Skogafoss, Iceland

It has been a really long time since we made our last post on this site… so let’s start with a big apology for being absent without leave. Suffice it to say that life has just been far too hectic… indeed it still is! Thanks anyway for those of you who showed interest in the site when we first started it, and we’ll try to keep posting regularly so you have something new to take a look at!

Anyway, let’s start with this image (one of Christine’s) of the Skogafoss waterfall in Southern Iceland. Iceland has become somewhat of a landscape photographer’s cliche in recent years, so we won’t be attempting to match the quality of the many fantastic images that are already out there, but we will try to bring a slightly different take on Iceland if and when we post more of our images.

In this case, we arrived at Skogafoss on a pretty bleak day in September 2014 when the sky was flat and grey. The waterfall itself is truly spectacular – not the biggest in the world by any means,  but certainly one that lives up to your childhood dreams of what a waterfall should be. A rapid flowing river comes down from the glacier and tumbles over a two hundred foot sheer drop into a canyon of its’ own making. You can walk into the canyon, getting as close as you dare to the waterfall, or at least as close as you can before you are completely soaked. Like all of the large waterfalls in Iceland, Skogafoss creates huge plumes of spray and mist, making photography quite a challenge even when the weather is fine.

While Christine was taking life easy at the foot of the waterfall, I decided to climb to the viewing platform at the top, which you can just see in the main image for this post. It is a pretty steep climb, and by the time I reached the top, I was completely shattered – only feeling a little better when I saw that even the young guys were out of breath as well by the time they got to the platform. There is a great view down to the sea from there, though on this day it was gloomy and not very photogenic. However, near the top you can take a narrow path to see the waterfall from the side, in the lee of a curiously shaped rocky outcrop. The image below was stitched from a couple of shots taken with a Canon 5DMk3, 100th at F9, 24mm, ISO 100.


Image processing

The main image for this post was taken on a Sony A7R camera with a Zeiss 24-70 F4 lens, 125th at F8, ISO 100.

On this day, with the sky a steely grey with absolutely no detail at all, it seemed appropriate to be a bit creative with the image to emphasize the feeling of menace that was coming from the falls. In practice, we tried to recreate a gritty look that we had seen in a similar image used for an Apple screensaver. Since the sky has no detail, we did take a liberty and replace it with a ‘stock’ sky that we had captured at another location in Iceland, using a similar lens.

The only other manipulation involved was to remove one of the two people standing at the foot of the waterfall, leaving one sole figure to create more of a sense of mystery and solitude.

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