Sunset at Godafoss in Iceland
Godafoss in Winter
This image was taken last year in March when we visited Iceland for the very first time. It shows the "Waterfall of the Gods" Godafoss ("Goðafoss" being the correct Icelandic spelling) at sunset. While in southern Iceland most of the snow might be gone by this time of the year, winter still rules in the highlands and in most of the northern parts of the country. Besides icy (sometimes impassible) roads, you will find some of the most fantastic landscapes out there and quite a few waterfalls with an impressive frozen "winter clothing". One of our favorites, Godafoss, is located right beside the ring road #1 that encircles the island and is usually easy to reach.
Winter days in Iceland can be nasty, wet and chilly with skies never clearing up or sometimes only right at sunrise or sunset. It is all a matter of luck and timing. We were exploring the area around Lake Myvatn that afternoon, but as soon as we figured out that there was a slight possibility for the sun breaking through, we drove to Godafoss and we arrived just right in time. It was one of those moments in life and in photography when you have to act as fast as you can. While still hiking (or should I better say "running") from the parking lot to the east rim of Godafoss, we started to prepare our tripod, mount the filters on the camera etc. And as soon as we took a couple of shots there, the sun disappeared and so did all the magic. Of course there was a terrific afterglow that day (-> here), but it is the first image with the starburst we like most.
Photographers usually love to emphasize how hard it was to take a specific image and how many hours or even days one spent "waiting for the light". Well, with Iceland's predictably unpredictable weather light may really show up anytime anywhere unexpectedly (or in the worst case, remain hidden behind heavy clouds for a couple of days...). So acting fast and knowing your equipment is essential here. Sometimes a couple of minutes is all you've got! To be always ready to shoot and to interact fastly with the elements is often way more important than just sitting there and "waiting for the light". Keep that in mind when traveling to Iceland.
Image data: 1s at f/22, ISO 100; Canon EF 17-40mm 1:4 L II USM at 28 mm, Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Related Links: More images from Iceland