Monday, July 31, 2006

Snoozing fox

On a visit to Reykjavík's family park and farm animal zoo in 1991 I came across this inhabitant asleep in its enclosure.


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There was a wire netting fence between me and the fox, but as I was shooting with a 200 mm zoom lens, it was completely eliminated from the photo.

Location: Húsdýragarðurinn, Laugardalur, Reykjavík.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The sinking sun hiding behind the Grótta lighthouse

I go to Grótta about once a month to experience the calmness of nature and watch the ever-changing cloudsacapes and the bird-life. The island is only accessible when the tide is out. Currently there is an art exhibition there, but I haven't visited it yet becase the last two times I was there the tide was in.

This is one of the most photographed sights in the Reykjavík area. I have rarely been there around sunset without there being at least one photographer there. Last night there were three beside myself.


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I am thinking about making photographs of the lighthouse an occasional feature of this blog because it makes a lovely foreground detail for the variations in light and colour of clouds and sunsets.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Still life with paving stones and moss

I used to rent a room in an old house with an ill-kept, shady garden. Behind the house there was twilight even on the sunniest of days and moss grew there in abundance. I imagine the paving stones were left over from when the drive-in was paved, but it must have been quite some time ago because this much moss doesn't just grow over night.


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Friday, July 28, 2006

Hraundrangar

The picturesque, sharp-edged peaks make this mountain one of Iceland's most striking sights. It can be seen on the left as you descend into the Öxnadalur (Valley of the Oxen), on the way to Akureyri across the Öxnadalsheiði mountain pass.


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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Field of dandelions

It's raining in Reykjavík, which is why I chose this colourful image as today's picture.


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Location: Akureyri, children's playground

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bizarre life-forms


Alien eggs?
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These look sort of familiar...
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Aha!
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Mushrooms!
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They have a kind of grotesque beauty, but be careful not to touch them or you will get black stains all over you.
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Ink mushrooms. If you know the Latin name for them, please let me know.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dettifoss

Look this way, and all you see is a river valley:



Look the other way, and you see Europe's most powerful waterfall. To think that anyone could possibly want to dam this magnificent waterfall!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sólfar - Famous Reykjavík sculpture

Opinions vary about this sculpture, the Sólfar (Sun Boat or Sun Voyager). Some say it looks more like a giant bug than a viking ship. Be that as it may, it certainly offers some photo opps.

Angle and composition are important in photography. Here's a shot with a subtle play of sunlight on the sculpture:



And then I turned around and made some composed shots. I can't decide which one I like best. This one:



This one:



Or this picture-postcard one:


Location: Sæbraut, Reykjavík.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunset photographer

This guy was so busy trying to find the right position to snap a perfect photograph of the sunset that he didn't even notice when I sneaked up behind him and snapped this:



The image is grainy because it was shot in low-light mode (ISO 400).
Location: Ægissíða, Reykjavík.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm going digital

I finally took the plunge and bought a digital camera after salivating over my father's EOS for months and cursing at the bricklike old HP PhotoSmart C200 he lent me. Of course I didn't go and get a big expensive camera – I have three film SLRs and an assortment of lenses which is quite enough pro-level equipment – but I am reasonably happy with what I bought, and I am sure that happiness will grow once I have mastered it. It's a Canon PowerShot A430, 4 megapixels with a 4x optical zoom and all sorts of useful and artistic programs (some of which I don't really get the point of, but that may change once I try them).

I have always been the kind of person who took experimental photographs only other shutterbugs understood, and because developing film is expensive in Iceland I have only really given in to my longing to snap pictures of everything I see when I'm abroad or going abroad and have access to cheap developing. It simply isn't worth all that money to take experimental pictures when half of them may turn out to be duds, and much as I would like to do my own developing, my bathroom – the only possible blackroom in the apartment – is only big enough for the enlarger or the trays, but not both.

Now, however, I can take all the photos I want and just delete the duds with the press of a button.

Photos that I post here go into two categories. One is Iceland photos, which are meant to show the country and its people as they are and may be of varying artistic quality. The other category is experimental and artistic photography, including nature and object studies, experiments with lighting and digitally altered photographs.

Because it's summer and the sun is shining

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)


We have been enjoying some of the heat that has been suffocating the mainland lately, except that here, up near the Arctic Circle, it's just right instead of too hot.
Hell, to an Icelander, is a cold place.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hallgrímskirkja

Opinions are divided as to whether this church, the tallest building in Iceland, is lovely or incredibly ugly. I happen to like it, and I find it very photogenic. The concrete changes colour depending on the light and I have seen it look many shades of white, beige and grey, but also pink, orange and blueish. The columns are meant to represent the basalt columns found in many places in Icelandic nature.

Front view:
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Focus on the statue of Leifur heppni (Leif the lucky) first European known to have set foot in America, which he called Vínland (Wineland).
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The interior:
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The organ is huge and sounds great:
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The view from the top is the best in town:
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Film can be funny. I took the photograph below when the church was lit with pink lights to commemorate International breast cancer day, but as you see, there isn't any pink at all in the photo.
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Seen from Perlan:
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Friday, July 14, 2006