Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dead tired

 Tomorrow is a bank holiday and this weekend there are several festivals in different places, including the famous Þjóðhátíð in the Westman Islands. The sight below - an unconscious teenager lying on the ground - is a common one at these festivals, which are used by many as an excuse for excessive drinking. However, in this case it wasn't drinking that laid my brother low, but fatigue. He was actually taking a nap during a short break from the haying and no alcohol was involved.

From my scanned photos. 
The film I used was several years out of date and produced some interestingly super-saturated colours.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Glámur was my brother's horse. 
He was a happy-go-lucky personality and an expert escape artist who was always on the wrong side of any fence.
In the end it cost him his life.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Church window

Misty window on the Víðimýri church in Skagafjörður.

From my collection of photos taken on film.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Part of the Reykjavík city hall is covered with moss, which was artificially applied there and grows abundantly, looking somewhat like a piece of free-form knitting:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Time-lapse video of Iceland

I came across this lovely time-lapse film of various places in Iceland that I want to share with you. Just click on the link and enjoy!

Skua attack

The skuas (Catharacta skua) are even more aggressively territorial than the Arctic terns, or maybe it only feels that way because they are so much bigger. They have been known to knock people out cold when defending their nesting areas. This one didn't touch down, but my father says he felt a gust of wind on his head when the bird swooped down to threaten him:

From my collection of scanned photos.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Female mallard

The mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is probably the most common duck species in Iceland. I like them because they always seem to be smiling:

The colour of the water makes it look like this one is swimming in mercury.

Monday, July 25, 2011


The Reykjanes area is rich in interesting sights and one of them is the fumarole area surrounding Gunnuhver (Gunna's Fumarole).

There is a folk-tale connected with this fumarole.

Here you can see the scale of it:

A close-up:

The viewing platform surrounded by steam:

Digital photo, Nikon D7000

Clouds and cows

Here I was photographing the clouds. The mountains and cows were a a bonus:

From my scanned photos.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I have always had a soft spot for owls.I think I snapped this photo at the Ribe Viking museum in Denmark. I can't remember what species this beautiful bird is, but it is some kind of horned owl or eagle owl.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Icelandic mare grazing

I photographed our whole herd individually the day I took this, but this one and last' weeks photo of the stallion were the best.

From my collection of photos taken on film.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nissen huts

I'm not sure how far back these Nissen huts date, but I think they were built to house American soldiers who were part of the NATO defensive force in Iceland. They are located in Hvalfjörður.

From my collection of photos taken on film.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Walking with the little ones

I spotted this man walking down the Skólavörðustígur, holding a baby and pushing a pram. My guess is that the pram does not contain another baby, but that the baby he was holding had become restless and so he was carrying it. This is by no mean an uncommon sight in Iceland, but can you spot the detail that made me snap the photo?

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Minjasafnið á Akureyri

Built in 1846, this church is now part of the Akureyri museum:

From my collection of photos taken on film.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Goofing off amidst the hot springs

A friend of mine goofing off in Hveravellir, a geothermal area in the highlands of Iceland. Hveravellir is situated on the Kjölur route, and can, with careful driving, be reached even by non-four-wheel drive cars in the summer.

This photo was taken in early spring about 15 years ago and we would not have made it there without four-wheel drive.

From my scanned photos.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

P.S. My brother also takes photos

He doesn't blog (that I know of), but he has a public photo gallery that you can visit. Most of the photos are from various trips he has taken around Iceland, many of them up in the highlands, including a hiking trip to the 2010 volcanic eruption on Fimmvörðuháls. Here's the link, and here is one of his photos of the eruption:

Preening swans

From my collection of photos taken on film.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The lady and her falcon

This young woman is a falconer and she and her birds were working at the Ribe Viking museum in Denmark, showing how the Vikings trained and used falcons to hunt. She clearly has a great deal of affection for this particular bird:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A stallion poses for the camera

We have kept horses for as long as I can remember. We don't keep stallions and all our males are geldings, so each summer we would rent a stallion to impregnate our mares. Generally, the stallion would stay over the summer and assume control of the herd while he was there. This is one of them - an unusually friendly animal, since it was actually possible to approach him. One very temperamental beast didn't hesitate to attack humans and I still remember vaulting a fence with him hard on my heels after I innocently went to pick bilberries inside the large enclosure where the herd was kept.

From my collection of photos taken on film.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Seen up close, this lichen-covered rock resembles an aerial photograph of a geothermal area:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Boarded-up windows

The windows of a house are as much the mirrors of the soul of the house as the eyes of a person are the mirror of their soul. The soul left this old house when the last inhabitant died. He was my great grandfather.

From my collection of photos taken on film.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Seagulls looking like snowflakes silhouetted against the sea:

One of my aimless photographs of nothing in particular.
From my collection of photos taken on film.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The old and the new

The old church behind the new one was damaged in an earthquake in the 1960s and if it had been a habitation, it would have been condemned as unfit for living in. The church was, however, used until the 1980s, and I must say that we who used it never noticed anything amiss with it. The old church stood empty for some years after the consecration of the new one before it was torn down. The site of the old church is now a parking lot for the new church, and the location of a memorial for lost and drowned fishermen from Skagaströnd.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Driftwood cast upon the shores of northern Iceland but originating in Siberia reveals a wealth of shapes and textures:

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The house of Nonni

Jón Sveinsson, better known as Nonni, was an Icelandic children's book writer and Jesuit priest whose books, based on his own life as a boy and young man in Iceland and abroad, were very popular and are still read. His childhood home, pictured below, is now a museum.

From my collection of photographs taken on film.

I have now gone over all the photos I uploaded ages ago to PhotoBucket with the aim of posting them here, and now am in the process of preparing them for automatic posting through the summer and into the autumn. Most of them are rather small, especially the scanned ones, but when they have finished posting, I will start posting my newer digital stuff again and those will be bigger.
There will be a couple of photo essays, but mostly they will be a photo per day.

Friday, July 08, 2011


Colourful algae that looks like melted wax coats a metal surface outside Reykjavík city hall:

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Meet the boys

Meet my personal assistants: Ljúfur on the left and Kvasi on the right. Both are cockatiels. Ljúfur is a colour variation known as a pied, and Kvasi is a standard tiel. Here they are perched on the vacuum-cleaner hose and posing for the camera.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


The village where I grew up looks tiny when viewed from top of the Höfði promontory, which provides shelter for the harbour.

When I was a teenager it used to annoy me no end when one of the screen translators working for the national TV station would translate foreign words meaning Podunk with the name of this place.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Checking the nets

Fishermen checking their lumpfish nets just off the shore near Skagaströnd, in Húnaflói, northern Iceland:

Monday, July 04, 2011


This looks quite lovely - until you realise what it is: an algal bloom on the water of the pond in the city centre of Reykjavík. These happen when we get increased levels of nutrients in the water combined with several days of sunshine.

I'll admit that it looks pretty, but it's also slimy and I imagine it must be quite a job getting it out of one's feathers:
Male mallard, moulting.

Female mallard.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Old taxi

It's a sure sign that summer has arrived in Reykjavík when this old taxi hits the streets:

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Tall ship

The Russian school ship Sedov has visited Iceland several times. I took these photos of her in 2009:

Friday, July 01, 2011


Cod heads drying on a drying rack. Once these racks were a common sight all over Iceland, filled with drying heads and fish for the stockfish trade. They have been disappearing one after the other during the last 30 years or so, due to a declining trade in stockfish.