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Thread: Iceland

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    Iceland

    July 4th falls on a Friday this year and it opens up the opportunity to take a quick 3-4 day trip and do some shooting outside of NY. While a long weekend isn't nearly enough time to explore all of the wonders of Iceland, I'm still thinking that even a short trip would be amazing.

    Has anyone been?
    Any planning recommendations?

    Right now the second choice is a flight to Shannon and the same 3-4 days in the Southwest of Ireland.

    Thanks,
    terry

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    Re: Iceland

    I live there part time. In fact, I am moving there full time this June, so I should be able to help you. If you have any questions, let me know. It may seem like a plug, but one of my friends rents apartments in Reykjavik, and they are a much better deal than a hotel. http://apartmentk.is/

    Iceland is pretty amazing, but the nice thing is that if you rent a car, it is quite easy to stay in Reykjavik but still drive to some amazing things close by. There is hardly any traffic, they drive on the same side as we do, and the street signs (other than the place names) are either in English, or easy to interpret. Reykjavik itself is a great city with much more to do than its population would suggest. Within an hour's drive or less, there are some amazing places like Hvalfjordur (whale-fjord), the hot-springs at Krysuvik, Lake Kleifarvatn, and even the more traditional sites like Gulfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir.

    This is Hvalfjordur...





    This is Krysuvik




    Anyway, feel free to ask me any questions you have. I am not an Icelander, so I don't have a native's perspective, but I have spent a good amount of time there. I have a bunch of photos from there on my website, so if you are curious, you can look there as well. I am in Brooklyn now, but I will be there in the summer, so if you want to grab a coffee or go shooting when you are there, I am sure that could be arranged.

    Stuart

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    Re: Iceland

    WOW. Stuart, Awesome shots! So Terry, When are we going?

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I live there part time. In fact, I am moving there full time this June, so I should be able to help you. If you have any questions, let me know. It may seem like a plug, but one of my friends rents apartments in Reykjavik, and they are a much better deal than a hotel. http://apartmentk.is/

    Iceland is pretty amazing, but the nice thing is that if you rent a car, it is quite easy to stay in Reykjavik but still drive to some amazing things close by. There is hardly any traffic, they drive on the same side as we do, and the street signs (other than the place names) are either in English, or easy to interpret. Reykjavik itself is a great city with much more to do than its population would suggest. Within an hour's drive or less, there are some amazing places like Hvalfjordur (whale-fjord), the hot-springs at Krysuvik, Lake Kleifarvatn, and even the more traditional sites like Gulfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir.

    Anyway, feel free to ask me any questions you have. I am not an Icelander, so I don't have a native's perspective, but I have spent a good amount of time there. I have a bunch of photos from there on my website, so if you are curious, you can look there as well. I am in Brooklyn now, but I will be there in the summer, so if you want to grab a coffee or go shooting when you are there, I am sure that could be arranged.

    Stuart
    Stuart - great that I can use Reykjavik as a base and go out for day trips (which given the fact that it will be light for a zillion hours a day maybe night trips with some daytime sleep). I followed the link you provided. If I rent a car is apartmentK reasonably easy to get to in the city and to park? Coffee or shooting would be great fun. I will make a trip to Barnes and Noble tonight for an Iceland book to get a better idea of matching up your places listed with a map.
    So, I am sure that I will have more questions for you!

    Getting excited.
    Terry

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDauer View Post
    WOW. Stuart, Awesome shots! So Terry, When are we going?
    Chris LOL, for you or anyone who wants to make this an outing it would be loads of fun.

    For me it would have to be a short trip leaving Wednesday July 2 or Thursday July 3 returning either the 6th or 7th. It is a pretty long journey from the west coast but someplace I've really been excited to visit and quite an easy flight from NY.
    Last edited by Terry; 18th April 2008 at 16:34.

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    Re: Iceland

    Maybe we should have the East Coast GetDPIers meeting there instead of NYC!

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Maybe we should have the East Coast GetDPIers meeting there instead of NYC!
    Doesn't take much to twist my arm as I am really going to work on trip details this weekend.

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    Re: Iceland

    It sounds and looks like such a cool trip. And short enough to fit into almost any schedule. I'm jealous and was only half kidding about the East Coaster thing--it would certainly make a nice excuse.

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    Re: Iceland

    I would happy to guide you guys around sometime if you chip in on gas. It's currently 7.57/gallon, so it's not cheap! And we think 3.50 is bad...

