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Kirkjufell or Church Mountain is one of the most iconic locations in Iceland and instantly recognizable to any landscape photographer who has been or plans to visit Iceland. Naturally most of us first visit the triple falls of Kirkjufellsfoss, which is what I did on this visit. I shot the sunset the day before from the top and sides of the falls. So the following morning, I started at the falls at dawn but then went back down and crossed the road to where one of the streams from the falls enters the bay. Like many mountains, Kirkjufell looks very different depending on which side you view it. From this location it has a decided wizard’s or witch’s hat look.
Except on a winter visit, I have had good luck at catching colorful sunrises and sunsets here. When it’s calm, the bay here provides good reflections of the mountain. Most folks start a visit to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula at the Black Church of Budir, then the various sea arches at Arnarstapi and Lóndrangar before arriving at Kirkjufell. All of this can be done in a day, but two days would be better to allow for weather. On my winter visit, the whole peninsula was bereft of snow and ice and too cloudy to see the aurora, so I guess I will have to return! The tiny town of Grundarfjordur is only two kilometers down the road and has several guesthouses, a hostel and campground as well as several places to dine.
Because I was shooting into the sunrise, this image is a blend of two frames to avoid shadow noise and/or losing the highlights in the sunrise.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor