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Author Topic: Iceland in the winter  (Read 1606 times)

armand

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Iceland in the winter
« on: January 07, 2018, 10:40:24 AM »

In the spur of the moment I booked a flight to Iceland in the beginning of February. I will have roughly 6 full days to spend there. I'm thinking first couple of nights and last in the Reykjavik area and the rest in the Hof/Hofn area, probably combined with an ice cave tour.
Any suggestions? Scenic viewing and photography is the main purpose and I'm very flexible, so far I only got the plane tickets.
Thanks

luxborealis

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 11:08:55 AM »

The biggest trouble you’ll have (besides potential weather delays as winter has been brutal this year) is what to leave out. You have a good two weeks or more of shooting between Reykjavík and Höfn. Have a look at my Iceland map for some ideas:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=17vLUreo_aiVvW9nHGSIOfEuQtbLfKKaG&ll=64.81130023238978%2C-20.049781799316406&z=6

Clicking on “All photos” will provide a more complete “picture”.
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Two23

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 11:38:01 AM »

There is seven to eight hours of daylight in February.  I'd bring a couple of good flashlights.  Fortunately, the weather is actually quite warm there.  It ranges from 30F to 37F.  Doesn't sound like you'll see frozen waterfalls.



Kent in SD
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armand

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 12:16:29 PM »

There is seven to eight hours of daylight in February.  I'd bring a couple of good flashlights.  Fortunately, the weather is actually quite warm there.  It ranges from 30F to 37F.  Doesn't sound like you'll see frozen waterfalls.



Kent in SD

Thanks, I'm still trying to decide if I should stick with the systems that I have, Nikon D750 with some decent but not great lenses and/or Fuji with some good/great lenses but no weather sealed zooms, or upgrade some cameras/lenses. For both systems I have some flashes although I doubt I'll spent much time after dark.
Cold is something that I'm less concerned with, I've been shooting in Michigan this winter mostly under 20F, even close to 0F at times and this without taking into account the windchill.
7-8 hours of daylight is quite good, I was thinking more like 5-6 hours.

The biggest trouble you’ll have (besides potential weather delays as winter has been brutal this year) is what to leave out. You have a good two weeks or more of shooting between Reykjavík and Höfn. Have a look at my Iceland map for some ideas:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=17vLUreo_aiVvW9nHGSIOfEuQtbLfKKaG&ll=64.81130023238978%2C-20.049781799316406&z=6

Clicking on “All photos” will provide a more complete “picture”.

I took a look but it's quite extensive, I won't have that much time. Good to know there are many opportunities. I set my expectations low and while I have few must see areas I would rather explore interesting places in detail than keep wandering around.

Two23

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 08:09:59 PM »

Thanks, I'm still trying to decide if I should stick with the systems that I have, Nikon D750 with some decent but not great lenses and/or Fuji with some good/great lenses but no weather sealed zooms, or upgrade some cameras/lenses. For both systems I have some flashes although I doubt I'll spent much time after dark.


Wife and I are thinking of going back in early January next year, mostly to catch frozen waterfalls and Northern Lights.  Iceland is 40-50 degrees warmer than South Dakota in winter, LOL.  I do quite a bit of night photography using both large scale flash set ups (x16 flash and 10,000ws), light painting, and ambient light.  Since I would only be photo'ing stationary subjects, I would leave all but one flash at home.  As for camera gear, I've used just about every camera/lens I've owned for night shots.  That includes D800E, Chamonix 4x5, 1951 Rolleiflex, 1942 Leica IIIc, and a 1904 Kodak Brownie.  Really, any camera is going to work if you have a good tripod/head.  The greatest night photographer of all time was Brassai, and he used a 1928 Voigtlander Bergheil shooting ISO 10 dry plates. 
https://www.google.com/search?q=brassai+photography&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=_fQqtzAwl8RxtM%253A%252CLQtcccbOrG0a2M%252C_&usg=__9LZPFCUUS1NHLeuv5GRPvLTfY2w%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-8rGVl8fYAhWpSd8KHTkwDuoQ_h0IpQEwFg#imgrc=_fQqtzAwl8RxtM:


Kent in SD
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 08:13:08 PM by Two23 »
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Two23

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 08:32:40 PM »

Thanks, I'm still trying to decide if I should stick with the systems that I have, Nikon D750 with some decent but not great lenses and/or Fuji with some good/great lenses


I will add:
If I could only take one lens to Iceland, it would be my Nikon 24mm PC-E.  (and a polarizer, of course.)


