Monthly Archives: August 2013

Lenticular Clouds at the Volcano Huts

After starting the day in Skogar I finally made it to the Volcano Huts in Thorsmork for a well earned rest! Before settling in for food and a shower I quickly took a few snaps of the lenticular clouds hovering around the mountains. I don’t get the chance to see them very often and they looked incredible as the sun went down.

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Posted in Iceland, Thorsmork Tagged , |

The Impossible River Crossing

Today I learnt an important lesson in why not to solely rely on Google Maps. I knew exactly where my camp at Thorsmork was but what I didn’t count on was a raging river that I had no way of crossing on foot. I’m not sure if the river is always like that but it seemed like a hopeless situation at the time. I walked alongside the river for a couple of hours until a bus with giant river crossing wheels turned up. The driver was nice enough to let me jump on board and across we went, crisis avoided! This photo is one of the many I took while walking alongside the river (and no this isn’t the ‘raging’ part, haha that’s further to the left). The strange cloud formations were especially awesome around these parts, what a wild day!

The Impossible River Crossing

Posted in Iceland, Thorsmork Tagged , |

Down the Valley into Thorsmork

There’s just something special about hiking in the mountains, I don’t know if it’s the solitude, the ever-changing conditions, the amazing landscapes or the sense of discovery but I imagine it’s a mixture of all these elements and probably more. The weather had been fairly dour most of the day as I left Skogar and ascended into the hills but it was still a memorable walk past some breathtaking waterfalls. I had to really knuckle down through long stretches of rain, wind and snow but when I came through on the other side the clouds began to break up and I was treated to something really special. Light pierced the clouds as I walked down the valley into Thorsmork, creating a magical scene that still gives me goosebumps.

Down the Valley into Thorsmork

Posted in Iceland Tagged , |

Reflections of Skogafoss

Before starting a 3 day, 90km hike to Landmannalauger I stayed the night in Skogar. It’s a small Icelandic village known for the 60 metre high waterfall named Skogafoss which you can see pictured. Rain stopped me from taking a photo until it was dark but it was well worth the wait. The rain left behind some large puddles which I used to get a nice reflection, they give photos a bit of an x-factor so I love to make use of them when I can. The darkness was a bonus too, sure I couldn’t see much but the long exposure (4 minutes) helped bring the scene to life and I had the whole place to myself!

Posted in Iceland Tagged , , |

Sheep in the Hills above Vik

While hiking in the hills above Vik I came across this happy little family, nice of them to pose for a photo! 🙂

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Posted in Iceland, Vik Tagged , |

The Rocks at Vik

I wandered down to the beach at Vik (in Southern Iceland) one night to take some long exposure photos. There was thick cloud about and it was REALLY dark, I mean I could barely see anything out there! To set up a shot I first cranked the ISO up as high as it could go and took a quick trial exposure purely to see what was out there. After getting the composition right I crunched some numbers based on the high ISO trial and then took the real deal with a much lower ISO (1600 in this case). I would wait for anywhere between 2 and 10 minutes for the exposure to finish which was incredibly boring! Haha you have no idea how slow time moves when you’re on a beach in the middle of the night in Iceland! I just kind of walked about aimlessly until the exposure was finished. At least the long wait made it super exciting to see the results!

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Posted in Iceland, Vik Tagged , , , |

Fireworks at Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Sometimes you just get lucky. I had no idea about the annual fireworks display held at Jokulsarlon (a glacial lagoon in Southern Iceland) until I arrived in Hofn and was told that it was on that very night! Barely believing my luck I jumped on one of the organized buses and off we went. The wind coming off the lagoon was pretty cold (it is glacial after all) but the fireworks were awesome and the whole night was just amazingly surreal. You’ve set a high bar Iceland, it’s gonna be tough to top this!

Fireworks at Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Posted in Iceland Tagged , , |

An Epic Rainbow in Skaftafell

Far out the weather was weird today! I packed and unpacked my camera dozens of times as stormy weather set in, only for the sun to come out shortly after. In this case the clearing weather was accompanied by an epic rainbow, awww yeah!

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Posted in Iceland Tagged |

The Jaws of Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is an amazing waterfall in Southern Iceland (and another incredibly difficult name to spell) but I only had 15 minutes to enjoy it as I was coming through on a bus. I’ve seen seem really spectacular photos from here but with limited time and unhelpful weather I’m glad I managed to at least get some photos! The scene changes dramatically as you walk under the waterfall and from this angle the cave looked like jaws. There was a lot of moisture getting on my lens at the time but it wasn’t too hard to clean that up later on the computer, yay for technology. 🙂

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Posted in Iceland Tagged |

Silica and Sulphur at the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa just outside of Reykjavik and it’s quite a fascinating place. I read a lot of reviews when I was deciding whether or not to visit and they were all over the place, some people loved it and some people hated it. The opinions were so polarizing that they ended up being my main reason for going!

