To Gush or not to Gush
Geysir is the spot in Iceland with the most active hot-springs and geysers. The name of the place actually gave us the word ‘Geyser’. In Icelandic, ‘Geysir’ means ‘to gush’… and indeed that is what they do. This attraction is one of the highlights on the Golden Circle Tour.
The main attraction used to be the huge geyser ‘Geysir’ which rarely spouts these days. It happens less than once a year and you would be extremely lucky to see it. It used to be a regular occurrence until a powerful earthquake rearranged the plumbing. It was discovered that the adding of soap powder could stimulate an eruption and this practice was reserved for dignitaries until she finally gave up the ghost.
Strökkur is described as Geysir’s little brother. The eruptions are more frequent and occur around every 15 minutes. The photographic challenge is to either capture the bubble which occurs just before eruption or to capture the height of eruption. The scene just after eruption is just a veil of mist. Camera settings to capture and freeze the movement are usually very fast shutter speeds of at least 1/125, but sometimes I have experimented with slower shutters to achieve slightly more original shots.
This spot is often the coldest spot in Iceland as Arctic winds blow straight from Iceland’s interior. The area is very close to Gullfoss and has a hotel, restaurant and gift shop (selling dead animal fur – ugh!) which are open during regular hours.
Photo tips: Use a wide lens (17-24mm) to shoot the full Geysir eruption. Use a short lens (70-100mm) to shoot the pre-eruption blue bubble. Adjust iso to 200-400 to get a fast shutter. Capture the action. Try shooting into the sun to get a dramatic back lighting – don’t forget to compensate!!
Photo tours that visit Geysir
Geysir is the home of the original Geyser. Geysir doesn’t erupt often, but his little brother Strokkur should offer several eruptions on this photo tour.
This Iceland photo tour crosses vast stony deserts with mountain tracks to Iceland’s wildest geothermal hot-spots & the best North Iceland features.
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