Chasing Magic

During my trip to Iceland in 2011, I had every intention of making it to the beautiful Snaefells Peninsula to create a dramatic image of Kirkjufell (the mountain) and Kirkjufellsfoss (the waterfall). For one reason or other, I never made it to this part of Iceland and I didn’t give it much thought over the year that followed.

Last month, I had the pleasure of leading a workshop to Iceland with my co-leader Joe Rossbach and eleven great students. The day before the workshop began, Joe drove to Kirkjufell and caught some amazing light at sunset, all while I was hunkered down on another part of the island socked in with heavy clouds and spitting rain. The next day when he showed me his images from that evening, I congratulated him and then immediately hated him. I still do, Joe..

It took me four visits to this location (including once with the workshop group where we had nothing but clear skies) to finally get it right. No clouds, too many clouds, car trouble – there was always something wrong until this particular night. Surprisingly, I was still disappointed when I finally folded up the tripod around midnight and called it a long day. As good as the color and light was, it could have been so much better still. Seconds after this version was captured, the light shut down and the sky faded to a deep blue.

Kirkjufell is a beautifully-shaped, symmetrical mountain just west of Grundarfiord Bay. Danish sailors, who often frequented this part of the country, called the mountain β€œThe Sugar Top.”

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Posted in General, Images, Photo Instruction | Tagged , ,


  1. Posted August 2, 2012 at 7:00 am by Ron Yu | Permalink

    This photo is truly Earth and Light at its full magnificence. What an experience it must have been for you to be in this beautiful place to explore and be amazed at. You captured the landscape very well that I can almost smell the fresh mountain breeze and hear the water gently lapping on the rocks. Thank you for sharing this, Richard.

  2. Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:21 am by Camilla Noresson | Permalink

    IΒ΄m glad you finally got your amazing photo. You take such good pictures. I tend to follow you on your blog. I also traveled to Iceland this summer. A photo paradise. Looking forward to more great shots from you in the future. πŸ™‚

  3. Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:29 am by Lance Warley | Permalink

    Nailed it! The Dude abides.

  4. Posted August 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm by Ann | Permalink

    Fantastic capture of “The Sugar Top” Your images are Magical, and they bring you to a place, where no one can find you, Just amazing work! πŸ™‚ (Even if it did take you a few visits to get it where you wanted it to be! πŸ™‚
    Richard, it’s a true pleasure to follow your blog and partly experience your journeys with you! πŸ™‚

  5. Posted August 3, 2012 at 10:47 am by Mike Blanchette | Permalink

    Beautiful! I go to Iceland next week and only hope to get something as good as this.

  6. Posted August 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm by Michael Glover | Permalink

    This is a truly stunning shot! I don’t think I would have been disappointed with this. But then again I have never been to Iceland!

  7. Posted September 19, 2012 at 8:49 am by shawncooper78 | Permalink

    mountain covered partially with grass is looking perfectly awesome in this photograph and i believe that it comprises of a perfect blend of clouds shades. Awesome click indeed.

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