Reynisdrangar Sunrise, Vik, Iceland by Andy Gray

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We were on holiday in Iceland and this was our penultimate stop off point. I had seen so many photographs of this before but no 2 images are ever the same especially with the ever-changing weather conditions. I arrived here just after sunrise and not surprisingly it was blowing a gale. The 2 main challenges were tourists and the waves regularly crashing up onto the beach right up to the foot of these basalt columns.

This is a notoriously dangerous place for people to linger so you need to be prepared to run back up the beach quickly. Setting the tripod up and keeping it stable in the sand is not easy so long exposure attempts become difficult, hence the relatively fast shutter speed. You don't have time to get out the big stopper otherwise your tripod may end up in the sea before you know it. No filters were used in this image as is mostly the case with my photography.

I used the cloud cover and dynamic range of the camera to take a single exposure. This particular morning the sky was quite menacing but the sunlight was low on the horizon nicely silhouetting the distant sea stacks. the bonus of some light hitting the basalt columns added to the foreground, together with the highlighted texture of the black sand. Overall this was a worthwhile visit and worth the wet feet. For me the best time to visit Iceland if you like winter and aurora photography is October or March as you can get snow, auroras and the temperature although cold is not as severe as in mid winter.

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