Magic Cloth Long Exposure
Berserk Lava field Snæfellsnes
This fabulous light was the nature of things on this 2 day photo tour of Snæfellsnes. Although we were devastated to have missed the February snow, the February light should not be overlooked in any conditions. Here, we took some time away from the other tourists and got lost in the “Berserkur Hraun” lava field on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
The term “Berserker,” which translates to “Bear Shirt,” was given to the toughest warrior Vikings. I read that they had consumed magic mushrooms prior to the combat. They became fearless as a result, giving the impression that they were impervious to fire and unbeatable. So, it is possible to imagine what kind of volcanic explosion would bear the name of the ferocious bearskin Vikings. Modern day berserkers occasionally terrorise modern day Vikings as they go about their daily shopping on Laugarvegur (on Saturdays).
This was a Magic Cloth Long exposure photograph. 16 seconds @ f/14 iso50 and a 6 stop ND filter. The 16 seconds was far too long as most of the foreground was a little over-exposed. However, this was easily brought back in Lightroom with the graduated filter. This adjustment doesn’t harm the image quality at all, but there is a danger of losing highlights. Thinking back, this could have been better with just 10 seconds or less – just for the sake of less post processing and more Natural bright spots.
I have difficulty composing a landscape photograph in a lava field and it is not because of the elves. I like to make sense of a scene, show a beginning and ending and arrange things in an orderly fashion. But lava fields have nothing orderly about them. They have no beginning or end in sight. My strategy was to shoot a bunch of scenes in the hope that the compositions wont be too bad in a couple of them. But actually there is a lot that can work if you can forgive the chaos when composing.
Find an experienced Icelandic guide or do it on a self drive. The Snæfellsnes peninsular is for you if you like to get away from the crowds.