This tour was a 5 day custom tour of Southern Iceland with special emphasis on the Vatnjökull region in the South East. In September, you can enjoy some summer weather and 4×4 mountain roads, with the possibility of Northern Lights. The days are long enough to fit several top locations in a single day.
Day one was a fine sunny day. The pick up was from a remote hotel, one which I had never been to before… The ION Hotel is located next to the power station at Nesjavellir about an hour drive from Reykjavik, but in the general direction of travel.
Instead of the regular route along the South Coast #1 road, I negotiated to take our customer through the highland areas of Landmannalaugar. Although they were 60 years old, they were both in fantastic health and keen to do some light hiking.
Before Landmannalaugar, we took a diversion to Haifoss, now Iceland’s 3rd highest waterfall. Even in the late morning sun, the colours of the surrounding rock matched the constant rainbow.
Super-Jeep Tours to Thorsmork
At Landmannalaugar we took an hour hike up on the lava field towards some of the geothermal features. The lava field has a reasonable elevation that opens up the landscape in all directions. The lava field is a mixture of hard, jagged rock and smooth, soft moss.
Sunset at Jökulsarlon
Because early September has fairly long days, we still managed to reach Jökulsarlon in time for sunset. This was despite exploring Landmannalaugar and stopping for an evening meal in kirkjubæjarklaustur.
The sky was nice and clear and we hoped that it remained so until the night. The glacier lagoon at Jökulsarlon was constantly good, offering great shooting opportunities at all times.
There was one afternoon, however, where I really liked the available light and available ice. I took the above shot from the shore on the West side of the lagoon. I really liked the movement of the tide against the grounded ice.
Blessed with Northern Lights
This September had been very wet and cloudy so far, so we were lucky with this tour to have some clear skies. This image is from our second night at the lagoon. A mild, but beautiful Northern Lights reflection.
I just managed to get my composition in time to catch the beautiful aurora colours. During periods of low auroral activity, I decided to try some Milky way shots. It was challenging to time the exposure without car headlight interference… which became slightly annoying. This was my favourite. And is a testament to the addage “Patience is a virtue”
For this shot I used my magic cloth technique: after 15 seconds – slowly lift the cloth from the bottom of the frame to the top (so the lens is completely covered), then careful lift the cloth higher to expose the foreground (for 20-40 extra seconds – keep it moving!). The magic cloth technique is discussed here.
These are multi-day photo tours that include Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon. If conditions are good these tours can include Northern lights photography.