Kent in SD
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Ryan Mack

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 09:43:14 AM »


I will add:
If I could only take one lens to Iceland, it would be my Nikon 24mm PC-E.  (and a polarizer, of course.)


Kent in SD

Can you elaborate? This wasn’t on my packing list for an upcoming Iceland trip. Curious why it’s your first choice.
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armand

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 09:32:42 AM »

Can you elaborate? This wasn’t on my packing list for an upcoming Iceland trip. Curious why it’s your first choice.

I’m also curious as I still didn’t fully make my mind on what to bring, as in stay with what I have now (Fuji as primary and either Nikon or Olympus for specific purposes) or invest in Sony with the 16-35 2.8 and 24-105 4.
I’m quite covered for the 24 equiv currently, on Fuji with the 10-24 F4 with a very good performance at 16 and the 16 F1.4 WR with similar performance or the Nikon 24 F1.8 which is quite good but I rarely get to use. All in all I’m not sure I would bring a 24 mm equiv prime with me unless I hear some clear scenarios why I should.

Two23

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 09:57:50 AM »

The 24mm PC-E is very versatile.  It's a standard wide lens, but with 3-shot stitches it makes PERFECT panos!  There are a lot of waterfalls there, and the 24mm PC-E has been very useful for those as I can shoot 2-shot vertical stitches and merge in PS.  I also use the other lens movements from time to time to increase DoF without having to stop down the lens.  Can also use side shift to take shots that won't have my shadow in them when the sun is behind me.  It & a polarizer is the perfect lens for Iceland.  Back in the "film era" shot 4x5 a lot (still do actually) and slowly learned just how much difference lens movements can make.  I don't think many photographers have had this experience, which is a pity.  It's not that hard to learn.


Kent in SD

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muralin

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 10:20:03 PM »

I visited Iceland in March 2016. Check out my day-by-day diary with pictures and lat-long info
Here. It is an awesome country!!! Enjoy and be safe!!!
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Msstudio

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 06:04:28 PM »

My suggestion is to rent a car. Mostly anything will do, but a Toyota Landcruiser is nice for the dirt roads and comfortable for hours of driving. Next up, drive to Reykjavik. On the way stop by a supermarket to buy supplies and then it's off for breakfast at Bergsson Mathús, Downtown Reykjavik (thats me and maybe too much). Then I get the hell out of town and start driving. Totally doable is the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon (amazing food and accommodations, whisky on glacier ice, etc.) with limited couple of stops along the way, enough for a first impression and plans to come back. Most large waterfalls are right by the road and traffic shouldn't be bad that time of year.

Like this you're right between Skaftafel (Glacier hike) and Jökurlsarlon (Glacier lake boats) and a drive to Stokksnes takes about 90min and Höfn is a nice/only lunch spot.
On the way back stop at Katla Geo park  and Reynisfjara Beach, the "Black beach Cafe" is great

Do some research for outfitters, we only went for ad shoots and had a production company taking care of us.

As the weather is changing constantly, ask at the hotels and gas stations and take it serious, we had storms rolling in under an hour, highways closed for 24hrs, etc. I would plan on being stuck for 24hrs somewhere and stay in Reykjavik at the end of the trip, maybe 2 nights (we did Hotel Borg and 101, both splendid) and if you don't make it to the first you at least make your flight out (3 out of 3 trips we had weather issues).
And bring payers, rain shells top and bottom are nice to take off...
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armand

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 06:53:15 PM »

Thanks, I’m already here but I might be able to use some of your tips. I rented a medium sized SUV with winter tires and it did quite well today on a snowed in unpaved road in a park close to Reykjavik.
My schedule is determined by the hotels that I already booked. I’ll be spending a couple of nights in the Skallafel area (with a glacier trip in between) and one in Vik area.

David Eckels

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 06:59:51 PM »

Nice series Terry. Headed there in August!

armand

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 07:18:13 PM »

FYI, have a WR superzoom for those times when the weather doesn’t cooperate but you still want some shots. Dealing with 2 bodies/lenses in wind and snow it’s not very productive. I should have brought the Olympus with 12-100 for moments like this.

luxborealis

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Re: Iceland in the winter
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2018, 11:38:24 PM »

Nice series Terry. Headed there in August!

You’ll love it, David!
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