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    Re: Iceland

    Oh, and Terry, a car is pretty useful as a photographer unless you plan on going on organized trips. I found that the majority of my photos in Iceland were taken outside of tourist locations...usually along backroads where buses and organized tours don't bother to stop. Having your own car, while expensive to rent and pay the gas for, is worthwhile. Renting a car makes getting to and from the airport easier as well, because it is about 45 minutes drive from town. There are plenty of buses, but the car makes it that much easier. I would recommend Magnus at Saga Car Rentals if you need a rental car. He is a great guy and they have been good to me.

    As for Apartment K, the women who runs it is named Kathy. She is an American married to an Icelander. They have a few apartments, so the parking depends on where you are. If you are in one of the apartments on Lindargata, then parking is pretty easy. There are no assigned spots, but if you are used to parking in New York, you will find it a lot easier. There are usually a few spaces free on Lindargata. The other apartment is on Klapparstigur, which is literally in the middle of town. There are some metered spots, but all day parking would be somewhere nearby. You would have to talk to Kathy about it. I am sure she would be able to let you know. Reykjavik is pretty tiny, so even if you have to walk a bit, for parking, it should be too far.

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    Re: Iceland

    Thanks Stuart,
    Yes I was 100% planning on a car especially since I don't expect tours to coincide with good light. My brother spent 3 weeks traveling around and camping out even like 7 years ago I think his 4WD vehicle was like $150 a day. I've bought gas in the UK/Europe before so I'm ready for the $7.50

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post

    Right now the second choice is a flight to Shannon and the same 3-4 days in the Southwest of Ireland.

    Thanks,
    terry
    Weather in Ireland in July/August is often poor -- overcast, rain or just soft. Go to Iceland.
    SlŠinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Iceland

    To be fair, weather in Iceland is always variable. It is a blessing and a curse -- you always have interesting skies -- that is the most amazing thing about Iceland to me. It seems like the whole country is an island floating in the sky. The clouds tend to hang low, the air is crystal clear, so off in the distance it seems like the clouds are at the same level as the land, hence it looks like it is floating. Often it will be clear where you are, and raining somewhere in the visible distance, there are often dark skies with rays of sunlight...it makes for some incredible landscape photography. That said, there are certainly days where it is just plain miserable. Make sure you bring some sort of good rainwear...both for yourself and for your gear. Don't be afraid to go out if it is raining, because it might be nice at your destination, or it might clear quickly.
    Here are some examples of the clouds and light:





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    Re: Iceland

    Thanks for the heads up Stuart.
    I emailed your friends and the apartments look great and there is space available.
    Trying to decide if I should fly in and arrive late night or red-eye in the next AM - I assume you fly from NY, so any reason to favor one flight over the other?

    Terry

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    Re: Iceland

    I generally fly in so that I leave JFK at 8:30 pm and arrive at 6:30 am or so the next day. It can be tiring to come in that early, but it is nice to have a full day ahead of you. I feel it is better for jetlag too. It is difficult to adjust to 24 hours of daylight, but it is made easier if you have "night" on the plane, and then have a full day ahead of you. Then you will be tired around the natural time. If you just plan on staying up all night for photography and sleeping during the day, then the time you arrive does not really matter since you will only be there a few days.

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    Re: Iceland

    Duh,
    Forgot to say your pictures are stunning.

    Generally, I do best with red eye flights and I've gotten an awful lot of practice over the years.

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    Re: Iceland

    Lovely photos of a stunning land!

    I want to visit!!!

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    Re: Iceland

    Stuart. I am putting this a bit on hold for right now as I was able to reorganize my schedule and will join the GetDPI gang down in San Juan....may save it for a full trip next summer and see if we can convince Jack and Guy that a workshop in necessary!

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    Re: Iceland

    Would not take much arm twisting for me to have one in Iceland
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Iceland

    TWIST TWIST. I want to go to Iceland

    I happen to have a local contact in Moscow who I hope won't be there forever.
    Maybe next year a Moscow - St Petersberg trip
    -bob

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    Re: Iceland

    Thanks guys. I highly recommend Iceland. Is there a better endorsement than packing up your life and moving to a country? Probably not. In any case, I would be happy to help out on a workshop if Guy and Jack decide to offer one in Iceland. If not, I am also happy to help out individuals who plan on going on their own. Either way, just contact me and we can go from there.

    Stuart

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    Re: Iceland

    When is a good time of the year for Iceland
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Iceland

    Summer you can shoot for hours and hours (all night) in great light and sleep during the day!

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    Re: Iceland

    Hmmm maybe to soon for this one although i would do it . i think it would have to be late summer for me though
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Hmmm maybe to soon for this one although i would do it . i think it would have to be late summer for me though
    I meant next summer generically. But in the case of a workshop summer 2009. This will take time to plan and for people to get their schedule in order. Probably needs to be longer than the typical workshop.

