Went to Iceland during thanksgiving for an 11 days photo trip! Finally, get to see this legendary country, and it truly did not disappoint. 11 days was just too short! 😆
We get stuck in the snow trying to pull over to shot northern light. And immediately, a couple of passing cars stopped to help us get out. Those friendly Icelanders! 😍
I had a pretty low expectation for photographing Kirkjufell because it has been photographed by so many people. But it turns out to be one of the most enjoyable sessions! There are lots of different foreground opportunities, especially under different temperatures and the river shore frozen in different ways. And we are lucky that there are only a handful of people around.
We drove in a whiteout situation briefly one day and then drove in an extremely windy situation (wind gusts at 70+ mph!) the other day. We are lucky that they didn't happen at the same time cause both times are stressful. 😅
I've been practicing not bringing too much expectation during these photo trips so that I have a better time enjoying nature and finding connections. And I'm glad I did that cause otherwise, I think I would've come back feeling quite disappointed comparing all the epic shots I saw from the Internet and the light we got during our trip.
📝 Traveling Tips
Consider bringing an extra glove, just in case you are about to go out and realize you lost one.
Handwarmers are quite handy and surprisingly not that easy to find in the local grocery store.
Winter driving around ring road was not as hard as it seemed from the Internet. If you are unsure, try to keep the itinerary flexible and level your way up. (we only booked a hotel for our first 4 nights, then we improvised every day). As you gain more experience each day and prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario, it should be easy to break through your comfort zone.
The food in Iceland greatly exceeds our expectations! At least compared to those in the rural area of the USA. 😅
Landscape photography during winter in Iceland is so comfortable. There's no need to get up early for sunrise anymore, and I get to have dinner by 5pm!
Compared to Canada, Central America, or Alaska, the temperature was much milder. I'm guessing that's because it's close proximity to the ocean. It doesn't get lower than -20 ℃ too often.
📸 Photography Tips
Waterproof socks are super handy. Especially when the snow gets into the boots and starts melting.
Water boots are still a must-have when shooting seascapes.
Electric Air Duster (https://amzn.to/307eGq7) was extremely handy! Not only did it help me blow the snow/water out instantly when shooting the waterfalls, but it also helped me clean up my drone after flying through rain and snow.
A lot of popular spots have now banned drones. It'll probably become more and more restrictive. 😞
I don't recommend going on Ice cave tour with a large group. We had 13 people in our group, and I found it quite hard to get into the mindset of taking good photos.
It seems like it's after mid-November did the snow started to accumulate. I thought it'd be much earlier. So if you want to shoot winter landscape, probably the later, the better.