Dramatic Landscape photography from Iceland

Dettifoss spray

I was just obsessed by this cloud and I think it punctuates the spray beautifully. I am on the edge of a huge canyon in North Iceland. Dettifoss isthe most powerful waterfall around and the spray coming from it is immense.

Posted by Iceland Aurora Photo Tours on 2012-08-31 11:51:35

The Magic Cloth Technique

To be able to get the very best exposure of both the sky as well as the land, photographers have traditionally used filters which are darker at the top. Graduate filters come in various strengths – quantified in stops. Additionally they come as hard or soft graded. It’s probably best looked at as to be a nighttime photography technique, which is adapted for daytime photography with the use of an ND filter. The Magic cloth uses a long exposure instead of opacity.


Long Exposure – around 10 sec for routine use, at least 2 sec. (to reach this you’ve to shoot when it gets dark or use a dark filter.)

The upside is that is is a method that is very inexpensive and certainly will give excellent results. It is also possible to clean your lens half-way via an exposure. Very helpful for waterfall shots.

Magic cloth photography


Heavy Tripod – essential for long exposure work.
Digital Camera – Bridge or dSLR camera – live view is a bonus.
ND (Neutral-Density) Filters
The N D filter is simply to lengthen the exposure. You may get silky waterfalls or pleasant wave actions without needing to wait in order for it to get dark. Like split filters, they come in various strengths. I suggest 6 stop for general purpose.
My advice would be to buy a filter for your largest lens so you could use the exact same filter on your entire lenses and use a step up ring.

Choose the right equipment for Long Exposure photography. Some lenses are too large, they create their own problems, such as Nikon’s famous 14-24mm. The lens is great for long exposures at night, but dark filters for day time Long Exposure photography becomes complicated.
Canon pro-DSLRs are perfect for Landscapes

  • Easy features and manual mode
  • Excellent live view able to see auroras before humans!
  • Important features can be edited with external buttons and dials.
  • The Red light on the back lets you know you are exposing.

Recommended Landscape photography gear

Canon 5D mark 3


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