On the last day in Iceland, we tried something new – we skipped the early morning session and had breakfast first, before heading out to the field. We drove to the same area where we were yesterday, but just stopped at slightly different spots. There had been more snow overnight… or maybe not snow, but hail. Looking at the white stuff, it was extremely granular, ouch!
We took a small road into a valley and found some waterfalls. I shot three falls but I realised that I wasn’t creating anything good on the two lowest falls, so I concentrated my efforts on the first fall which allowed a better use of the mountains in the background. I was rewarded by a very brief moment of light and when it was gone, I packed up and started to look for some views away from the falls. I followed the creek upstream and found a few spots which worked, but there was something special about the last one… already when I was composing my picture, I felt that I was onto something good. I took my pictures, felt happier by the minute, and when I was done I walked back to the car because I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to find anything better than I just did.
I have been worried all week that I’m not creating anything good on this trip. The problem is that you come to a new country and you expect that your pictures are automatically better because the landscape is fabulous and then when you can’t produce the killer pictures, it gets a bit depressing. But the truth is of course, the location may be new but the photographer is the same old so you work with the same limitations you always do, anywhere. And so it was that this modest mountain view stood out for me because it perfectly represents the quiet pictures that I like so much. There is harmony and balance, the colour scale is minimal, and the long exposure smooths out the details. For me personally, it was the picture I had been chasing all week and it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and the pressure to produce disappeared, so everything from now on would just be a bonus.
Then I found myself standing on a beach again, and the frustration came flooding back. I would need a lot more time by the sea to get comfortable with the subject, this is so different from the mountains where I feel right at home. After trying out a couple of spots and compositions, I finally ended up by this cluster of rocks. I saw how the biggest waves were moving in and washing against the rocks and figured I should try and see what a long exposure makes out of the moving water, and when I saw the result it was another moment of relief – I had finally created a seaside picture I was completely happy with! Last day in Iceland, and I got my favourite pictures. Now I can go home!
When I finally spotted the rocks where the big waves were creating rings, I got my fave ocean picture. Not long after this, the session was over so I really waited until the last moment to make sense of the ocean!
We made a few more stops, but I wasn’t the only one who felt like they don’t need to take any more pictures. Everybody settled with using their phone cameras!