Iceland

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The end of 2017 is fast approaching and I can’t help but reflect on the amazing year it’s been. I think this whole week on the blog I’ll talk about all the fun photo adventures of the year. It started off with an awesome trip to Iceland. It was my second time there but definietly not my last. If you’ve never been to Iceland, it’s hard to describe. It’s just so amazingly beautiful and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

I took this image on one of the last days we were there. We had shot sunrise and was wondering around Höfn when we stumbled upon this group of horses. It was beautiful because the early morning light was hitting them perfectly. But if you look at this guy in the eye, you can totally tell how calm and relaxed they all are. The horses in Iceland are super chill and so great to pet… and hug… and basically obsess over.

Shout out to Peak Design for their awesome camera straps. I have the clutch, which is basically a camera strap for your hand. I love it! It makes it so easy to carry around and shoot from different angles. I was able to get this low perspective without having to bend down. I just had my arm straight out, pointed up, and I didn’t have to worry about dropping it at all. Its kinda fun to see what you end up with. It was not serious shooting but shooting for fun and if you get something that turns out cool, it’s even better!

Click here if you’d like to see more images from Iceland.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/100th of a second ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Be sure to hit the “purchase print” button when you hover over the image. Check out the sky and you see’ll all these little dots. At first I thought they were dust spots (knowing me and my camera) but upon further inspection, they’re all birds!!! How crazy is that! I attempted to try to get rid of them, but eventually I realized there were just way too many of them. Also, I thought it was pretty cool how you can barely see them but if you look deeper, you’ll realize the insane amount of birds that were circling these rocks. For someone who has a slight fear of birds, this whole situation was a little terrifying. Not only were there millions of birds who could have swooped down, lifted you up from off the ground and flown away with you, BUT these waves were extremely huge. I was trying my best to capture just how big they were with the person as scale, but it was pretty difficult. I think you have to be there to really see what I mean. It was like being on another planet with the the beautiful sea stacks, humongous waves and black sand beach.  This image makes me want to go back!

The settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 80. My main intention was to capture the large waves, but it was also to capture movement. The movement of the water in the foreground and the waves crashing but also the woman who unknowingly became my model. It was funny to watch her because she kept on walking towards the water but would run as fast as she could as soon as the wave crashed down. Its as if she was playing a game of chicken with the cold water.

 

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The other day, Andrew and I were talking about how crazy the past two months have been. I think all the craziness started around Memorial day and it’s just been non-stop ever since. I’m not complaining though. It definietly makes life interesting and fun. But for some reason I feel like it’s only the beginning. And no, I’m not pregnant- MOM!

Then I started thinking about the year as a whole. I’m so grateful for everything that has happened this year and it all started in Iceland. A place I’ve visited before but this time I really got to explore and enjoy this amazing country. It’s just so beautiful at every turn. Everyone you meet is so nice when you talk to them. The food was better than expected and the waterfalls are even better.

However this image was taken at a black sand beach in Höfn called Stokksnes. No waterfalls that I knew of were near by but if you ever visit Iceland this place is definietly worth the drive. Holy crap I can’t express that enough. It’s amazingly beautiful. And the sunrises lasts for so long. We were there in the winter time so I don’t know what it’d be like in the summer. But the best part was that the sunrise was at 945a! (You can’t see my face but it looks like I just ate a sour lime, but in a really expressive/happy way.) It felt like we were there for an hour and the color was still changing and exploding. Highly recommended and I’d go again and again if I had the opportunity to.

So even though more than half the year is gone, I’m optimistic and really looking forward to new adventures. Which also reminds me, how are you doing with your new year’s resolutions?

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When you’re having a good hair day and you want everyone to see it so you pose for the camera. LOL

Another one from one of my favorite places in the whole world, Höfn, Iceland. When I plan my next trip to this tiny island, I definietly want to spend more time in Stokksnes. One morning was not enough. Ideally, I’d like to spend a couple of days. What’s weird though is that it was the hardest place to book a hotel room. One minute we looked at a place and the next minute the same place blew up in prices. When I say blew up, I mean it went up by $500USD in less than 5 minutes. Sooo crazy! And then there were a lot of other places that weren’t even open for business at the time. Its such a small little town but I can see why the demand is so high. It’s amazingly beautiful here. And the horses were seriously an added bonus. They weren’t behind any kind of fence. They were just out here roaming. Next time I need to bring carrots and lure some of them on to the beach. How amazing would that be?

For this image, I was so happy to have my Sony a7ii. Its just so light and compact that it was easy to try out different points of views. The peak design hand strap made it even easier. Most of the time I had my camera down low like at my waist so I could get the horses to look very large and the background a little smaller. Especially with that huge mountain range, a lower point of view is ideal for this look. The thing that made the hand strap so great was that my camera was able to securely get down low, but my body didn’t have to. I was not about to kneel down into that grass. Do you know how much horse poop there was?

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I thought it we were going to have an early spring? Like starting now. The weather in the DC area was so beautiful and warm last week. I was so ready to start pulling out my cute summer dresses and light jackets. Then it all turned over the weekend. I try my best not to complain in my personal life, but this is not good for many reasons. First of all, you’re messin’ with the flowers! The beautiful saucer magnolias blooms that I photographed last week, waiting for the peak, are all gone now. I’m pretty sure this cold weather will have a bad effect on the cherry blossoms as well but I hope not. Secondly, I think my body is confused. First it’s hot, then it’s cold then its hot again. I’m starting to feel the effects of the temperature change in my throat and head. Not fun.

So instead of going outside, I decided to sit in front of the computer and find an image that depicts how I feel. This one from Iceland describes it perfectly. It was along the main (and only) road from our drive in Reykjavík to Höfn. Along one of our million and one stops for horses, I came across this scene. The horses were the things that first attracted me to this image but then my favorite part is the huge cloud behind them. The road signs adds to my confusion of the weather but either way, I’m not liking the snow. Something so clean and neat perfectly shows what it’s really like on a road trip in Iceland.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m not a big fan of being cold. Being in Iceland is different because it’s what’s expected, but not this see-saw rollercoaster of temperatures. End complaint. For now, mother nature.

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Every time I think about these horses, I smile. They were every where in Iceland! So short and so hairy. They’re just so cute.

This one was taken on our first day out. It was probably the worst day we had weather-wise. When we landed the pilot over the speaker said we were experiencing 50 mph winds. You could literally feel the plane shaking while we were de-boarding. Add that to all the rain and it was kinda miserable being outside. Luckily the wind didn’t last all day, but the rain sure did. It was raining off and on but mostly on.

So what do you do on a rainy day in Reykjavik? Drive the golden circle! We saw these horses everywhere but all the roads on the island are fenced off. I think it’s so the horses don’t run into the middle of the street, but they could be there for other reasons other than that. I just don’t know. But the whole time we were driving, my friend Mel and I were on a hunt to find horses that were close enough to the fences so we could photograph them but also possibly pet some of them. After pulling over about 5 gagillion times, we finally ran into a group of them that were right next to the fence. Mel suggested I change my lens from my 16-35mm to my 70-200mm so we could stand far enough away from them that we could still get good pics but not scare them away. So I changed my lens and ran out the car.

We slowly started walking towards these horses. Then we realized, the closer we got to them, the more they would come to the fences. They’re super friendly! I immediately ran back to the car to change my lens back to the 16-35mm wide angle and got super close. This was taken at about my hip. I wasn’t looking, I just kept on clicking, hoping for a good shot. Obviously, the horses did not mind all the rain and wind. I’m pretty sure these guys thought my camera was food. Which it is definietly not.