Tag Archives: lava

Iceland Journal – “From the Depths” – Hraunfosser, Southwest Iceland”

“From the deep places of the earth, pours forth a cool purity few can fathom”
– Ed Lehming

The mere sight of these falls brought freshness to my day. There is something in flowing water; a virtual baptism and washing away of the days heaviness happens, and the joy of simply living in such a marvelous world is reaffirmed.

This is yet another image of a section of Hraunfossar, in Southwestern Iceland. I left this one a bit darker to allow the brightness of the water and rich colours and textures of the mosses to dominate over the dark rock.

I keep having to remind myself that the water here comes not from surface streams, but a complex network of underground rivers that flow beneath the surface, through ancient lava fields. Here, it escapes to the surface through the side of a steep embankment. Many visitors to Iceland don’t realize that all the tap water comes from such underground streams. That’s right, the tap water is actually spring water. I started my trip with the purchase of a single bottle of water which I kept refilling with tap water or from mountain streams, after ensuring there was not a large, sheep filled pasture upstream.

Though warned to the contrary, I found nearly all the water at our various overnight stays was lovely and fresh. The exception being Reykjavik, where the water at our hotel reeked of sulphur. Though safe, I had a hard time convincing myself that it was OK to drink.

Once more, I am including a link to the high resolution version of this image should you wish to take a closer look at the details.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 170mm
1.0 sec, f/36.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

Iceland – Day 1

“Rangárþing Eystra” - South Icelend

It is said, “There is no bad weather in Iceland, only bad clothing”
– unknown

“Rangárþing Eystra” – South Iceland

The saying above rang true on day one of my trip to Iceland with my son. I agonized about taking the right cloths for this land of ever-changing conditions, trying not to pack too much, but being aware that too little could also pose a problem.

We landed at 6:05am to surprisingly mild temperatures and no rain, though the forecast had called for it. By 7:30 am we had picked up our rental 4×4 an were on the road towards Vik, our first stop on our ten day Ring Road excursion.

By 9:30 the sky was just brightening as we drove through a tortured and raw landscape of jagged volcanic debris, a slight tang of sulphur in the air, noting the columns of steam rising from the earth’s depths, reminders that volcanism is still a very real part of what makes Iceland what it is, a land of fire and ice.

For me, “raw” best describes what I am seeing. It’s layers upon layers of glaciers, lava fields, geysers, and pale yellow mosses that tenaciously cling to the exposed rock.

As we continued our journey towards Vik, the landscape calmed a bit, changing from lava fields to high, snow-covered mountains, water falls, and twisting, sinuous rivers, winding their way through black sands to the sea. Between these mountains, farms fill valleys, defying nature yet dwarfed by the enormity of the landscape the are part of. One such valley is pictured above, as icy waters escape their mountain homes, on black paths to mingle with sea water in the north Atlantic Ocean.

The other factor at play is, of course, the weather. This image was made around 12:30 and a system pushed straight up the mid-Atlantic by the Gulf Stream continues to darken the skies, eventually ending with sheets of rain and temperatures just above freezing. By the time we got to Vik around 3:00pm it was cold and miserable and we called it quits for the day. More tomorrow.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/556 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)