Kirkjufell, Snaefellsness Peninsula, Iceland by David Sansom

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Picture Story

Photographing one of the most iconic locations in Iceland, if not the world, is a challenge. How does one offer a new perspective on a scene photographed by everyone who’s ever passed by? How will one’s images compare to those captured by the best landscape photographers in the world? A challenge, indeed.

In June of 2019 I had travelled to Iceland for a three week photo shoot during the Summer Solstice, a time when the island nation never gets truly dark. And while my primary goal was to photograph little-known and unknown locations, Kirkjufell was one site that just couldn’t be ignored. Literally. Highway 54 is the only road that circumnavigates Snaefellsness Peninsula, and it passes right under the mountain, between it and Kirkjufellsfoss, the waterfall in this image’s foreground.

I did not stay at Kirkjufell for extended periods of time, because there is simply too much to see and photograph on Snaefellsness. But since my lodging was less than a mile from this spot on the peninsula’s northern coast, I made sure to pass by at strategic moments. This was one of those moments, as the sun rose above the mountains to the southeast to light the dramatic clouds building behind the mountain.

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