Often folks joke with me, Arctic / Antarctic are the only places left for me to explore. Obviously, it is no way close to be true. The world is too big to cover in a short free time any one of us would get. My US passport allows me to travel 150 countries without visa, and I made it to around 30% of the countries so far. This winter, I managed to find a week to explore Iceland as part of Landscape Photography Adventure amidst sub-zero temperatures, and got a teaser view of life in arctic temperatures. Iceland is a Nordic island country and is just outside the arctic circle, with a population of half a million, making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe
I planned this specific trip to Iceland about 5 months ago, after two failed attempts. My desire to visit Iceland grew big, thanks to movies like “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and many 4K drone videos and documentaries I ran into on YouTube channels. Walter Mitty movie is a beautiful story of how a person comes out of his imaginary world to experience the real one. And in the process discover that life is meant to try and experience new things. I spent about 8 days in Iceland exploring southern part of the country, and covering Golden Circle (which includes geysers, Gulfoss waterfalls, etc.), Reynisfjara, Jokularson Glaciers, Fjallsarlon, Vestrahorn, Skogafoss, Kirkufell, Seljalandsfoss, Snaefesellsnes, Vik, Budir, etc. One of the advantages of doing a photo tour with a dedicated coach, they will be constantly scouting for unconventional places to spot to do a photoshoot. On the day 1, we were heading out of our base city Reykjavik, our coach spotted a puddle water on the road (possibly caused by rain or melted snow) and stopped the car to do reflection photography, which I would have surely ignored. Our trip included a 3-night stay at Fosshotel Nupar which is nestled in out-of-the-world of type of setting, in Iceland wilderness. Check out the drone view in one of the below links.
One of the primary motivations to visit Iceland during the winter season was to witness Northern Lights with our naked eyes. I am happy to say that, we did witness Northern Lights and photograph them too, on the 3rd night of our Iceland trips. It was an exhilarating experience, and the spectacular show lasted for about 30 minutes or more, giving ample time to photograph them from two different locations in long exposure mode
I have also experienced geothermal spa (Fontana wellness spa), where water is heated via hot rocks underneath, thanks to the geothermal activity in the region. The pool is in the open air, where the air is close to zero C. Water in the pool is at 32, 36, 38, and 40 at different areas of the pool/spa, which you can choose based on our comfort levels. I was neck deep in the hot water, but my head was freezing cold, so I ended up constantly sprinkling hot water on my head, like teertham 🙂
Since it is pretty impossible to highlight the awesomeness of the trip in a single write-up, I had to break my write-up into multiple sub-units (as hyperlinked above), hence this root blog covers few pics from various sites that I have explored. This pics and videos are shot using Canon 6D, OSMO Pocket, DJI Mavic Pro. So far, Iceland is the most unique place that I have visited around the world. These pics will vouch for it too. I am sure these pics will compel you to add Iceland to your bucket list
One of the most popular questions asked to me was, “How was the food?” “Did you struggle to vegetarian food”. Below are few pics clicked during my brunch/lunch/dinner throughout the week in Iceland. No, I did not find Masala Dosa and Biryani in Iceland, but I did not starve either. I had plenty of vegetarian choices to enjoy and indulge