The weather was pretty dreary but I went out there for half a day to see what all the fuss was about. It’s a bit of a tourist trap but it’s also really unique and interesting. The lagoon is man made, fed by water rich in minerals such as silica and sulphur that comes from a nearby geothermal power plant. Say what? That’s right this giant spa facility only came about because of a pool of waste water that formed near a power plant back in 1976! People started bathing in it for health benefits and in 1992 they opened it up properly to the public, crazy town!

I’m not a big spa guy and I don’t know much about the health benefits but it was definitely relaxing, add that to the crazy landscapes and interesting history and I personally think it’s worth a look if you’re not too squeezed for time and money.

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Posted in Iceland, Reykjavik Tagged , , , |

Hallgrimskirkja on a Wild Morning

I’m staying right across the road from this incredible church here in Reykjavik called Hallgrimskirkja. Other than being impossible to spell correctly, this thing is just amazing! It kind of looks like a spaceship, and on this wild morning of swirling clouds it actually looks like it was blasting off!

Hallgrimskirkja on a Wild Morning

Posted in Iceland, Reykjavik Tagged , , |

Reykjavik Seashore at Night

I arrived in Reykjavik pretty late but I really wanted to get out there and have a look around so that’s exactly what I did! Luckily for me it doesn’t get dark until late here during the summer, it was close to midnight when I took this photo but as you can see there was still light on the horizon. I could have easily had an early night at my hostel but it was a gorgeous evening so I’m glad I got out there and made the most of it!

Reykjavik Seashore at Night

Posted in Iceland, Reykjavik Tagged , |

On the Way to Primrose Hill

I was on my way to Primrose Hill in London to watch the sunset but it was taking longer than expected. I paused briefly to take this photo of a quiet street on the way and it turned out being better than the actual photos from Primrose Hill. I guess life really is all about the journey rather than the destination. 🙂

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Posted in England, London Tagged , |

Liverpool Street Station

The more I travel the more I fall in love with trains. Stations are a breeze compared to airports and it’s a nice feeling to just sit back and enjoy the scenery for a few hours. This photo is from Liverpool Street station, I’m here in London for a few days before moving on to Iceland!

Liverpool Street Station

Posted in England, London Tagged , |

Sunset from the Galata Tower in Istanbul

You get an incredible view of Istanbul from the Galata Tower but it can be quite an ordeal making your way around the outside balcony! It was narrow, packed with people and just a wild experience! It didn’t seem like anyone knew what was going on, some people were trying to get a good vantage point and others were just trying to get the heck out of there! Haha. Totally worth it for the views but it was quite a acrophobic/claustrophobic experience!

Sunset from the Galata Tower in Istanbul

Posted in Istanbul, Turkey Tagged , |

Inside Hagia Sophia

I explored Hagia Sophia today and wow what an amazing building! There’s some incredible history here as it was originally a church, then a mosque and now a museum. Tripods aren’t allowed inside of course so I increased the ISO a bit and tried to hold things steady, I didn’t want to lose any of that amazing detail!

Inside Hagia Sophia

Posted in Istanbul, Turkey Tagged , , , , , |

Turkish De-lights

This bridge in downtown Istanbul was a good spot to get some light trails of the traffic with cars, trains, buses and motorbikes whizzing by in every direction.

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Posted in Istanbul, Turkey Tagged , |

Breakfast in Istanbul

Life is a bit of a blur at the moment, I woke up this morning in Istanbul of all places! After a crazy month in Japan I’m on my way to Europe and my first stop is Turkey, which is fittingly the gateway between Asia and Europe. I’m staying at the Seven Hills Hotel and I can’t recommended it highly enough if you’re after a good location. I had breakfast on the roof up here and could see both Hagia Sophia (pictured) and the Blue Mosque, surreal!

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Posted in Istanbul, Turkey Tagged , , |

Walking around Lake Towada

The other day I mentioned that my hike along the Oirase River to Lake Towada was longer than expected, well here’s the full story. The walk to Lake Towada was around 20km which was what I expected, the only problem was that I was actually staying on the OTHER side of it, some 12km away! Haha I really need to plan these things better! This was quite deflating at the time, it was already late and there wasn’t exactly any taxis around.

As grueling as this ‘bonus’ section was, it was quite beautiful and gave me the chance to take some more photos. I arrived at my hotel around 7.45pm to find that dinner was over and all restaurants in the area were already closed, wow didn’t see that one coming! I devoured my final Choco-Pie and went to bed hungry, so very very hungry.

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Posted in Akita, Aomori, Japan Tagged , , , |

The Choshi Ootaki Waterfall

My favourite sight along the Oirase River was the Choshi Ootaki Waterfall, real postcard material this one! I wanted smooth flowing water so closed the aperture to f/20 which increased the exposure length to four seconds, long enough to create that effect without overexposing the rest of the photo.

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Posted in Akita, Aomori, Japan Tagged , |