I was amazed when I first arrived at the ice beach at Jokulsarlon. Never had I seen such a place. Unfortunately, I was not alone; the beach was crowded, and taking a shot free of other people, or just as bad, their footprints, was near impossible.
However, I was lucky. I was in Iceland for just over 3 weeks, had my own transport and could return at another time, which I did. The weather was mild but cold, with low clouds, drizzle and light breeze, all of which made standing in the wet sand more acceptable.
However, there was a lull in the tourist traffic on my second visit; the beach only had a few people on it, and the ice was much better than previously. It covered the beach; some pieces, like this one, were quite large. It was about 3m high and stood aloof from the other ice shards, well away from the main beach area. In this shot, I wanted to capture the coldness of the environment, the grey ocean, the low featureless sky and the lone ice stranded on the black beach.
It was a 5-second exposure, which was enough to smooth out the water and yet still retain elements of the movement. The sea almost merges with the sky, and the black polished stones in the foreground give a texture contrasting with the ice. I have muted the colours slightly, which adds to the bleakness of the setting.
The drizzle miraculously paused while I snapped away, so I had no issues with water on my lens - my experience with the Canon 5DII was that it was not very weatherproof, having already been damaged in one rain. I was very pleased with this result.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor