Eystrahorn, Iceland by Michael Thomas

Picture Story

Landscape photographers traveling to Iceland often have Vestrahorn on their list of photographic locations, deservedly so. I suspect far fewer venture on to, or are even aware of, Eystrahorn 40 km to the east. Eystrahorn is another of the so-called horned mountains of southeast Iceland. As with Vestrahorn, there is a shallow body of water at its base that can provide nice reflections in calm conditions. Even though I knew its location, I failed to find it on several different visits. When I finally did, the reason became clear; the Ring Road hugs its base in a big curve, so it’s never really visible through your vehicle’s windshield. I finally saw it by stopping at the Hvalnes Lighthouse.

While the weather conditions weren’t ideal, I found several elements that allowed me to create what I think is a faithful representation of winter in southeast Iceland. The water was calm allowing for a reflection; the black sand beach had a covering of snow and ice; and there was enough definition and breaks in the clouds to nicely illuminate the snow-covered peaks in the west.

While exploring this area, we stayed at a small hotel just outside of Hofn. Just to the east of Hofn and the spur road that goes to Vestrahorn, the Ring Road goes through a tunnel. On the other side are more tidal flats and the back side of the mountains leading to Vestrahorn. You can find plenty of potential images in this area also. On this winter trip, it was calm on the western side of the mountain, but on the eastern side, it was snowing fiercely. We beat a hasty retreat to see Eystrahorn the next day.

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