Day 5 in Iceland
This morning began very cloudy and then started to clear up, with the sun bursting through the clouds. I went back to one of my favorite spots near Vik, Kirkjufjara beach and Dyrhólaey. I had passed the very narrow road, with water on either side numerous times, but there was too much traffic for me to pull over. This morning was not very busy. I pulled over and began to shoot.
The day looked perfect for panoramas, but this was too low to capture the grandness of the scenery. (Also, others saw my car pulled over and many cars began to pull over and park. Before I knew it people were walking in front of me taking selfies with their phones! So after getting numerous images of the reflections of the clouds and some low-view panoramas I went up the cliff of Dyrhólaey. When I was there the last time there was too much cloud cover. Unfortunately, when I arrived atop the cliff clouds began to come in from the sea. So I quickly tried to capture a pano.
Before long it began to poor down. So I waited in my car. After a 15 minute downpour the sun broke through and pop, a double rainbow appeared...just a typical day in Iceland so far.
The rainbow was stable for a good 20 minutes! Once the rainbow dissipated the sky began to clear over the sea. It was gorgeous! I walked to different spots atop the cliff shooting from many angles. The weather was perfect for some long exposures: a clearing sky with fast moving clouds and wonderful white foam on the black beach below. I drove down to get a closer view. I positioned myself as close to the black beach as I could get, in an easterly direction. A rainbow appeared again just long enough during the long exposure (4 minutes). What a rewarding morning! It began to rain again, good timing for a lunch break...
The weather cleared up by the time I was finished lunch. So back up the cliff I went. Clouds were moving fast from the sea to the mountains...another long exposure with the black beach looking west. Nature had drawn a long white line down the beach to the horizon.
It was now getting closer to sunset. I was hoping to get a long exposure of the beautiful rock sitting on the east side of the beach; if I was lucky I may get a beautiful alpenglow. I took out my 70-200 f/4 to get as much detail of the rock--it looked like a sculpture with many hands reaching out--the black beach and the rapidly moving clouds. There was a little alpenglow but this was to be a black and white. I was ecstatic at the result.
This became my favorite image of the trip. While it was shot in color, I visualized the contrast of the lines on the beach crossing with the cliffs across the way, the moving clouds above and the Icelandic Sculpture in the foreground...stealing the show! The rock formations in the distance contrasted with the alpenglow on the sky.
I was hoping my last night in the Vik area would bring some more Northern Lights. The KP index was supposed to be high. Instead it rained. That meant an early start to head north. I was looking forward to seeing Gullfoss again. The last time I was there it rained and was blanketed by clouds during my visit. Maybe I would get lucky.
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Keith A Manning
Photographer specializing in Cityscapes, Landscapes, Portraits and Fine Art.