Tag Archives: Iceland

Iceland Photography Adventure

Post 1 – Puffins! Our July 2016 adventure was a Puffinfest.  Puffins flying. Puffins fishing.  Puffins don’t tell fish stories, they just proudly show you the catch and let you photograph.  Then when you are not looking, they go feed their babies (they don’t want you to see their burrow.

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

Okay, sometimes they brag a little. © 2016 Bob Harvey

Okay, sometimes they brag a little.
© 2016 Bob Harvey

Sometimes on a rainy day it's hard to fly down to the ocean and get wet. © 2016 Bob Harvey

Sometimes on a rainy day it’s hard to fly down to the ocean and get wet.
© 2016 Bob Harvey

Great skuas, which love baby puffins and terns, are fiercely protective of their own nests.

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

Our guide Siggi found out how protective they can be. © 2016 Bob Harvey

Our guide Siggi found out how protective they can be.
© 2016 Bob Harvey

Baby skua knows it's invisible! © 2016 Bob Harvey

Baby skua knows it’s invisible!
© 2016 Bob Harvey

Arctic terns seem to always nest in the wrong places.  But when they nest close to the glacial lagoon, we get to see them on the ice, waiting for the fish run.  Then they fly and dive.

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

Don't mess with my baby! © 2016 Bob Harvey

Don’t mess with my baby!
© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

It seems like only the loons are paddling around family style.

© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2016 Bob Harvey

Watch for the next post – ice, glaciers, waterfalls, and Iceland landscapes.

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Iceland Photography Adventure

Post 2 – The Iceland landscape

The landscape of Iceland is a photographer’s dream for compositions.  I enjoy capturing the harsh looking volcanic scenery that sometimes feels as if you are on another planet with little life.  That is sometimes contrasted by fields of lava with bright green mosses growing on them.  And then you add waterfalls and ice…  Glaciers cover volcanoes and the tides play with icebergs in glacial pools.

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Strokker geyser © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Strokker geyser, 1 second before eruption
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Please see post 1 below for puffins and other bird life and do check out our 2 upcoming Iceland adventures on the calendar (link to the right).

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Iceland Photography Adventure

Post 1 – Photographing birds in Iceland

There is a lot of action along the south coast of Iceland where we base our adventure.  Atlantic puffins burrow holes in the sides of cliffs to nest. It is exciting to see and photograph them catching fish and delivering meals to the young. Their beaks are designed to lock in place the first catch while the puffin grabs another.  Or in this case, 5 fish!

Atlantic puffin with a great catch. © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Atlantic puffin with a great catch.
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Or, the same beak advantage can hold a larger fish more securely.

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

A young puffin emerges from the burrow. © 2014 Diane Kelsay

A puffin emerges from the burrow.
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Fish delivery © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Fish delivery
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

The great skua hides the chicks where they blend into the environment.  The adult flies over keeping watch.  This photo was taken at 400mm and then cropped.  It is important not to stress the birds by getting too close.

Great skua chick © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Great skua chick
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

The Arctic tern feeds chicks on land and water.  Here the young birds are floating around with icebergs, occasionally hopping on for a ride.  When the parent comes near, the chick calls out and the fish gets dropped into the beak.  These fish are very transparent and can only be seen when the light is just so.

Arctic terns © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Arctic terns
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

© 2014 Diane Kelsay

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Iceland Photography Adventure

Wildlife

Iceland has very few native mammals (the artic fox), many fish and whales, and a wealth of birds.

Puffins©2013 Bob Harvey

Puffins
©2013 Bob Harvey

The long days (it never got dark) of summer convert all that daylight into an abundance of food for migrating birds.  Artic terns make the long journey (and it is not a straight flight) from the other end of the planet to nest along the coast.  Puffins abandon the sea and burrow into cliff faces.  Raptors and ducks and loons and shorebirds show up – again to raise young!

Artic Terns©2013 Bob Harvey

Artic Terns
©2013 Bob Harvey

Great Skua©2013 Bob Harvey

Great Skua
©2013 Bob Harvey

ic13_puffin0658bh300

Puffins on the cliff’s edge
©2013 Bob Harvey

One of the most exciting things I witnessed was when the puffins left the burrow and returned with lunch for the chicks – with an onshore wind.  When it was time to land, the puffins would spin around and face into the wind and land backwards – often tumbling when they made contact with land.  It was not pretty, but it was effective!

Puffin landing©2013 Bob Harvey

Puffin landing
©2013 Bob Harvey

 

One other exciting thing is that a lot is happening in the waters where glaciers calve – and fresh and salt water mix as the tides ebb and flow!

Puffin and icebergs©2013 Bob Harvey

Puffin and icebergs
©2013 Bob Harvey

Artic tern fishing between ice bergs©2013 Bob Harvey

Artic tern fishing between ice bergs
©2013 Bob Harvey

 

Red throated divers, a type of loon, nest in small ponds.  We found them in several areas we visited.

Red throated diver with chick©2013 Bob Harvey

Red throated diver with chick
©2013 Bob Harvey

 

Red throated diver with an eel for the chicks' lunch!©2013 Bob Harvey

Red throated diver with an eel for the chicks’ lunch!
©2013 Bob Harvey

Once again, to be fair to you, I have opted to upload only a few of many images captured.  Now that you’ve seen the images – note that I did not take a long telephoto on this adventure.  My longest lens was 300mm on a full frame camera!

Iceland is an amazing place to witness wildlife nesting and feasting.

