Jökulsárlón Beach is famous for its black sand and the fabulous ice formations that are regularly washed ashore. Photographers flock to this site, so obtaining a unique perspective is not easy. I was fortunate to visit Iceland in 2014 and spent several weeks touring the island. This shot was taken on my second visit to the beach, and I was attempting to obtain a long exposure of the ice fragments as they were tossed and turned by the waves pounding the shore. I was after an abstract image of fractured ice blurred by the movement of the waves.
I also needed to ensure there were no foreground footprints, so I had to venture to the edge of the waves, and for several shots getting wet feet was a small price to pay. The second problem was the stability of my tripod, or lack thereof. The sand was very soft underfoot, and the tripod kept sinking, first leaning one way, then the next. Many of my shots were lost this way. The third problem was that it was raining (heavy drizzle, really), so water droplets kept obscuring the lens requiring it to be cleaned.
This particular shot was one I was happy with. It's an 8-second exposure, and it contains a combination of the crisp, sharp ice fragments that have lodged themselves into the sand or are too heavy to be buffeted by the waves, but also contains the smaller floating ice tossed around and hence blurred in my photo. I have tried to keep the colour as accurate as possible, as the green/blue hues of the ice that occur naturally are superb.
There is a sufficient blurring of the ice, and the sea is 'smoothed', and the lens is 'clean', but I was ankle-deep in water and black sand. But I was happy with this result - it's a keeper for me.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor