Snæfellsnes Peninsula – part 6

Rugged and awe inspiring.

How does one follow up the view of Kirkjufell, you might ask. In Iceland, the answer is simple, as each landscape is unique in its own way and dramatic!

As we were heading toward a great little church (coming up in part 7), we made a stop to enjoy another aspect of Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Berserkjahraun lava field.

Berserkjahraun I

The lava field is about 4000 years old and covers the western part of Helgafell, situated between the towns of Stykkishólmur and Grundarfjörður. Its name, Berserkjahraun comes from one of the old Icelandic sagas, the Eyrbyggja-Saga. According to the tales a farmer brought two berserkers from Sweden to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, who he later gave to his brother Viga-Styr, who lived on the other side of the lava field. One of the berserkers fell in love with Viga-Styr’s daughter and asked for her hand in marriage.

The shrewd Viga-Styr made a deal that stipulated he could have her hand in marriage, if he cleared a path across the lava field, which feat was considered impossible. Of course, the berserkers worked together and completed a path in short time. Instead of keeping his promise, Viga-Styr had the two Swedes killed and buried them near the path. The landmarks of this legend can be found in the field: the path, Berserkjagata, the burial place of the berserkers, Berserkjadys, a boundary fence, Landamerkjagarður and a sheep den, Fjárrétt.

Berserkjahraun II

Looking across this field, one can imagine the source of such a wonderful tale. The entire field is strewn with lava stones, which seem nearly impassible. If you find yourself here, it is well worth spending some time exploring the field, as long as you watch your footing, as it is treacherous.

The images in this post are taken with my iPhone 13 Pro Max and Canon EOS EOS R5 using a Canon RF24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens. First level processing of the images was done using Skylum’s Luminar AI software; for these images, I created a template based on the Backlit Clouds template that is part of the Overcast collection of templates. Touch up processing was done in Photoshop.

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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