Breidamerkursandur, Iceland by Michael Thomas

Picture Story

I have visited Iceland a half dozen times. Iceland has such a variety of landscapes that I'm drawn to return there. Also it is a big island, the size of the US state of Virginia. It doesn’t hurt that it is convenient to those of us living on the east coast of the US.

After a successful visit in the winter of 2017 on a photo tour, I was able to convince my wife that we could tour southern Iceland in winter on our own. Until this trip, every time I’ve visited Jokulsarlon and Breiðamerkursandur, aka Ice Diamond Beach to tourists, the weather has been grey, dreary and often raining. Not so on this visit. The sky was clear, and a subtle but beautiful glow ran across the horizon 90 degrees from the rising sun.

The first time I came here in spring 2014, there was only one other photographer, and we were on opposite sides of the outlet steam from the lagoon. By 2018, there were so many people, it was hard to find a spot with sweeping views of the beach without people in the frame. Because we needed to be thirty miles up the road for an ice cave tour in less than an hour, I hustled to the end of the beach and managed to find a small chunk of ice on the wet volcanic beach with a simple, clean background. With time running out, I found a dozen or so shots that worked, this being my favorite.

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