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.)