There are few times in my life where I am at a loss for words. In fact, I tend to have too many words more often than not. Iceland is a country so vast and uniquely beautiful that it is failed by mere description. Trying to put into words the beauty of the landscape is like trying to describe love to a robot. The idea sounds possible with the right wording, but until you experience it, you cannot grasp the concept.
Iceland is more than just a beautiful country, it is vastly diverse in its landscape and hardy in its composition of people, a curator of creativity and a leader in renewable energy.
People taking pictures of people taking pictures of people taking pictures to start this collection of pictures taken by people.
The famous Icelandic horse. Bred for their strength, hardiness and ability to handle intense workloads, they’re as iconic as the insane weather patterns. The day can swing from blindingly sunny and mild to torrential hailstorm and microburst within moments.
I first published this photograph with my write-up on our arctic surf trip when I first returned from our surf mission. A challenging, yet worthwhile endeavor; surfing in Iceland was as adventurous as it sounds.
Corrugated iron and steel tends to only make an appearance in the industrial world in North America, but in Iceland it is the most widely used construction material available. With harsh weather patterns, volcanic activity and brutal temperature variance, it is the gold standard for every building whether a farm-house or up-scale home.
Volcanic black sand, in contrast with bright green mossy grass and the edge of the North American tectonic plate, and Chris.
Everything around you screams Impermanence with a capital I in Iceland. The landscape is littered with small clues to past change. There is much dispute about whether or not Iceland’s sea level height changes with new eruptions. Volcanic activity does however keeps the island nation in check. Certain areas run evacuation drills regularly to ensure safety in the region, as certain volcanoes are due to have some activity soon. The beauty of it all is the constant change and evolution of the landscape.
The creation scene is strong in Reykjavik. The capital city is adorned with dope street art, mom and pop galleries, art museums and cool cafés that beg you to lounge and read. If you make it through the city center without taking out a camera or phone to document the beauty in their public spaces, I do not trust you.
One does not simply go to Iceland and leave without seeing a glacier. Each glacier has its own set of rules and means by which you can catch a glimpse. Some are a 10 minute hike from the main road. Some are a trek, over treacherous terrain with experienced guides, and days away from a comfortable bed to sleep in. Pick your poison.
Where there are glaciers, there is unfortunately melting ice. Glacier death does create something to behold, though. I could try to describe what it feels like to stand at the mouth of such a massive waterfall, but words would fail how incredible those moments were. It is a space where energy meets gravity, where sound has texture, where a deafening roar is meditative and exhilarating all at once.
You cannot exist as a living, breathing human without seeing Geothermal… everything in Iceland. It is the leader in Geothermal Energy. Aside from lounging in sulphur pools with volcanic clay masks or adventure hikes to the insides of volcanoes, geothermal power is more than just an attraction – it’s an important way of life for Icelanders. 85% of their primary energy use comes from local, renewable sources.
My second stab at night photography. The first was three years ago on a rooftop at midnight and one beer too many to understand why I couldn’t get it right. I bought a tripod for the trip in hopes that the predicted storms would eventually blow off and we could see the infamous nighttime light show. If you know me personally, you know that my main reaction to excitement (and anything else) is laughter, so keeping a steady hand on a camera is not my strong point. Like chords of green and blue smoke being plucked by a massive hand, the Northern Lights are as awe-inspiring as your imagination multiplied one hundred times.
The most remarkable? All of these photographs were taken in one day.