 

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Iceland Photography Adventure

Landscapes

If I had to close my eyes and describe Iceland, I would speak of dark colored volcanic hills, draped with lime green mosses.  I would speak of brilliant green grasses rarely interrupted  by trees.  I would tell you about a landscape where, especially along the coast, waterfalls are in your view much of the time.  I would speak of black sand beaches and white fulmars dotting the cliff faces.  Oh, and I would mention that glaciers sometimes lurk in the clouds, often pouring out between hills.

This is a dramatic landscape.  A young landscape that is constantly changing.  A land where the changing geology and receding glaciers often rewrite the book – about how big Iceland is, about where the largest lake is, about which waterfall is highest.

And it’s a landscape that calls the photographer to celebrate it with design!

Valleys shaped by the volcano Katla©Bob Harvey, 2013

Valleys shaped by the volcano Katla
©Bob Harvey, 2013

Dramatic light©Bob Harvey, 2013

Dramatic light
©Bob Harvey, 2013

Calving glacier©Bob Harvey, 2013

Calving glacier
©Bob Harvey, 2013

A shoreline shaped by volcanic activity©Bob Harvey, 2013

A shoreline shaped by volcanic activity
©Bob Harvey, 2013

Cliffs, adorned by fulmars©Bob Harvey, 2013

Cliffs, adorned by fulmars
©Bob Harvey, 2013

Craters of the Laki eruption©Bob Harvey, 2013

Craters of the Laki eruption
©Bob Harvey, 2013

A hidden crater lake©Bob Harvey, 2013

A hidden crater lake
©Bob Harvey, 2013

Waterfalls and lupines©Bob Harvey, 2013

Waterfall and lupines
©Bob Harvey, 2013

Abrupt cliffs reveal the volcanic heritage©Bob Harvey, 2013

Abrupt cliffs reveal the volcanic heritage
©Bob Harvey, 2013

 

 

I could go on and on….

But it’s time I worked up a few images of wildlife!  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Iceland Photography Adventure

Waterfalls

All those glaciers, and the geothermal areas beneath, combine with rainfall to fuel some spectacular waterfalls in Iceland.  Not just one here and there,  but so many that most go unnamed!  Some are huge and powerful.  Others are delicate.  Many are tall.  There are good reasons to stop the action on some – and to go for slow grace on others!  A photographer’s playground!

Along the road to Laki Craters©Bob Harvey 2013

Along the road to Laki Craters
©Bob Harvey 2013

Many have multiple stages©Bob Harvey 2013

Many have multiple stages
©Bob Harvey 2013

A ten shot multiple exposure©Bob Harvey 2013

A ten shot multiple exposure
©Bob Harvey 2013

Oh the patterns!©Bob Harvey 2013

Oh the patterns!
©Bob Harvey 2013

Falling water and basalt columns©Bob Harvey 2013

Falling water and basalt columns
©Bob Harvey 2013

 

Quiet beauty in a narrow canyon©Bob Harvey 2013

Quiet beauty in a narrow canyon
©Bob Harvey 2013

Next up, we’ll look at some of the Icelandic landscape!  This is an amazing place!

 

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Iceland Photography Adventure

Glaciers

Part of the story of Iceland is about glaciers.  This volcanic island is adorned with some pretty fantastic glaciers.  Tongues of those glaciers spill down from the mountains where they are more accessible to the South Coast visitor.

Pool at the foot of a glacier©2013 Bob Harvey

Pool at the foot of a glacier
©2013 Bob Harvey

The eroding and retreating front end of the glacial tongue creates some rather interesting formations.

Arch of ice©2013 Bob Harvey

Arch of ice
©2013 Bob Harvey

As the glaciers drop down toward the lowlands they deform, creating serac zones of shattered ice.

serac zone©2013 Bob Harvey

serac zone
©2013 Bob Harvey

If the terminus of the glacier is in water, the glacier may calve icebergs into the water.  Here on the South Coast some of those icebergs move from the lagoon, taking a short river ride to the black sand beaches along the coast.

Lagoon filled with icebergs©2013 Bob Harvey

Lagoon filled with icebergs
©2013 Bob Harvey

Backlit iceberg stranded on a black sand beach©2013 Bob Harvey

Backlit iceberg stranded on a black sand beach
©2013 Bob Harvey

The operative word is “melting” – as this 1000 year old (and sometimes much older) ice is rapidly returning to its liquid state!

Iceberg meltdown©2013 Bob Harvey

Iceberg meltdown
©2013 Bob Harvey

All in all, it creates great photographic fun – and lots of food for thought!

Now that we have internet access worked out, look for more here!

 

 

 

 

 

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Iceland Photography Adventure

Iceland!  Thoughts of glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, lava flows, and even puffins!

So, on the first day in Reykjavik, what do I shoot?  Well, architecture.  Okay, so architecture conveying how the early Vikings and Celtics dealt with the harsh environment, right?  No, Reykjavik has an incredible new performing arts center – and I just had to play!

So, enjoy some abstracts!

 

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland©Bob Harvey 2013

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
©Bob Harvey 2013

 

Notes…

Over half of my group is now here and we’re headed out on the town for dinner.

It doesn’t get dark here this time of year.  Sure the sun goes down, but darkness never arrives.

I found my first puffin today – but it was on the menu.  I’ll keep looking

Tomorrow the rest of the first group arrives.  Some more play around town.  The next day we set off on our Icelandic explorations!  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

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