Magical Iceland Landscapes


Very unusual for me to want to stop and shoot under a high Summer sun.
This is a spot close to Þrístapar ( the site of the last public execution in Iceland. You can read more about it here.

Dodged and burned onto my sensor with magic cloth long exposure. Use the Magic Cloth Technique.

Tagged: , Magic cloth

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

Choose the right equipment for Night photography. A lens with a Some lenses are too large, they create their own problems, such as the Nikkor 14-24mm. The lens is amazing for long exposures at night, but dark filters for day time Neutral Density photography becomes complicated.
Canon pro-DSLRs are perfect for Night photography.

  • Easy features and manual mode
  • Great live view able to fine focus stars!
  • Important features can be accessed with external buttons and dials.
  • A little Red light on the back lets you know you are taking a picture. [Good to have)
Essential Gear Canon 5D  mark III Canon 5D mark III

The Magic Cloth Photography Trick

The Magic Cloth Photography Trick is a a unique way to photograph a high dynamic range scene.

If you want to avoid burning the highlights in the sky like a typical aurora display, the The Magic Cloth Photography Trick is a useful accessory to carry and flexible for your needs.

Hints for Magic Cloth photography


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

I recommend circular filters for rainy weather.

strong Tripod:

I like to get low down for foreground detail so extra flexibility are certainly good options to have on your tripod. Stabilize your tripod so it becomes strong. Vibrations can be caused by the movement of the Magic Cloth. A solid tripod is essential for fine art long exposure photography.

Don’t heighten the center column unless you really need to. The center column is the weakest link of the system.

Sometimes your tripod has a hook underneath, suspend things from it to provide better strength. Often professionals carry a special harness to place rocks and stones to give a heavy weight which will support the tripod steady – fine for Magic Cloth photography.

More Long Exposure articles

Remote shutter:

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

Black cloth:

Choose a large cloth like a hat, or the same size black card. Should be able to totally cover the whole surface of the glass. Better to be Dark. A dark colour is better. Use any shaped cloth, as long as you can get a straight edge.

What you do:


Begin with a filter or darkness for a to acheive a long exposure, then over expose the photograph by two to three stops.

Exposure time

There is an advantage to a long Exposure time. 2-5 sec requires a fast, but smooth action to darken the sky within a split second. 5-10 sec gives you a controlled exposure of the foreground.

Magic Cloth Motion

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

Alternative ways

Vary the Motion to capture a dozen short exposures of the clouds, instead of a single medium exposure (30 sec + exposures only).

Spot meter for the sky and {multiply that shutter speed by 3 or 4|then x 4 to get the total shutter speed.

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

Thanks for popping by

Check out more photography Locations:
Jökulsarlon and Diamond beach

“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”
— Annie Leibovitz

Check out some of our previous articles

Photo Blogger – Simple Magic cloth technique

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