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Thread: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Hello Getdpi friends,

    Friends and I will go to Iceland 10 days for holiday and photo shooting next week. Saw someone posts about choice of equipment. I don't have a lot of choices so I guess pretty much I'll adopt the "bring-them-all" approach.

    We have preliminary planned to drive around the Iceland on a 4x4 to cover some major scenic spots, such as: skogafoss, skfatafell, jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, hengifoss, etc...

    I'm wondering what's your Top 10 photo spots on Iceland.

    Much appreciate your precious sharing.

    Ray
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Our plan.
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
    www.raymondchak.com

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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Hi Ray
    That sounds like an amazing trip.
    Unfortunately I can't help with destinations but if you or any of your friends have a need for Alpa mounted Rodenstock 23 HR and 40 HR in SB plus HPF ring let me know . I am in HOng Kong untill Thursday night and happy to show you the lenses in person.
    They are bought directly from Alpa and are in mint condition and sit when not used in a dehumidifier .
    In any case withing you a great trip and looking forward to seeing your pix here.

    Grischa
    www.rupho.com
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Check out:
    Map of Iceland for photographers, hikers and tourists

    Probably not enough time to receive the map but the ebook is excellent. Great value for money and excellent content.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 10th July 2013 at 01:26.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Thanks Graham,
    Bought that map & ebook before we start our planning : )
    But I'm more interested to know getdpi friends' choices : )
    Ray
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
    www.raymondchak.com

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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Grischa, thanks for your offer : )
    Both lenses are really attractive...
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Looking at the list the only areas I'd add would be Vik and the beach and headlands, plus Myvartn lake and surroundings and the steam vents that can make for some interesting night shots. You'll be in that area between Dettifoss and Godafoss.

    I found Thingvellir also an interesting location although when I was there it was in the winter but I suspect that it would be busy around that area at this time of year.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    You didn't say exactly when you are going, but would suggest catching some of the herds of Icelandic ponies that might be out. You might need a longer lens for that. They are marvelous to see in the snow, but really anytime would be good.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    For the best shots it's simple: don't go where everyone else is going. I did a bit of both and all my best shots were in places where there was no Official Photo Stop. Really.
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    I'd agree with Tim regarding hot spots.

    Places like Seljalandafoss and Jokusarlon lagoon and beach were a bit of a zoo even mid-week in cold windy rainy April. The falls in particular can be frustrating if a coach turns up unless you want a line of school kids and tourists in bright clothing all around the falls. That includes also the 'I see you and your shot but I'm still going to stand right in the middle of your shot for twenty minutes' photographers and even worse tripod row workshops.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    I would certainly agree with Tim -- there are so many tourists now that it is unbelievable. The first time I was at Jökulsárlón was in July 2005, and there were perhaps 40 people there. It felt like a huge crowd after hours of driving and seeing hardly anyone. I was there last August and there were several hundred people, along with loud speed boats and cars everywhere. Unfortunately, the secret is out about Iceland. This is not to say that these sights are not worth seeing, but the further you head from Reykjavík, and the further from route 1 you go, the more majestic it will be. At least at this time of year...

    You have a number of great places on the list, but there are quite a number indeed. Even with 10 days, driving around the entire country is quite a bit of time on the road.
    You also might find that a standard 4x4 is not enough to get to some of less accessible places, such as Landmannalaugur...your rental company might not want you going through rivers and so on, and I think you need to go through a few to get there (there are a few routes). This season has been the coldest and wettest in decades, so a lot of the highland routes are just opening and meant more for true offroad jeeps that have been lifted and fitted with extra large tires and snorkels. They should not be attempted by people without experience. That said, there are many many roads and routes that are just fine, even in the highlands. The bottom line is to find out about the routes from experience people beforehand, if there is any question.
    The road directorate has a hotline you can call if you need any advice: Search the web | Road conditions and weather | English | Vegagerðin
    They also have a page with the traffic signs and their meanings -- they are not in English. There is also a video on driving in Iceland. I highly recommend you go to this page as well: safetravel.is | The official source for safe adventure in Iceland
    The Met Office has very good forecasts and information in English. The weather here can be dramatically different in different areas, and it changes rapidly, so be aware. I have seen snow in every month of the year other than July. For example, the lowest and highest temperatures today were 2.9C and 26.1C... Home-page - Icelandic Meteorological Office | Icelandic Meteorological office

    In terms of gear -- it is really up to you. It does not get that dark here at this time of year, even in the middle of the night, so if you are shooting film, you will not really need anything about 100, but you can bring 400 of course if you want. You probably will not need your Noctilux! The landscape is very broad, and photographers react to this in different ways. I mostly shoot normal lenses, but some want to capture everything with super wides...Personally, I do almost everything with the equivalent of 35mm to 100mm. Slightly longer lenses can be useful as the views can be very long indeed, and if you want to focus on something in the distance, a slightly longer lens can help. a 75mm or 100mm equivalent will likely be quite useful.

    In terms of the hotspots...I dare not reveal all my secrets, lest they all be inundated by tourists googling this (), but I would say the Eastfjords are my favorite part of the country. You list Reyðarfjörður, but in my opinion most of the other fjords are prettier. In particular, Borgarfjörður Eystri is gorgeous and will have many fewer people. Seyðisfjörður is more picturesque and has better food, such as at Skaftfell...though there might be a lot of tourists, especially if there is a cruise ship in town. Eskifjörður is well worth the trip from Reyðarfjörður, if you are staying there. In Egilsstaðir, it is worth traveling down the river, lagarfljót to visit the forest at Hallormsstaðir, and the interesting cultural center and house at Skriðuklaustur and Vatnajökull information center. The restaurant at Skriðuklaustur is very good, and the setting is very beautiful and peaceful.
    If you are on Snæfellsnes, Grundarfjörður is indeed a very nice town, but you should also stop at Buðir on the south side. There is a beautiful all-black church in a stunning setting. It is right next to a fancy hotel that serves a great lunch, dinner or just a coffee. Much nicer to lunch there, than in Arnarstapi, for example.
    In the south, don´t miss Dyrhólaey, and take the extra time to drive or climb up the top to see it, particularly if it is a nice day. It gives incredible views over much of the South. It is one of my favorites.

    There are so more that it would be difficult to go on, but I hope this will help you out. I will be here at the time, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you want to drop by the studio.
    Best,
    Stuart
    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
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    I've set up a working private folder on my site with images from a couple if weeks ago. It's very much a work in progress but I hope it helps.
    Iceland 2013
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    By the way, if you don't believe me about the roads, I took this two nights ago on a road that is an easy mountain road...

    And this is another more difficult mountain road. It does not look like it, but these rocks are BIG, and my unmodified Land Rover (still very capable) has barely enough clearance to handle them. A regular "4x4" that most of the rental agencies rent are just SUV's on car bodies (Fords, KIAs and so on)...if you want to do the actual mountain roads you need clearance...and judgement as to when you should turn around. I did these rocks, but higher up the road got too muddy and rutted, it was late and I was alone, so I turned around. I did not want to, and I could have probably made it just fine, but it was not worth the risk.
    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
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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Hi guys, thanks for all your valuable sharing!!
    I've included many recommendations into my roadmap, hope I can come back with some good photos from all those spots.

    One thing concerns me right now, appears to me Iceland July always cloudy, rainy, weather seems rather unstable, can meet rain, wind, cloud and sun shine all in same day, is that true? You all know shooting tech-cam outside couldn't runway from rain as fast as using DSLR. Any sharing how to deal with such unstable weather?
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    It will be variable, but it doesn't necessarily change within an instant...you should have time to put your camera away or cover it. Personally, I use a S2 for landscape work and very much appreciate the weather sealing. That said, if the rain is so hard that it is threatening your camera, it is probably not the condition you want to be shooting in anyway. You should get days that are consistently sunny as well (hopefully!), but be prepared for variability.
    I used to shoot 4x5 here, but view cameras are very susceptible to the wind and rain, so I have mostly given it up. I would get much better results from the Mamiya 7II, which is less affected by the wind, has more DOF, quicker handling, sharper lenses and so on. I seek out the "bad" weather though, as it is generally the most interesting backdrop. I would not think using a technical camera here in July will be much of a problem, unless of course you plan on shooting it tethered.
    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

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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    I went in May and it rained almost the entire time. I have to say the best purchases I made before the trip were quick dry towels and silica gel packs. I was constantly drying my gear off and would dry the towels on the heating vents in the car in between destinations. At "night" I'd take everything out of my bag and dry everything out. I also crammed a bunch of silica gel packs in my bag. You may also want to bring an umbrella. I had a REALLY hard time finding one at all the places I stopped and came up empty. I was shooting with a D800e and an H4D-40. Both got really wet but were fine. I've been meaning to write up a post on my experience (also my first MF experience) but have been too busy.

    Regarding shooting locations, I think Jökulsárlón is stunning and I could spend 10 days just there alone taking pics. You will run into lots of people there, but it will be light 24 hours a day, so a lot of shooting light and you can go at night (after midnight) and shoot when there will be less people there. Stuart above mentioned Borgarfjörður Eystri. I stayed there for a night and would go back in a heartbeat. Very picturesque and you're likely to run into less people there. Plus they've got a puffin colony you can walk right up to if you're into that. When I went, a lot of the places off the ring road were not very crowded, but it was also early in the tourist season. That being said, there were times when I had to set up and wait between people walking around to get the shot I wanted so definitely be prepared for that. The whole country is incredibly picturesque and 10 days is a lot of time to spend there (I did the ring road in 4 days)...you'll come back with great pictures wherever you end up going.

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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Thanks for all your sharing, I've updated my roadmap... double up my photo spots.
    Hope the weather turns out good : )

    89% packed now !
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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Update Roadmap : )

    Thanks Getdpi!!
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Well, looks like fun, but I have to say that it also looks like a ton of gear to drag around! That's more than I tend to bring with me in the car, and all I have to do is walk it down one flight of stairs from the studio...
    To each, their own, I guess!
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyen View Post
    Thanks for all your sharing, I've updated my roadmap... double up my photo spots.
    Hope the weather turns out good : )

    89% packed now !
    OMG, that is a LOT of gear!

    I would take the Max/IQ260, 3-4 lenses, one tripod and a point and shoot.

    But, it's best to have it all of course although that makes for a more stressful trip. (keeping secure all that gear at all times). Working right off the car is no problem obviously.

    How are you packing all that? Would love to see your solution.

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    Re: Top 10 photo spots to go Iceland next week?

    I agree, many places in Iceland require you to walk some distance. Even Gullfoss needs some, and Landmannalaugar is definitely a hike.

    BTW, your list is unreadable
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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