Return to Iceland

Last week I returned to Iceland after an amazing trip in October left me wanting more. For this trip, my goal was to capture winter scenes, in particular ice caves and hopefully some aurora. As it turns out, the rainy weather I witnessed in October stayed for the months I was away, and Iceland is continuing to go through a wet and warm winter. There was no snow on the ground when I arrived and in fact the ice caves were in jeopardy of melting due to intense rainfall. We were not even sure if we could visit as we had hoped. Ultimately, we lucked out on one day where we had no rain and less wind which allowed us to hike 10 miles up and down the glacier, capturing photos and flying the drone all the way! Thanks to my new friend Stephan Mantler, who leads amazing small group hikes here. My short trip was highlighted by that arduous and sometimes intimidating trek — where a slip here or there could mean real trouble and a possible slide all the way down the glacier. My friend Bernard Chen, a very good photographer and videographer, documented our hike below. Besides that hike, I also visited Gulfoss, Vik, and some mountain scenes near Pingvellir. Another nice, short trip to Iceland and I appreciate your thoughts on my work!

Gulfoss Abstract - The most violent section of the Gulfoss waterfall captured under overcast skies

Gulfoss Abstract – The most violent section of the Gulfoss waterfall captured under overcast skies

Edge of the Glacier - Glacial streams and massive shapes take form at the edge of one of the fingers of the Vatnajökull glacier

Edge of the Glacier – Glacial streams and massive shapes take form at the edge of one of the fingers of the Vatnajökull glacier

Massive shapes at the edge of the Vatnajökull glacier trail far into the valley during a somber sunset

Edge of the Glacier Panoramic – Massive shapes at the edge of the Vatnajökull glacier trail far into the valley during a somber sunset

Here on we started our trip up the glacier! Here’s the documentary our trip up via Bernard Chen and his DJI Mavic Pro.

Call of the North from Bernard Chen on Vimeo.

Ice Hills - Undulating hills fade into the distance atop the Vatnajökull glacier

Ice Hills – Undulating hills fade into the distance atop the Vatnajökull glacier

Ice Canyon - A closeup of an ice canyon crevasse atop the Vatnajökull glacier

Ice Canyon – A closeup of an ice canyon crevasse atop the Vatnajökull glacier

Shark Fins - An abstract of the sheer shapes of the Vatnajökull glacier

Shark Fins – An abstract of the sheer shapes of the Vatnajökull glacier

Ice Land - Late afternoon light hits rolling hills of ice atop the Vatnajökull glacier

Ice Land – Late afternoon light hits rolling hills of ice atop the Vatnajökull glacier

What Lies Beneath - A massive crevasse canyon created by meltwater on top of the Vatnajökull glacier

What Lies Beneath – A massive crevasse canyon created by meltwater on top of the Vatnajökull glacier

Glacier Lake Reflection - The still glacier lagoon reflects light and the distant glacier and mountains at Vatnajökull

Glacier Lake Reflection – The still glacier lagoon reflects light and the distant glacier and mountains at Vatnajökull

Under the Cave - Melting water rushes out from the glacier into the lagoon under a translucent ceiling of glacier ice

Under the Cave – Melting water rushes out from the glacier into the lagoon under a translucent ceiling of glacier ice

Stained Glass - Light streams through cyan ice that resembles stained glass in a massive ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier

Stained Glass – Light streams through cyan ice that resembles stained glass in a massive ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier

Glass and Ice - Clouds and the sun reflect in the calm glacier lagoon at sunset in front of the Vatnajökull glacier

Glass and Ice – Clouds and the sun reflect in the calm glacier lagoon at sunset in front of the Vatnajökull glacier

The next day after our hike, we headed back east towards Vik. While in Reynisfjara, I finally was able to scamper over the rocks during low tide and get a full-on view of the impressive sea stacks (the second shot in these two):

Shimmer Beach - Sunlight reflects the shadows of Vik's sea stacks and bright sparkles of shimmering volcanic rocks that make up the black beach

Shimmer Beach – Sunlight reflects the shadows of Vik’s sea stacks and bright sparkles of shimmering volcanic rocks that make up the black beach

Enter Darkness - A long exposure at sunrise creates a moody scene upon full view of the impressive sea stacks at Reynisfjara beach

Enter Darkness – A long exposure at sunrise creates a moody scene upon full view of the impressive sea stacks at Reynisfjara beach

On our way to Pingvellir, I noticed these massive mountains that were partially reflected in a frozen lake. It was an impressive show of size even in grand Iceland:

Moody Mountaintops - Overcast skies cover the peeks of massive mountains above a frozen lake in east Iceland

Moody Mountaintops – Overcast skies cover the peeks of massive mountains above a frozen lake in east Iceland

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