Frosted Wall, Myvatn, Iceland by Jackie Matear

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Picture Story

This particular trip to Iceland involved an unplanned circumnavigation of the island when we encountered persistent heavy grey cloud along the south coast. The forecast showed no signs of improvement, so once we had visited the ice cave under Vatnajökull glacier, we started the long drive north, travelling in a counter-clockwise direction. We were rewarded the next day by clear skies and plenty of snow blanketing the landscape.

In mid-December, the blue hour lasts for several hours before the gentle hues of sunrise finally appear late morning, followed shortly thereafter by sunset. Once the sun finally rises, it remains at a low angle so we were able to shoot throughout the ‘day’.

I took this image late one morning when we made an impromptu stop along the road between the town and the Hverfjall volcano crater. The frosted dry-stone wall caught my eye from a distance and, as I approached, I also noticed the wonderfully shaped snow drifts that zig-zagged along its length. I carefully explored the area to find the best vantage point without disturbing the pristine snow and eventually chose my spot and set up my tripod. I composed the image so that the wall, which glistened in the morning sun, and the snow drifts led the eye to the mountain in the distance. I used a graduated filter upside-down to balance the exposure between the bright snow in the foreground and the gentle colours of the dawn sky.

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