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    Re: Iceland

    Late summer or early spring are good times. The 24 hours of light in June and July is good, but it means that all the waking day is broad daylight. If you want to shoot for the beautiful light, it will mean shooting while everyone is asleep, all the restaurants and most of the shops are closed, particularly out in the country.

    Yet in the spring and late summer, you still get tons of daylight along with more convenient shooting times. For example, in June and July, the good shooting times are from about 9pm until 8am or so...the rest of the time is full on broad daylight. Yet today, in late April, the sunrise is at 5:30am and sunset is at 9:30pm, so the "beautiful light" is in the early evening and early morning rather than from 12pm until 4am.
    For example, this shot was taken around midnight on June 21st...ISO 100 film at F/4, so believe me, it is not dark! Slow shutter speed though...probably 1/15th or 1/30th:

    That was right after the sun went down...it would be up again in 2 hours.
    Anyway, the late spring and late summer area also good because there are fewer tourists. I would also recommend scheduling the trip during the week if possible...the Icelanders are big campers, and there can be traffic heading out of the city during the summer weekends.

    One nice thing at least is that Iceland is only a 4.5-5 hour flight from JFK. It was quicker for me to fly from NY to Iceland that it was for me to fly from Santa Barbara to New York. Crazy, but true.

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    Re: Iceland

    How cold is it in the spring fall if the women look bundled up in June?

    Interesting, the summer seemed to have appeal because I thought there were more hours of good golden light and that instead of having two shoots a morning and night you essentially could simply be out all night and then just sleep during the day. Yes, it does cause problems with meals.

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    Re: Iceland

    Sounds like right now is a perfect time than.

    Let's think about May 1st next year for a full week. This is going to be expensive though , so start saving folks. I like this idea a lot. i will sweet talk Jack. LOL

    i do want to get some fall idea's planned now though, we are cutting these a little short on announcing and we need to give folks more time to plan.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Iceland

    But spring you get a nice long sunset and that is what i was thinking. We want good light
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    How cold is it in the spring fall if the women look bundled up in June?
    Iceland doesn't change that much...it is in the 20s-30s in the winter and around 45-60 in the summer. Spring and fall can have days where it is more like winter or more like summer. One thing to keep in mind is that there is almost always an ocean breeze unless you are far inland. This means that even if it is 55 or 60, there is a 10-30mph wind blowing as well, so it gets quite chilly. Layering and waterproof clothing is very important, because no matter what the season, there will be times when you are quite cold, but others when you get a lovely day with no breeze. Even in summer, a light wool hat and some type of gloves will help you. When it is 48 degrees and misting, you fingers will get chilly.
    Summer can look like this:

    or like this:


    depending on the day...or even the same day.

    Interesting, the summer seemed to have appeal because I thought there were more hours of good golden light and that instead of having two shoots a morning and night you essentially could simply be out all night and then just sleep during the day. Yes, it does cause problems with meals.
    Don't get me wrong, summer definitely has its appeal, but I don't find too many people that actually are up for shooting from 9pm until 8am. People go with good intentions, but don't often carry it out. The light from 12:00 until 4 is not often as good as it sounds either...it is sort of like the right after sunset light. It can be good, but it is very blue and things take on a muted pallor.

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    Re: Iceland

    I sound like I am coming out against summer here. I am not! I am just trying to explain the characteristics to be aware of. The most important being that from very early in the morning until late in the evening, it will look like 1pm would in the US.

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I sound like I am coming out against summer here. I am not! I am just trying to explain the characteristics to be aware of. The most important being that from very early in the morning until late in the evening, it will look like 1pm would in the US.
    Thanks Stuart,
    That's why the questions are being asked! Interesting what you read vs. what people have lived it have to say. So, spring or fall it is!

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    Re: Iceland

    Ok, good. I do want to make sure that I do not put off anyone from going there in the summer though! Iceland is probably nicest in the summer, but it's just that from a photographer's perspective, I think the light is better in the spring and late summer than it is in June and July. It is certainly not to say the light is bad in summer!

    This is July at 9:30pm or so:

    but it is more like this for most of the day...just dead on bright sunlight...it can be a bit harsh.


    I do think that capturing the summer light means photographing from 8 or 9 pm until 12:30 pm, and then again from 3am until 10am. I don't think the light from 12:30 to 3am is that great, particularly if it is cloudy. All in all, I think it is easier in the spring when you can get up very early and photograph, take a break for lunch and/or an early dinner and explore the city, and then head out again to photograph from 6 until 10. It is a more sane schedule, with the same light.

    Also, I am not the be all and end all of this...it would make sense to talk to other photographers to see their take on this. This is just from my perspective.

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    Re: Iceland

    Well I like the spring idea and Jack does also and maybe even 10 days. But Stuart we would love to have you involved in planning the workshop. So folks let's start planning it for next spring. Stuart after San Juan lets start figuring it all out. I'm thinking right about this time also.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Iceland

    Spring (or Fall) is brilliant! I could probably convince my SO to go, too. Or maybe my mom.

    Did y'all know that Iceland is one of the top three happiest countries in the world? It's true! It's filled with happy, geothermally warmed Vikings! (And rotten sharks, but we won't go into that.)

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    Re: Iceland

    Yippppeeee I'm so Happpppppy





    Oh, by the way count me in

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    Re: Iceland

    Well you twisted my arm and it hurt so you better be in . LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well you twisted my arm and it hurt so you better be in . LOL
    The pain you felt when it was being twisted will more than be made up for in a great trip

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Spring (or Fall) is brilliant! I could probably convince my SO to go, too. Or maybe my mom.

    Did y'all know that Iceland is one of the top three happiest countries in the world? It's true! It's filled with happy, geothermally warmed Vikings! (And rotten sharks, but we won't go into that.)
    With those horns and red hair you must be a Viking
    SlŠinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    With those horns and red hair you must be a Viking
    The bastard Irish/French Canadian spawn of the marauding Viking hordes on one side and Swedish/German on the other, actually!

    100% American Trouble.

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    The bastard Irish/French Canadian spawn of the marauding Viking hordes on one side and Swedish/German on the other, actually!

    100% American Trouble.
    A colleague of mine has the same surname as you - his family came from Denmark, but sort of settled in Ireland. Related?
    SlŠinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Iceland

    Hard to say. My family is allegedly Swedish, but once you get past Ellis Island, the details are very, very murky.

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    Re: Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Hard to say. My family is allegedly Swedish, but once you get past Ellis Island, the details are very, very murky.
    Pity - I had fondly imagined that Jack and Guy could branch out into friends-and-relations-you-didn't-know-you-had-reunited

    And once-upon-a-time I had reddish glints in my hair - the Vikings again
    SlŠinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Iceland

    I have a small Iceland gallery on my website www.beni-art.net I went there with my wife on a photographic holiday, we spent a week sleeping in the car when we slept (about 3 hours per 24) and drove some 2000 or so miles, half of which was off road. We didn't know it at the time but my wife was just a few weeks pregnant with our daughter, thank heaven all that rough treatment didn't screw anything up!

    I found Iceland rather an enigma, it's just so different that if you go there with any preconceived notions of what you want to photograph (as I did) then you will be disappointed, everything is just so different from what you are used to, totally unreal. People just don't believe my photographs, especially the colours. My advice is clear your head till you are just a blank sheet photographically and let the photos happen. Work with shapes/colours not landscapes and you get more of an idea of what photographing there is like.

    A couple of words of warning, if you are driving off road make sure you have the tank always topped up. There is a gas station about 10 miles before Landmannalaguer and after that there is nothing! We went off road after midnight after Landmannalaguer, got very lost, the track there is fun, I forded 40 streams that night and nothing beats going a meter deep in a stream, steam hissing off the engine and driving with your foot to the floor to get out of there as fast as possible before the engine gets water logged! We got very lost with an almost empty tank on some G-d forsaken route and if we hadn't worked out where we were then we would have been in serious trouble, no cell phone coverage there! Next warning, the sheep. I've driven in some pretty heavily sheep infested areas (Highlands of Scotland) but nothing is as stupid as an Icelandic sheep. They stand in the middle of the road, run off as you slow down and then just as you pick up speed run back into the road under your wheels. Happened many times daily and the one that did hit the car caused £600 worth of damage not covered by the rental insurance. Take a mosquito net! the North East of the country has mosquitos like you've never seen before in your life, near Myvatyn lake (Mosquito lake) you can't breathe for mosquitos. They don't bite but breathing is nice too!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Iceland

    Okay, so what is iceland like in mid August? I need a vacation... and always wanted to visit Iceland!

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    Re: Iceland

    I would say a pretty good time to go overall. There might be a good number of tourists out and about, and a lot of Icelanders will be taking their own vacations, but in general it will be a good time. Still lots and lots of light, but not so much as to have no night at all. You will have about 18 hours of daylight, the rest twighlight, maybe an hour or two of "night". Weather will be like the rest of the summer -- around 8-18C. Let me know if you decide to go, I may be there by then!
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  47. #47
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    Re: Iceland

    Stuart - a year late but heading your way. Sent you a PM.

    Here is a whole thread on what I should be shooting with.....

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7329

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