Magical Iceland Landscapes


For my son, upon realising that my anger is just getting in the way of seeing him.

When there is no permitted channel of communication, my only options are silence or frustrated protest.


Buckets list checked!

What a fantastic moment it was to have the opportunity to shoot such amazing Nature in a fantastic setting.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson

Magic Cloth Photography

Magic Cloth Photography is a fantastic technique to record a high dynamic range scene.

Maybe you like to avoid burning the highlights in the sky like a average sunset scene, the Magic Cloth Photography is a good tool to have in your pocket and flexible for your needs.

Magic Cloth Tricks


Neutral Density Filter: (only if you are shooting during the day)

I suggest screw-on filters for rainy weather.

sturdy Tripod:

I have to get as low as possible for foreground intimacy so no center column are definitely great characters to look out for choosing your tripod. Stabilize your tripod so it is heavy. Vibrations can be caused by the movement of the Magic Cloth. But, this is important for fine art long exposure photography.

Try to avoid raising the center column unless you really need to. The center column is the weak spot of the tripod.

If your tripod has a hook between the legs, hang things from it to help with better strength. Often professionals carry an empty “rock bag” to place rocks and stones to give a good weight which will stabilize the tripod steady – great for long exposure work.

More Long Exposure photography info…

Long Exposure Photography: 15 Stunning Examples

Remote release:

Shutter speeds can sometimes be longer than the 30 seconds the camera will let you do. Having a Remote release (sometimes called “infra red Shutter release) will allow you to open the shutter: as long as your battery allows.

Magic cloth:

Choose a large cloth like a mouse-mat, or the same size black card. It must be large enough to totally cover the lens. Better to be Dark. A dark colour is best. The cloth can be any shape, but you need to be able to create a straight edge.

What to do:


Begin with a filter or low light for a longer exposure time, then over expose the scene by two to three stops.

Shutter speed

There are benefits to using a long Shutter speed. 2-5 seconds requires a fast, but smooth movement to cover the sky within a reflex time. 5-10 seconds lets you have a extra exposure of the foreground.

Magic Cloth Motion

Normally, I use very fast downward motion and slow, controlled upward movements.

Alternative Methods

Vary the Motion to allow a dozen short exposures of the sky, instead of a single medium exposure (30 seconds + exposures only).

Meter for the sky and {multiply that shutter speed by 4|then times four to get the total shutter speed.

Check out some more Ice and Auroras on our Photo Tours.

Thanks for reading!

“The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”
— Scott Lorenzo

Photo blog Articles

Photo Blog – Guðmundur Jónsson hdl https://www.icelandaurora.com/phototutorials/2014/09/gudmundur-jonsson-hdl/

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