What to do when the sky doesn’t cooperate in Iceland

Today as part of my Iceland Photography Workshop we ventured up to Kirkjufellsfoss, one of the most scenic waterfalls in Iceland. I came here in March, having gotten out of bed at 3 a.m. and driving two hours for sunrise to find the falls completely frozen. When I was here in July it was so rainy and overcast that we couldn’t see the top of the nearby mountain, one of the main features of the locations. I had hoped to shoot at sunrise today but it was overcast and we caught up on a little sleep. There are two levels to the falls and the classic shot is the lower falls in the foreground and the mountain in the background. I was able to pull some blue out of the overcast and it made for a decent shot.

When the sky doesn’t cooperate I do what any good photographer does, eliminate it from my photo. So I did some tighter shots of the falls and I love the way the water looks when I use a long shutter speed to render the moving water as a blur. The bright green grass adds to the image.

We eventually ventured toward the small village of Bjarnarhöfn, which has another black church. Again the weather wasn’t behaving, dropping a light mist, so I did what any good photographer does, think black & white. Gray clouds in color look blah but they can look pretty dramatic in B&W, so I shot the church with that in mind. Back closer to Kirkjufellsfoss I stopped at a cool overlook and we all hopped out to make some shots of that scene and I was thinking black & white there also. They came out pretty nice.

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