Treasure Iceland – Diamond Beach

Treasure Iceland – Diamond Beach

Black sand Beach Treasures

Iceland’s black sand beach at Jökulsárlón is a treasure chest full of crystal gems. If you catch the glacier ice beach at the right time, you can photograph the incredible colours of a sunset or sunrise. Sometimes a big wave hits the diamond beach at just the right moment for a long exposure photograph. This shot was taken early on an October morning on the South Coast of Iceland.

Photo Info

  • CAMERA Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • LENS Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
  • ISO 800
  • FOCAL LENGTH 24.0 mm (24.0 mm in 35mm)
  • APERTURE f/6.3
  • EXPOSURE TIME 5s (5)

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty

Shallow DOF

It is risky to use such a large aperture on a wide angle landscape photograph. I like to use f/6.3 on the beach, but I normally just have a sky in the background which doesn’t have to be super sharp.The aperture of f/6.3 with a focal point that favours the foreground, leaves the distant mountain soft. This is audacious and experimental and I risk all sorts of criticisms by leaving a strong part of the landscape un-sharp. I do hope that it adds a mystic feel to the scene, giving it a fairy tale quality. What do you think?

The Magic Cloth Photography Technique

The Magic Cloth Photography Trick is a an inexpensive way to capture a high dynamic range scene. If you lose the highlights when you take a regular landscape scene, the The Magic Cloth Photography Technique is a useful tool to carry. This Photo was a 5 second exposure which was calculated as 2 tops over exposed. My cloth was brought down quickly over the lens and then slowly up to expose the wave action on the beach.

Heavy Tripod:

A solid tripod is good practice for top quality long exposure photography. It is no good to use a light-weight tripod for serious long-exposure work. You need a tripod that will withstand a nudge from the wind, or a wave if you are on the beach. I like to get low and close to the foreground for intimate details so folding legs are certainly nice options to look out for choosing your tripod. Stabilize your tripod so it becomes sturdy. Moving your Magic Cloth can cause vibrations. Sometimes your tripod has a hook underneath, hang something from it to provide extra stability. Many travel photographers carry an empty “rock bag” that they can fill with stones to give a good weight which will hold the tripod still – even in strong winds.

Canon 5D - full frame

This is a professional landscape camera. The Canon 5D works in all weathers. Powerful live-view and sensor.

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 l

Canon's 24mm Prime L lens is sharp from corner to corner and has a good aperture range.


Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod

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

B+W 77mm SC 106 ND

Neutral Density Filter
64x Filter Factor, 6-Stop. Darkens Entire Image & allows slow Shutter Speed

Green Angel – Jokulsarlon Northern Lights

Green Angel – Jokulsarlon Northern Lights

This is the best place you could possibly stand to photograph the Northern lights. Once you have captured floating glacier icebergs with an aurora reflecting in the still lake, it is difficult to top.

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