For quite a while, I have heard the NPR commercial for Planet Money that mentions “Learn how Justin Bieber saved the Icelandic economy” and had no idea what they were talking about, as I’m not a Belieber.
During my photo tour of Iceland I got the answer to this mystery, as our fearless leader, Loren Fisher, mentioned that several of our locations were in a Justin Bieber video. Here’s one of them…
This is a view looking from Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, which is a stunning area to visit, as you can see; in the above image, we’re looking back in a southerly direction toward the Ring Road looking down the Fjaðrár river. The name of this canyon is probably one of the more difficult Icelandic words to pronounce; it is a combination of two words: Fjaðrár, the name of the river, and gljúfur, which just means canyon.
This canyon is gorgeous and fun to explore, as it’s only about 2 kilometers long; just leave your fear of heights in the car, as it does have a depth of 100 meters (300 ft), which can be intimidating when viewed from the edges (as I experience a certain amount of vertigo at heights, I tend to be aware of this).
One of the things that really stood out for me are the soft grasses and mosses on the outcroppings into the canyon. They look rather inviting to lie down and take a nice nap (on a drier day), while listening to the wind and the water playing their tunes.
As the weather was a bit fierce, we didn’t spend a lot of time here. It does make me want to come back at some point to hike the canyon from the lower vantage point of the river’s edge. Be mindful that this does require an occasional bit of wading through the Fjaðrár, which will mean very cold water!
Here’s the Justin Bieber video with all the great Icelandic sights: “I’ll Show You”.
I can honestly say that it was fun to see the video and recognize numerous locations that we’d visited; also, I definitely didn’t pull some of the stunts that Bieber did, as they look genuinely risky without a crew to catch you!
A note about the photos; they were taken with a Canon EOS R5 and a Canon RF 24-105mm f4/L IS USM lens. As this was a rather overcast day, I had inserted a Kolari Vision Iridium color enhancing rear filter; I discovered these filters shortly before going on the Iceland trip and really like them, as they allow one to swap lenses and keep the same filter.
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!
View all posts by jansenphoto
5 thoughts on “Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon (for Beliebers)”
Good video, not a fan of JB though he looked pretty fit!!Lovely photographs again Frank
I’m not a Belieber either, but was intrigued by the video. And I don’t jump like that anymore 😎
I never jumped like that anyway…….. ever!!! LOL
Wow, that is so fasinating! And both your photos and the scenery in the video, they are amazing!!
Thank you! We didn’t visit the beach where the plane wreck is, but did get to all the other locations in the video. Iceland is stunning!