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The south coast of Iceland is a well-trodden tourist trail. There are so many photogenic locations – and so many tourists (at least on my last pre-Covid visit).
I had spent the previous evening on the black sand beach at Vik, which felt like an oasis of calm after the crowds in previous locations. I was treated to an incredibly colourful sunset which silhouetted the distinctive shapes of Reynisdrangar, the basalt sea stacks situated just off the coast under the mountain Reynisfjall. Over the years, there has been much folklore surrounding the sea stacks – some claim it to be the petrified remains of three trolls, frozen solid in the sunlight as they attempted to pull a boat from the water. Others suggest it is the frozen imprint of a long-lost, three-masted ship. Whatever the case, Reynisdrangar is now home to a wealth of nesting seabirds including puffins and guillemots.
The Reynisdrangar sea stacks can also be viewed from the west at Reynisfjara, another example of the volcanic shorelines that characterise Iceland’s coasts.
I took this image at the Reynisfjara viewpoint at the far end of the beach, which provides views of Arnardrangar (‘Eagle Rock’), an impressive basaltic sea stack rising over the long black beach and so named for the eagles that once used to nest in the rock. After last light on Arnardrangar, I wandered around the viewpoint and found this rock arch with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks in the distance.
I used a neutral density filter to slow shutter speed in order to smooth the water and a neutral density graduated filter to balance the lovely pink tones in the sky with the darker foreground.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor