冰島冬季冰凍探險歸來(Come back from Iceland the frozen north)
The last blog on Jan.16,2016 has mentioned some impression and experience on the travel of Iceland, with this country which is 3 times bigger in area but the population are only 1.3% as Taiwan of 300 thousands, there are some similar faces with both of us, those are we don’t have enough resource and people work hard for their lives, but Iceland owns gorgeous landscape except, there are totally different faces of the landscape no matter in summer and winter in Iceland, Iceland is at the ridge of the European continent, the whole island is a volcano terrain, which rich in the underground heat, so the aluminum industry become one of their exports, there are unique view in the different seasons in Iceland specially the mood of colorful sunrise and sunset, this time I have seen the growth and come out of the financial dilemma since 2008 by busy constructions everywhere in Iceland, that I can see their past glory is coming back.
這次參加由澳洲攝影師Joshua Holko招集的旅遊攝影團團員共12人，國籍包括澳洲、英國、美國、德國、加拿大、香港、台灣等，由冰島當地的導遊兼駕駛Denial Bergemann帶領，探訪冰島冬季的一些有名攝影景點，包括冰島冬季結冰的海岸、夕陽景觀、冰河冰磚、半結冰狀態的瀑布，當然還有每年冬季在極地才能觀賞到的極光，頭尾9天的攝影行程團員們把握每個拍攝景點從容的進行拍攝工作，由於導遊領隊都會事先說明拍攝重點，的確提高拍攝效率不致造成過多的時間拖延，由於是小團體且都是具有經驗的攝影師，因此相互間的專業及默契使大部份攝影活動都能順暢盡興，在整個過程裡學習到攝影人對攝影的熱情和不畏勞苦的精神，使攝影如同是生活中的一部份，也在其中了解到每個人的不同器材，相互交流提升個人的攝影技巧是這次行程最大收穫，學習他人的取景構圖理念及拍攝手法都是此行珍貴的回憶。
Our group led by the Australian awarded photographer Mr. Joshua Holko and experienced Iceland photographer Mr. Daniel Bergmann in a small group of 12 photographers, with nationality of Australia、Great Britain、USA、Germany、Canada、Hong Kong and Taiwan, We visited many winter famous photography spots, including the frozen beaches、sunrise and sunset、glaciers lakes of iceberg、frozen waterfalls, of course we have seen the beautiful northern light activities, we took our time to shoot during the 9 days travel, we got some important key points before each shooting event, so the efficiency of photography shooting can be retained, as the member of the group are all experienced photographers, we shared each other with the experiences and equipment, and could enjoy each event, I could feel the strong passion and the spirit of hard job among all of us, looked like treating the photography as part of our living, we harvested by learning with one another and exchange the viewpoints of the advanced equipment, to learn the knowledge of the composition and shooting skill from the other people are the most precious memory.
Day one: In the morning around 10 o’clock I was collected from the hotel, the transportation is a Mercedes medium vehicle with capacity of total 14 passengers, we started from Reykjavik drove to the east in the southern coast, arrived a port called “Vik”, we shot the famous the three rocks and the frozen beach. After lunch we went to the other side of the beach in the morning, to shoot the sunset and huge waves under the cliff, the sun sometimes showed its face through the clouds, which a treacherous mood aroused among clouds.
Day two: we got up early for the shooting of the “Cascadas Skogafoss” waterfall, which the water running swiftly down from over 60 meters cliff impacts the viewers, group leaders advised to move rapidly if we would like to shoot some clean waterfall images, because there can be many travel groups in front of the waterfall in anytime (and it was then). Afterwards we arrived the famous glaciers of Iceland, the “Jokulsarlon” lagoon, we would stay 3 nights in this area, we had some shoots of the icebergs along the lakes, there were some sea birds and seals spreading on the ice, the weather was getting unstable as we moved to the other side of the lagoon. We then went to an ice cave, when we crouched in, an ice roof formed by the blue frozen ice revealed, we shot some amazing detailed texture of the ice roof.
Day three: we came again to the lagoon but the weather again not stable with small rain, we went to the sea shore close to the lagoon and had some shoots of the wave, by a long exposure about 1-4 seconds of shutter speed, the wave slapped the icebergs turned beautify milky sheets prints on the sea shore. We planned to see the northern lights in the evening, but because of the heavy clouds there was a small aurora activities around mid night, so went back late with nothing.
Day four: we started late this morning because of the late came back last evening, today we arrived the “Hvannadalshnukun” national park of volcano, the sun coming out now and then, we had shoots of the blue glacier rocks and closing shoot of the texture by telescope lens, because the bed weather we stayed in the hotel to manage our photos for the rest of the day.
Day five: we came again to the sea shore closing to the “Jokulsarlon” lagoon, there were several big or small icebergs spreading along the winter sea shore, again shot the long exposure images to express the beauty which has no replacement by nature. After lunch we kept east to the port town “Breithdalsvik” where we will shoot sunrise tomorrow morning.
Day six: In the morning we started at 6:45 before breakfast, drove about 40 minutes to a valley that scattered with lots of small streams, the morning just broken the peak of the mountains turning orange from the cold blue as the daylight brighter and brighter, we took pictures with both wide angle and tele lens, which gave different mood of the landscape. After the breakfast we moved to shoot the volcano sites which were full of the underground heats and the smell of sulphur in the air, to shoot with long exposure shutter, the heavy smoke soaring to the sky turned out to be a great view. When we came back to the hotel, the sunset view by the lake can’t be missed of its calm and beauty by long exposure, even the sky has been dark but the reflection of residual light against the snowing ground still kept it bright.
Day seven: Today we started at 10:00 in the morning heading for the “Godafoss” waterfall, which is the most famous waterfall in Iceland, the name of the waterfall is according to the history, that the predecessor of the Icelander decided to have the religion of Christ, and threw the symbol of many other gods to the waterfall. The waterfall are composed by 3 sections, you could already feel its magnificent from far, when approaching close, we felt a huge air stream with water against, the water rumbling down from a height of 12 meters cliff, we should wipe the lens from time to time to have a clear image, the sun was shining occasionally provided a slice of gold light in the waterfall, I tried some fish-eye shoots gave a different prospect, the selection of the foreground should be a key in this landscape shooting. After lunch on the way back we took some images of the snow landscape with bushes, the dark color of the bush against the snow providing high contrast can be good for B&W photos, we met by chance a group of horses, a white one was curious of our presence and came approaching as our model. After dinner the sky getting clear, around 9:00 we found the aurora activities along the lakeside from dimming and getting brighter and brighter, a duration of about 3 hours till midnight, I set the exposure as f/2.8, ISO 800-1600(most of the time), shutter was from 5 to 10 seconds, but to adjust according to the brightness of the aurora is needed.
Day eight: Today after breakfast we drove back to the Reykjavik peninsular, the weather forecasting warned a dangerous strong wind were presented, it was nearly not possible for a photography activities.
Day nine: The weather was not in our side again today, there were small raining except the strong wind. After lunch we have arrived a rock sea shore along the peninsula, no tripod possible with such a strong wind situation, we wanted to shoot some sunset landscape, but the water wetting the lens and nearly couldn’t get a clear images, may be you can enjoy more for a summer Iceland I thought. We had a great dinner of farewell afterwards.
Day ten: the whole journey ended today and say good-bye with one another and hope to see again someday.
- 1. 這次是冬季的旅行，在冰島遇到大部份是下雨的天氣，拍攝時應隨時注意保持相機乾燥及鏡頭乾淨防止雨滴沾附，相機包內要有毛巾及相機雨具。
- This time I travel in winter Iceland, the weather were mostly not enjoyable, when I took pictures should always kept dry of the camera and lens, the towel and rain coat for camera are absolutely needed.
- We have had shoots of the spectacular aurora this time, but it’s pity that I forgot to power on the Gopro video camera to get some time-lapse films.
- The packing of the camera gears should be improved to deal with the interference of the air company, a rigid bag needed for some fragile gears when they are not allowed to be hand carried.
- The image sharpness and depth of field are the most important factors in the landscape photography, for hand held shooting then normally some depth of field might be scarified for the safety shutter speed for sharpness, my setting are based on the lens focal distance and choose the proper exposure (f stop), for example if I use 24-105mm wide angle lens the shutter speed of 1/125s should be the base, if I chose f8-f11 as the exposure, then the variable factor left is ISO, so I set a proper number for matching the f stop. As to use tripod, the high number f stop can be applied as to f/22 to get as much depth of field as you can, my choice of the f stop is f/18, for it can offer enough depth of field and also provides less chromatic aberration.