Land of ice and snow
Flemming Nielsen, a Danish graphic designer, took his Nikon to Iceland for an unforgettable landscape experience
Coming to Iceland, there are a number of well-known places you must shoot. But after a while I tried to avoid the most popular sights and instead focus on lesser-known landscapes, like my image of the morning mist rolling up along a river early in the day, just after sunrise . I used my 24-70mm lens at 35mm to include the river, mountain and sky. I attempted to shoot this with a slow shutter speed, but it didn’t work out. I felt that the blurred water took too much attention away from the mist. I decided to stick to a fast shutter speed to catch the feeling of the raging river against the muted mist.
One late afternoon, walking along the beach back to our car after photographing Reynisfjara near Vik, I spotted a small piece of yellow seaweed glowing like gold against the black volcanic sand. It took me several shots until I finally got the right combination of flowing water meeting the seaweed, all in a symmetric position, and I’m quite pleased with the result .
After missing out on the puffins on top of Dyrhólaey I was in luck to instead be able to get an image of the sun as it slowly vanished below the mountains behind me . I used my 70-200mm lens at 200mm to isolate a small section of the scene, so I could emphasize all the subtle tones on the mountains and sky. The only problem was I left my tripod at the hotel, so I used a high ISO and Vibration Reduction to make the image sharp.
It’s great to see you came away with some corking shots from Iceland, Flemming. It’s such a photogenic landscape it’s hard to not enjoy yourself there. We can see you didn’t waste any time, getting out in the early mornings, as you’ve shown here with the mist above the river. It’s an interesting composition and not one we would’ve thought to go with ourselves, but it works well. The mountains lead the eye from the centre-right of the frame out to the edge of the left and they meet the corner of the crop perfectly – a nice touch. You’ve also balanced the colour well, with warm, yellow tones on the left of the frame and cool, blue tones on the right – it perfectly splits the frame in half. It’s good to hear that you experimented with the shutter speed, but we can’t help but wonder if the longer exposure would’ve complemented the smoothness that the mist provides.
Your shot of the golden seaweed on the black sand beach is one of those images that just works. It’s a fantastic central composition, topped with a well-timed blue wave that pushes all of the emphasis down to the bottom of the frame. The dark, absorbing black sand gives negative space for the seaweed to pop out vibrantly.
Half the time landscape photography is about making the most of what you’ve got, and turning around for a long telephoto shot of the mountain ranges is a good example of making an image out
You missed the puffins, sure, but you’ve managed instead to capture a very different shot, with great depth in the mountains, each with a distinct hue
of nothing. You missed the puffins, sure, but you’ve managed instead to capture a very different shot, with great depth in the mountains, each one with a distinct hue and the last range cuddled by a soft layer of cloud. Excellent work, Flemming!
2 1 Beach Gold Morning Mist Nikon D750, 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO100 Nikon D750, 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/500 sec, f/7.1, ISO100
3 Evening Glow Nikon D750, 70‑200mm f/2.8, 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO800