Many people think that the Vikings were the first people to inhabit Iceland. They’re wrong.
No, the first people to live in Iceland, as far as is known (or, at least, as far as I know), were Irish monks trying to get away from it all (and Iceland certainly is a good place for that). The Vikings arrived after the Irish did.
So, what does all that have to do with the photos I’m showing today? It’s all in the name of the place, Kirkjugólf , which means “church floor.” It looks like it could be the floor of an old, ruined church, and that’s what the Vikings thought it was (built by the Irish, I suppose) when they gave it that name – yet they were wrong, too.
No, this floor was not created by the hand of man, but rather by that of Mother Nature, as these stones are in fact the tops of natural basalt columns that extend deep into the ground.
When I visited Iceland in 2013 and passed through this area, I had somehow missed seeing this natural attraction, so when I went back in 2014 I was determined to find it – and I did. At the time, I was with Nadine and Rebecca, who I had been photographing that day. Both of the young ladies thought it would be a good location for some nude photographs, but it was the middle of the day and a lot of people were around.
So, we agreed to go there again early the next morning. I left my hotel early with Nadine and drove about 20 to 30 minutes to pick up Rebecca, who was staying at a hotel not too far from the “floor.” We got there around 6:30 in the morning, but it was chilly, raw and damp with a some rain coming down. I asked Nadine and Rebecca if they still wanted to go ahead with the photos and they said that they did – so the photos were made.
I worked quickly and only shot one roll of 120 film, given the elements and the fact that cars could be seen going by not too far away, but I think it was worth the effort – and how often does one have a chance to photograph nude models on a church floor?
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.