Amorphic Ice – Jökulsárlón Glacier Beach

Amorphic Ice – Jökulsárlón Glacier Beach
Taken on Feb 14th, 2011

Location: Ice, diamond, crystal beach.

Photo Info

LENSCanon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM
FOCAL LENGTH24.0 mm (23.4 mm in 35mm)


Mode: AV mode with + 2 stops over (compensation +/-).
Focus: f/22 hyperfocal mark. This is heavily weighted to the foreground.

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Camera equipment

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • EF24mm f/1.4L I USM
  • Medium weight Manfrotto
  • 6 stop B&W ND filter
  • Magic Cloth = Black snood.

The Canon 5D mark iii Canon 5D  mark III
Canon 5D mark III
Recommended for Magic Cloth Photography

The Canon EF-24mm f/1.4Canon  EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
A nice prime lens for landscape.

Amorphic Ice – Jökulsárlón Glacier Beach


This was an incredible Valentine’s morning on the ice beach. We were in the middle of a photo tour and the light was exactly like this as we arrived on the beach because this was the very first image I took that morning. Unfortunately, this was the only shot I took of this relatively uniform piece of ice.

Focal length

This was my standard 24mm prime from Canon. It is useful for getting down close and communicating great depth at the same time. As you an see the sharpness is great right across the scene.


f/10 allows really good sharpness to cover the subject and also the majority of the beach.


This was taken from quite low level. I was as low as my tripod would go. The reason was to maximise the reflected colours in the ice. Just a little higher would give a totally different colour and texture. It was important to get this image straight because the slope of the beach is slightly misleading although the trained viewer will quickly spot the level of the sea.

Magic Cloth

Long exposure = 30 seconds.

For this 30 second exposure, I allowed the sky just 3 seconds of exposure before bringing the cloth down over the whole lens. Then I spent the remaining 25 sec slowly raising the cloth up to the 2/3rds point on the lens with an up and down motion – careful not to expose any more sky.

About the Magic Cloth Technique

This is a long exposure photography technique for exposing the sky and landscape for different duration for better exposure control. The technique has a similar effect to using graduated filters, but instead only requires a Neutral Density filter.

My Camera Gear

Canon 5D - full frame

These are heavy duty cameras. I have used the Canon 5D in all weathers. It has a powerful live-view and sensor.

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 l

Canon's 24mm Prime L lens was all I used for many years.  It is responsible for over 80% of the photos on icelandaurora Sharp from corner to corner.

Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod

Load Capacity: 26 lb Max Height: 60.8" Min Height: 8.7" Folded Height: 17.5"

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