I recently took a European tour with two friends joining me for the first leg of it. Even though we were delayed 24 hours with the worst airline I’ve ever traveled (Iceland Express, make sure to travel Iceland Air), it was still quite worth it. We lost a day and a night in Iceland which made the more nervous/jumpy of us (Mike) almost want to cancel the trip. Fortunately we still ended up going and it was an amazing experience. The highlight for me was the Blue Lagoon, it was a singularly unique experience and makes all other thermal mineral spas seem quaint by comparison. The in pool bar and massages really bring the experience forward to another level.
I recommend renting a car like we did the first day, the rates are competitive. It’ll give you the freedom to explore the island. In the future, when I return I think a four wheel drive and more rugged vehicle might be a better choice. We took some paths that were clearly not meant for our little Skoda wagon. We drove in much farther than smart people would have given the isolation and cold. A helicopter tour to see the volcano and whale watching tour are also two things we missed that will be on top of the list for our next trip. We did manage to catch the aurora borealis though and that was the other major highlight for myself besides the other worldly beautiful landscape.
Photographically, I was carrying a lot of equipment. In my backpack were:
1. Sony A850 Full Frame 24mpx camera
2. Zeiss C/Y mount (Leitax adapted to Alpha) 35-70mm F3.4 (my most used lens of the trip)
3. Zeiss ZF.2 mount (Leitax adapted to Alpha) 21mm F2.8 (my second most used lens)
4. Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 (brought it for whaling but didn’t use it.)
5. Zeiss Sony ZA 85mm F1.4
7. Sony NEX-5N (APS-C) with LA-EA1 adapter
8. Contax G Zeiss 28mm F2.8
9. Contax G Zeiss 45mm F2
10. Sony 16mm F2.8
11. Giotto tripod system with Vanguard GH-100 pistol grip ball head
12. Sony TX5 Waterproof Compact Camera
So without further ado, some highlights of the trip:
“Downtown Reykjavik in our first morning. Used the auto HDR option on the 5N
“More of Reykjavik
“The waters of the Blue Lagoon
“Cheers to you my friends, wish you were here.
“The Blue Lagoon Money shot, the little TX5 isn’t bad with flare.
“A must visit stop if you visit Iceland
“First night shot of the trip.
“We caught the Aurora and didn’t even know it.
“Woah okay now we see it. Who knew there were rainbows at night?
“Sometimes it was very easy to see.
“It was actually much darker than the photos imply. These were extended duration.
“More Aurora Borealis
“Some of the light pollution from Reykjavik
“Nobody say Green Latern
“In some ways, it kind of looks like we
“I wish we could get these kind of starry nights in Manhattan.
“And finally my favorite aurora borealis shot of the night
“Driving along, we found some rock piles.
“At least it happened on a main road. This would have been ultra bad not good disaster if it happened in some of the rock trails we drove in with our Skoda wagon.
“At least it was a bit scenic.
“Vnuk was asleep in the car and refused to get up as we saw some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever witnessed.
“It was just jaw dropping to see it in person.
“Lots of horses in Iceland
“A somewhat trite shot of a road way to a farm.
“Wild horses having a grazing time.
“We visited some geysers
“It was very excited to see us as well. Hurrah!
“Tranquil… but deceiving
“Icelands biggest waterfall
“Quite nice but the wind also drenched us
“Some people for scale.
“My favorite shot of the waterfall.
“We ran into some curious sheep.
“I think they would have made some great lamb chops.
“yup its another road.
“Just another perfect sunset in Iceland.
“One Final aurora
Okay folks, that ends Iceland. If you want to see more of Iceland a bit bigger, check here: http://jaegraphy.com/lightroom/icelandswiss/index.html.
I’ll be adding Switzerland, Swiss Alps, French Castles, and the Yoon-Lindauer family this week!
And remember you can always buy prints at www.jaegraphy.com
You can find the second part, pictures of the Swiss Alps and Zurich here: http://www.jaegraphy.com/blog/?p=191