The Icelandic landscape is graced with so many waterfalls that it often feels as if you can photograph one from just about any location on this wonderful island. At one point during our trip I did a count and saw 19 waterfalls from a single vantage point.
In this first waterfall post, I have images from some of the falls along the southern part of the ring road, which we encountered on the day that we traveled from the Snæfellsnes peninsula toward our next stop in the town of Vik.
Our first stop was the amazing Seljalandsfoss waterfall; the 60m drop of the water provides an impressive spectacle. One of the features that really makes this waterfall a great place to visit is that there is a cavern behind the falls that can be walked up to for a view of the landscape through the curtain of water. Seljalandsfoss waterfall is part of the river Seljalandsá, which has its origins underneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier.
Our next stop on this day had us visit the mighty Skógafoss waterfall, which is about 25m wide and has a drop of 60m. Photographing this waterfall was an awe inspiring experience, as the shallow side of the Skógá river is a perfect spot from which to capture it. As the weather really cooperated, there were moments of double rainbows across the river in front of the waterfall. As the land in front of the falls is very flat, visitors can walk up close to the actual waterfall.
The Kvernufoss waterfall is a less often visited neighbor of Skógafoss, possibly because it’s a bit more of a hike, and it’s not as powerful; the falls are a mere 30m, half the height of the other two powerhouses of the day. The walk up to Kvernufoss is stunning, as it meanders up by the river Kverna toward the falls; the hike is about 20 minutes and mostly across a path that is well maintained. This waterfall is another one where it is possible to catch a view from behind the falls.
One note about our visit to Kvernufoss: as we were shooting, we caught sight of a marriage proposal that was taking place; we made sure to capture this, which was a stroke of luck for the photographer on assignment to shoot the proposal, as she had a bit of equipment trouble and we were able to provide her with the images of the event. Sometimes, luck is there and it’s nice to be able to help!
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.
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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7 thoughts on “Iceland’s Waterfalls – part 1”
Beautiful captures! I had been told abut the waterfalls in Iceland. Lucky for the photographer with equipment problems that you were there!
Hi Susan, thank you! The waterfalls are magnificent and plentiful. I agree that it’s always great when the universe enables us to help each other out.
Frank, these waterfalls are amazing 😀 😀
Thank you very kindly, Cee!
The power and beauty of a waterfall.
They are amazing to behold!