travel

Tips for landscape photography in Iceland

As I wrote in my last post I was invited by Promote Iceland to join a blog tour in their beautiful country. The whole experience was fantastic; I met very nice people and visited interesting places. Obviously I also had the chance to take some pictures and here is tip number 1: if you go to Iceland during winter plan your trip meticulously. The sunrise is at almost 11am and the sunset at almost 3,30pm. It leaves you with just 4/5 hours of light and if you want to travel you really have to plan your trip to be in the right place at the right time. Also, the weather is often bad. I couldn't take pictures of Gulfoss, a fantastic waterfall, because the wind was very strong and the snow was falling so hard I couldn't even almost visit the place.

Tip number 2: winter is nice in Iceland and the Christmas time allows you to see markets and beautiful lights but if you want to take pictures I guess that spring or summer are a better choice. You'll get more light and in the summer sunrise and sunset will be very slow. You'll get not one or two golden hours but more and the weather will be generally warmer. During winter though, it's easier to see the Aurora Borealis. Unfortunately in the 4 days I was there the sky wasn't clear so I couldn't experience the Northern lights.

Tip number 3: bring a tripod. Iceland is full of waterfalls, lakes and cliffs so you can use an ND filter or take pictures during sunsets and sunrises keeping the shutter slow to capture the water in motion.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall - Iceland - Travel photography

Tip number 4: visit the very south/west of Iceland. It's not a very popular area but landscapes there are fantastic, it seems to be on a different planet and the coast is wild and beautiful. The followings are two shots I took there. You can check the gps data on Flickr to see the exact position of these spots.

Southern Peninsula - Iceland - Seascape photography

Bridge between continents - Iceland - Travel photography

Tip number 5: if you like architecture Reykjavik has plenty of beautiful buildings and monuments you could visit and photograph. You can find some good opportunities also all around the country.

Harpa - Reykjavik - Architectural photography

Hallgrimskirkja - Reykjavik, Iceland - Architecture photography

Tip number 6: go to the Blue Lagoon! It was one of the best experiences in my life. Not only you can take beautiful pictures but you can relax in the hot pool and have a drink staring, incredulously, at the snow on the side.

The blue lagoon - Iceland - Travel photography

The blue lagoon - Iceland - Black and white street photography

Tip number 7: winter in Iceland is very good for astrophotography. When the sky is clear there is not much light pollution and you can see the stars clearly. Be prepared to wear heavy clothes though because temperatures are low and during the night is even worse.

So that's it guys. I've really enjoyed my time in Iceland and I'll definitely go back on my own to take some nice landscape or seascape photos. These were my tips based on my experience. If you want to add some information please do it in the comments below.

You can also check my Iceland landscape art for sale on FineArtAmerica.

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How to find the best places to take pictures

When I travel I'm always looking for the best places to visit to take beautiful pictures. Luckily online there are various useful websites which allow us to discover new and interesting places even in the city you live in. Here is a quick list of the resources I use more frequently.

Flickr

This is the social network I love the most. It allows me to see a lot of interesting pictures, get in touch with new friends and see where pictures are actually taken. To discover the power of Flickr search for a location using the search engine and than sort the results by interestingness. After that have a look at the pictures you like and check the location tab. Clicking on the map you can see the location of that picture plus more pictures taken in that area.

500px

This website works pretty much in the same way Flickr does. The difference here is that the pictures are ordered by score which decreases day by day; so you will just see the latest, most popular pictures uploaded on the website. Like in Flickr, in every pictures, you can find a location tab which you can use to check the picture's location and all the other pictures taken in the same area.

Panoramio

This is another very useful website which allows us to discover beautiful places all over the world. Type a location in the search engine box and you will get a map featuring a thousands of pictures. You can click on the pictures to get a preview and click on the popup again to get more information about the photo you picked. I generally prefer to see the pictures first and the location after so I don't use this website so much but it is a good resource when you lack inspiration.

While I visit this websites I always have Google Maps opened in a different tab to take notes of the places I will visit during my trip. I suggest you to create customised maps so you will be able to check all the places you saved wherever you are.

Please let me know if you have resources to suggest in the comments below and mind that sharing is caring so always include the location of the pictures you've taken in the metadata in order to allow other people to know where beautiful spots are!

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Portfolio | The projects I've worked on

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