Chasing Light: Autumn in Iceland

Sunset over the Blue Lagoon, Iceland, where water used in geothermal energy production also sustains an amazing hot springs complex.

Sometimes we travel to chase light, and just about a year ago, I had the chance to visit Iceland, a dream destination for a shutterbug, even considering that it could easily be gray and gloomy for weeks on end around the North Atlantic island. But after being welcomed by a massive windstorm the first couple of days, Leigh and I enjoyed a week of mild and mostly sunny weather, perfect for photography. We ranged pretty far during our visit, all the way up to the remote West Fjords, but all the images in this set were taken within a two-hour drive of Reykjavik, easily accessible during even just a short weekend visit. So with direct flights from Denver, what are you waiting for?

Yes, definitely a dream destination for landscape photography. In Summit County, and a lot of other places, for that matter, I’m constantly dodging around trying to avoid human developments to create the somewhat idealized landscape visions represented in my images.

In Iceland, no such problems. The population is tiny and the land is vast, and since many towns generate local power with geothermal sources, there aren’t many long-distance powerlines marring the scenery. We spent hours in Þingvellir National Park, near the capital, and saw maybe one or two other cars, and during our tour of the West Fjords, we sometimes drove for an hour without seeing another vehicle on the highway, and when we veered off on to back roads to search for hot springs, we almost felt like we were nearly alone on the planet, maybe with a few Viking ghosts roaming nearby.

If you’re interested in learning more about travel and landscape photography, I’m hosting an educational environmental photography workshop in Summit County this October. Leave a comment if you’re interested or send me an email. For daily photo updates, please follow me on Twitter and Instagram.