black sand beach

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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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A couple of blog posts ago, I talked about my favorite place in Iceland, Höfn. (If you haven’t checked it out yet, click here) It’s located about 5 to 6 hours away from Reykjavik so there were a lot of stops along the way. One of the best “road side attractions” was Jökulsálón lagoon. The only reason why I called it a “road side attraction” was because it’s right off the main road and you can’t miss it! It’s this humungous lake at the edge of Vatnajökul National park where pieces of Vatnajökul glacier break off. If you look at a world map and see Iceland, you’ll see how theres one huge glacier on the south east side of the island. That’s Vatnajökul glacier.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so cool. Literally. As soon as we parked the car, I hopped out with my camera ready. I was so mesmerized by these glaciers that I didn’t want to waste a second. Just the whole experience made it seem like you were on a different planet. I mean you can see the top of the icebergs, but I can’t even imagine whats underneath. How big these icebergs really are and how long they’ve been in this water. And if the icebergs were so big, how freakin’ big is that glacier? Man, I can’t even imagine.

Right across the street you go to Diamond beach and a lot of these icebergs have washed up to land and they are gigantic. So many of them were taller than me. I had a lot of fun climbing on them, running my hands (with gloves on) on them, and just taking note of all the beautiful blues I was seeing. It was so tempting to say “Icebergs right ahead”. I tried my best not to say it but I think it slipped out once.

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One travel tip to Iceland. Bring lots of socks! Like way more than you need. I’m so glad I did.

In general, you should wear waterproof clothing from head to toe in Iceland. It was raining everyday but one day while we were there. The waterproof clothing really helped to keep me warm. But even if you’re lucky to have great weather on your trip, you’ll still get wet. The huge waterfalls have lots of cold water spray that will soak you, depending on how long you stand there. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to get close to the water on the black sand beaches to photograph the waves. The waves are so much bigger than you think they are. It kind of reminded me of Hawaii, but definietly not surf-able. Not fun when they come crashing down and into your shoes. So it didn’t even matter if I was wearing waterproof shoes, my socks still managed to get wet.

We spent a fair amount of time in Vik. One whole afternoon to visit two different sides of Reyjnisfjara with a little break in between for lunch. The first stop was a calmer side of the beach. We were the only ones there and the waves weren’t huge. I was also surprised by how soft the sand was. Just like regular sand but black. Thats where I was able to capture this long exposure with my Ice neutral density filter. But then after lunch when we went to the more commonly visited side. This was where the big waves are. I was running back and forth between the tides to try to capture the water. Eventually, the water won and my feet got soaked. They were so uncomfortably cold and wet. I had to dry off immediately in the car. So glad I brought extra socks 🙂