Djupalonssandur Beach, Snaefellsnes, Iceland by Charles Siegel

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I was particularly excited to visit this famous and beautiful beach while on a trip touring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula of Iceland in autumn 2016. After adventuring through the many remarkable lava rock formations and unique sights of the beach in the late afternoon, I came upon this setting and knew it was everything I was hoping for in a unique Icelandic beach image. At the time of sunset, I set up my tripod and camera to photograph the waves with a short long exposure to show their movement in the image as they washed up upon the rocks. The unique, rounded beach rocks of Djupalonssandur are famous for the singing sound they make as the water runs through them. Their rounded sides tumble against each other as the water pulls them and it creates a singing effect unlike any other sound I've heard at the beach in my life.

I set up my composition far enough up the beach so as to avoid the waves as they rushed up toward me, and framed my shot to include this particular lava rock sea stack towards the far end of the scene known as "Kerling". It has a distinctive side profile face outline near the top, facing toward the left, and is said by the local folklore to have been a female troll who turned to stone in the sun hundreds of years ago.

With the swirling of the waves and the way the eye is led across the shore towards Kerling with the sunset sky behind her, this has definitely turned out to be one of my favorite shots from the whole trip! I love how it encompasses the rugged nature of Iceland with the unique aspect of the stone tied to the nation's folklore being involved to represent the spirit of the culture, as well.

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