Trip to Dettifoss Waterfall

Trip to Dettifoss Waterfall

Summer photo holiday around Iceland

This was a long Summer tour around Iceland anti-clockwise. Dettifoss Waterfall was on the Northern leg of the photo tour. At Dettifoss waterfall there are 2 neigboring waterfalls that are possible to view. The more popular waterfall is Selfoss about 2km South of Dettifoss. My guests had opted to hike to Selfoss.

Dettifoss waterfall is a favourite place of mine to sit and wait. This time I was waiting for the rain to soak these big basalt rocks, but alas only a few spots came. But you don’t need amazing conditions to get a great photo at Dettifoss. Just a bit of attention to shutter speed and great photographs can always be achieved.

Magic Cloth Photography

Faded onto my sensor with magic cloth long exposure. Use the Magic Cloth Technique.

The Magic Cloth Technique includes controlling the quantity of exposure to different areas of a scene during a very long exposure.
The Magic Cloth technique was born out of the requirement to get the picture right in the camera but to nonetheless boost the range of a scene.
Under normal circumstances, the top part of a landscape is lighter than the lower half. Photographers have traditionally employed filters which are darker at the top and clear at the bottom. These are called Graduated Filters and the most well-known are Neutral Density, and even though they come in various colours. Neutral density adds no colour to the scene. Graduate filters come in different strengths (stops). In addition they come as hard or soft graduates. The Magic cloth technique uses just an ND filter and a cloth or card to add graduation.

Magic Cloth Method:

Camera settings

Begin with a dark filter or low light for a for a slower shutter speed, then over expose the photo by 2 – 3 stops.

Shutter speed

There are benefits to using a long Shutter speed. 2-5 sec requires a fast, but smooth action to burn the sky within a reflex time. 5-10 sec allows for a extra exposure of the foreground.

Magic Cloth Motion

I usually bring the cloth down very quickly and bring it up slowly.


Vary the Motion to allow several short exposures of the clouds, instead of a single medium exposure (30 sec or more exposures only).

Use your spot meter for the highlights and multiply that shutter speed by 10 for the total exposure time.

Thanks for reading!

Photo tours to Dettifoss

Four day North Iceland

Four day North Iceland

This 4 day North Iceland photo tour aims to capture the brilliant Goðafoss waterfall in its Winter glory as well as other amazing features in the Myvatn area.
Book online from $4,913 USD

Seven day Full Circle

Seven day Full Circle

Iceland has a rich variety of landscapes and seascapes and this tour is designed to enhance that variety & capture Iceland’s full diversity in a week long tour around the country.
Prices from $8,847 USD

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