The Enlightenment
Two short periods of about three weeks in summer and winter offer perfect photographic conditions on Iceland. These are the midnight sun around the 21st of June and the low winter sun around 21st December. Both periods are characterized by low sun elevations for hours resulting in spectacular lighting with endless sunrises and sunsets. In summer the sun encircles the northern horizon while it lights up the southern horizon in winter. This 180° shift of the low light uniquely illuminates the Icelandic landscapes. The beach of the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón at Vatnajökull heads south towards the North Atlantic Ocean. This causes a natural spectacle when the sun rises behind the beached icebergs by illuminating them from behind. Each crystal plane of the ice reflects the sunlight into a different direction causing the iceberg to sparkle like a diamond on velvet on the pitch-black basaltic sand of the beach. The strong tidal currents of the North Atlantic break up the frozen surface of the glacier lagoon twice daily. Compared to summer this still allows a reduced number of icebergs to float into the ocean and getting beached at low tide.
January 2011
Canon 5D MkII, Canon L 16-35 mm, f/16, 0.3 sec, ISO 50, Lee GND, tripod