Tag Archives: farming

Iceland Journal – “Icelandic Horse” – Lagarfljót, East Iceland

“Icelandic Horse” - Lagarfjót, East Iceland

“A horse loves freedom, and the weariest old work horse will roll on the ground or break into a lumbering gallop when he is turned loose into the open.” 
― Gerald Raftery

Today’s image is a bit of a break from mountains, waterfalls and fjords, though I saw plenty along the way to this location, near the town of Egilsstaðir in Eastern Iceland. Unlike my previous photos, which featured primarily the coastal region, this image was made inland on a long lake named Lagarfljót.

My son and I had spent the day travelling and photographing the East fjords and our evening stops was Egilsstaðir. We had made good time and got to this are a bit ahead of schedule, so decided to travel around the lake. The long valley which contains Lagarfljót surprised us, since it is filled with trees; something we had not expected in Iceland, especially not in abundance, as was the case here. The trees are an Icelandic Birch, which is quite stunted and dense, more of a tall bush really.

Further along the shore, we came across a small herd of Icelandic horses, close enough to the road that we could get some good photos. Like the birches, the Icelandic horses have adapted to their environment and are quite short and furry, making them better suited to the rough terrain and cool, wet weather. By short, I mean they are about the size of ponies, standing at only 13 to 14 hands or 132 to 142 centimeters high . They are also an old breed, having been imported to the island in the 9th and 10th century. They are also the only breed of horse in Iceland, since the import of horse is forbidden. They also have very few diseases.

They come in all colours but I chose this gray one to photograph, primarily because I liked the colours and texture of her mane. She posed for me quite calmly, allowing me to get a shot with the lake in the background.

We saw many of these horses, throughout the county but few were close enough to photograph well. So I am glad to have had this opportunity.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 165 mm
1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400

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“Every season has an end~for a harvest to begin. Embrace the process!” 
― Dina Rolle

The ripe wheat stretched to the horizon, bathed in late day sunshine. It was a still and hot day in late July when I made this image with my iPhone, not having my Nikon with me. It was quite a sight and I wanted to do it justice in portraying how vast this looked. Not Prairie vast, but vast by local standards.

I deliberately cropped this to remove the horizon, creating a frame of endless wheat, the photo frame creating a false horizon. It really wasn’t much of a crop but improved the message I wanted the photo to convey.

The photo frame encompasses about 100 acres of wheat, which is a typical single farm plot in my area. The wheat was dry and just about ready for harvest at the time. Since then, a heavy rain has knocked it down quite a bit, one of the many factors that affect harvest and yields. Timing is everything.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/170 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20