I chose my Top Ten pictures every year and thought about my Top Ten Iceland pictures of my 2016 trip. This week I collected my very best shots and share their story. If you want to see more of this check my Iceland Gallery.
Diamond Beach - I missed this spot last time!
During my first trip to Iceland in 2007 I payed a visit to the famous Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon but I missed on its Diamond Beach. And it wasn´t until the 2016 Iceland trip that I realised what marvelous spot I skipped. Diamond Beach is one out of two beaches south of the lagoon where its icebergs meet the ocean. The opposing Jökulsarlon Beach features quite some large pieces of ice and is pretty packed with them on its shoreline. The Diamond Beach instead holds only some smaller pieces that look like diamonds (although they are quite a bit larger). It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world facing crashing waves towards melting pieces of ice on a black lava beach. I shot this picture as a long exposure on my tripod and managed to give it this blurry look.
Skugafoss - My favorite waterfall
This is my favorite waterfall in Iceland - the Skugafoss. It was a spontaneous find during my last Iceland trip. Just drive the N1 east of Höfn and go left shortly after the tunnel. A twin waterfall in a beautiful landscape. No fences, no tourists. This is what I love about Iceland. You find such a gem and have it on your own! You can even walk behind this twin waterfall. Have you ever stood behind a twin waterfall and seen its water flowing towards the ocean? Make sure to also check my blogpost on Icelandic waterfalls.
Fagrifoss - The 'beautiful' waterfall
One thing you should not miss in the highlands of Iceland is the waterfall Fagrifoss. This Icelandic name means 'beautiful' waterfall. So true! Since we missed it on our way to Laki we got lucky and stopped there on our way back. We neither knew this spot before nor did we expect to see such a beauty on our own! I took some long exposure shots to get the silky look of the water. This also marked the end of our trip to Laki. You can also check my blogpost on Icelandic waterfalls.
Just a traffic sign along the road
While driving with our 4x4 through the highlands of Iceland we stopped at this traffic sign. What I really like about this shot is the colours of the background and the beautiful landscape not fitting at all to the very colourful traffic sign. The richness of the green and yellow, the last bits of snow in September on the mountain and the morning fog are just stunning to me.
Laki - My first Northern Lights
After a good two hour 4x4 drive we made it to Laki and drove to the very end of the ring road to lake Lambavatn. Camping is allowed in Iceland wherever it is not forbidden. Since you hardly find any information signs in the highland you can practically set up your camper van anywhere. We parked at the highest elevation towards Lambavatn lake for the best view (also for the most exposed and coldest position for the strong winds at night...). Although the Aurora season just started we got lucky and at around 1am I saw my very first Northern lights at a breathtaking location. It was just strong enough to get an idea of the green sky with your naked eye. The panorama below shows the capability of a modern camera sensor. A night I will never forget. Check out the full story on our Laki adventure.
Vestrahorn - I could spent hours there
Vestrahorn is a 757 m high peak 15 km southeast of Höfn in East Iceland. Next to it is a black and empty beach that I used to create this shot. You can see the rest of the spray left be the waves slowly disappearing and making a nice leading line towards the mountain. Although we did not have any special light at all during this cloudy day I really like to remember the time spent there and would love to come back for sunrise and sunset.
Icelandic horses - So graceful
After photographing the famous Vestrahorn we passed by a meadow with some Icelandic horses. We found our way over the fence and faced this situation: Icelandic horses during sunset towards the open sea with lots of glaciers in the background. What more to ask for than an hour with these graceful and calm animals enjoying themselves and taking pictures of them?
Reynisfjara black beach - One of our very few sunsets
When you hardly get any sunrise or sunset during a 10 day trip to Iceland a sunset like this is special anyway. We got lucky to get a sunset like this at the beautiful Reynisfjara black beach West of Vik in South Iceland. With this shot I was facing towards the Dyrhólaey rock and the setting sun. I waited until the photographer we met in the nearby cave went home and made for a perfect silhouette with his tripod and camera shouldered. I like this picture a lot and even made it my desktop background reminding me of a very special afternoon in South Iceland.
Þórsmörk - Just in time
I regularly browse the internet for locations that I plan to visit and so did I for Iceland in September 2016. I found some stunning pictures of a valley with a free floating river called Þórsmörk. And here I finally was almost at the end of our 10 day trip after an hour hiking in the rain before sunset on the peak. Since it was cloudy and I had hardly any light, but rain and wind I already started my way back. I felt disappointed and then saw a tiny bit of blue sky in the dense cloud cover. "When the weather is not good in Iceland, wait for 10 minutes", I remembered. And so I did.
The picture shows what happened after 10 min. It gave me a more than satisfied and grateful mood for my descend! Check out my Iceland 2016 gallery.
Bruarfoss - All worth the muddy shoes
It was quite muddy getting to Bruarfoss from the car park, but more than worth it. It is within my Top 3 waterfalls in Iceland and located along the Golden Circle. You can take pictures from the bridge or take a chance in the water for some long exposure shots. Since it is nearby the most touristy areas in the country it can be pretty packed with small groups of photographers and instagrammers. Anyway, you can find a spot to come up with a picture like this without people in it. Shot this in September 2016 and love the autumn colours! You can also check my blogpost on Icelandic waterfalls.
So this is my Top Ten of Iceland back from autumn 2016. Make sure to check my other Iceland blogposts and the major gallery and let me know what you think of this. Do you plan a trip to Iceland yourself?