A Return to Iceland

The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the fog

The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the fog

I first visited Iceland in 1995.  It was the first time that I tried using my Pentax 67 camera system, which I am still using now. Back then, though, I was using color transparency film and was primarily interested in doing travel stock photography.
After 18 years away, I decided to go back last summer, this time bringing two models with me to photograph nudes in the Icelandic landscape.  Things didn’t go quite as well as I hoped, however.  The weather, for one thing, was the coldest summer there in memory, which made nude work very difficult.  I also acted like too much of a tourist, spending too much time at popular, crowded places instead finding quiet spots to photograph nudes.
I came home with just enough good images to make the trip worthwhile, but I knew that it could be done better.  I knew that I could do it better – so I set out to do just that by planning to go back to Iceland this summer.
One of the things that I planned differently was to select a custom made itinerary rather a than a standard tourist itinerary as I did last year.  Another thing I planned was to stay two consecutive nights in most places, rather than only one night as I did last year, allowing for greater exploration of each area plus a chance to rest during the middle of the day. As this was a custom trip plan, I spent a lot of time researching good locations.
Still, in a place like Iceland, all planning is subject to the thing that nobody can control: the weather.  Iceland is a very expensive place to visit, so to undertake a trip for three people with such unpredictable weather is really rolling the dice.
I just came back from this trip and I’m happy to report that my gamble paid off. When I stepped off of the airplane onto the tarmac at Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport, the weather was cold and extremely windy – very much like what it was last year – and I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  It improved the next day, though, and overall, the weather was much better than last year.  Aided by knowledge of what to do and not do from last year’s visit, the trip plan was much better, too.
The models who joined me on this trip were Nadine Stevens and Zoe West, and we were also joined for two days by Rebecca Tun from England.  Halfway through the trip we met my friend, photographer Siggi Marason, and on the last day, we went out photographing with another friend, Bragi Kort, along with local models Svala, Jolanta and Katla.
Overall, even though this trip was just three days longer than last year’s trip (eleven days rather than eight), the number of art nude photographs I made was more than three times what I got last year.  I suppose that I could try to write about some of the highlights of the trip, but I think those stories may best be saved for when I post my art nude images from the trip here.  That will take a while, as I need to get the film developed, filed and then scanned.  I also have photos left to post from last year’s Icelandic trip, plus other work.
For now, here’s a travelogue of sorts with snapshots from my little digital camera.  Enjoy.
(Oh, just one more note: I am planning to go back.  Again.)
The adventure begins!

The adventure begins!

 

Feet

Feet

 

Zoe at one of Iceland's more unusual cultural attractions

Zoe at one of Iceland’s more unusual cultural attractions

 

Zoe and Nadine in Reykjavik

Zoe and Nadine in Reykjavik

 

Stretching

Stretching

 

On the trail

On the trail

 

Zoe near the Seljalandfoss waterfall

Zoe near the Seljalandfoss waterfall

 

Zoe on basalt near the town of Vik

Zoe on basalt near the town of Vik

 

Nadine

Nadine

 

At Vik, with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks off the coast

At Vik, with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks off the coast

 

The view from the Kerlingardalur road.  We were about to photograph some nudes here, but a tour bus pulled up and put an end to that idea

The view from the Kerlingardalur road. We were about to photograph some nudes here, but a tour bus pulled up and put an end to that idea

 

There are no snakes in Iceland, but apparently there are spiders

There are no snakes in Iceland, but apparently there are spiders

 

Nadine and Rebecca at Stjornufoss waterfall near Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Nadine and Rebecca at Stjornufoss waterfall near Kirkjubæjarklaustur

 

Nadine and Rebecca at Kirkjugolf ("church floor") - in reality the upper end of natural basalt columns in the ground - in Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Nadine and Rebecca at Kirkjugolf (“church floor”) – in reality the upper end of natural basalt columns in the ground – in Kirkjubæjarklaustur

 

Rebecca tries eating shark for the first time

Rebecca tries eating shark for the first time

 

Rebecca survives eating shark for the first time

Rebecca survives eating shark for the first time

 

Nadine and Rebecca at Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

Nadine and Rebecca at Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

 

The lagoon at the foot of Svínafellsjökull glacier

The lagoon at the foot of Svínafellsjökull glacier

 

Nadine at Kviarjokull glacier

Nadine at Kviarjokull glacier

 

Fjallsjökull glacier and the Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon

Fjallsjökull glacier and the Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon

 

The famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

The famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

 

Rebecca decided to take a dip for art's sake into the freezing cold, iceberg filled waters of Jökulsárlón

Rebecca decided to take a dip for art’s sake into the freezing cold, iceberg filled waters of Jökulsárlón

 

Siggi Marason

Siggi Marason

 

Nadine

Nadine

 

Zoe and Nadine at dinner in the town of Höfn

Zoe and Nadine at dinner in the town of Höfn

 

Zoe and the plum

Zoe and the plum

 

Breakfast of champions!

Breakfast of champions!

 

Old turf covered farm buildings at Núpsstaður, a UNESCO world heritage site

Old turf covered farm buildings at Núpsstaður, a UNESCO world heritage site

 

Zoe and Nadine having dinner at Halldorskaffi in Vik

Zoe and Nadine having dinner at Halldorskaffi in Vik

 

Waiting for people to leave so we could photograph on the Reynisfjara beach near Vik

Waiting for people to leave so we could photograph on the Reynisfjara beach near Vik

 

The Reynisdrangar sea stacks off the coast of Vik

The Reynisdrangar sea stacks off the coast of Vik

 

Michelin man Zoe

Michelin man Zoe

 

Monster Zoe

Monster Zoe

 

Sublime

Sublime

 

Kvernufoss waterfall near Skogar

Kvernufoss waterfall near Skogar

 

Finally, someone who understands

Finally, someone who understands

 

Zoe and Nadine at the Skogafoss waterfall

Zoe and Nadine at the Skogafoss waterfall

 

Volcano Girl! Zoe on the rim of Saxhóll Crater

Volcano Girl! Zoe on the rim of Saxhóll Crater

 

Fjöruhúsið , a cute little cafe right by the water in Hellnar

Fjöruhúsið , a cute little cafe right by the water in Hellnar

 

Snæfellsjökull, where (according to Jules Verne) men journeyed to the center of the earth

Snæfellsjökull, where (according to Jules Verne) men journeyed to the center of the earth

 

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, with the mountain, Kirkjufell

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, with the mountain, Kirkjufell

 

This is how one looks after wading through thigh high water

This is how one looks after wading through thigh high water

 

Nadine and Zoe on the beach at Búðir

Nadine and Zoe on the beach at Búðir

 

Eldborg crater

Eldborg crater

 

Flowers

Flowers

 

Bragi with Jolanta (left) and her sister Sandra

Bragi with Jolanta (left) and her sister Sandra

 

Svala (left) and Katla

Svala (left) and Katla

 

Riding back to Reykjavik: Zoe, Jolanta and Svala

Riding back to Reykjavik: Zoe, Jolanta and Svala

 

Zoe and Nadine at our farewell dinner

Zoe and Nadine at our farewell dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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2 Responses to A Return to Iceland

  1. Magnus says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m very glad to hear you made it back to Iceland and got much more shooting done this time! It sounds like you had a fabulous trip. I’ve worked with Zoe, she’s a fine model; and it looks like Nadine has a classic beauty look.

    I haven’t made it to Iceland this summer, but I’m putting together a short trip in September. Probably no model shoots though, just catching up with my mom and some old friends.

    Looking forward to seeing your posts!

    Magnus

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