.

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Alun
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2012, 05:39:58 AM »
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Thanks Daniel for the great information!

Alun
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aboudd
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 04:45:23 PM »
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I'm heading to Iceland to take a tour June 17-28. I am adding a few days at the end of the trip to tour by myself. Drop me a note at dweckphoto@gmail.com.

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ChristophZechmeister
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2012, 04:52:14 PM »
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Hi Tony!!

That`s really a kind offer, thanks for that!!

I`m travelling with my girlfriend to iceland at the beginning of july for 2 weeks and I wanted to ask if you have any insider tips for our journey...

I know I`m a little late, but in the moment I`m planning our route and I thought about spending 2 days in reykjavik, doing a south circle trip by bus maybe for a week (including Hella, Hvolsvöllur, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skógar, Vík, Kirkjubćjarklaustur, Skaftafell national park, Ófćrufoss waterfall, Eldgjá and Landmannalaugar) and then renting a car and get to the westfjords for the last days.

I`m a complete iceland newbie and I`m overwhelmed by all the informations of the beautiful places I read about :-) Moreover I have no idea how much time I have to include for this trip...
So, that`s my question: Do you think that`s too much for our timeframe? Is this a good choice for our first time in iceland or do you have some suggested changes for us? Are there some must sees we have to visit at the westfjords?
I`m glad about any help!! :-D

Concerning photography: Do you have any special equipment tips? I bring my Pentax K-10d along with lenses from 14 - 210 mm and a tripod. I`m especially interested in landscape photography, so I`m really looking forward to Iceland!!

Christoph
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Alun
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2012, 05:06:43 PM »
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Hi Alun,

If you'll be here at the end of May into early June, you won't need a 4x4, as the interior roads have not opened. So Happy Campers are probably the solution for you: http://www.happycampers.is/

Until June most of the hotels/guesthouses are still at off season prices, so they are more affordable than during the peak season. Happy Campers also have "regular" cars and there are other "low-budget" alternatives, such as http://www.cheapjeep.is/

Apart from affordable guesthouses, such as http://www.farmholidays.is/ there are also Hostels around: http://www.hostel.is/

Iceland has always been an expensive place but slightly less so at the moment, because we're still in a state of currency crisis and our currency has much less value than it did prior to 2009.

Hope this helps.




Many thanks for the information I received from Daniel and Tony before I went on my recent trip to Iceland. I booked a camper with Happy Campers and the service they gave me and the vehicle (Ford Connect = Happy 1) was exceptional! Having the ability to shoot until the early hours and then sleep ANYWHERE was absolutely the right approach. My typical day was shooting from 9pm when the light started to dim right the way through the night until 5:00am. If I was giving anyone one tip it would be to plan around shooting these hours.

The quality of the light was fantastic (when it wasn't raining) - a highly recommended trip


















Please feel free to click through for a high resolution version
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 05:08:35 PM by Alun » Logged
markadams99
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« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2012, 07:43:58 AM »
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It's good to be back in Snaefells. A feature of Iceland is that things are just simple - immigration, car hire, driving, bookings. Right now it's dark around 11pm, so my evening drive from Keflavik Airport to Hotel Budir near Snaefellsjokull was a pleasure. Hertz upgraded me from a RAV 4 to a new Landcruiser and the hotel's just upgraded me to from a loft to a deluxe to put me away from a wedding reception. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's ferry crossing to the NW fjords.
En route:





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markadams99
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« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2012, 06:31:13 PM »
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Just a quickie from my room in Isafjordur. This is a pic from the top of Kaldbakur, the highest peak in Westfjords. That's my car at the top of the track. The shot was taken about 7.30pm today, but there's still 3 hours of light so it's quite relaxing not having to beat sunset. Not a single person was anywhere in the area. Iceland is a kind of paradise if you have a car, a camera and a credit card.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 06:34:12 PM by markadams99 » Logged

NancyP
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2012, 05:24:23 PM »
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I have been mulling this over for a while, on both photographic and literary-historical grounds. I must research the sagas trails as well, and include the Althing site.
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