The lion in the lava field
I’ve made two postings about my recent trip to Iceland with Aubrey and Brooke Lynne, so this will be the third and final one with snaps made with my little Canon S90. After this I’ll be posting scans from my black & white film.
I finished last time writing about our meeting with Icelandic photographer Siggi Marason in the town of Höfn. That place represented the easternmost point of our travels along the south coast. From there we headed back west toward Reykjavik. As we would be doubling back the way we had come, I planned to stop along the way to do some photography at some of the places we had missed on the way east. I had wanted to get up early to try to photograph some nudes at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, but decided instead to spend the morning photographing with Siggi at one of his favorite locations. I did manage to shoot a few rolls of 120 film there, but as it was after 8 a.m., our session was cut short by the arrival of tourists in the area.
After a break back at Siggi’s house, we began our journey back west. Unfortunately, my plans to photograph had to be completely scrapped because of one thing: rain – and a lot of it! We stopped at Jokulsarlon to use the facilities there – I knew that it was too late in the day for nudes, even if it hadn’t been raining – but there were some other locations that I had been hopeful about: an interesting series of cliffs that I had read about, and a huge lava field that we had passed through and where I had wanted to photograph on the way east but didn’t have the time for. As I said, all of those plans were totally washed away because of the heavy rain.
Brooke and Aubrey in the rain at Jokulsarlon
We spent that first night near Vik. It had stopped raining by that time, so I went out late to the black sand beach with Brooke. I shot a roll of film of the beach landscape, but the weather was much too windy and raw for Brooke to model. The forecast called for rain the following morning, too, but when I woke up and looked out the hotel window, I saw that it was not raining, with some blue sky, too. I told Aubrey and Brooke that I would let them sleep late because of the expectation of rain, so when I woke them up, Aubrey decided to go with me back to the beach. The conditions were difficult (though perhaps not as bad as the previous evening), but Aubrey decided to try to get nude for a series of very quick photos.
By now it was after 8 a.m. I had the shot lined up and was ready to go – when a tourist with a camera showed up. We waited for him to leave, and he did – but then some other people showed up. When they left, other people showed up – and so on and so on. As I had been to this spot 18 years ago, I knew it would be a fantastic locations for an art nude photo, so we must have waited at least 45 minutes to have a chance to create this photo that I so much wanted to make. Eventually, I just gave up and drove away completely and totally pissed off! If we had gotten there five minutes earlier – five ****ing minutes!!! – I could have gotten the photos I wanted. (So much for allowing models to sleep late!)
Most of that day was spent on the road, as I had added some extra days to the basic tour plan, including a night on the Snaefellsnes peninsula in western Iceland. At the end of the peninsula is the Snaefellsjokull volcano and icecap, which was the setting for Jules Verne’s novel, “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” The drive took over five hours, but after having an early dinner in Stykkishólmur, the primary city on the peninsula, I did manage to shoot a couple of rolls of film at a very interesting lava field that I had read about.
Dinner in Vik: garlic bread, or garlic pizza without tomato sauce?
The next and last two days turned out to be the most productive of the trip. I shot more film on the peninsula the first day than on any day of the trip until then, before returning to Reykjavik for the night. The final day was the best of all. Besides Siggi, I had also been corresponding with another Icelandic photographer, Bragi Kort. He had also been very helpful to me in planning the trip, and as he lives in the Reykjavik area, I finally got to meet him when we went out on a photo shoot together. Not only that, but he also arranged for two Icelandic models, Hallgerður Langbrók and Björg, to join us. Bragi took us to some really spectacular spots on the Reykjanes peninsula and a fantastic day was had by all!
So, that sums up my trip to Iceland. Stay tuned to see some of my black & white film photos from the trip, which I am working on currently. It seems that everyone who visits Iceland wants to go back for more, and I am no different. Hopefully, I will go back soon, with the experience of this trip giving me a better expectation of what I need to go to get the photos that I want.
Columnar basalt near Vik
Stones and shards near Vik
On the menu in Stykkishólmur
The view on the Snaefellsnes peninsula
Snaefellsjokull – the place to journey to the center of the earth
Moss covered lava
Four models look out to sea
Hallgerður in a hot pool