amorphic ice

Amorphic Ice – Jökulsárlón Glacier Beach

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Taken on Feb 14th, 2011

Location: Jökulsárlón Diamond Beach.

Camera Settings

LENS Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM
ISO 50
FOCAL LENGTH 24.0 mm (23.4 mm in 35mm)

Mode: AV mode with + 2 stops over (compensation +/-).
Focus: f/22 hyperfocal mark. This is heavily weighted to the foreground.



This was an incredible Valentine’s Day morning on the ice beach. We were in the middle of a photo tour, and the light was exactly like this as we arrived on the beach, because this was the very first image I took that morning. Unfortunately, this was the only shot I took of this relatively uniform piece of ice.

Focal length

This was my standard 24mm prime from Canon. It is useful for getting down close and communicating great depth at the same time. As you an see the sharpness is great right across the scene.


f/10 allows really good sharpness to cover the subject and also the majority of the beach.


This was taken at a quite low level. I was as low as my tripod could go. The reason was to maximise the reflected colours in the ice. Just a little higher would give a totally different colour and texture. It was important to get this image straight because the slope of the beach is slightly misleading, although a trained viewer will quickly spot the level of the sea.


Magic Cloth

Long exposure = 30 seconds.

For this 30 second exposure, I allowed the sky just 3 seconds of exposure before bringing the cloth down over the whole lens. Then I spent the remaining 25 seconds slowly raising the cloth up to the 2/3rds point on the lens with an up and down motion, – careful not to expose any more sky.

About the Magic Cloth Technique

This is a long exposure photography technique for exposing the sky and landscape for different durations for better exposure control. The technique has a similar effect to using graduated filters, but instead only requires a neutral-density filter.



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