Dec 182012

This photo shows the view of Svartifoss, from a distance, as you approach this stunning waterfall. From this far it looks like a trickle of water falling upon dry rock, where the water just disappears. In actual fact, as can be seen in my other pictures, this water does crash down onto boulders, but forms a large crystal blue pool and a fast flowing stream through the gorge.

After slogging for over a half hour uphill in a light rain this was a great sight to see, letting us know we were getting close. It’s funny despite the bleak weather and days both mine and my travel buddy’s spirits were very high. It’s amazing how happy we were on a rain soaked path in the middle of the bright night with little idea of how far we had to walk to get here!

Photo of a waterfall, Svartifoss, in Iceland. A smooth surtain of water fans out in front of hexagonal columns of black basalt

Nov 272012

Featured by Suzy Guese

I found out, on Twitter, that a fellow traveler, Suzy Guese, has a weekly competition for travel bloggers. For a week, she views submissions from all over the world and then chooses five of them. I decided to give it a shot by providing a link to one of my earliest posts, from Zambia. Check it out, along with four other exciting travel stories and follow her for a weekly dose of travel writing:

Suzy Stumbles Over Travel: Week of November 26, 2012

Today’s Photo: Svartifoss and Boulders in the Rain, Iceland

This is another photo of Svartifoss from the “nearly falling in the water” series. My travel partner and I clutched onto each other as we teetered on minimal boulder real estate. She held the umbrella, I worked the camera. There were a few errors resulting in half the umbrella breaking into the frame and the tripod inadvertently getting kicked after somebody slipped. I won’t say who. We were in this awkward position when two other photographers turned up with tripods in tow. They didn’t choose to balance themselves in the middle of the river while trying to operate an umbrella, camera, and prevent each-other from falling into the chilly current like we did. I think it was worth it. At the very least, it was good fun.

Svartifoss in the rain, under a grey sky, with the blurred stream flowing around a boulder



Nov 132012

After teetering on the edge of collapsing into the river along with my camera gear and my travel buddy (aka my umbrella holder), I scrambled back onto the bank and decided to further my attempt to fall in by crossing the rope barrier to get a closer look at the incredible Svartifoss.

It was raining and gloomy. We’d walked for about an hour to get here, but when we arrived, we forgot about how cold, damp and miserable the hike had been. This waterfall is beautiful. I’d decided I wanted to capture the thin veil of water that tumbled onto the jagged rocks at its base. I was able to climb an outcrop and set my camera up with tripod on the lowest level, to snap this shot.

I tried processing this through Photomatix as I normally do to produce HDR images but eventually decided it wasn’t necessary. I just used one exposure and tweaked the contrast and saturation in Photoshop then boosted the detail a bit using Topaz Adjust.

Thin veil of water tumbling on to the jagged rocks covered in green moss landing in a pool of water at the base of Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafel, Iceland

Sep 102012

This may be my favorite waterfall in Iceland. It’s isolated in the Skaftafel National Park, about an hours hike from the parking lot. We went there at about midnight, in the rain, and seemed to be the only people about. It’s a trickle compared to the more dramatic torrents at Godafoss and Gullfoss, but there’s something special about the way the thin stream of water spreads out as it plunges into a deep pool. It’s very soft and delicate, but surrounded by harsh decaying hexagonal columns of granite.

Taking this photo was interesting. The stream was about a foot deep but had a few loose rocks strewn about. I found three rocks in positions to accommodate each of my tripods feet and another one I could stand on. Then, I realised that I needed to keep the rain off my lens so had to call my travel buddy into the river with me, with her umbrella. We were stood, teetering on a rock, holding onto each-other for balance, when the only two people we saw the whole time we were there decided to turn up. Fortunately, they were photographers and didn’t seem phased by our odd positioning.

Waterfall in Skaftafel National Park, Iceland with a thin delicate stream of water that spreads out as it plunges into a deep pool surrounded by harsh decaying hexagonal columns of granite.