Snæfellsnes Peninsula – part 2

Another stop along the paths of the Snæfellsnes peninsula

One of the things that I cannot overstate about Iceland is that there are great views wherever you go. Even when the weather might not be perfect, you’ll find yourself in awe of the landscape, just about no matter where you are in this gorgeous island nation. And when the weather plays into your hand, you find yourself almost overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounds you.

During our first day on the Snæfellsnes peninsula our tour leader, Loren Fisher, just about blew our mind with the number of great locations and the vistas that we experienced. Even when he took us on a little detour from the main attractions, there appeared a great photographic subject in front of our lenses.

Arnarstapi Vista

In real estate the operative words are “Location, location, location”. That doesn’t begin to describe where we see this house that is near the little harbor in the village of Arnarstapi, also known as Stapi. The house is called Amtmannshúsið in Icelandic, as it was the residence of the Danish Prefect during the time that Iceland still belonged to Denmark. This is now a historical site.

In the background you see the snow-covered peaks of Snæfellsjökull, a 700,000-year old glacier-capped stratovolcano. For the readers who remember Jules Verne’s book ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’, you may be interested to know that Stapi was the last stop before climbing Snæfellsjökull, where they enter the interior of the planet through a tunnel.

To the left, we see the slopes of Mount Stapafell, a pyramid shaped palagonite mountain; atop the mountain sits Fellskross, the dwelling of the “hidden people” or elves. It is rumored to have magical powers!

The hill in the right hand side of the image is part of a lavafield, a landscape feature that is ubiquitous in Iceland.

For the photography nerds among you, this image was captured with a Canon EOS R5 using a Canon RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens. I shot this at ISO 800 and an aperture of F/11 and 1/640 sec shutter speed.

Processing was done using a combination of Skylum Luminar AI and Adobe Photoshop. In Luminar AI, I created a template for the Snæfellsnes images that was based on ‘City – Cozy Streets’ from the Ultimate Travel Collection of templates by Albert Dros. Starting from this template, I added warmth, structure and strength to the sky, as well as several other adjustments, resulting in what I named ‘Snæfellsnes Drama’. Photoshop was then used for some minor adjustments and a bit of soft light and contrast.

Author: jansenphoto

A Fresh Perspective Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment. Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael. My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals. Universal Connections My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation. This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections. Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client. And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!

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