Landmannalaugar, Iceland by John Buckley

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Picture Story

We arrived in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve on the edge of the Icelandic Highlands just as a gale force wind was coming up. My wife and I were on a ten-day journey run by the Leica Store Miami that would take us through much of the Landmannalaugur -- among the wildest terrain of southern Iceland.

It was late afternoon and the wind was beginning to be an impediment to safe photography. My group was quite enthusiastic about the waterfalls we'd arrived at where dun-colored hills suddenly split into a broad gorge, and we hurried while the light was decent. A few of us set up our tripods close to the edge of sheer cliffs with a view of two waterfalls, each at least 100 feet from the floor, and I remember being slightly terrified that the wind would shift and start blowing from behind us, sending me into the abyss. I'm somewhat scared of heights and from where we were positioned, trying to get both falls in a single shot, it was a long way down!

I think I was the first to notice clouds billowing in the distance to our left. While my colleagues kept aiming their camera to the right, I repositioned my tripod in that direction. The wind was blowing so hard that the clouds blew away quickly, but before they did, the sun came out for just a few minutes, and I was able to capture this image -- a highlight of a wonderful trip in the summer of 2019. It's an amazingly beautiful place to visit, and this waterfall was, for me, the most memorable of a 100 waterfalls we saw.


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