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Orsolya Haarberg - Iceland 05

August 12th, 2008 Posted in Northern Europe, Uncategorized

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oh_portrait1By the end of July the days became noticeably shorter. It was a strange experience after living two months in almost continuous daylight and living/working during the night. Through this experience I can now go to sleep for 2-3 hours during the night without being afraid that I loose a special opportunity, in terms of light condition.

As mentioned in my last report, in the last phase of my Iceland trip, I wanted to revisit the places with which I felt a special connection. The first area was Myvatn, the volcanic lake surrounded by the gems of nature: the Hverarönd at Námafjall, Leirhnjúkur and the waterfalls of the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park.


I needed to spend some more time at Hverarönd after I had to drop my visit to Hveravellir due to bad roads. This is where one can find several steam vents, hot springs and boiling mudpools just beside the main road. The power of nature, the steam and the colourful sulphur deposits rising from the unseen and scary depths of the Earth, make this place very special for everyone, both aboriginals and people from mainland Europe. The whole place is ever-changing – you can never get the same light conditions, the same amount of steam and the same patterns in the mudpools, not to mention the fast changing wind directions making it very difficult to compose a picture at the steam vents. Every day is a new experience, so I spent many days at the hot spring area before I was ready to move on.


Leirhnjúkur is close to Námafjall and is one of the places with the most recent volcanic activity in Iceland. Here, eruptions took place several times in the last decades, therefore it is covered by relatively fresh lava fields and acidic steam is released from between the lava stones.

Then the amazing waterfalls of the Jökulsárl á Fjöllum River… Iceland is paradise for those who love waterfalls and I visited many but unfortunately I did not get the right light conditions nor did I find the composition that would make a picture stand out among the others. I knew I needed to visit more waterfalls, so when I came back to northeast Iceland I decided to visit Selfoss. Iceland is almost a treeless tundra area but the surrounding area of Selfoss is especially barren, it is a stone desert. The huge Jökulsárl á Fjöllum River is cutting its way through this grey desert, and even if the string of waterfalls cascading down at Selfoss is impressive, I knew I needed very special light conditions to get something out of it. It is not possible to get very low Sun at the waterfall so I really wanted a very colourful sunset or sunrise cloud that would lighten and colour the waterfall. My wish was granted and I got it! One morning a dark cloud was coloured bright yellow by the rising Sun so that the whole landscape around the waterfall became yellow – just as if someone turned on a light in the sky for me to work in the dark morning hours. It looked unreal, especially when I took pictures of the cascade with the surrounding landscape. However, my favourite pictures from that morning are the details I took of the waterfall – as usual, I prefer photographing landscapes with small tele-lenses.

After leaving Selfoss we had a small accident. However much we tried to take care of our car during our stay in Iceland, this trip to Selfoss did not do the health of our travelling fellow any good. The rear shock absorbers were broken and since that time every single bump of the road makes the car jump for seconds. A funny way to drive and which we have to endure for another two weeks as they cannot replace the broken part in Iceland. And there is still a lot more driving to do!

Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Orsolya Haarberg - Iceland 05”

  2. By PJFB on Aug 13, 2008


    Je suis ébahi par ces prises ! Fantastique!!!!

  3. By kai jensen on Aug 15, 2008

    Hello Orsolya

    It looks like you have the time of your life!!
    Great pictures and interesting reading.
    Keep up the good work.

    see you


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