Glacier Landscape

Glacier Landscape – Vatnjokull Iceland

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Glacier Landscape – Vatnjokull Iceland


Small Group Ice Caving


This is Kviárjökull, one of the glacier tongues coming down from Örafæjökull Volcano. The volcano is the second largest in Europe and the glacier is the oldest. The area is a huge ancient glacier landscape with giant moraines from 1000s of years of glacier movement.

Taken on July 22, 2016

Camera Settings

  • ƒ/16
  • 24 mm
  • 4 sec
  • 100

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We were on the final day of a wet 4 day photo tour and this was the first sunlight we had seen throughout the tour. I have always enjoyed the view of the massive mountain sides and the reduced slither of glacier. Although it was Summer day-time, the morning light was still usable especially with so much cloud.


The mountains with the slither of glacier was my obvious background. I was working with my 24mm, and I noticed that the best background arrangement at 24mm put the glacier tongue in a strong central position. All I needed to do was to find a complementary foreground, something with Summer flowers, interesting textures and shapes… and something that would work centrally to work with the background.

My previous composition.

Glacier Landscape

With this composition, I had found some flowers and shapes that worked centrally, but could get my tripod low enough to bring the elements close enough. You see the big gap between foreground and background? That is why the image isn’t working.

But with patience and little more exploration, this little arrangement jumped out at me.

Thanks for Reading!!

Magic Cloth

Because this is Summer day time, I was struggling to get extra shutter time. I am down to 100iso and 6 stop ND. Even at f/16 and 2 stops over I am only getting 4 seconds. This only ever going to be a very simple down and up.


  • 2 second delay/timer
  • downward karate chop asap
  • slowly and smoothly raise the cloth over the remaining 3 seconds

The magic cloth has really helped the exposure of the foreground. I had practice on my previous compositions, so I understood the timing for the sky. That smooth raising of cloth has created a nice graduation over the landscape and protected the highlights on the glacier.

This was achieved in 1 attempt.

Unprocessed image

Glacier Landscape
Untreated camera RAW.
Glacier Landscape
Processed image.

Recommended Equipment

Canon 5D – full frame

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 l

Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod

B+W 77mm SC 106 ND

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