Black sand blowing everywhere in Iceland

We drove father east this morning for my Iceland photo workshop and the wind really made itself present. Iceland is the third windiest country in the world and we felt it today. We started at the southeastern most part of the island, Eystrahorn, on a cool black sand beach. The mountains in the background made for a great photo with the black sand in the foreground. The wind was blowing hard making it tough to keep the camera steady on the tripod. I loved the image I made and taking it to black and white made it even more dramatic.

Next to the beach was a sand dune, the first time I’ve seen black sand blowing. Blowing might be an understatement, the wind was howling and pushing the black sand everywhere. The black sand was drifting and flowing over the drifts. I stood there quite a while trying to figure out how to show the movement of the sand but everything I tried didn’t work. Another thing I had to just observe and admire.

I had to make sure my jacket pockets were zipped closed or they would have filled up with black sand. The wind was a steady 40-50 mph and gusts were even strong. Our guide, Raymond, wasn’t even phased by the wind, just a normal day he said. We spent a couple of hours out there and when we got back in the bus one of our workshop participants looked like a raccoon. The black sand had stuck to her makeup, especially around her eyes. At first I thought her mascara had run but looking closer it was obvious there was sand all over her eyes and mouth. Rather than try to wipe it off I made sure she rinsed it off so it wouldn’t get in her eyes.

As we were heading to our next location there were some Icelandic horses having lunch so we stopped. They were more enthralled with lunch than us but a couple came over to say hi. Eidur, our bus driver, told us the farmers don’t like them being called ponies since they are horses, just not real big ones. Since they have such heavy coats they stay outdoors all year unlike cattle which have to go indoors when it gets real cold. Now that Maryann had all the black sand off her face, she was able to make friends with the horses. They liked her too.

We made one more stop near a lighthouse, which, like most Icelandic lighthouses, wasn’t overly pretty. But there was a great view of another coastal mountain, so we worked that pretty hard. The wind was still blowing pretty strong, but not as bad as earlier.

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