Skogafoss, Iceland by Daniel Laan

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Iceland is famed for its pockets of diverse weather. Especially along the southern glaciers, the weather is often very different mere miles apart. As I was driving along the ring road, passing the obligatory Skógafoss shot everyone takes, I did notice an interesting cloud formation developing in the morning twilight. Bu I initially passed it up for an excursion much to the east.

The idea this morning was to capture something original. But as I drove farther into the mist, rain and of course wind, this morning grew darker instead of meeting the rising sun over a brilliant seascape that, at least in my mind, no-one troubled photographing. The single cloud over Skógafoss gnawed at me though. Is the weather as heinous back there as well? I figured that it couldn't be much worse than this rainfall that only seems to increase. Is this drive worth it? Or am I passing up a potential great shot of a subject that has been photographed many times before? At that moment I realized that the pull of the iconic waterfall was much greater than I initially gave it credit.

I did a hard 180 degrees with the 4x4 rental and headed west to the famous waterfall again. The rain lifted gradually on the way, and light steamed in from behind me. I pulled in and saw that a humongous lenticular was right overhead of the waterfall. I put my wellies on, got as deep as I got comfortable with and used a nice rock to anchor the composition. It's hard to judge when it is at its most beautiful as its growing size is offset by the amount of sunlight hitting it just right before the angle of the sun rises over the cloud. This was a bit of a personal lesson: when conditions are in your favor. Take the shot. Even if the subject underneath was photographed a million times before you.


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