Glacier Landscape

Glacier Landscape

Glacier Landscape


This is Kviárjökull, one of the glacier tongues coming down from Örafæjökull Volcano. The volcano is the second largest in Europe and the glacier is the oldest. The area is a huge ancient glacier landscape with giant moraines from 1000s of years of glacier movement.

Taken on July 22, 2016


  • ƒ/16
  • 24 mm
  • 4 sec
  • 100


Canon EOS 5D Mark III
EF24mm f/1.4L II USM

Medium weight Gitzo
6 stop B&W ND filter
Magic Cloth = Black sleeve of my fleece.

Don’t forget to share!!


We were on the final day of a wet 4 day photo tour and this was the first sunlight we had seen throughout the tour. I have always enjoyed the view of the massive mountain sides and the reduced slither of glacier. Although it was Summer day-time, the morning light was still usable especially with so much cloud.


The mountains with the slither of glacier was my obvious background. I was working with my 24mm, and I noticed that the best background arrangement at 24mm put the glacier tongue in a strong central position. All I needed to do was to find a complementary foreground, something with Summer flowers, interesting textures and shapes… and something that would work centrally to work with the background.

My previous composition.

Glacier Landscape

With this composition, I had found some flowers and shapes that worked centrally, but could get my tripod low enough to bring the elements close enough. You see the big gap between foreground and background? That is why the image isn’t working.

But with patience and little more exploration, this little arrangement jumped out at me.

Thanks for Reading!!

Magic Cloth

Because this is Summer day time, I was struggling to get extra shutter time. I am down to 100iso and 6 stop ND. Even at f/16 and 2 stops over I am only getting 4 seconds. This only ever going to be a very simple down and up.


  • 2 second delay/timer
  • downward karate chop asap
  • slowly and smoothly raise the cloth over the remaining 3 seconds

The magic cloth has really helped the exposure of the foreground. I had practice on my previous compositions, so I understood the timing for the sky. That smooth raising of cloth has created a nice graduation over the landscape and protected the highlights on the glacier.

This was achieved in 1 attempt.

Post processing

Unprocessed image

Glacier Landscape

Untreated camera RAW.

Kirkjufell Light

Kirkjufell Light

We checked out the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall earlier in the day and there were 6 – 10 tourists walking through the scene at any one time.

Godafoss Red

Godafoss Red

The one thing we agreed on was to leave our tents erect and stay another night at the falls.

Moss on red

Moss on red

This is a strange volcanic lake. It goes very deep in places and used to be the deepest lake in Iceland.

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