My most challenging landscape photograph ever

My most challenging landscape photograph ever

My most challenging landscape photograph ever

Here is the shot…
dyrarfjordur westfjords

Here is the info…

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • EF135mm f/2L USM
  • ƒ/22.0
  • Shutter 1/320
  • iso 1600


: in order to get the foreground rock nicely in the frame, I have the camera to the ground on the hill behind. Because I am on a hill, I cannot get any lower than this. Therefore this had to be hand-held. As I looked through the viewfinder, my ear was on the ground.


From this position, I had several challenges. It took 17 shots to get to this one and I already knew my composition! Here are the challenges starting with the most difficult.

1) Depth of field (DOF) – 135mm is not really designed for foreground work. The infinity is so far away (close to half a KM), that anything close is going to require f/22. The foreground rock was about 6 meters in front. Even at f/22 this isn’t easy, I need a focal point 10-20m.

2) Straight image – as I am shooting this with my head on one side, I find it very difficult to judge straightness. Many rejected shots have wonky horizons. Because the composition is so tight, straightening these images would have lost important details.

3) Shutter speed – after achieving a decent DOF and a few straight images, I noticed that the picture was suffering from camera shake. I had to compromise with iso and ended up at iso 1600.


The view is out of Dyrafjordur in the Westfjords. I am shooting this from a mountain pass that connects Dyrafjordur with Arnarfjordur.

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.

Landscape photography gear

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