NEW PHOTO EVERY WEEKDAY
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One of my new years goals this year was to take a photo trip at least once I quarter. I’m telling you all this so you can help keep me accountable. So winter photo trip- check. Iceland was amazing. I don’t know how much more wintery photo experience you could get.

I have a few more places where I’d like to go this year. Nothing is booked or anything yet, so they’re all just ideas right now but I’ve noticed a common theme. They’re all cold weather places!! If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that the beach is one of my favorite places to be. As soon as I figured out all the layers I’ll be needing this year, I started questioning all the places that I was excited for. My mind immediately went to Caribbean islands, pi√Īa coladas, and flamingos. I had to go back and look at some of my sunny beach photos to make myself feel better.

So this was taken at Cinnamon Bay in St John, USVI. The water is particularly calm in this bay so I felt comfortable going into the water with my camera. I was probably in chest high water when photographing this inflatable raft when I decided it was time to hide the camera in a spare towel I brought. Then this bird flew onto the boat and was posing, waiting for me to take his picture. So back out of the water I went to get my camera and into chest high water for this shot. I think my favorite part of this image is the clarity of the water. You can see all the little lines in the sand on the very bottom. It just looks so peaceful and WARM! Now I gotta make sure that there is some kind of beach trip in 2017.

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Isn’t it weird how when you look at a picture and you can automatically remember when, where, how you were shooting it? I so remember this day like it was yesterday but it wasn’t. It was in June 2016. It had been a super hot and humid day. I remember specifically going out to the city because it was supposed to storm later that night and was I hoping that the sunset clouds would look cool. In real life they were beautiful, but it wasn’t until I looked at my LCD screen did I notice the kind of zig zag shape they were creating. It was even more noticeable in the reflection in the reflecting pool water. The clouds were moving kind of fast so I slapped on my Ice neutral density filter to slow down the shutter speed and it created this cool motion effect in the image. Also, there weren’t a lot of people out walking around so it made everything so clean and easy. The quote “If you can’t handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen” comes to mind because I also remember just sitting there with my tripod sweating, wishing I could just into the reflecting pool. All those memories from one 30 second exposure. Pretty cool.

In other news, Happy Valentines day!!! Hope you are spending this beautiful Tuesday with someone you love. Andrew and I are keepin’ it low key this year. After work, we’ll probably grab a pizza and watch some netflix. A heart shape pizza, obviously ūüôā I found the perfect card for him from Target over the weekend. It’s of this couple holding hands. On the woman’s shirt it says “Artsy” and on the man’s shirt it says “Fartsy”. LOL. Its like the card company knew our relationship. Just Kidding. Not really. HAHA.

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If you plan on visiting Iceland, you gotta do a road trip. Reykjavik is cool and all but the best part of Iceland is the country side and being at one with nature. So if you’re really into the outdoors than you gotta go. We rented our car from Lagoon Car Rental and they were amazing. They picked you up from the airport and everything was so easy-peasy.

This is a basic break down of how we spent our 4 days in south Iceland:
Slept on plane so we could hit the ground running.
Day 1: Fly into Keflavik International Airport at 5a. Drive the golden circle. Stopped at Laugarvatn Fontana for a quick geothermal bath dip and then ended at Gullfoss, this AMAZING waterfall.
Day 2: Drive to Höfn but make an exceptionally long stop in Vik for the black sand beach and waterfalls along the way.
Day 3: Spent the morning in Höfn and Jökulsárlón then drove to spend the night in Vik.
Day 4: Early to rise so we could drive back to Keflavik but made one last stop at the waterfall, Skógafoss

But if I had to do it all over again, I’d spend a couple more days in each of these cities and made sure I:
-preordered tickets to the Blue Lagoon (they book up at least 3 months in advance)
-researched more of the hidden/off-the-beaten path waterfalls
-checked out the abandoned DC plane on Sólheimasandur
-cleared the cloudy/rainy skies so I could see some of the northern lights
-cleared the weather so we could finally go on an ice tunnel tour
-maybe see what’s in the northern part of Iceland?

Obviously, I have no regrets from this trip. It was one of the best trips ever. But I know there is just so much more to see. I can already feel the itch.

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Shout out to my friend, Sam who told me about H√∂fn beach while we were planning our trip to Iceland. This little town was definietly a highlight of the whole trip. It’s about 5 hours east from Reykjavik but worth every minute of the drive. I say that because the drive was actually pretty scary. We ended up staying in Vik all afternoon and by the time we were ready to leave to go to H√∂fn, it was already dark, raining and snowing. The roads are paved and there are little reflectors on the side but its still kind of difficult to see. Especially since there are so many one way bridges. It was hard to gage whether or not the person on the other side of the bridge was coming towards you or stopping to let you go. So if you do go to H√∂fn, it’s probably best to go while theres still some sun out. Especially since there were so many fantastic views that we missed out on. We had no idea we passed the glacier lagoon until the next day we were driving in the daylight.

So we spent the night in H√∂fn not really being able to see what was around us but the next day was amazing! We spent the morning at the beach and it was absolutely perfect and beautiful. It was also the only day that it didn’t rain while we were in Iceland. The best part was that the sunrise lasted for sooo long. I’d say we were able to enjoy the sunrise for about an hour, if not more. Of course the colors and the sky changed during the hour, but it really allowed me to go to different parts of the beach and try different angles. I wish all sunrises and sunsets were like this all around the world.

This is also the little town that we saw the horses from my blog post the other day. I would love to spend more time here on my next trip to Iceland.

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Our flight into Keflavik landed at 5am. Luckily I had the whole aisle to myself and was able to lay down and sleep the whole 5 hours to Iceland. Don’t you just love it when that happens? Anyways, so when we got to the hotel I was ready to drop off our stuff and start exploring. My friend, Mel and I discovered these geothermal baths and steam saunas at Laugarvatn Fontana. It was the first stop we were going to make along the Golden Circle drive in southern Iceland so we were pumped to relax for a bit after all that travel.

The baths were so nice. I’m a big fan of soaking in a hot tub so this was perfect. Even though it was raining off and on while we were there, it didn’t stop us from enjoying our little excursion. So behind the baths was this big lake. It was beautiful but definietly cold. I could see a layer of ice on top of the water. But the craziest part was that people were actually jumping into that lake! I don’t know. I don’t get it. So the whole time Mel and I were watching in amazement from a window in the baths as these people timed themselves to see how long they could stay in there. Then it was hilarious watching them run back to the baths and jump in. This little girl who must of been about 8 years old did it at least 3 times. More power to her.

After about 2 hours of soaking, we finally got up and explored the rest of the golden circle. On our way back to the hotel we had to make a stop back to Laugarvatn Fontana because it was the only place we knew of that had wifi. It was worth it though because the sun was setting and we got this amazing reflection of the mountains in the lake.